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Channel Capacity


xmaskarl

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I am sure that someone has asked this question before, but here goes.  What is the maximum number of bulbs per channel.  Not by amps, but by bulbs.  Assuming that the bulbs are normal Incandescent Strings.

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Sorry but you have to do the math and add up the amperage of the strings you are using...for example

 

A C9 string of 25 incandescant bulbs pulls 1.5 amps

A C7 string of 25 incandescant bulbs pulls 1.04 amps

 

And then you need to know what type of controller you are using and how many amps you can put on each channel.  All this information can be found in the user manuals which can be downloaded from the LOR website.

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I am sure that someone has asked this question before, but here goes.  What is the maximum number of bulbs per channel.  Not by amps, but by bulbs.  Assuming that the bulbs are normal Incandescent Strings.

That answer is going to be different depending on what type of lights/bulbs you are using. An incandescent C9 uses more power then a LED mini-light. Thus you can put fewer incandescent C9's on a channel than you could LED mini-lights.

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I've used 650 mini icicle lights on the eaves on a single channel on the same controller for the last 5 years.

That's already exceeding the "3 strings" limit, but it works.

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Actual current draw on a mii-string wil vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  I generally figure .5 amps per string of 100, just to build in a safety factor.  That would mean 16 strings on a single 8 amp channel, or 30 strings lit on a single bank of 8 channels ptoected by a 15 amp fuse.

 

I have exceeded Steven's 650 lights in the eaves; I run 300 lights per string  icicle lights, figuring 1.2 amps per string (per what the package says)......6 strings on a single channel.  Then another 6 strings of a different color on another channel, and yet anotehr 6 strings of yet another color of icicle lights on another channel, all going to a single LOR CTB16PC controller.  The fourth channel was LED icicles, yet another color; wasn't worried about that.  All on a single power cord controller.  This coming year, I'll do the same thing, except move the channels so all the lights aren't on the same bank of 8 channels, and put another power cord on it.  I didn't blow anything last year, but I was nervous about it.  I made sure I didn't run all lights at full intensity simultaneously.

 

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Buy one of these to see the amps used by a single string of the lights you will be using (each brand or type of lights will vary):

 

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kill-A-Watt-Electricity-Monitor-P4400/202196386#.UZ2JwMp17fA

799f7097-3452-41c9-ad50-00251dfde029_300

 

And then look at the data sheet for the particular controller you are using to determine its capacity:

http://www.lightorama.com/Documentation.html

 

Once you have each of these, the math is quite simple.  (If you aren't sure how to do this, you need to learn some of these basics or else this is going to be a very dangerous hobby for you. Start here if so.)

 

Google search reveals:

http://www.lorwiki.com/faq/44-general-qaa/100-how-many-lights-can-i-run-per-channelboard

 

 

Also, quick search of the forum would reveal:

 

http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/2112-lights-per-channel/

 

http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/22803-how-many-100mini-lights-strings-of-033-amps-to-a-channel/

 

http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/1160-how-many-lights-per-channel/

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I ran about 18000 mini incans on one controller.  I fed the controller with two circuits and split it up as best I could.  I have 9 large Christmas trees and they each had somewhere around 1800-2000 each.. not sure exactly how many.  I ran for two years that way without incident. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

In Kill-o-Watt I trust!

 

It makes it easy.  Just plug in what you want to use, (according to the manufacturer limits of strings in series of course) and read the number.  Couldn't be easier.  I used it to quickly plan a small incan portion of my display this year.  I really knew before hand what would work, but used it as a verification and double check that my numbers were correct. 

 

Did anyone mention the 80% rule yet?  Though your controller may handle "X" number of amps per channel, don't use more than 80% of the limit for safety reasons.

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