Christmas Lights - LED String too long

Old 10-11-10, 11:39 AM
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Christmas Lights - LED String too long

In order to help Santa Clause find our house, my son and I have a project to “upgrade” our Christmas Light display (exterior). We would like to go with LED lights but are running into a problem with the lengths.

For example, I need 17’ to fit around a window but the closest string size I can find is 24’. We’d really like to have a clean, finished look but the only thing we can really do is double the string back on itself to take up the extra length.

I’m pretty sure we can’t cut and re-wire LED style lights. Any other options? Do they make in-active LED socket plugs?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Old 10-11-10, 12:09 PM
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I doubt that you will find custom sizes and I don't know of any dummy bulbs.
Could you place the excess bulbs in a black bag or even tape over the unneeded bulbs - that would be a pain.
Personnaly, unless they have improved the brightness of the led lights, I would stick with mini incandescent lights. We were going to up grade last year and the led's were so dim we took them back and went with the old minis.
Old 10-12-10, 10:28 PM
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LED christmas lights are broken up into several circuits just like normal minis. See if a circuit break occurs at a point where you can simply cut the cable and tape off the ends.

My biggest peeve with LEDs is that they have an inherent flicker that is nauseating to look at. It's not too bad when you're staring straight at them, but when you move your head or see them in you periphery, it's REALLY noticable. When you use LEDs on AC, there is a combination of factors that result in the flicker. First, LEDs turn on and off instantly. Then, they only turn on during the 'top' of the 60Hz sine wave (which means they are flickering at 30Hz rather than the normal 60Hz). And then there's the fact that they are only on during the peaks of the wave. This means they are flickering somewhere in the 12-15Hz range. Even at this low frequency the human eye wouldn't notice an incandescent light flickering. But since LEDs are instant on/off, it becomes VERY perceptible, especially as your eye moves.

The only way to have flicker free LEDs is to buy a set that is 'fully rectified'. These are much more expensive and (as of last season) are not available in stores. You could only order them online. They may become available instore this year, but I don't see the price dropping, as they are still 'the new thing'. There is also a design issue with the half-rectified strings that prevents you from installing an external rectifier. I tried this last year, but I found that the circuits are wired so that they alternate 'phase'. Putting a full rectifier on the string in this configuration only lights up half of the LEDs depending on which way you plug the string into the rectifier.

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