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grouptcl

Replacing mini lights with RGB’s ?

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I have coroplast props with holes meant for mini-lights and I want to replace the mini lights with adressable RGB’s.  Is there such a thing available somewhere ?

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There are no Pixels known to me which have the same size as mini lights.    I guess you could drill the holes larger if they are not too close together.    Bullet style pixels need a 12mm hole.  

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8 hours ago, grouptcl said:

I have coroplast props with holes meant for mini-lights and I want to replace the mini lights with adressable RGB’s.  Is there such a thing available somewhere ?

Sadly no, not to my knowledge either.  I tried to search and see if there were any such thing, no luck at all.

I sure wish someone could come up with a MINI LIGHT style of smart RGB light, that would make things a whole lot easier when doing a change-out from Mini Lights to RGB lighting on a lot of things.   I really don't know why no one has ever developed a mini light based style pixel, sure seems there could be a big demand for something like them!

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Heck, I'd be happy with plain single color 10 LED mini strings to replace the 10 light incans in my older plastic candy canes. I'd even buy new candy canes if they were LED. The only ones I can find are the sets of 3 that are wired together.

Hmmm...now I'm wondering if I can use a regular 100 (or so) LED mini light string to replace the incans on my animated deer.... 

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In addition, some of my LED Coro have layers with DIFFERENT sized holes (keeps bullets straight)  12mm and 8mm for the front layer.

FWIW I have collected metric: drill bits, step reamers from Amazon for way less than you could get their SAE counterpart at a Home store

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4 minutes ago, tlogan said:

Heck, I'd be happy with plain single color 10 LED mini strings to replace the 10 light incans in my older plastic candy canes. I'd even buy new candy canes if they were LED. The only ones I can find are the sets of 3 that are wired together.

Hmmm...now I'm wondering if I can use a regular 100 (or so) LED mini light string to replace the incans on my animated deer.... 

I converted many end of season sale Incan canes to 12V Warm-White LED strips (The White is a bit harsh)  I drive them with 1 (un-grouped RGB) channel for each cane  A 5M roll of LEDS will typically do 6-7 canes Soldering wires is required (those snap-on connectors seem problematic) A single CMB24 port can easily deal with 5M worth (current) of these.  Try at leat 60 LEDs/M for a more even light. I did not care that strips are more directional than bulbs. My propeller looked fine from the street

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I thought about something like that, but soldering is not my forte.

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10 minutes ago, tlogan said:

I thought about something like that, but soldering is not my forte.

Decent iron, clean-flat (chisel) tip and a steady soldering surface (not flopping about)

Those $oldering stations are nice if you are doing fine or frequent work. but a basic 40-60W  like (has assorted tips)  https://www.amazon.com/BAYKA-482-896℉(250-480℃)-Adjustable-Temperature-Auto-Sleep/dp/B07R4SDSP8/ref=sr_1_11?keywords=soldering+iron&qid=1567612280&s=gateway&sr=8-11 . 

Avoid really long barrel models. Not only do they run the risk of melting stuff around your work, they cool down fast in a breeze, making good flow not happen

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2 hours ago, tlogan said:

Heck, I'd be happy with plain single color 10 LED mini strings to replace the 10 light incans in my older plastic candy canes. I'd even buy new candy canes if they were LED. The only ones I can find are the sets of 3 that are wired together.

Hmmm...now I'm wondering if I can use a regular 100 (or so) LED mini light string to replace the incans on my animated deer.... 

Yes, you can.  I used 70 to 100 count White L.E.D. strands and replaced all my deer incandescent lights with them.  Ended up removing the strands and motors tossing the deer out last year.  They had rusted out so badly being outside all year long. 

Why out all year? 

Because I'd put them in my garden area around my pond after Christmas and that's where they'd stay and operate until next Christmas.  Can't complain though, I got 8 years out of them with the incandescents and another 3 with the White L.E.D. strands on them.   Only lost one motor in all that time.  That was a total of 4 deer and one I modified to be Rudolph! :)

.

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Great minds must think alike!

I've lost two motors so far and I had an animated buck, two animated does and a tiny non-animated one that I put a red nose on. I only put mine out at Christmas and have had them for a LOOONG time, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Maybe if I have time this year I'll give it ago. One of the motors completely died and I think the other works but all of the holders rusted off. How many weeks to Christmas?

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6 minutes ago, tlogan said:

Great minds must think alike!

I've lost two motors so far and I had an animated buck, two animated does and a tiny non-animated one that I put a red nose on. I only put mine out at Christmas and have had them for a LOOONG time, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Maybe if I have time this year I'll give it ago. One of the motors completely died and I think the other works but all of the holders rusted off. How many weeks to Christmas?

Not sure exactly, but think around 15-17 weeks.    I actually bought replacement motors online for other props I had that motors failed in {Halloween items mainly, but they were close to 20 years old too!} and the one deer motor.   And because some of the items had rusted away that connected everything, I fabricated my own motor connections and pins from old plastic shims I had as well as aluminum wire.  It was a bit of a pain getting them to work and fit just right, but I managed and they worked.  And that's all that mattered to me, it works! 🤣

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Anyone knows how to modify incandescent string by shortening them without burning out everything ?  Some type or resistance or other component ?

Are LED mini lights ridden with the same problem or can we cut the strings short without any ill effect ? (Burn out ?)

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1 hour ago, grouptcl said:

Anyone knows how to modify incandescent string by shortening them without burning out everything ?  Some type or resistance or other component ?

Are LED mini lights ridden with the same problem or can we cut the strings short without any ill effect ? (Burn out ?)

Both types are series. That means the line voltage is dropped (divided) among the number of lamps in the series. for High count incan or LED, your string may actually be 2 end to end. The clue will be only 2 wires (as opposed to 3) between the 2 sections.

Another consideration is LAMP CURRENT that is used in your string. An AC Ammeter (1 A scale) will be useful.

Your task is to count the number of lamps removed and replace those with a resistance to provide the same voltage drop while maintaining current. E/I=R

This is a lot of effort, which is why a lot of folk get blackout covers for the unused lamps.

 

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5 hours ago, grouptcl said:

Anyone knows how to modify incandescent string by shortening them without burning out everything ?  Some type or resistance or other component ?

Are LED mini lights ridden with the same problem or can we cut the strings short without any ill effect ? (Burn out ?)

Incandescent strands, like stated from other above, if they are like 70 or 100 count, many times these can be cut into two separate strands of 35 each {70- count} or 50 each 100 count.  I've had a few 150 count incandescent strands that could be cut into two 75 count strands, but those aren't that common.  I've also had a couple of 50 count strands I was able to cut in half to make two 25 count strands.

As for cutting L.E.D. strands, I've done that too, but the catch here is it has to have those little warts on each section of the strand, it will also go from 3 wire to 2 wire where the cut can be made.  I've cut 70 and 100 strand L.E.D.'s down the same as the incandescent counterparts, but ONLY and ONLY when they had a wart on each end, just add a male pass through plug on the cut end and plug it in, works fine.  I've also had some 50 count L.E.D. strands I was able to cut in half to create two 25 count L.E.D. strands.  But if they DO NOT have that little wart or bump in each section, no, they can not be shortened without doing some additional work and possibly some added electronics to make them function and not go POP and let their horrible smelling magic smoke out.

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looks like I tried and failed this project lol, I will go back and create new figures with 12mm holes and insert the RGB'S, as one of you has on his signature: KISS,Keep It Simple Stupid......

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I just bought 10 light led strands from Val at Christmas-LED.com to repair a wireframe  She sells a lot of various lengths along with the colored clip caps.  

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5 hours ago, Stephan Sherrick said:

I just bought 10 light led strands from Val at Christmas-LED.com to repair a wireframe  She sells a lot of various lengths along with the colored clip caps.  

That website does not exist, mispelled by any chance ?

 

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4 hours ago, grouptcl said:

That website does not exist, mispelled by any chance ?

 

https://christmas-leds.com/ worked for me

10 bulb strings are 12V mini lights, same as were in the candy canes  I converted to LED strips.  FWIW, I cut a bunch into separate sockets and connected those to a CMB24 port when I want 1 or 2 bulbs with a separate contol

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I had to cut 2 standard LED bright white strands down for the small inner star on my star poles. It was only about 10 or so lights though. I just taped the three wires individually to label them, cut the tape in half through each wire, unraveled the short piece to the end then clipped and re-attached the end.  It worked fine the whole season.

Edited by MichRX7

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3 hours ago, TheDucks said:

https://christmas-leds.com/ worked for me

10 bulb strings are 12V mini lights, same as were in the candy canes  I converted to LED strips.  FWIW, I cut a bunch into separate sockets and connected those to a CMB24 port when I want 1 or 2 bulbs with a separate contol

Better !

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6 hours ago, TheDucks said:

https://christmas-leds.com/ worked for me

10 bulb strings are 12V mini lights, same as were in the candy canes  I converted to LED strips.  FWIW, I cut a bunch into separate sockets and connected those to a CMB24 port when I want 1 or 2 bulbs with a separate contol

Same worked for me. Turns out my canes are 20 lights, but I was able to order them there.

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54 minutes ago, tlogan said:

Same worked for me. Turns out my canes are 20 lights, but I was able to order them there.

Then you have 6V bulbs. Strings of 2 are 12V.  As you can see, 120V/#bulbs in a segment (where the wires drop to 2.  If there is no outlet at the far end, you may only have 1 segment (also, only 2 wires the entire length)

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14 hours ago, TheDucks said:

Then you have 6V bulbs. Strings of 2 are 12V.  As you can see, 120V/#bulbs in a segment (where the wires drop to 2.  If there is no outlet at the far end, you may only have 1 segment (also, only 2 wires the entire length)

Didn't mean to confuse anything...I meant the same link worked for me. I ordered the 20 light LED strings as a direct replacement for the incans. Amazingly enough, they were shipped same day (Sunday!). I should have them in a day or two. Hope they work and fit as I expect.   

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Just to close my loop in this thread (although, I guess we got a little off topic!)...

I received my 20 light LED strands yesterday. I have old candy canes; half are red with white stripe and half are white with red stripe. The white/red has white incans and the red/white has red incans. I could only get the LEDs in white. I previously tried replacing the red with an incan white that I have on hand and it was obvious that it needed to be red. So, I also bought some red caps. I replaced the white lights first. I had to nip off the female plug at the end to feed them through (couldn't fold in half and leave both plugs outside...string is too short). I'm left with about 3 lights hanging out the bottom. A couple black out caps will take care of that (and give me a longer leader). So I moved on to the red/white cane. I pulled out a red cap and they also have a built in clip which makes them too large to fit inside the cane. SO....I took a shot and ran the white string through the same as for the red/white. Turns out they look great! The white of the LEDs is not as harsh as the light from the incans, so the cane still looks red.

Result: They look great and this won't be as hard as I feared. Now I need to add and sequence them in. I'll try to remember to post a pic.

 

 

Edited by tlogan

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2 hours ago, tlogan said:

Just to close my loop in this thread (although, I guess we got a little off topic!)...

I received my 20 light LED strands yesterday. I have old candy canes; half are red with white stripe and half are white with red stripe. The white/red has white incans and the red/white has red incans. I could only get the LEDs in white. I previously tried replacing the red with an incan white that I have on hand and it was obvious that it needed to be red. So, I also bought some red caps. I replaced the white lights first. I had to nip off the female plug at the end to feed them through (couldn't fold in half and leave both plugs outside...string is too short). I'm left with about 3 lights hanging out the bottom. A couple black out caps will take care of that (and give me a longer leader). So I moved on to the red/white cane. I pulled out a red cap and they also have a built in clip which makes them too large to fit inside the cane. SO....I took a shot and ran the white string through the same as for the red/white. Turns out they look great! The white of the LEDs is not as harsh as the light from the incans, so the cane still looks red.

Result: They look great and this won't be as hard as I feared. Now I need to add and sequence them in. I'll try to remember to post a pic.

 

 

If I may ask, how long are your canes? I just purchased 24 canes to do two "clock" props on the sides of my house and was debating if I put 25 or 50 led string lights through them. I see you are only using 20. Mine are 32" long each.

Thanks!

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