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how do i tell half-wave or full-wave led?

Donny M. Carter

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Well, the vast majority of LEDs sold in big box stores are not full wave. If it doesn't say on the box (it usually doesn't) than you can tell by the "packs" on the string. This is where the electronics are held. If the packs are fairly small, they aren't full wave. That usually means they are half wave, because they just have resistors inside. Full wave need the rectifier and such with it, making the packs bigger.

I read on PC a few years back from someone that if you hold the LEDs off to the side and not look directly at them, give them a shake and if you see a flicker, they are half wave. Full wave will never have any sort of flicker to them. Obviously this won't work if you are in the store, but if you get a set and want to know it does work.

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The majority of LED's in the stores are on the cheap again this year, they're half wave. Here is a string of full wave LED's, there are three rectifier packs in this string.

Try to find GKI Bethlehem LED strings these to knowledge are full wave unless they changed.

Half wave LED strings will look like a standard incandescent string but only with LED's. Sometimes there may be a "pack" in the string, but its a resistor and its in one of the wires, not both. Full wave strings have the packs in both incoming wires and sometimes three wires for end to end connectivity.

Attached files 222033=12290-fullwave LED.JPG

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Donny M. Carter wrote:

if i'm just looking around, how do i tell what lights are full and what ones are half?

Your best bet is to open the box and check to see if there is a rectifier on the end(s).

I have some with just two rectifiers and many with 3 rectifiers, and I even have some with 5 rectifiers.

All mine are bought from stores within Canada. our light wire is a bit thicker than the light wire in the photo.

No where on any of the full wave boxes does it say "Full Wave"......so I look to make sure.

However there are some newer LEDs here in a Canadian store called Peavey Mart where the rectifier (I think) is now built into the plug........the plug is almost 3 inches long on both ends.

If I had the money I would hack up a string to see, but at $17.00 per box I do not think I will do that. lol
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