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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 144
Member
I fix every set of my lights that I own, I have thousands of lights, it becomes a talent to fox them, I refuse to throw any out, I do actually find it worth the time to fix them, especially when im getting them for free constantly.


-Joe
“then we'll glue em' then screw em'”
-Tom Silva
TOH
JoeKP #204277 11/26/11 01:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
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If you guys are still using mains sets of lights, one of the handiest tools you can have is one of them Volt-Sticks, used for ball-park fault-finding/voltage detection.
A break in the wire is easily found.

Speaking of Xmas lights installs, I'm going to make a point of getting a picture of an elderly couples house from a little town called Chertsey, north of here.
The guy is like 75, his wife is 81 and to be honest, I don't know how he finds the energy to put all them lights up.
He re-invents his install every year.
It is a sight to behold, I'll keep you posted.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
H
Member
To tell the truth, I hate Christmas lights. They are the dumbest things I have every seen. I liked the old style where even if a light bulb burned out, the string would work. The new LED Christmas lights look promising though, and I can't wait to try them out and see how they work.

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
P
pdh Offline
Member
Some strings were wired in series. Some were wired in parallel at line voltage. This is because it was possible to make bulbs at just about any voltage from 0.5 to 500. The lower voltage tends to be more reliable.

LEDs, however, are not so easily done. There is only small range they can make the voltage drop (they are a fixed voltage drop and need a ballast to prevent a cascade current much like fluorescent). There is a limit to wiring them in series. And wiring them in parallel requires a ballast on each bulb since the power source had to provide current for all. So these are often made in groups where it is series within the group, and the groups are in parallel on the string. This can lead to extra wires along the string. if the string has 3 or 4 conductors going along, this is probably what it is.

I may try LED strings this year (and maybe tear one down to see how poorly it is made).

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and
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Quote


Does Scott have a schematic for Christmas lights?



Sadly, I do not have any Schematics for Christmas Lighting Strings available. frown

A few Schematics for Series-connected Christmas Lighting strings, would be a nice addition to the Tech. Reference area.

I wonder if a Non-Contact Voltage Tester may be used successfully, to locate failed or loose Lamps within a given Series Loop?

-- Scott


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
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Hit "Submit" too soon! eek
Wanted to mention Outdoor LED Arrays:

One of our Neighbors setup their Outdoor Christmas Lights a few days ago. They purchased several new LED Animated and Non-Animated Arrays, which (to me) are very impressive...

The Strings look like the older 120V B10 Candelabra Base Outdoor Lamp types, but instead of the Lamps being Incandescent, the "Filament" is comprised of LEDs (LEDs inside of the B10 Lamp "Shell").

The Non-Animated Strings (static, no change in color, no flashing or chasing, etc.) have LEDs with Pastel Colored Light output. The Light emitted from the Lamp assembly is not Monochromatic at all! In fact, the output is more like a filtered Incandescent "Color Corrected Lamp", with the Intensity of an LED.

The Animated Strings have, IIRC, 7 Color LED Arrays in each "Lamp" - with these Colors:

- Red,
- Orange,
- Yellow,
- Green,
- Cyan,
- Blue,
- White.

Nice to see Polychromatic LED Light Output - and "Soft Filtered" too!

Just my 2¢

-- Scott


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 7,333
Likes: 7
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Scott:

Trumpy seems to think so!
"I wonder if a Non-Contact Voltage Tester may be used successfully, to locate failed or loose Lamps within a given Series Loop?"

Thanks for the LED details.

The LEDs I have are 'after Christmas' bargain iccicle, multi color. That's all I know.



John
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and
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In regards to "Hotline1" (John) reply above:

Quote


Trumpy seems to think so!



Which is in reference to:

Quote


If you guys are still using mains sets of lights, one of the handiest tools you can have is one of them Volt-Sticks, used for ball-park fault-finding/voltage detection.



In the words of Homer Simpson, one thing can - and should be said...

"D'ohh!!! blink

What a Bonehead I am!!!
When I read Mike's (Trumpy) Post, for some reason I was thinking "Ball-Park" as an actual Stadium-like Ball Park; instead of "Approximate"!


Man, that's funny!... Classic example of lack of sleep tired

Pardon the Confusion...

-- Scott


Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 144
Member
I helped my uncle setup his LEDs that he used last year. By the 4th set, I was already putting a pile of stuff to fix. And the design is very flawed, as a good portion of the sets were coated in rust from the LED contacts/leads, they are NOT meant to last long from what i'm seeing...


-Joe
“then we'll glue em' then screw em'”
-Tom Silva
TOH
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