Christmas Lights Glossary

Tree Definitions

TruTip technology Uses molds from live trees to create the most realistic PE tips and needles. This patented Christmas tree technology is defined in detail at TruTip.com.
Full tree A tree with the largest base width as opposed to Medium, Slender and Pencil profile trees.
Tree Height Measured from the floor to the top of the tree.
Tree Width Measurement is taken at the base of the tree. Branches at the widest point are pulled flat and are measured from tip to tip.
Garland Width Measurement is taken at the widest point of the garland. Branches at widest point are pulled flat and are measured from tip to tip.
Hinged Construction On artificial Christmas trees, the branch folds up and down without separating from the trunk, making assembly easy.
Tree bag Storage for an artificial tree.
Trunk Wrap Material used to wrap the center pole in artificial Christmas trees.

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Bulb Definitions

LED Stands for Light Emitting Diode. Read more on LED Lights: LED Christmas Lights Guide.
Flicker Free LEDs that are free from the appearance of a visible flicker during use.
C7 and C9 Bulbs C7 and C9 refer to the base size of the bulb. In common outdoor lighting use, C7s are used on the ground while C9s go on the roofline. C9s measure just under 3"H and give a retro look, while C7s are just over 2"H, base to tip.
Candelabra style base C7 base
Intermediate style base C9 base
Opaque These bulbs cannot be seen through; the opposite of transparent bulbs. Also known as ceramic bulbs.
Triple Dipped Bulbs that are dipped 3 times in paint, making them much more vibrant than double and single dipped bulbs.
Faceted Bulbs LED bulbs like C7 or C9 that have a unique faceted texture on the surface that allows more light reflection from all angles.
Wide Angle The conical shape of an LED lens that allows light to been seen from greater angles compared to a flat lens.
Retrofit bulb A bulb that is separate from the string and must be manually placed on the socket. Allows for more customization in lights.
Lamp Lock On Mini lights, a small tab that locks the bulb in place on the socket, keeping the bulb secure in the socket.
Dimmable LEDs that have an option to dim with a controller. Without controller, the light stays steady.
Nickel Base On bulbs, a nickel base prevents corrosion.

Electrical Definitions

Amp A unit of measure for the amount of electricity flowing through a light set. Short for ampere.
Amp Capacity The measurement of how much voltage a conductor or device can carry before sustaining damage.
Voltage A measure of the force with which the electricity is being "pushed" through a circuit.
Bulb Voltage The measurement of how much voltage a particular bulb can take before sustaining damage.
Kelvin Unit of temperature measurement for objects that give off light.
Lumens A measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a source.
Watts Measures the rate of power usage. To determine total watts, you need to multiply the watts per bulb by the number of bulbs.
Diodes A two-way electrical device that conducts an electric current in only one direction. It causes the LED to seem brighter. While many products boast of a high diode count, it is the size of the diodes, not the number, that matters in brightness.
Full Wave Rectified A diode used to convert currents. It delivers more voltage to the bulb, thus more illumination from the LED. It prevents flickering.
Commercial Lights or items intended for extended use. Commercial items can weather the elements longer and sustain more wear and tear than residential items.
End to End A mini-light set that has a male plug on one end and a female plug on the other. Plugging sets into one another permits you to increase the overall length.
Male Plug A plug with exposed conductors that fits snugly into a female connector to establish an electric current.
Female Plug A connector having one or more recessed holes with electrical terminals inside. Male plugs fit within to establish an electric current.
Fused plugs Fuses prevent sets from being overloaded due to a short circuit or due to plugging in too many sets together. A fused plug is a safety feature.
Stackable plugs A plug that has a male and female connector and can be plugged in to each other.
Polarized On Christmas Lights, Etc, a polarized plug is a male connector plug with one prong longer than the other. Polarized wires cannot be connected to non-polarized ones.
Lead Wire Spacing from beginning of the string to the first bulb.
Tail Wire Spacing from the last bulb on a wire to plug.
Drops Strings that hang down from a main string of lights, often found on icicle lights or patio strings.
Prelamped Light strings that contain the lamps preassembled to the string.
Wire Gauge Thickness of a wire.
SPT1 and SPT2 A symbol that denotes the insulation thickness of a wire.
Cutting rope light Slicing pre-measured sections of rope light apart for custom projects. See Rope Light Resource Page.
Splicing Joining two separate pieces (wire for example) together. For Rope light, a set of pins can be used to complete the splice.
CSA Approved An item that meets all of CSA Standard's safety recommendations.
UL Listed An item that meets all of Underwriters Laboratories safety standards.
UL Recognized Components Refers to the electrical components on a product that have been tested to UL specifications.

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Decorative Definitions

Clips Used for securing bulbs and other decorations to an intended location. Learn more with our Clip Light Clips Guide.
Canopy Overhead width that fronds cover on a palm tree.
Topiary Horticulture practice of shaping trees in clearly defined shapes, oftentimes geometric shapes or animals.
Grapevine At Christmas Lights, Etc, real grape vine; used for decoration.
Motif Also known as a wireframe. A motif is an item that has mini lights or rope light twisted into a shape around a metal frame. They usually depict characters, scenes or items.
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