Relamping Bubble Lights, Matchless Stars, and Starlites.
When you are out going to flea markets, and yard sales, you don't always have the option of "picking" just a few items out of a box. Often times you "buy" the entire box. Quite often there will be burned out bulbs, along with good bulbs. Never throw out your burned out Bubble Lights, Matchless Stars, or Starlites. They can all be relamped, using a high quality, long lasting replacement bulb. Keep in mind, these lights are no longer being made in this fashion, and now having the ability to relamp them you can keep those wonderful colors of old alive. Today's modern lighting doesn't offer that same warm "glow" we have all became accustomed to. There were so many different color combinations available back in "the day". So, SAVE THOSE BULBS !!!
How to Identify the Bulb Size you have.
C6, smallest bulbs, series wired (if one burns out all, they all go out) C7, standard Christmas lighting bulbs (such as your ordinary Christmas window candle bulbs) C9, the large outdoor bulbs ( used in outdoor strings, popular in the 50's and 60's)
Don't be fooled by the color of the bases on bulbs. The brass or silver bases help to identify the age of the bulb, but not the size of the bulb.
There are also different variations of bulb sizes on replacement bulbs. This is most common on C7 and C9 bulbs. Often times you will see C7 1/2, or C9 1/2. These "half" sizes simply reflect a difference in the "envelope" or "glass size/shape of the bulb". All C7, and C9 "Half sizes, will fit in their respective sockets.
Testing C6 Bulbs.
When you test these bulbs, simply rest the screw in part of the base against one of the battery terminals, and the pointy end on the other battery terminal. Use a square 9 volt battery. See pictures. Don't be afraid to wiggle, and press firmly, so as to make a good connection. If the bulb is good, it will light. This is the best way to find that burned out bulb in your string. Sometimes corrosion from age can prevent a good contact.
Bring a 9 volt square battery with you when you are yard sailing, or flea marketing. You can test the bulbs you are interested in purchasing right there before you buy!
Generally C-6 lighting came in 8 or 9 bulb strings. If one bulb is burned out, your set will not light. Use the battery test to find that bad bulb, and make your repair easier. Don't ever throw out your burned out bubble lights, matchless stars, or plastic stars. They can ALL be relamped.