Traditional Christmas Lighting Basics for the U.S. and Elsewhere as Applicable

This Post was originally entitled: “This is the Dangerous Whimsical Informative Post that GAB Won’t Let Me Post on GAB” as I tried to post it on GAB, but a Technical Glitch seemed to have prevented it. 

This is a first, a Solar Powered Decorative Christmas Candle. The Solar Part is the Sunlight Shining through the kitchen, striking the shaft of the candle, and illuminating it for a few minutes on sunny winter days, you can see the sunlight on the side of the Entertainment Center (TV Stand with Shelves, LOL). We never intended the effect, it just happened. When I showed my wife, she thought the light fell down into the shaft.

It takes a standard but Low Wattage Table Lamp Bulb. The Appliance Bulb we were using burned out, so we were using an LED Bulb for Tabletop Lamps. The LED is bright, but doesn’t get very hot (a plus). But it was too bright. So I used an Aquarium Bulb, but got the idea to use a Night Light C7 Bulb, and that’s what’s in it now (actually 4 Watts) with a Converter for Base Size to go from the Standard U.S. Bulb with an E-26 Base to the C-7 that uses an E-12 Base. See Image Below:

E26 to E12 Adapter - 1Standard Table Lamps use a Medium Edison Screw Base (one page said MES, one referred to them as Standard or Medium Bulbs) that fits, in the U.S., into an E26 Base (from 26 mm) or, usually, an E27 Base (as used in Europe, still referring to the Diameter in mm) and supposedly, bulbs are “usually” interchangeable in E26 or E27.

But 120 Volts is used in the U.S. and Canada, and 240 Volts is found in England and much to all of Europe, so Fluorescent and LED Lights may not be Interchangeable without damage or fire. If European Incandescent Bulbs (240V) are used in the U.S. (120 Volts), they will be half the Wattage and we used to do that at work, used 240V Bulbs in 120 Volt Applications for long bulb life. The opposite is true for U.S. Bulbs (120V) used in Europe (240 Volts), the bulb would be twice as bright and likely burn out instantly or very quickly.

Now that the Base Issue is clearly explained, LOL, let’s tackle Bulb Diameter.

A19 Incandescent Bulb and T-8 and T-12 Fluorescent Bulbs are all based on 1/8″ Increments.

A-19 is

19 x 1/8

Figure it this way (8/8 is 1″. 16/8 is 2″. With 3/8 left over.) 16/8 = 2″, + 3/8

A-19 is 2 3/8 across the bulb.

T-8 and T-12 Fluorescent Lights, a cake walk.

T-8 = 8 x 1/8 = 1″

T-12 = 12 x 1/8 = 1 1/2″

So the Base Diameter is in mm, it was originally called a Medium Base or Medium Edison Screw (MES) Base, and with the advent of Metric, it was determined that the U.S. Base is 26 mm and the European Base is 27 mm, so with 1 mm difference in the bases, they usually interchange except for the voltages.

Bulb Sizes are given in 1/8″ Increments, as A-19, T-8, or T-12.

And, Drum Roll Please, there’s more. 

C-7 Christmas and Night Light Bulbs are 7/8″ in Diameter.

C9 Outside Christmas Lights are, that’s right, 9/8 in Diameter, or 11/8″

“Merry Christmas” 2021 Christmas - 010 - 1


Author: Dr-Artaud

A Doctor that is not a Doctor, but named after a character in the movie "No Such Thing", as is the Avatar.

2 thoughts on “Traditional Christmas Lighting Basics for the U.S. and Elsewhere as Applicable”

  1. Thanks for this long informative reply (& your Like for my 2017 article). I am now more on Medium, less on Twitter and reluctant to invest time in another social platform since most of my effort is now on the Times of London. HNY

    Liked by 1 person

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