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Can You Replace Bulbs on Festoon Lights?

String light

Light bulbs on festoon lights can be replaced as long as they are fitted with the same socket type and input voltage rating as the original. But wait, there’s more to considering the socket type alone. To learn more, read on.

What Are the Most Important Festoon Light Bulb Considerations?

Beyond matching up your original light bulb socket types it’s worth noting that there has been a gradual technological transition that has taken place in the lighting industry. The more energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) festoon light bulbs have gradually replaced the traditional and energy-hogging incandescent globes. So while you’re in the market to replace your festoon light bulbs it may be a good time to explore what’s available and upgrade your festoons to a more energy efficient lighting system.

These days, you cannot just walk into a store and pick a similar replacement watt bulb and hope that it will match other bulbs on your festoon lights. You need to consider the light bulb type, light bulb Kelvin, and the bulb socket type to ensure you pick the right type of replacement bulb or appropriate bulb for the type of system you have.

4 Types of Festoon Light Bulbs

There are four major bulb standards in the market that you can choose to replace your festoon light bulbs. Although these festoon bulb standards lend similar light illumination, they vary considerably in energy efficiency and cost. Here’s an overview of these replacement bulb standards to help you make a choice:

1. Incandescent Light Bulb

Incandescent Light Bulb | Can You Replace Bulbs on Festoon Lights

Incandescent light bulbs have dominated the lighting industry for the last century. However, these festoon light bulbs are gradually being phased out due to their energy inefficiency. Although incandescent light bulbs are one of the cheapest festoon bulbs in the market, they are far more expensive when it comes to your energy bills. That’s why it would be ideal to discard your incandescent light bulbs and replace them with more energy-efficient options.

2. Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL)

The CFLs are similar to the long fluorescent tubes, only that they are coiled up to fit the traditional lighting fixtures. Although these light fixtures are more costly than incandescent light bulbs, they are less expensive than LED bulbs. CFLs are energy efficient but contain mercury, which can be a health hazard if you break them. Thus, when replacing your CFL festoon bulbs, ensure you take caution when discarding them.

3. Halogen Incandescent Light Bulbs

Halogen Incandescent Light Bulbs |  Can You Replace Bulbs on Festoon Lights

The halogen incandescent light bulbs use 30% less energy than the traditional incandescent festoon bulbs. These fixtures emit beautiful shades of white, the lights are dimmable, however, become very hot quite quickly. The bad thing with replacing your festoon light bulbs with halogen incandescent light bulbs is that they have a short lifespan so you may be replacing the bulbs quite regularly.

4. LED Light Bulbs - Our Top Choice

LED festoon light bulbs are the newest entrants in the lighting market. Though these fixtures seem more expensive on the surface, they are the most energy-efficient bulbs in the market, providing cost savings on your electricity bill. They don’t produce heat, don’t contain mercury, and have a much longer lifespan than traditional light bulbs with an expected average of 20,000 hours of use. It’s also worth mentioning a new kind of smart LED festoon light bulb that can be remote controlled, scheduled, or customized via home automation or an app.

How to Choose Your Replacement Festoon Light Bulbs?

It would help if you choose your replacement festoon light bulbs based on your illumination needs. Nevertheless, choosing the right replacement light bulbs or joining extra festoon strings to current installation is not a walk in the park. There’s a wide array of replacement festoon light bulbs in the market, making it confusing. Here are the essential factors you should consider when selecting your replacement festoon light bulbs.

Determine Type of Light Bulb Socket

When replacing the bulbs on your festoon lights, it’s vital to ensure that the bulb’s cap type matches that of the existing festoon light caps so that it fits. Fortunately, festoon lightbulbs come labeled with numbers and letters. The letters at the bulb cap indicate the base type, while the numbers show the bulb’s base diameter in millimeters. The Bayonet (b22) and E27 Edison screw festoon lights are the most common socket types in festoon lights.

Find the Perfect Bulb Shape

When replacing your festoon light bulbs, you can decide to replace the bulbs like for like. But, if you want to upgrade your festoon lights, you need to select replacement bulbs with different shapes. The shape of your festoon replacement bulbs determines the spread and the angle of light they emit and the aesthetic appeal they lend.

Consider the Bulb's Brightness and Color

Selecting the most suitable bulb brightness and color temperature for the area you’re decorating can make or break a project. Lumens (lm) is a measure of brightness or light output. LED festoon bulbs with higher lumens emit brighter light than those with low lumens. On the other hand, the colour temperature of a bulb is measured in Kelvin (K). The higher the color temperature a white light bulb has, the whiter or cooler the light emitted is. Cool white or pure light bulbs typically start at around 5000K and can go all the way up to 6500K and beyond. For those looking for warmer white light varieties, make sure the kelvin starts at 2700K or lower, with 2300K or below considered “very warm white”.

 

Replacing bulbs on your festoon lights can be one of the trickiest aspects of maintaining your festoon lighting system. With the many light bulb choices on the market with varying voltage, brightness, colour, and lighting type a seemingly simple task quickly becomes complex. If picking the right replacement bulbs for your festoon lights is giving you problems, our festoon lights design experts are ready to lend you a hand.

If you are a lighting designer or hobbyist, event planner, or DIYer who loves festoon lights, we want you. Click here if you want to write for us!

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