FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
RE: TRU-TONE PRODUCTS
EXPAND EACH TOPIC WITH THE RED ARROW
WHY DO YOU SELL YOUR BULBS AND LIGHT STRINGS SEPARATELY ?
Selling bulbs and strings separately enables you to select which type of cord and which type of lightbulbs you want, independent of one another. It also allows customers to purchase only bulbs if they already have strings or other items they want to use our bulbs in. Selling complete sets would not change the cost of our products so we prefer to offer our customers a choice.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT OF DAMAGED GOODS?
If you receive a package that is clearly damaged, refuse the delivery if given the opportunity, and contact us immediately. Each and every bulb is inspected and tested at the factory and safely packed for shipping, but many things can happen in transit. Inspect all bulbs upon arrival and contact us for swift and simple replacement of dead or damaged bulbs. Please do not dispose of the damaged item(s) until instructed to do so. Damaged goods must be reported within 48 hours of delivery.
Tru-Tone™ LED filaments are more robust than tungsten filaments but have a glass enclosure, a critical component of their appearance. Please handle and store Tru-Tone™ bulbs as carefully as you would traditional glass incandescent Christmas bulbs. See the Product Guide for more information on safe storage and usage.
HOW LONG DO TRU-TONE BULBS LAST?
Tru-Tone™ LED Christmas Bulbs have a vintage appearance but are the result of modern electronic developments. The stated average lifespan of our bulbs is 25,000 hours , determined by strict lab testing by the LED component manufacturer, Epistar. Our own, ongoing testing has surpassed 12,000 hours (~28-36 holiday seasons) with zero failures (as of August 2022). None of these lifespan statements are indicative of a warranty period. The most vulnerable components of our bulbs are the glass enclosure and colored coatings. See our Product Guide for more information about storage and fading.
MY TRU-TONE BULB HAS A RATTLE SOUND. IS IT DEFECTIVE?
While rare, we occasionally come across what we refer to as “jingle bulbs” that have a high pitched rattle sound if shaken. If the bulb is transparent, you wouldn’t see anything floating around inside the bulb. This can occur on occasion during the forming of the bulb. A very small piece of glass becomes loose inside the base. It poses no hazzard and does not interfere with the functionality or life of the bulb.
I DON’T LIVE IN THE US, CAN I USE YOUR PRODUCTS IN MY COUNTRY?
We ship to most countries using Passport International Shipping which offers door-to-door service with tracking and includes all duties and fees at checkout. We do not currently offer our lights in voltages other than 110v. To use our products with higher voltages you will need a voltage step-down converter and a plug adaptor. We plan to offer other voltages in the future through local resellers as soon as resources and circumstances allow. If you have a connection with a company in your country that would be interested in partnering with us, please drop us a line!
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION/ RETURN POLICY?
Returns are accepted within 15 days. You will be refunded the purchase amount minus the credit card processing fee and a 15% restocking fee. You are responsible for the cost of shipping in both directions on all returns.
Once an order is placed, it cannot be cancelled in most circumstances. Cancelled orders are subject to a non-refundable 3% credit card processing fee. We encourage our customers to read reviews, get to know our products, and double-check their shopping cart before placing an order to avoid costly errors. For more information see our complete Returns and Cancellations policy in section 21 of our Terms.
HOW DOES THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION COMPARE TO INCANDESCENT CHRISTMAS BULBS?
Tru-Tone C7 and C9 LED bulbs consume 0.6W (watts) each. That’s a whopping 88% in energy savings over incandescent C7 bulbs which use 5W and 91% over incandescent C9 bulbs which use 7W. Our S14 bulbs consume 1W vs. 11W incandescent, for 91% savings. See our Product Guide for more examples of how Tru-Tone bulbs save you energy and money.
ARE TRU-TONE BULBS DIMMABLE?
Yes, all Tru-Tone bulbs offer full dimming capabilities. Visit our Product Guide for more information and helpful suggestions for using your lights with a dimmer.
HOW CAN I TELL TRU-TONE™ BULBS APART FROM VINTAGE INCANDESCENT BULBS?
As of 2022 all Tru-Tone bulbs are marked with a discreet logo imprint near the base of the bulb, and stamped on the collar of the brass base. Bulbs from 2020 have only the logo imprint and bulbs from 2021 have only the stamped base.
HOW MANY LIGHTS DO I NEED FOR MY TREE? C7 OR C9 SIZE?
This is really a matter of personal preference, but for a rough estimate and to find other great ways to get the most our of your Tru-Tone bulbs and light strings, visit our Product Guide.
DO ANY OF YOUR BULBS USE COLORED LEDS?
No. All Tru-Tone™ bulbs use our own warm-white Tru-Tone™ filament which is what gives them the warm, bright, cozy glow of vintage incandescent bulbs. While vividly colored LED’s have their benefits, they tend to have a more modern, saturated and cool or “electronic” appearance from their very narrow spectrum of light.
WHAT IS THE TOTAL LENGTH OF YOUR LIGHT STRINGS?
26 ½ ft. total. There’s an 18″ lead from the plug. The sockets are spaced 12 inches apart, and there’s a 12 in. tail leading to the socket.
DO TRU-TONE BULBS FLICKER?
All LED bulbs operate by cycling on and off and sometimes this is more noticeable to the naked eye. For the vast majority of our customers, there is little to no reported perceptible flicker for all Tru-tone bulbs. Perception of high frequency flicker is somewhat unique to each of us, and is usually noticeable only though peripheral motion. There are technological advances (known as full sine wave or fully rectified bulbs) that can reduce this, but they would require major design compromises and greatly increase the cost of our bulbs.
CAN I USE YOUR LIGHTS ON MY VINTAGE ALUMINUM TREE?
We do not recommend using any electric string lights on aluminum trees. The fringe can make contact with the electrical current through the space between the bulb and the socket. This can short out your bulbs, or worse, lead to extreme hazards such as electrocution or electrical fires. The original packaging for aluminum trees warn of this, and it is why they use a color wheel spotlight instead. Tru-Tone lights use very little electricity, but they operate at standard household voltage. We care about your safety; please don’t use electric lights on your aluminum tree. Modern, metallized polyester trees and garland are generally considered safe with electric lights.
DO YOU OFFER HIGH-VOLUME DISCOUNTS?
We offer a 5% discount to everyone for orders of $499 and up automatically on our site. Additional discounts are available for larger volume orders (not for resale) of complete cases. Please contact [email protected] to learn more and place large quantity orders.
WHY DO TRU-TONE BULBS COST MORE THAN SOME OTHER CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?
There are many factors that affect the cost of our products but here are the biggest ones:
QUALITY: Most LED holiday lights are mass manufactured from cheaper components, which is why many of them have a lackluster appearance and high failure rate. Tru-Tone bulbs are made from high quality components like those you would find in household LED products from major brands. In order to achieve their warm glow and authentic vintage look, we use older, smaller scale production techniques that are more labor intensive, less common, and cost more. Every detail such as the color temperature and shape of our filaments, the unique shape of our C7 bulbs, and our fine tuned color coatings, add to the cost but are also what make Tru-Tone bulbs so special. We think its worth it!
IMPORT COSTS: In addition to the very high cost of international freight, the US currently has a 33% tariff on all Christmas lights being imported from China. We were made aware of this part way through our first year of operations and hoped it would eventually be removed. This has not yet happened and we made the difficult decision to keep most prices the same, in the hope that it will eventually be removed and Tru-Tone can continue to grow the way we would like it to. Unfortunately, this also means that we cannot afford to lower prices at this time.
RESOURCES: Tru-Tone is still a very small company (2 employees) and has limited resources. Large corporations are able to achieve lower costs by manufacturing in massive quantities. The comparatively small size of our production runs means that everything costs a little more. We hope that with your help and enthusiasm, we’ll reach a point where all of our products cost less, so we can pass those savings on to you.
WHERE ARE YOUR PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED?
Tru-Tone LED lightbulbs are designed here in the USA and are made to our specifications by a leading manufacturer in China. There are not currently any US manufacturing facilities with the practical capability to create our products. Rest assured that your purchase is supporting a small, American business with a unique focus on quality retro details and a great customer experience. We are open to the possibility of domestic manufacturing in the future, and welcome any leads or personal connections.
WILL YOU MAKE TWINKLE BULBS, SWIRL C9’S, C6 BULBS ETC.?
We love all of the vintage bulbs, but limitations on resources, time, and available processes make it impossible to re-create all of them. We make an effort to expand our line-up of products each year and try to prioritize the items we believe are the most popular and practical. Please continue to ask for what you want and hopefully, in time, we’ll get to your favorites.
Have any of your colors been updated or modified?
Yes. We are always working to improve the fidelity of our colors, and for some colors, making minor adjustments to the shade based on feedback and our own views.
In 2022 our Classicolor blue, teal and pink all have some adjustment. The current blue is slightly bolder, and a whisper in the direction of red, and away from green. Teal has been nudged to land more squarely between blue and green than when introduced in 2021. Pink has a completely new formula which now performs great under UV exposure, and is a whisper less vibrant.
Also in 2022, our Jeweltone blue, amber and magenta all have some adjustment. the current blue is now a deep cobalt. Amber has been darkened slightly, and magenta is slightly less red.
In addition to our intentional changes, very minor shifts can occur in a color formula from batch to batch. All of these subtle shifts are the same as would happen with vintage incandescent Christmas bulbs, and we believe only contribute to their retro charm. We always welcome your feedback on colors.