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What Are Rice Light Bulbs?

Updated April 17, 2017

Rice light bulbs are the tiny, rice shaped light bulbs that are often coloured and strung together to decorate Christmas trees, wreaths and other ornaments for various holiday festivities. Other names for the lights include "micro lights," "twiggy lights" and "branch lights."

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Rice lights may be differentiated from other types of decorative lights such as the T1 ¾ "midget," the C7 ½ bulb and the C9 ¼ bulb by their size and wattage. A LED rice light bulb can require as little as .057 watts and be as small as 1/2 an inch, whereas a C9 light bulb can require as much as 7 watts of power and be close to 4 inches long.


Different brands of rice light bulbs may be suitable for indoor and outdoor environments. Festive strings of the lights are often available with a function controller which allows you to set the lights to blink in different patterns such as "twinkle," "sequential," "fade" and "steady on."


Transparent rice lights may be used to illuminate walkways and signposts in dark places such as the cinema. Coloured rice lights are often used to decorate Christmas trees and wreaths as well as wedding and banquet tables.


Rice light sets range in price according to life expectancy and functions. In 2010 you can purchase a set of 60 transparent (clear) rice lights for approximately £6; coloured lights will cost you a bit more.


It is important for safety reasons that you not connect the lights to any other set of lights not included in the set. Be sure to read all of the safety instructions on the box before plugging them in.

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About the Author

Based in Ottawa, Canada, Chris Wolski started writing professionally for non-governmental organizations in 2007. He has written communications material for marketing firms and small businesses, and he has published articles for various websites. Wolski received a national coaching certification in 2001 and a Master of Arts in political science from York University in 2007.

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