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Ropelights


saynomoore

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I was wondering about ropelights, do most use them? or are the light strings the choice for most? Looking to out line my house and thought ropelights would do a good job of it.

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I used rope lights to outline the sides and top of my house with 4 colors it worked well. I used the 18' sections. I am glad I did because if I would have used the 150' roles I would have replaced 3 of them already. When a 18" section goes out its nice just to replace the only 18' instead of the entire 90 that it takes to outline the sides and along the roof.

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friskybri wrote:

When a 18" section goes out its nice just to replace the only 18' instead of the entire 90 that it takes to outline the sides and along the roof.

And that's the best advertisement of why NOT to use rope light to outline the house. I use rope light in my display, but I use it sparingly and in locations I can easily reach when, inevitably, a section goes dark.
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My thought is if you are going to be putting it up and taking it down (flexing it a lot), it is going to be prone to failure.
Two years ago I started with a single chunk of 75' LED red rope from a roll on the eve of my house. This summer over the 4th of July I discovered there is a 5' chunk out in the middle. I could splice the chunk out (leaving me 5' short). I think I will be replacing that with more traditional C9 (LED).
I also use a 90' chunk, made out of 5-18' cheapies from Walmart) on the lower skirt of my house. They are actually holding up well, and I'll probably use them again until it fails. Surprisingly, I found the cheap walmart brand didn't use much more power than the led (don't remember the exact numbers but led was higher than I thought, cheapie was lower).

So I agree with George, don't use it to outline your house. But if you are going to anyway, then I agree with frisky, use the shorter (cheaper) chunks.

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To me rope lights seem to burn HOT. Also seems as they draw a ton of amps/watts.

I looked @ em last year, bought 2 18' strands, within a week i lost 1/2 the strand. Rolled them back in the box and returned.

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Well Iam going to try them this year, since I have a roll, but I was not going to keep it all one length, Iam going to cut it into the lengths I need.

What I like about rope lights is the amount of lights per foot, mini strings tend to be a light every 5"-6" while most rope lights have 12 lights per foot, C9 are one every foot but they are a larger bulb,

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pokrplr wrote:

To me rope lights seem to burn HOT. Also seems as they draw a ton of amps/watts.

I looked @ em last year, bought 2 18' strands, within a week i lost 1/2 the strand. Rolled them back in the box and returned.


If they are burning hot, then I am to assume you are not using LED rope lights. The one problem that comes to my mind with the LED rope lights is that they do not down grade the amp draw enough. LEDs in most cases have the dome exposed to air currents. But once incased in the plastice of the rope, then the LED does not get any air currents to help cool them off. Yes even LEDs do produce some heat. So, the manf. should lower the current to them. But hey that would make them dimmer, but that aint what the customer wants.

Amc from what I gather is that your LED rope light failed during the summer heat for the above reason. All I can say is that a properly engineered LED circuit should last for a long time. Longer than an incan circuit. Esp when you are blinky blinky. Icans just can not stand up to all of that thermo stress of the filiment expanding and contracting. Due to funds at this time I have ican rope light, but over the next couple of years I plan to change that out to LED. And if I have to, I will hack the P.S. to lower the current available to the LEDs.
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Max, no my failure wasn't due to heat, I just put them up to do a small show for in-town guests. I think it was due to the way I bend them around when I roll them up for storage (as in possibly damaged a wire?). Was working when I put it away after Christmas, wasn't working when I got it out of the box this summer.
Moral of the story is: be careful when moving these (though I claim I wasn't that rough with them).

I like rope light and use use quite a bit of it, both incan and led. I'm hoping I have better luck with the stuff permanently mounted on wire frames and north poles (that I don't bend again once it's mounted).

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I despise rope light. Last year I bought a 3D star topper and light kit for my Mega Tree. Had it plugged in ahead of time to get it good and warmed up as well as leaving it plugged in while I was working with it. Of course I got the whole kit fastened to the star, but the next night while I was working in the garage I decided to plug it in to make sure it looked good. Had it plugged in for two hours when a section went black. Was not a happy camper and ripped it off and put on the M5 leds instead which didn't look half as good. I have a new kit in the garage but I'm waiting until after the Chicago Regional next week tio see if I can get some pointers there I already don't have yet.....we'll see.

Lenny

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I have used a total of 1100' of rope light outlining my windows and roof for the last 3 years.

I have only had to replace 2 36" sections for going out. I did replace all the red and blue with red and blue LED rope light after the first year. The red rope faded in storage and the blue always looked green to me. Plus the power draw of incan. rope light is terrible.

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LENNY RUEL wrote:

I despise rope light. Last year I bought a 3D star topper and light kit for my Mega Tree. Had it plugged in ahead of time to get it good and warmed up as well as leaving it plugged in while I was working with it. Of course I got the whole kit fastened to the star, but the next night while I was working in the garage I decided to plug it in to make sure it looked good. Had it plugged in for two hours when a section went black. Was not a happy camper and ripped it off and put on the M5 leds instead which didn't look half as good. I have a new kit in the garage but I'm waiting until after the Chicago Regional next week tio see if I can get some pointers there I already don't have yet.....we'll see.

Lenny


Keep my updated on this, I just bought the 3d star, and rope light kit. This will be my 1st season with any rope light. I hope I don't have the issue you had.
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LENNY RUEL wrote:

I despise rope light. Last year I bought a 3D star topper and light kit for my Mega Tree. Had it plugged in ahead of time to get it good and warmed up as well as leaving it plugged in while I was working with it. Of course I got the whole kit fastened to the star, but the next night while I was working in the garage I decided to plug it in to make sure it looked good. Had it plugged in for two hours when a section went black. Was not a happy camper and ripped it off and put on the M5 leds instead which didn't look half as good. I have a new kit in the garage but I'm waiting until after the Chicago Regional next week tio see if I can get some pointers there I already don't have yet.....we'll see.

Lenny




Remind me during the Q&A following my presentation on coro at Chicago, and I'll address your ropelight issues.

Greg
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  • 2 weeks later...

We have used the same incandescent rope light for the past 4 years to trim our roof and ridge lines on the house and garage, and we have not had a single failure or dark section. One year we even left the rope light installed for an entire year freezing and baking in the desert atmosphere. We bought spools of it from Action Lighting or American.....can't remember.

I love to hate the stuff! It looks great but it is a energy hog! and yes it gets warm, but for the price compared to LED rope, I'll deal with it and I will probably replace it with incandescent again when I have to.

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I'm with Rick!

My 2nd floor rope lights have been up for pushing 5 years, summer, winter, spring and fall. Just tested them this weekend - still working bright.

My 3rd floor lights have only been up 1 year. Last year I replaced them because they were not hung with c-clamp style clips. I made the mistake of using the clips that came with them rope light. By using nylon clamps like I did on the second floor, they should last a few seasons.

Rope lights are good, they're bright, they're sealed and they dim real nice! and best of all you can leave them up and barely notice them.

just remember if you splice to use heat shrink or something real good to keep the weather out

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I was at Menards today and they have started putting out their Christmas lights!!!! However I was wondering, they have rolls of 150' of rope light but no markings on where to cut it. I was wondering how to determine where I can cut this rope light. Thanks for the help.

Jeremy

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brownjm74 wrote:

I was at Menards today and they have started putting out their Christmas lights!!!! However I was wondering, they have rolls of 150' of rope light but no markings on where to cut it. I was wondering how to determine where I can cut this rope light. Thanks for the help.

Jeremy

http://www.planetchristmas.com/RopeLight.htm
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brownjm74 wrote:

I was at Menards today and they have started putting out their Christmas lights!!!!

I was at Menards and they all looked at me funny because I was looking at the lights asking if I can order about 10,000 lights.
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friskybri wrote:

brownjm74 wrote:
I was at Menards today and they have started putting out their Christmas lights!!!!

I was at Menards and they all looked at me funny because I was looking at the lights asking if I can order about 10,000 lights.


I got the same look when I asked in March. The store manager told me that if I wanted to put in a special order for a large amount of lights he would give me a discount and would add them to the stores warehouse order in late July.

Jeremy B
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brownjm74 wrote:

I was at Menards today and they have started putting out their Christmas lights!!!! However I was wondering, they have rolls of 150' of rope light but no markings on where to cut it. I was wondering how to determine where I can cut this rope light. Thanks for the help.

Jeremy


Jeremy, there should be cut marks, although they may be small and only on one side of the rope. Some of the manufacturers, based on liability concerns do not want folks cutting them.

If you follow the internal wiring carefully you should be able to determine where the series ends - where there are only the 2 bus lines, which is where they may be cut.

If in doubt call the distributor you purchased it from.

There are several standard lengths for cutting, but it depends on the brand of rope being used.

Greg
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Paul Roberson wrote:

brownjm74 wrote:
I was at Menards today and they have started putting out their Christmas lights!!!! However I was wondering, they have rolls of 150' of rope light but no markings on where to cut it. I was wondering how to determine where I can cut this rope light. Thanks for the help.

Jeremy

http://www.planetchristmas.com/RopeLight.htm


That works perfectly!!! Thanks for the link

Jeremy
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