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4 color mini incan super strings...why and why not?


roknjohn
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I curious to know your experience with using 4 color (RGBW) super strings using 100ct mini incans. Are they more suited to window/door/roof trim, shrubs bushes, live tree, mega tree? Maintenance issues? Tangle and storage issues?

I'm think of making a bunch of these during the off season. If you have any comments (pro or con) on this approach, please share.

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The biggest negative to this idea is that blue incandescent lights fade severely in just one season, while rest of the colors usually last a few seasons.. One idea would be to consider red, green, and white incandescent, with blue LED... This way, the red or green will set the life of your superstrings, and you will probably be able to rework them with new red and green a few times before you have issues with the blue...

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We have been converting the city show to LED, and adding blue at the same time.. It has been a bit of a pain reworking the controller layouts to reflect the 4 superstrings per controller, instead of 5 and a third.. At least we have been spreading it out over a few years....

But red, green, and white worked quite well in the city display. We have a fair bit of stuff in its fourth year. I don't think most people see the flaws in how some things are faded more than others, but we do, and we want to be sure we get them changed out before others notice..

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I have used Red/Grn/Wht/Yel on my mega trees for years. All incandescent. The only issue is that when a shunt fails, you have to track down the bad bulb. But that would happen whether you had a super string or not. I prefer a little bit of twist in my super strings, as it keeps the strands together, more as one unit.

This year, I have used the same strings that I used to use on the megas on the gaps between my solar panels in my arrays. Since they are not in a large group like they were in the mega trees, one bad segment is MUCH more noticable than it was in the previous setup. For this reason, I am considering taking the plunge into the expensive world of LEDs. I'm still a llittle gun shy, because I still doubt the durability of the LED strings.

D.T.

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roknjohn wrote:

Blue is not really the best Christmas color in my book either.

If you're talking about incandescents, I agree completely, because they only stay looking blue until it rains or until the second day the sun shines on them. But if you're talking about LEDs I respectfully submit that you're in need of one or more positive blue experiences. When blue is really blue it is a magnificent attention and accent color. There's none more vivid. Unless you're Richard Holdman, reds and greens and clears get pretty boring pretty quickly without something to contrast them.
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OK, Ok. I admit that contrast is a good thing. And blues, if done right, add a richer element to a display. As 2011 will be my first year, and I'm probably going to stick with all mini incans, simply from an economic perspective. I'd rather invest in more channels this first year so that I can experiment with more display options to get a feel for how I want my show to evolve in the years to come.

I'll buy a strand or two of LEDs to test with for comparison. I assume that the cost of LEDs will improve over time, so if I can wait another year or two until I'm more equipped, it may even out.

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I agree with everyone about incan. blue lights are pretty much horrable, I bought some for one of my christmas trees inside the house earlier this year, and it already looks faded, which I knew was gonna happen.

I want to add blue to my display, but I don't have the money this year(for next year) to get LED blue lights, so I'm going to put up white, green, and red for next year, and add blue LEDs some other year.

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Some of you hesitant to go Blue LEDs remember with the string length on a mini incandescent they are in the 20 to 22 foot range generally. A 70 ct LED string gets you close to 24 so you don't need 100's. A 70 blue in an M5 this year is going to cost you about $9 and this is for a commercial grade sealed socket string, so not really horrible price wise. 100's would be about $12, but that string is over 33' long.

Lenny

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