I bought a set of LED strings for the outside, a couple of years ago (~1400
lights). They were so ugly I threw them out when I took them down that year
and replaced them with real lights (after Christmas sales) for the next year.
I just put up about half of them yesterday (waiting for it to get a little
warmer to finish the job).
Are you thinking of the ones that are white, rather than the yellow of
For normal single colors (like red, green, and blue), LEDs have better
color. It's more intense and doesn't fade (since the light IS that color,
rather than depending on a coating).
BTW, we need more colored lights out, instead of just those boring "white"
14 days until The winter celebration (Saturday December 25, 2010
Large lights have been out of vogue for a while, everyone waned the
minis. The imitation C& and such is all you will commonly find at the
Try online or a hardware store like Ace:
Dont know if its the same problem you had but two years ago I put out
some "white" LED lights and they were dull dim yellow in reality. I
discovered this is because they only run on one half of each AC cycle
so they are ON only 50% 0f the time. I corrected this problem using a
bridge rectifer mounted in a quad outlet box. The only problem with
this scheme is that the lights are polarity sensitive and wont come on
at all if plugged in the wrong way(rotate light string plug 180
degrees). Otherwise the lights are much more brighter and vivid.
I've done this also, but you must remember that you are doubling the
wattage dissipated by the LEDs and the series resistors, which are
usually hidden in the sockets. This caould cause a heat related
failure and possibly fire. My guess is that if anything were a
problem, it would be the resistors. That said, mine have been
working with a full wave rectifier, brightly I might say, for about
4 years. I used 4 individual diodes installed right in the string
just after the plug and covered them with heat shrink. Another
advantage, if you turn your head quickly while looking at the
lights, they aren't as blinky as when running only on half wave.
I started to wire them like you did but thought it may be a little
impractical for 20+ strings of lights. The LED lights are a little
more pricey up front but I think they are going to be a lot less
expensive over the long haul than incandescent lamps and Im not even
considering power savings. After Xmass they are sell them at give away
prices just like they did the incandescent ones so I will probably
Very true, if you have lots of light strings. I've only got 2 sets
of LED Christmas lights and one I'm not even using since we moved
into a new house. I also have 2 strings of "Halloween" LED lights,
orange, which I used in both houses without the diodes. But, the
blinkin' still drives me nuts.
Perhaps add a little capacitance to get closer to DC, but then you would
have a good bit more power also and might want to add some series
resistance. Since they draw so little current, you wouldn't need a large
cap. It can be calculated... if you want.
Interesting idea, the full wave, but the brightness of the minis is OK
with me, for my usage.
The incondecent holiday lights are not big sellers for residential use
anymore so many retail stores no longer carry them (some carry the
minis - Sears). Incondescents also require more than double the
warehousing space, there is lots of bulb breakage, and there are many
returns, but they are still readily available on line... there are
quite a few web sites, here's one:
I no longer use the incondescents, in fact a few years ago I tossed
lots of strings of them into the trash.... I didn't feel bad at all as
each season more than half those bulbs burn out so the ones I tossed
were very close to dying. I now use all LEDs; my electric bill
increase for the holiday season is barely noticeable, but most
importantly LEDs are far safer (no heat). And the new LEDs are very
bright and very colorful... even using 2-3 times as many hardly
affects electric useage. In fact I've been using LEDs for five years
now and not even one bulb has burned out. Now I'm waiting for the
solar LEDs to come down in price. If someone offered me the
incondescents for free I'd not take them. I think the LEDs look much
nicer too, nore twinkly, far more aesthetically pleasing than those
olde tyme clunky incondescents. The LEDs are easier to put up too,
they don't need to be orientated, with incondescents unless the bulbs
are all pointed in the same direction they look awful.
On Mon, 13 Dec 2010 09:48:00 -0500, Brooklyn1 <Gravesend1> wrote:
They (mini incandescents) are available everywhere here, usually in more
varieties than LEDs. I don't like LEDs, much. The flicker is annoying (the
PF has to be horrid) and the "white" ones are really ugly.
I toss the strings every few years but I have enough to last a long time. I
buy them after Christmas for about $1 per string. I have 20 strings, or so,
that I haven't opened yet.
Of course you ignore the cost of the LED strings.
Nonsense. You're making excuses to justify your expense.
You *really* are forgetting the cost of the lights.
On 12/13/2010 7:47 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The mini incandescents are particularly inefficient. About 40W or so/
Run that for a few weeks most all the time and you've easily got
$2/string. The incandescents were always a pain to keep them all going
and usually easier to throw away. IMHO, the advantage in cost and time
Now, I don't like the larger c9 or so LED lamps as it is just one
little light in a shell (what I've seen). The hot lamps are some power
gluttons though and storage was always more hassle. Mine rarely get used
as a result.
The minis (hot lamps) are pretty harmless, the larger sizes require
caution. The cause of many many a house fire at one time.
I'm not sad to see the mini incs fading away. The others I'm more
sentimental over. Efficiency isn't everything. XMAS is all about
throwing money away, after all. Up to a limit.
What exactly does "a few weeks most of the time" mean? 25W, five hours a day
for a month costs about thirty-five cents.
I bought about $150 wroth of those two years ago. *UGLY*. I threw them away
when I took them off the house, and bought thirty, or so, sets of incandescent
lights for 1/5 what I paid for the LED strings.
Ya gotta talk apples to apples.
Except they're not fading away at all. Economics isn't with LEDs, at least
I suppose you're taking about the white ones. They're "ugly" only only if
you're used to the light yellow (of incandescents) instead.
BTW, you might know that yellow is almost the same color as brown.
Anyway, we need more colors (and those LEDs are much better). All those
white (or light yellow) displays are too boring.
8 days until The winter celebration (Saturday December 25, 2010 12:00:00
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.