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# Lights in my DIY project keep burning out.

#1
08-23-08, 02:55 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Youngstown, NY
Posts: 2
Lights in my DIY project keep burning out.

I recently built a shelf that has multiple candle holders attached to it with a single christmas tree light to be atop each candle. I wired the bulbs in parallel. There are a total of 5 bulbs/candles. Each time I send power through the circuit, the bulbs blow. I looked for a short and cannot find one. In fact there is no continuity between the two poles. Is there too much voltage (110V) for such a short curcuit (5 bulbs)? If so, what can I do?

#2
08-23-08, 03:15 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: S.E. Texas
Posts: 1,042
That may be to much voltage. I ran 8 of the lights you are talking about with a 9volt battery for around 5 hours. You may have to use a transformer to drop the voltage some.

#3
08-23-08, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Most Christmas lights work on 1 to 7 volts. If you really connected the lights in parallel, you're sending 110 to 120 volts through a bulb designed for no more than 7. If the lights are only burning out, then you are lucky, because they might explode.

You know, it's dangerous to play around with electricity.

#4
08-24-08, 05:54 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Youngstown, NY
Posts: 2
Then how can I fix it? If I wire them in series, won't there still be too much voltage? Do I need a transformer or something?

#5
08-24-08, 07:04 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: boston, mass
Posts: 60
christmas lights

try going to home depot or lowes getting a doorbell transformer and wiring the 120 up to it according to the directions and then from the other set of wires coming off of it wire the lights to it in series first that may for you. if they transformer has multiply "taps" meaning other possible voltages it will output try using the lowest voltage.

#6
08-24-08, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
Most of the little christmas tree light bulbs they are useally wired in series so if you have only 5 there then you will need 20~ 24 volt bulb { very rare item } otherwise a low voltage transfomer like doorbell or wallwart transfomer will work this way.

If you go with wallwart route get one about 3 to 7 volt range and find the bulb in correct range they typically sell 1.5v , 3v, 5v and 7v and once a while 12 v bulbs.

And with wallwart you can run them in parallel connection.

Merci,Marc

#7
08-24-08, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The principles are simple. Match the supply voltage to the voltage specification of the bulbs. Bulbs wired in parallel all get the voltage of the supply. Bulbs wires in series get the supply voltage divided by the number of bulbs.

You might try auto bulbs, as they are generally designed for 12 volts. Then you'd only need 10 of them in series.

Or, use chewy's advice and get a doorbell transformer. However, now you have to worry about watts. A normal doorbell transformer only puts out 10 watts, so the total wattage of your bulbs cannot exceed 10. You can find doorbell transformers that put out 20 or 30 watts, but you have to look harder for them. Or you could use a transformer designed for landscape lighting, which would provide more watts.

Safest of all would be to use a battery as your power source.

Above all, do the math precisely, and make sure you completely understand the electrical theory. Otherwise your project could be very dangerous to you and your home.

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