cold cartoon snowman with Christmas lights


Learn typical uses for all variety of Tru-Tone lights.

All Tru-Tone bulbs are sealed, have corrosion resistant bases, and with reasonable care, can be safely used both indoors and outdoors, in cold weather and with precipitation. See the Storage and Care section for important information on tarnishing, fading, or tips for when used outdoors. Tru-Tone bulbs all have standard sized bases and can be used in any string or socket with a compatible base.

Common usage for each type of bulb is as follows, but are certainly not exclusive. You do you!

C7: Indoors on trees, wreaths, mantles and bannisters, they are beautifully complimented when used in combination with mini-lights.

Outdoors around windows and along rooflines, porch rails and bannisters; on outdoor trees and smaller signs or yard decorations. Other items with E12 (candelabra) bases including chandeliers, sputnik lamps, wall sconces, electric candelabras and other small light-up decorations. 

C9: Indoors on especially large trees, or if you want to amplify the vintage-vibe. Outdoors around windows and rooflines, along porch rails and bannisters, on outdoor trees and larger signs or yard decorations. Also common in commercial or municipal decorations. E17 (intermediate) bases are less common outside of holiday light strings.

S14: Used year round in mostly outdoor applications. Often strung over porches, patios, and outdoor dining areas. Also used in large scale commercial signs and marquees, as well as other business or municipal settings. Can be used in any E26 (medium) base socket, the standard socket for household lightbulbs. Ceiling fixtures, wall fixtures and table lamps.

PRO TIP: When installed outdoors, we recommend installing the light string first, followed by the bulbs to prevent damage or accidents with them.  See our Storage and Care section for more helpful information regarding outdoor use and installation. 

Tru-Tone bulbs are fully dimmable and will work with most standard or LED specific dimmers. Some dimmers work better than others. If you find that your dimming is uneven or “stepping” rather than dimming, try increasing the load on your circuit by replacing one of your LED bulbs with an incandescent bulb.

Tru-Tone bulbs can be used in combination with your other favorite vintage incandescent or LED bulbs on the same string or circuit. Be sure to keep track of your wattage to ensure you don’t overload your circuit, a single run of lights should not exceed 360 watts /3 amps.

Always be mindful of the maximum wattage per socket:
- 7w per socket max for our Classic (vinyl) Light Strings
- 25w per socket max for our Deluxe (fabric) Light Strings

You can create your own custom light strings for bulb signs or other projects using standard lamp cord and add-on sockets available from other online Christmas stores. These are also great for small clusters of bulbs or uneven spacing. Take a look at some of our growing collection of do-it-yourself decorations with Tru-Tone lights in our Decoration Guide.
vintage style sign of the letter "B" with light bulbs
Vintage style Christmas Candolier