Why Buy Commercial Grade String Lights?

Why Buy Commercial Grade String Lights?

When you hear commercial grade, it is the actual stringer, not the light bulbs, that make string lights "commercial grade". Light bulb can be used interchangeably between standard and commercial grade stingers, as long as the base size of the bulb matches the socket size of the cord.

Benefits of Commercial Grade String Lights

Designed for long-term outdoor use, commercial grade string light cords provide the durability to withstand year-round weather conditions. Typically used for permanent outdoor installations, commercial grade is by far the most popular, and smartest, choice. Let's look at the key features that set commercial grade string lights apart:

  1. Commercial grade cords have weatherproof sockets which are formulated PVC that form a tight seal around the bulb to prevent the entrance of water and moisture. This feature is particularly helpful when you're looking for long-term, year-round outdoor string lights.

  2. The heavy duty wire in our commercial string lights provides better gauge wiring. The gauge of a wire (AWG) is the thickness — the lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire; and the thicker the wire, the more amps you can typically run. Our commercial medium base cords are typically 14 gauge, and our commercial C9 and commercial C7 base cords are typically 16 gauge (standard grade is typically 18 gauge).

  3. With lower gauge wiring, longer runs are allowed for your installation. As a point of comparison, our 100-foot commercial C9 cords have a max run of 1200 watts, whereas the standard 100-foot C9 cords has a max run of 840 watts. Be sure to review each cord and bulb product specs to make sure you don't exceed the max run of our decorative string lights.

  4. Many customer just want the same professional look that is most often seen above bar and restaurant patio areas. It's easy to make your own patio and backyard have a designer look with commercial grade string lights!

Features for Standard Grade String Lights

Our standard grade stringers still have a time and a place in the world of decorative string lights. Not every application calls for the heavier outdoor stringers. Below are some key points when deciding if our globe patio lights are perfect for your space:

  1. Rated for outdoor use, our standard grade cords can still be safely used outdoors. They can be left up year round, but typically do not last as many years as our commercial grade options.

  2. A great option for indoor use, when you want to add accent lighting to a three-season room, the game room, a kid's room, or during the holidays on larger Christmas trees when mixed with mini lights.

  3. Perfect for temporary use, our standard grade is a great choice for short-term event lighting for backyard parties, wedding receptions, and more!

  4. The lower price point is attractive to many people when they are looking for a quick and easy solution for patio and event lighting, as well as smaller, less permanent applications.

  5. Shorter lengths are sometimes needed for smaller, covered patios or special events. Our shortest length available is 10 feet.

Shopping Options for Commercial Grade String Lights

Generally speaking, our Commercial Medium cords are the most popular for permanent outdoor lighting that are larger jobs with multiple lengths. Commercial C9 cords are more popular for smaller spaces since it is lighter weight and smaller size bulbs. Below outlines some of the key options available for each:

medium Base, Commercial Grade CORDS

Commercial Medium String Light Cords are made from 14 gauge round, insulated wire and have a standard household socket size (E26) with 24" spacing between sockets. It is offered in two styles: suspended or inline socket. Suspended sockets drop down from the wire and dangle, while regular sockets are mounted on the wire.

Two popular bulbs paired with this cord are the 11-watt, 11S14 bulb (shown on the right) or the LED S14 Vintage Bulb (shown above), but you can use any medium-base incandescent or LED bulb up to 25 watts with these strands.

Commercial medium base strands are offered in 48', 100', and 330' lengths. Black is the most common color and available in all lengths; white cords are available in limited lengths and socket styles. Custom length cords are also available (black only), or you can opt to cut the cords to your desired length (end caps are available).

C9 Base, Commercial grade

Commercial C9 String Light Cords are made from 16 gauge wire and has the smaller C9 (E17) socket size with 15" spacing between sockets. Only inline sockets is an option.

A popular bulb used is the 7 watt, G50 Globe Bulb, opt for something a bit more "decorative" like the C9 Vintage Bulb (shown on the right), or use any C9-base incandescent or LED bulb.

The cord is offered in 25', 100', or 330' bulk reel lengths. Black is the most common color and available in all lengths; white cords are available in limited lengths. Custom length C9 cords are also available (black only) for those needing a specific length for their backyard or patio.

C7 Base, Commercial grade

Commercial C7 String Light Cords are made from 16 gauge wire and has our smallest C7 (E12) socket size with 12" spacing between sockets. Only inline sockets is an option.

The smaller, energy efficnet LED G40 Vintage Bulbs are popular, but you can use any C7-base incandescent or LED bulb.

The cord is offered in black in 25' or 330' bulk reel lengths. Black is the only color available at this time.

Bulk Reels

Commercial grade bulk reels are available in all three socket sizes: Medium, C9 and C7. They are 330' in length, and are perfect for for larger, do-it-yourself projects. There is no plug with the bulk reel string light cords, as they are typically used for hard-wired, permanent installations.

Have additional questions? Email our knowledgeable Customer Service at, or call 866-758-5836 (Mon-Fri 9-4 CST).