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Guest wbottomley

Sorry... gotta ask.

In this case:

What's the point in using LEDs (over incans), which are a lot more expensive, at times less dependable, just to use less power...

then have to add load to make them work properly?

I live, work and play by the KISS philosophy... What I have learned here is that adding another component is just adding

something else that scan fail.

Am I missing something here?

tj

Come back in a few years and tell us how those incandescent lights are working for you - especially the color fade on them. As one as the veteran users said "been there done it."

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Sorry... gotta ask.

In this case:

What's the point in using LEDs (over incans), which are a lot more expensive, at times less dependable, just to use less power...

then have to add load to make them work properly?

I live, work and play by the KISS philosophy... What I have learned here is that adding another component is just adding

something else that scan fail.

Am I missing something here?

tj

Yes, leds cost more, but they hold their color better plus have better color. They use a heck of a lot less power even with a 'load'. The load is probably the equivelent of one mini bulb. The only problem with leds is that they can't melt the snow off your elements.

I just went up and looked at your signature, you have 13,000 rgb lights, what are you whining about? At least with the RGB's you don't have to worry about any of the above problems, at least with flicker.

Edited by scubado
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Come back in a few years and tell us how those incandescent lights are working for you - especially the color fade on them. As one as the veteran users said "been there done it."

Sir.

This was year #3 for 8 incan mini trees, 4 colors each. this year I had 1 blue string go out. found the bad bulb and fixed it in about 5 minutes.

They look and work good as new.

tj

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Yes, leds cost more, but they hold their color better plus have better color. They use a heck of a lot less power even with a 'load'. The load is probably the equivelent of one mini bulb. The only problem with leds is that they can't melt the snow off your elements.

I just went up and looked at your signature, you have 13,000 rgb lights, what are you whining about? At least with the RGB's you don't have to worry about any of the above problems, at least with flicker.

Oh... I've got lots of different stuff all over my house and yard. The signature generator is kinda limited.

I've probably still got 10,000 of the good old incans.

tj

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Guest wbottomley

Sir.

This was year #3 for 8 incan mini trees, 4 colors each. this year I had 1 blue string go out. found the bad bulb and fixed it in about 5 minutes.

They look and work good as new.

tj

Then luck is on your side. For me, after starting the process of switching to LED's, I have not looked back and never will. Best move ever made in a light show. 80% less power consumption, better color, less troublesome, only four strands out of 576 that has gone bad. I can't say that for incandescent lights. They have their place, but LED's in high wind/ice snow area's are a must.

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Maintenance was the key factor for us. We spent a fair chunk of change on Sylvania Stay-Lit lights several years ago. They were crap, and I spent an hour every other night keeping the lights lit (with a fairly small display). This year with mostly LEDs I spent maybe an hour all season.

And the colors are definitely beautiful :)

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Then luck is on your side. For me, after starting the process of switching to LED's, I have not looked back and never will. Best move ever made in a light show. 80% less power consumption, better color, less troublesome, only four strands out of 576 that has gone bad. I can't say that for incandescent lights. They have their place, but LED's in high wind/ice snow area's are a must.

Agreed. Personal preference wins here. (apparently I'm getting cheap in my old age) ;)

Still, my original point: the failure in this post occurred in a components which was necessitated by a failure in yet another component.

I'm curious. My old incans are $1.88 a string of 100. How much for equivalent LED's/ snubbers, including time to build snubbers?

tj

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Buying LEDs was a lot cheaper than upgrading the power limitations of my house (circuit breaker box, etc.).

Ah. Point conceded! (I did my own wiring for my lights)

I paid $800.00 7 years ago to run power 25 feet to my hot tub... ridiculous!

tj

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If I have blue incandescents, I have to rewrap the mini trees, and anything else where I have blue in the bundle every 3 years, and things look degraded by the end of the first season. Most of the red/gree/white mini trees started to develop obvious banding in shade of red across the different strings after 4 years. I'm done with incandescent just from the maintenance aspect.

For many of my props, I'm ading one half watt phantom load serving an average of 5 strings. So adding 1/2 watt of load to move from 200 watts of incandescent to 25 watts of LED is far from erasing the increase in efficiency. For two strings it would be adding 1/2 watt to move from 80 watts to 10. That still comes out way ahead, but one or two strings nearly never need the phantom load added...

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Agreed. Personal preference wins here. (apparently I'm getting cheap in my old age) ;)

Still, my original point: the failure in this post occurred in a components which was necessitated by a failure in yet another component.

I'm curious. My old incans are $1.88 a string of 100. How much for equivalent LED's/ snubbers, including time to build snubbers?

tj

Snubbers are cheap (pennies depending on method) easy and quick to make. Led prices depends on when and where you buy them. Also the bulbs don't break if you accidentally step on them.

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Great lesson on water damage and some really great solutions. Is it me or does it seem that water is the common denominator in most of the problems we hear about and experience? Should a section in the forum be dedicated to "waterproofing your display"?

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All extension cords and controllers have been checked for hot and neutral at the outlet and in the controller. One thing I will bring up that has no bearing on this problem, I set all my controllers at max intensity of 86% because LED are full on at about 77%, just wish LOR would give us a little lower setting (like 75%).Three years ago I started loosing LED lights strings and lowered my setting down to 86% and have only lost 2 - 1/2 strings since. I will post the solution to the FLICKER problem tomorrow afternoon, thank all of those that helped with their answers for this project.

Earle

I'm curious if anyone else has had the issue of losing a significant number of LED strings to a full power intensity setting? Seems like if it was a real issue, it would be evident across the decorating community, and I'm not recalling hearing about it.

Assuming that the intensity reduction is not a direct linear voltage reduction, I'd be interested to know if you actually have measured the voltage levels at the two settings...86% and 100%...would be interested in knowing just how much of an actual V drop you really see.

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My LEDs are so much brighter than incans. Not to mention with 18K, my electric bill only goes up $30.

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I'm curious if anyone else has had the issue of losing a significant number of LED strings to a full power intensity setting? Seems like if it was a real issue, it would be evident across the decorating community, and I'm not recalling hearing about it.

Assuming that the intensity reduction is not a direct linear voltage reduction, I'd be interested to know if you actually have measured the voltage levels at the two settings...86% and 100%...would be interested in knowing just how much of an actual V drop you really see.

It's not about voltage. That was about saving your strings and timing when you sequence.

I only had 2 strings fail the first year. This year, I'm replacing 10. Since Earle is one of the "Lazy old farts" of the group. I trust his judgement. I'm going with his suggestion and lowering the max intensity on my controllers. Hopefully, next year I won't have to replace as many.

Edited by David Rise

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Maybe it has not been mentioned before because no one has thought about it, I am only saying that it worked for me. Someone in another thread said that the G3 controllers have dimming curves, the only one I found was the standard that is the same as in the G2 controller. I have 4 G3 controllers and would set the intensity on these if there was a dimming curve that would do it. I took the one dimming curve and looked at it with Notepad and tried to modify it to give me a 0-80% dimming curve without success. I contacted a LOR person (not saying who) and ask if this was something I should be playing with and/or can he point me in the right direction or the person (programmer) that might help. The response was one that led me to believe that I should leave it alone. BTW my background was 30 years with DOD as a computer systems programmer, maintaing the Master Control Programs for large mainframe computers. The point I am trying to make is that there is a lot of people out here that could help if given a chance.

Earle

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It's not about voltage. That was about saving your strings and timing when you sequence.

I only had 2 strings fail the first year. This year, I'm replacing 10. Since Earle is one of the "Lazy old farts" of the group. I trust his judgement. I'm going with his suggestion and lowering the max intensity on my controllers. Hopefully, next year I won't have to replace as many.

Read post 27.

I trust the judgment of those who can explain what they did, and why, and present concrete data that shows it works.

Again, I'll ask..what data is there that shows lowering max intensity from 100 to 86 will extend the life of a LED string? Based on your comment above, I read that to say thats is why you are doing it.

Earle is saying he feels he can "see" the extra amount of time that is consumed in bringing full brilliance to 100, as opposed to 86. If his eyes are that good..I'm certainly envious.

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Gary if you were around 3 years ago some of us bought lights from a guy named Travis. Some people got there lights and some people did not, I was one of the lucky ones (to a point) , the green m5 70 count lights I got went on my mini trees, within 1 week I had lost 5 strings and used up all my spares, that is when I changed my controllers to 86% and have not lost another green string. The 2-1/2 strings that I did loose were 1st year HLE strings that they replaced. So there are 48 strings of m5 on my mini trees that are 3 years old and still going. Also I will say I had 20,000 LEDs this year and only lost 2 - 1/2 strings NOT BAD for 3 years. OOPs I forgot I lost a string to a rabbit. So to each his own ,if you want sap you LEDs with 100% power I don't care. others might.

Earle

Edited by EARLE W. TALLEY

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Would you agree that if reducing max intensity from 100 down to 86 extends the life of a LED string, then others who do not do that should be seeing a high(er) incidence of failure? That was my reasoning behind asking if others were experiencing what you experienced.

I see nothing that says running LED strings at 100% intensity will "sap" them. Show me the data, meaning, multiple people who are seeing high incidences of failure, and then have reduced max intensity, and no longer experience failures, and then I'll be a lot closer to being convinced.

I'd more inclined, at most, unless you have more data to substantiate what you are saying, is that strings from Travis may be of inferior quality, and have a higher failure rate, having nothing to do with max intensity settings. I would expect there may be a veteran or two that also purchased strings from Travis and can speak to that.

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anyone who is trying to get the timing perfect in thier sequence, how much time does in take the controller to put in the extra 14% then back down 14% to make a difference in brightness of the lights or how fast they go on or off (reaction time). I know many of you will say " no one will even notice the difference" but I do.

I'm sorry Earle, but this is one of the biggest crocks I've heard in a long time. If I read that correctly, you're saying the intensity of lights affects the timing of a sequence? I'm very anxious to see ANY empirical data to support that. I've been sequencing for over 5 years, and in that time have done a couple hundred songs and have never once seen anything even close to this. I use full intensities with reckless abandon - for both incans and LEDs - and have never once seen my timings affected - they're ALWAYS spot-on. In my experience, other than using VBR MP3 files, the only other thing I've seen negatively affect the timing of a sequence is using fixed timing grids or lousy sequencing. Are you saying that if people used lower intensities they'd be better sequencers? LMAO...

And I don't think the lights from Travis need any help to crap out - at ANY intensity. Without a doubt the worst quality LED's I've ever seen...

Edited by George Simmons

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I'd more inclined, at most, unless you have more data to substantiate what you are saying, is that strings from Travis may be of inferior quality, and have a higher failure rate, having nothing to do with max intensity settings. I would expect there may be a veteran or two that also purchased strings from Travis and can speak to that.

That is what I would suspect as well. I would suspect that the same strings would have died whether at 100% or 86%. Once the "weakest links" were out of the equation, then the rest of the strings survived just fine. Such early failures are just part of the initial part of the "bathtub curve" noticed with electronic components. You just saw a higher rate of early failures with Travis's lights than the early failures with HLE's (with which there were still some). I suspect that at some point in the future you will again see an increasing rate of failure as "wear-out failure" begins--likely to be earlier/faster with Travis's once again.

Seems to me that when LED strings are just plugged into an outlet (static, not LOR controlled) they are powered at 100%. Seems odd to me that they would design these so that would be damaging to them. However, maybe it is a racket design by the Chinese manufacturers in order to increase our failure rates so we have to buy more LED strings.

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Guest wbottomley

I run all of my LED's at 100% and incandescents at 86% to help with power loads. Only two strands have failed in two years and they are from HLE. The one's from Paul are going on four years old. Blue was not reliable like I expected, but red and warm white strands are hanging in there.

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I'm sorry Earle, but this is one of the biggest crocks I've heard in a long time. If I read that correctly, you're saying the intensity of lights affects the timing of a sequence? I'm very anxious to see ANY empirical data to support that. I've been sequencing for over 5 years, and in that time have done a couple hundred songs and have never once seen anything even close to this. I use full intensities with reckless abandon - for both incans and LEDs - and have never once seen my timings affected - they're ALWAYS spot-on. In my experience, other than using VBR MP3 files, the only other thing I've seen negatively affect the timing of a sequence is using fixed timing grids or lousy sequencing. Are you saying that if people used lower intensities they'd be better sequencers? LMAO...

I think what Earle is saying is that if a LED looks like it is at full-brightness at 86% (and doesn't change for the next 14%) then it could be noticeable compared to an incandescent (which would appear to increase over that next 14%). On a short fade, nobody would notice that difference. But on a 10 second fade, it would appear the LED reached full brightness (at 86%) at 8.6 seconds and continue to look that way for the next 1.4 seconds, whereas the incandescent wouldn't reach full brightness until 10 seconds (when at 100%). That MIGHT be noticeable if you had enough of the display fading like that (that long) but the average Joe visitor probably isn't that observant. I can't think of many/any places in my show that I have a >10 second fade.

All this is based on the assumption that an LED appears to be at full-brightness at 86%--which may or may not be true for all LEDs.

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I think what Earle is saying is that if a LED looks like it is at full-brightness at 86% (and doesn't change for the next 14%) then it could be noticeable compared to an incandescent (which would appear to increase over that next 14%). On a short fade, nobody would notice that difference. But on a 10 second fade, it would appear the LED reached full brightness (at 86%) at 8.6 seconds and continue to look that way for the next 1.4 seconds, whereas the incandescent wouldn't reach full brightness until 10 seconds (when at 100%). That MIGHT be noticeable if you had enough of the display fading like that (that long) but the average Joe visitor probably isn't that observant. I can't think of many/any places in my show that I have a >10 second fade.

All this is based on the assumption that an LED appears to be at full-brightness at 86%--which may or may not be true for all LEDs.

Good explanation. The strings that I've had the most trouble with is the green berry lights(don't remember if they're G3 or G8) from Menards in the red boxes.

Running lights at 100% would seperate the men from the boys in the lights.

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