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400 christmas light set.

400 christmas light set.

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Ok i have used this set once, and since then it was too much work putting it up and taken down, plus the string of lights are hardly bright at all it takes a 24v DC transformer And when it gets to the last 100 sets of lights they hardly glow up.

This set flashes on off with a twinkling bulb in series of 10s and some of the series of 10s don't work at all.
This was the set the wasps came out of hibernation and one bugger stung me.

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Filename:PB01006988888.jpg
Album name:Fox Mantra / Christmas Lights
Keywords:Lanterns
File Size:380 KB
Date added:Nov 02, 2011
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xmaslightguy
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Nov 02, 2011 at 09:25 PM Author: xmaslightguy
Of all bugs I hate wasps the worst

This runs off a 24v transformer?? Do all your mini lights run off low voltage transformers like that since your mains is 240v?
Here all the normal mini lightsets simply run off the 120v mains (no transformers or anything)

Colored Fluorescent's such as F40T12 Red or  Green or Blue are awesome...

Fox Mantra
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Nov 03, 2011 at 05:51 AM Author: Fox Mantra
Most of the other sets i have like 20 set ones do run of the 240v there normally 12v each bulb. seams to be the older 90s 80s sets though like my globe ones.

Techno, Lightning, PS3, Lights, Furry, Random bloke.

Ash
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Nov 03, 2011 at 10:37 AM Author: Ash
Here (240V) string with 20 lamps is 20 lamps in series, 50 lamps is 16,17,17 lamps in series etc. So 12-15V / lamp
f36t8
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Nov 03, 2011 at 10:59 AM Author: f36t8
Here many miniature lights use a 24 V transformer without rectifier (but bigger ones (so normal) have lamps in series connected directly to 230 V). I think the reason for the transformer and low voltage is that the wires (including insulation) can be made small without causing risk of electrocution. Thrown way strings is a great source of free 10-50 VA 24 V transformers.
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Nov 03, 2011 at 11:17 AM Author: Ash
I dont think it is safer than 240V strings + RCD protection

The low voltage transformer can output quite high current, yet the wires resistance limit the current so it won't blow up right away. Instead, in case of short somewhere in the string i think it can just continue to heat the wires (at not too high current so not blow a fuse in time) and ignite the xmas tree or stuff

Also i have seen ultra cheap strings here, where the wires are very thin and the plug is just a piece of plastic with pins screwed into it, with wire ends wrapped around the pins screw base (it was like that from the factory !) and one wire teared away from one of the sockets at some point, but this is not a problem with just thin wires but with overall cheap and dangerous system

And i never seen any xmas lights with a fuse. They allways seem to just rely on the lamps themselfes as fuses
f36t8
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Nov 03, 2011 at 11:45 AM Author: f36t8
Most houses here are not fitted with RCDs, since it was not required in new houses until quite recently (2000).

But with miniature lights, it is not just the wires that are thin, the sockets are also small with short distances between metal parts and the outside.
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Nov 03, 2011 at 12:05 PM Author: Ash
The cheap xmas lights are made dangerous in general. I had one where a live wire ripped from its place under very little tension

However the risk of electrocution is still minimal as the tree itself is isolator (unless it is exactly contacting the metallic rods of a fake tree), and you can unplug it before touching. This cannot be said about fire hazards since it can ignite on its own and make a fire trap
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Nov 03, 2011 at 12:16 PM Author: f36t8
If it is used outdoors, water may find its way in to the questionable sockets. Many of these things are intended to be used outdoors.
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Nov 03, 2011 at 12:30 PM Author: Ash
Water alone probably won't do anything besides drying up as result of electrolysis ad evaporation from electrical heating / temperature of the lamp

Corrosion caused by water (and accelerated by electrolysis) can leave bad connections (arcing) and corrosion crystallization on parts which are supposed to be not conductive (flash over, but it wont happen with just 12-24V in the socket unless its in the flaser lamp. But if it is then expect some sustained arcing when the flasher disconnects, without blowing a fuse since it is ballasted by all the other lamps)
f36t8
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Nov 03, 2011 at 12:34 PM Author: f36t8
It will do something if you touch it when it is live with <= 2x0 V...
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Nov 03, 2011 at 12:55 PM Author: Ash
It will, but will you touch it ?

Unless it is a fake tree with mnetallic core, i also very doubt that a real tree (however wet it is) would conduct 240V from somewhere high up to a branch at height which you can reach

So another reason why to decorate a living tree that grows outside (not harming the tree ofcourse) and not fake one that has metallic core



I totally agree. Its just that in the way they can be used in practice (installed high on a tall tree) all the electric shock dangers are "up there", so the one sufficient safety rule is "unplug before climbing on the tree". Only the fire risk remains (but does not exist if the tree is damp or wet)
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Nov 03, 2011 at 01:35 PM Author: f36t8
When I wrote 'It', I was refering to the lights (near a socket), not the tree, but typical christmas trees have branches within 40 cm of ground, easily reachable by even a child..

I just remembered something (OT but anyway): In my home town, there are two (living) trees, one of which has been the town christmas tree (the other isn't even of the correct tree type). If I recall correctly, each of these has single wire connected to the tree itself close to ground level, apparently made by making a cut in the tree and putting the wire there (and the tree has healed nicely around it, and is holding the wire well). What could have been the purpose of this? Perhaps this was used to ground the tree (why?), or to only have to provide a single conductor to all the lamps. The latter would obviously require each lamp to be connected to the tree, which seems troublesome and resistance might be too high for this purpose. The tree known to have been used as a christmas tree still had big incandescent lamps (but not lit) when I visited it last time (probably close to 10 years ago). I will investigate how the lamps (probably still there) are connected soon.
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Nov 03, 2011 at 03:00 PM Author: Ash
I dont know what that wire was for - definitely not something i would do to a tree. And also i'd remove everything from it as soon as xmas is over, not leave anything on the tree for the entire year

The tree alone is quite good isolator (and even otherwise it is a voltage divider / resistor - heck trees can touch 240V power lines and you dont get shocked from touching the trees near the earth)

Today with a RCD this is no longer an issue anyway

How low are lamps really put on a tree ? If low, then safer lights can be used for the lower part
xmaslightguy
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Nov 03, 2011 at 06:25 PM Author: xmaslightguy
Pretty much all our mini lights are 120v/mains powered, the sets themselves seem to be just fine getting wet - no corrosion/sparks/etc (and water _does_ get in the sockets).
years ago I found out...don't grab hold of the set if its been rained/snowed/sprinklered/etc on and is still wet...LOL there's a pretty good chance you will get shocked.

Quote: Ash
And i never seen any xmas lights with a fuse. They allways seem to just rely on the lamps themselfes as fuses

All Xmas lightsets here have fuses (unless they're old ones) it is a safety requirement.
Allot of mini-lights have 22awg wire...take a long strand of that size wire with no fuse, short it across the mains...and you can quite literally smoke it before the circuitbreaker even blows

Colored Fluorescent's such as F40T12 Red or  Green or Blue are awesome...

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Nov 03, 2011 at 07:18 PM Author: funkybulb
I agree with xmaslightguy. most of our strings 50 or 100 or 200 lights strings have 3 amp fuses and it can be
connected to end to end about 9 or 10 100 set string. leaving little head room on the fuses.
and our lamp is 2.5 volts x 50 in one string set. old sets in the 70s early 80s have 6 volt lamps in set of 20
on the strings. our bulb have shunts in them too. but it cant be very reliable. LED seem to taking over becase of better reliabilty.

No LED gadgets, spins too slowly.  Gotta  love preheat and MV. let the lights keep my meter spinning.

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