# Electrical problem, slightly OT

I want to put lighted garland around my outside doors for the holidays. The garland is approximately 17-18' long. All the lights I've found to wind into the garland are ~25' long.
I tried doubling back some of the lights so I had triple lights on part of the garland and it looked OK but it was unwieldy.
Then I tried cutting the lights back (that is, shortening the string). But some of the lights were brighter than others and blew out in a half hour or so. I understand that's because there are 3-4 segments of lights in series in the string and by shortening the last one, I lowered its resistance and increased the current through each one. (I have a EE degree.) I supposed I could even out the brightness and reduce the likelihood of blowing the lights by taking 2' out of each of 3 segments instead of 6' off the end but that's a lot of work and leaves all of the lights with somewhat too high current (2' of 8' means there would be 3/4 the bulbs (resistance) and they'd get 4/3 the current (or something like that)).
I considered bundling the last few feet up in an opaque plastic bag or something but I'm not sure how well that would work.
Any other solutions come to mind? Are there sources for light by the foot?
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Home Depot, proper size light string, \$8.00, done...
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Christopher Nelson wrote:

Hi, Cutting is not a good diea. Weave the string or do it as you mentioned. Gor me I use light rope. It comes in many different color choice. I twist it with tinsel rope. Looks nice in the dark.
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Christopher Nelson wrote:

Ouch!
You're an EE and you couldn't anticipate what would happen if you reduced the number of series connected bulbs?
Wasn't there an instruction sheet with those bulbs warning you to replace burned out bulbs with closed shorting shunts promptly to avoid over voltaging the remaining bulbs?
Shoosh fella, did you purchase your "EE degree" from one of those spam college degree offers.
Peace,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Glad you said that. I really wanted to. No wonder our country is in such bad shape. A EE that can not get a string of light bulbs going.
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The general principle, sure. Considering I have lots of extra strings of lights and they cost \$2 or so if I run out, it was worth an experiment to see how wide a range of operation there was.

You're kidding, right? Instructions with Christmas lights? Even if there were some, has anyone in the history of man read them?!?

Lighten up, it's not like I plugged 'em in to 220 and expected it to be fine.
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wrote:

Yea there usually is:     - Do not use in pools     - Do not wrap cord around neck.     - Do not eat.

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Christopher Nelson wrote:

Here is what I have done and I am not sure that I may be able to explain it here, but here goes. Start and one end of the garland with the lights and go about 12", loop back and go about 6", loop back and go about 12", and repeat to the end. You can adjust the lengths so that the light strand matches the garland. Works for me.
--

Regards, Ross

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Christopher Nelson wrote:

Jeeze! Black electrical tape.
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