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Power draw if not all lights are used...


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OK, so I've got a strand of C9 bulbs I'm using in my display (actually several) but I'm thinking next year I'll reroute the strands and on several of the strands I will only need 15 of the 25 lights.


a) Is it safe to do the math at 7 watts each, my power draw would only be 105 watts or .9 amps?

B) What's the best method to use to cover these unlit lights? (leave bulb in but slightly unscrewed? black electic tape over socket? etc?)

Thanks in advance!

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If they are 7W bulbs, yes, figure 7 W each, and just looking at it, the numbers look to be in the ballpark. As far as dealing with the unused sockets, the best way is for them to just not be there.. Figure out if your C9 strands are SPT1, or SPT2. SPT2 is more common, and it is the thicker of the two typical C7/C9 cord sizes that exist.

If it is SPT2, look here:


Get these, and cut the cord to length, then install a new female end on the cord, and you are all set.

If they are SPT1, here are the appropriate ends..


Much safer to shorten the string, and you reduce the odds of GFCI trips and other issues that come with sockets, empty, or otherwise.

They come with instructions on how to install, and instructions can be found on line as well.

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You can figure the bulbs at 7 watts which is correct. Another way is to invest in a Kill-A-Watt meter. Probably one of your best investments a long with a LKP and you will find yourself using it for a lot of other things around your display. It will give you a more accurate reading at the plug that you can check that against your math. When it comes to C7 and C9s you can never be to careful since they can add up fast and draw so much.

Another option instead of buying vampire plugs if your cut your strands short is to reuse the old plug off the strand you cut off. No since in wasting money for a couple of plugs and shipping if you just have 2-3 that need to be done. Just strip the wire, solder them together and hear shrink the solder. Then wrap it tight with some electrical tape.

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You could have saved some money and shipping and got them locally. LKP are sold at pretty much all stores that sell Christmas lights. Right now with stores at 50% you can get one for about $10. The Kill-A-Watt you can get at Habor Freight or Bed, Bath & Beyond. As long as you got them coming they are really good tools to have.

One note about the LKP, do NOT use it while your lights are plugged into your LOR controller. There have been reports that it will mess your controllers up.

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