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I am planning my first show next year going LED and I completely understand that there are differnt quality of lights but it is hard to pass up $5 - $7 a box on sale. Looking for some feedback. Is there some location i can get away with using the cheaper lights and get the CDI lights in Feb. I plan on Minis, arches, roof peaks, bushes, windows and wreaths.

Thanks

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Chick Kazienko wrote:

I am planning my first show next year going LED and I completely understand that there are differnt quality of lights but it is hard to pass up $5 - $7 a box on sale. Looking for some feedback. Is there some location i can get away with using the cheaper lights and get the CDI lights in Feb. I plan on Minis, arches, roof peaks, bushes, windows and wreaths.

Thanks


Hi Chick -

I have been using LOR since 2006, and I (along with the rest of the NJ LOR mafia (and you know who you are, Jeff)) have been dead set against LEDs. Up until last night, that is. I visited Longwood Gardens last night and saw their 500,000 light (LED) display. The whites are great... I was impressed.

The reasons I've not liked LEDs were that if they were half wave, there "flickered", especially when viewed while moving... most annoying. Also, the color of the "white" lights was always too bluish for me. FInally, I worry about the durability of the LEDs. I would much rather throw away a set of $1 incandescents than an $8 set of LEDs when they go bad. How often they go bad is the big question.

You asked where you could use some cheaper lights in your display? I would avoid using them in any location that is difficult to get to... up a tree, on the roof, etc, because getting to them when something fails will be a pain. I have always been leery about the quality of the LEDs, and their survivability from season to season. I am beginning to think that it would be worth paying extra for the good LEDs to save you the work of troubleshooting/fixing the cheaper ones when they fail. I'm still not quite ready to take the plunge and drop thousands on LEDs (you will NEVER recoup the extra cost of them in electric savings (unless your congress passes Cap and Tax, uh, I mean Trade)), but maybe after a couple more trips onto the roof this year to fix an incandescent that's taken out a half a string of lights, I'll be more inclined to take the plunge.

So, in a nutshell, you can used whatever lights you want. But remember, your time is worth something, and depending on exactly how you value your time will determine whether you want to save a little on the less expensive strings.

Happy sequencing.

D.T.



T
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Thank you for your feedback, I do value my time with 3 kids, (the reason for LOR) i have very little of it i am working smarting by making pvc frames for the windows with hooks and loops as well as PVC lines for the roof eves and sleeves for my arches. So I do hope I am making some right choices in the begining. The main reason I am choosing the LED is the electrical impact on the circuits. I am not an electircian and dont really want to pay one. and I am not a computer person either so the sequencing is going to give me fits thats why i am planning now

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DownTown wrote:

The whites are great... I was impressed.
Do you know what whites they were? AS they come in several different "flavors".

The "blue" whites that I think you don't like are usually the ones named "Pure White"

The ones close to incandescent are "Warm White" (more yellow)


Attached files 229619=12606-led whites.gif
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Chick -

You are doing right by starting now. It takes a while to get the hang of the sequencer, and even when you do have the hang, it can take hours and hours to sequence just 1 minute of music. The tools that come with LOR now will help make thinks simpler, but it still takes time to get it all just right.

While you're planning (and I'm sure you've seen this in other threads), don't forget the extension cords. You'll need at least one for each channel (SPT with vampire taps here is normally fine), plus at least one heavier cord (typical 3 wire, guage depends on the load and distance) to power each controller.

Good luck with your display. There are a lot of good guys here that will be happy to help keep you on track.

D.T.

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jimswinder wrote:

DownTown wrote:
The whites are great... I was impressed.
Do you know what whites they were? AS they come in several different "flavors".

The "blue" whites that I think you don't like are usually the ones named "Pure White"

The ones close to incandescent are "Warm White" (more yellow)


I used to not like even the WARM whites... but they seem to have some a long way since the earlier generations. The ones I saw last night were definately warm whites, and closely approximated the color that you get from white incandescents.

D.T.
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DownTown wrote:

The reasons I've not liked LEDs were that if they were half wave, there "flickered", especially when viewed while moving... most annoying.

Some people see the flicker even on full-wave strings. However, this can be used to your advantage, because LEDs respond much better to the "shimmer" effect.

If you power your LEDs with DC, such as Rainbow Floods or CCR, there will be no flicker whatsoever.

FInally, I worry about the durability of the LEDs.

I bought some LEDs from ChristmasDepot.com during their 2007 after-Christmas sale. They were red, green, blue, and white 35-bulb strings with removable bulbs. This year, they're starting to go bad. After 3 years, the technology has improved, so I expect strings I buy next year (probably from Christmas-LEDs.com) will last much longer. I have learned to not buy strings with removable bulbs, because corrosion will be a problem long before a bulb goes bad. So far, the strings with non-removable bulbs have lasted me several seasons without a single bulb failure.

I would avoid using them in any location that is difficult to get to... up a tree, on the roof, etc, because getting to them when something fails will be a pain.

I installed a bunch of white strings on my roof in the summer of 2008. They have been up there for 3 years and some still work. The ones that failed did so because of corrosion of the leads on the removable bulbs, so I replaced half of them this year with non-removable bulb strings.

(you will NEVER recoup the extra cost of them in electric savings

You can, however save the cost of paying an electrician to wire another sub-panel to feed your display. You can power 10's of thousands of LEDs from a single 20-amp circuit.
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Hi Chick

It was hard for me to switch but I switched to LED I have bought boxes after new years for as little as $3.00 a box (bought all I could). I have had sealled LED on my roof for 3 years now and never take them down (no Problems yet), however I also bought some the had removeable LED bulbs and had problems the first month they where out Stay Away from them.

As per my hydro bill when I first started I had about 20,000 incadisant bulbs the hydro bill was about $130.00 for 5 weeks. Then the next year I removed about 10,000 incadisant bulbs and replaced with 18,000 LED and my hydro bill dropped to $60.00 for 5 weeks. Other than mordern colours it was worth change.

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jimswinder wrote:

DownTown wrote:
The whites are great... I was impressed.
Do you know what whites they were? AS they come in several different "flavors".

The "blue" whites that I think you don't like are usually the ones named "Pure White"

The ones close to incandescent are "Warm White" (more yellow)

Thats odd Jimbo. My lights the "Pure White" are the bright white and the "Cool White" has the bluish tint. If vendors call these different things, there definition would certainly leave some confusion.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been all-LED on my display for the 3 years doing this. The only problem I've ever had were with some blue icycle lights that were cheapest-of-the-cheap. They didn't even make it through a full season.

All of the others that continue to do well are just the run-of-the-mill GE, Phillips, etc that you can pick up at Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, etc. I've expanded and changed things each year, so I usually go to the stores on Dec 26 and buy them up due to the big discounts 50% - 75% off.

My electric bill increases by less than $10 for the full month of December.

To me, the brighter look of the LEDs is worth the extra cost. They look so much more crisp. But that's just my opinion.

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My local Walmart had quite a lot of left over stock this year - Way more than last year.

Between 2 stores, I think I got about 60 boxes of LED's. Mostly Red and White. (Need some more blues) They are 75% off - I paid 1.75 a box.

I'm ALMOST all LED now anyway - Did my first Arch this year, and used Incans, so I'll probably remake that in LED.

ALL my lighta have always been from the big box after christmas sales. They are not full wave, but they have all performed well, and the minor flicker I do notice is well worth my entire show running on 2 outlets. (I'd be running off 1 if didnt buy a boatload of incan rope light)

LED's arent going anywhere, and the prices will only continu to drop over the years.

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