LED Xmas lights

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I object. Please don't do that anymore.
**kidding** I do it too.
On a related note can someone recommend a brand of LED xmas lights that are as bright as typical miniature incandescents? I bought some last year but they are noticably dimmer. I always put white lights on the roofline of the house (using clips so each is positioned just so) and it looks nice. But I'm one of those people for whom incandescent light looks yellowish so white LED's look great--really really white--plus they look different than anyone else's lights. I want them brighter though.
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Plus, they blink! I don't understand why they don't put in full wave rectifiers. Yes I do, it's all $$$$, but I'd gladly pay an extra $1 for the rectifier. Most of them that I have seen are on for 120th of a second and off for the same.
Steve Kraus wrote:

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Art Todesco wrote:

You are really fast with that stop watch. :-)
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Joseph Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

No, but, if you move your head, you can definitely see it. And, it is irritating to some.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Yes it really is very noticeable, it was my main objection to LED lights, but I picked up a pack of Philips LED's this year since they were on sale and they're fairly bright so I'm gonna solder a bridge rectifier into them just after the plug and seal it in heatshrink tubing.
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Make sure the LEDs don't overheat from getting twice as much average current! But if nothing goes wrong, they will not only not flicker but they will also be brighter.
Keep in mind that if they are going to overheat, they may not do so quickly. One thing that can happen is "thermal runaway" - where higher temperature makes the LEDs more conductive, and this situation reinforces itself. This may wait until a moment when the line voltage or the ambient temperature is higher. Keep in mind that such a modification voids UL certification and increases your liability should a fire start - even if a flaw in the product was a contributing factor to the fire.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Don Klipstein wrote:

I wonder if instead of using a bridge, just put a big ol' capacitor on the LED side of the string. That could smooth out the peaks and not add any energy.
If not, plugging the string into a lamp dimmer would cut down the energy, if the LEDs are getting too bright (and hot).
--
--Marc


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Once you've seen a few pulsing LEDs, it's easy to tell. There are only two common possitiblities - full wave or halfwave and they are trivial to tell apart. There's no microcomputer in there to produce other rep rates! :)
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Mounting a hefty rectifier bridge in a box with an outlet is something that you could do yourself for a few dollars. I'd also install a DPDT switch so you could change the polarity of the output.
TKM
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Are you the Art Todesco from Bell Labs??
H. R.(Bob) Hofmann
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Are you the Art Todesco from Bell Labs??
H. R.(Bob) Hofmann
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[This followup was posted to sci.electronics.repair and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
snipped-for-privacy@SPAMBLOCKfilmteknik.com says...

I have some ForverBright sets. The 35-light sets are a single circuit. I put a bridge rectifier in a small outlet box with a combo switch/outlet. The rectifier came from my junk box, and is a giant 1.5" or so square with a bolt hole through middle, way overkill. You could obviously use something much smaller. Just don't forget a fuse rated at or below the rectifier's rating.
Running off of unfiltered 120V DC, it is noticeably brighter, and no obvious flicker. You could string several sets together. The newer sets also have a nicer green. One set is older, and the green is dim and sort of that puke lime-green color.
Be careful of longer sets. I have a 70-light set, and it is basically two 35-light sets connected with opposite polarity. Running on DC, it's one half or the other lit. I haven't looked close at it yet to see if it's possible to reverse one circuit so it would be DC friendly.
Some sets run off of a transformer. They probably work similar to the above. You'd just need a DC supply at the right voltage and current.
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Andrew Rossmann wrote:

Using the full wave rectifier without any other current limiting could, depending on the wiring, put too much current through the string and shorten the LED life. But, that said, it's probably not that significant. And, as you pointed out, they are somewhat brighter. I have a set of 70 "L.E.D. Lights" that is actually 2 sets of 35, not alternated, but 35 in a row, followed by 35 more. One diode string is in one direction and the other is opposite. A full wave bridge on this set will cause 35 light not to light unless you modify the wiring. I tried wiring all 70 lights in one series circuit (with the diodes in the same direction) and it was much too dim even through the rectifier bridge. Wiring the 2 groups of 35 in parallel with the diodes in the same direction, works but the string has a much higher through current. A series resistor of about 700 ohms corrects this. The resistor should be 1/2 or 1 watt (preferrable). Of course, you are wasting this power, about 1/2 watt. Boy, do I have too much time on my hands or what?
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Steve Kraus wrote:

I don't object but then I don't see the point in doing it either. I haven't done it ever (over 30 years), put out lots of lights in the past, have had them up for a month, never had a short. Looks like wasted time/effort and make a mess pulling them down.
Harry K
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My neighbors must be getting lazy because they have permanent outdoor Christmas lights. Actually it's a good concept. Why not have them built in?
30 years ago we lived in a neighborhood where the homeowners were shuned if they didn't get the lights down by say Feb 1.
Beachcomber
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The town where I live has a March or April 1st ordinance for Christmas decorations/lights removal, although I have seen lights up all year on some houses. BTW, some colored lights will loose their color much faster if left out all year.
Beachcomber wrote:

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The National Electrical Code now says (Article 590.3) that temporary holiday decorative lighting can only stay up for 90 days. Don't know how many NEC lighting police are around to check, but the stuff does deterioriate especially from moisture and UV in sunlight.
TKM
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Beachcomber wrote:

...
My neighbor had a small unrelated fire in the middle of the summer. The fire department had the fire out in a few minutes with minimal damage to their home. However they say the Christmas lights on it and put up an unfit for occupancy sign and told them the sign would come down after they had removed all the Christmas lights. It seems they have had problems with them from people who have left them up all year. They got the lights down the same day and they were back in their home the same day, with just a little smoke and some repair work to the third floor.
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Joseph Meehan

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The X-mas lights wire insulation probably gets degraded by UV exposure,or damaged by weathering. Maybe dirt and moisture gets into sockets,corrosion creates resistance and new,undesirable current paths.
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Jim Yanik
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I can see the 30hz flicker from those LED strings. (60hz rectified with one diode chops half the sine wave in half). Love the low power but not the flickers. Drives me nuts and hard on my eye.
Cheers, Wizard
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