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TheJackal
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I was having a smoke in my garage. I have some of my lights there and spotted a box of my multi lights (Walmart). I started to think......since I don't have any red, blue or green, would it make sense to pull ALL the lights out (52 strings of 50) and put them back together creating blue, green, red and yellow strings? It's possible, but would it make sense? :unsure:  I really don't like the multi's and I guess I COULD use them on my minitrees, but at $1.25, I couldn't leave them on the shelves.

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LED or incan?  If it's LED's it matters.  I'm no electrical guru, but have heard it mentioned on here that different LED's use different amounts of power.  Search LED power consumption you should find a relevant thread or ask a veteran like Max-Paul, I know he and others have tackled the LED issue dozens of times.

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That is what I'm going to do with my left over incan lights this year. I don't typically put lights out for anything but Christmas. I will at least have a small static display for the major holidays this year. The incans, along with the rgb floods I bought at the synchronizedchristmas.com winter sale, will make a nice small display. Im switching 99% of my color incan lights to led year, so I have a surplus.

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sounds good to me smart thinking

Thanks. Though I'd have to find the time or pay the kids to do it for me :).

LED or incan?  If it's LED's it matters.  I'm no electrical guru, but have heard it mentioned on here that different LED's use different amounts of power.  Search LED power consumption you should find a relevant thread or ask a veteran like Max-Paul, I know he and others have tackled the LED issue dozens of times.

Sorry....LED. Are you saying red uses different amount of power than the yellow, green or blue? Their all the same brand. I do have incan red, blue and green. But, I'm trying to avoid using them.....if possible.

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I have had good luck doing that with Wal-Mart multi- icicles.

I needed blue in the past so I ended up with strings of Orange, Yellow, Red icicles.

I thought the same as you buy the multi 50's and piece them together. But I bought so many other lights this year.

Please try one string.

I would like to know your outcome. I am after Green strings for 2015. And having orange and yellow strings is just a bonus.

There are always hundreds of those left over after Christmas on the shelves here.

I know for a fact that you can not do it with the multi LEDs from Lowes and Home Depot.

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I have been doing this for years, before I started buying solid colors from online stores. I have found most brands will not work if you change to single color stands so I suggest if it is a 5 color multi strand, start with just five strands see it they work.

 

Papa 

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I was having a smoke in my garage. I have some of my lights there and spotted a box of my multi lights (Walmart). I started to think......since I don't have any red, blue or green, would it make sense to pull ALL the lights out (52 strings of 50) and put them back together creating blue, green, red and yellow strings? It's possible, but would it make sense? :unsure:  I really don't like the multi's and I guess I COULD use them on my minitrees, but at $1.25, I couldn't leave them on the shelves.

I did it withe the Walmart lights (Holiday Time), Big Lots (the ones on reels) and GE Colorite lights all worked.  I tried it withe the Smooth M5 lights sold at biglots and I did have voltage issues.

While this could be a pain in the azz, I find this task therapeutic. I'm a single Dad.  When the kids go to bed, I sit on the floor, watch TV and swap lights.  A few tips.

 

  • I suggest that you plug in the 4 or 5 sets and swap bulbs.  That way, if you screw one up (break a led, reverse one, don't make good connection), you will know immediately which bulb caused the problem and you won't have to go back and troubleshoot the set.

 

  • At the ends of most sets, there is  typically one LED that is reversed (anode and cathode).  When you replace this bulb, you will need to reverse the LED in the socket.  To prevent work-hardening the led, don't put it all the way in the socket (leave it shall by maybe 1/8"), this way you will be bending it at a different location.

 

  • On several brands there are not equal amounts of red, amber, green and blue lights.  So, you may think that 4 sets of lights would give you an amber set, a red set, a green set and a blue set.  More likely, you will need six sets and wind up with 2 red sets, 2 amber sets, a green set and blue set.

Actually, I bought 58 sets of Holiday Time Multi Color Net lights and plan to swap bulbs over the next several months.  When I am done, I should have 20 Red sets, 9 Green sets, 9 blue sets, 18 Amber sets and two sets of Multi (36% red, 6% green, 26% blue, 32% Amber)

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Don't do it since they are led.  Red and yellow run at a lower voltage and very finicky to get the voltage right.  The blue and green probably won't burn at their full potential.

Thanks....I wasn't sure, that's why I asked.

 

I have had good luck doing that with Wal-Mart multi- icicles.

I needed blue in the past so I ended up with strings of Orange, Yellow, Red icicles.

I thought the same as you buy the multi 50's and piece them together. But I bought so many other lights this year.

Please try one string.

I would like to know your outcome. I am after Green strings for 2015. And having orange and yellow strings is just a bonus.

There are always hundreds of those left over after Christmas on the shelves here.

I know for a fact that you can not do it with the multi LEDs from Lowes and Home Depot.

I can't make it to the stores in time for any leftovers. I'm surprised Walmart had what they had 2 days later. Didn't have the time to go to BigLots, but they were out when I did go.

 

I have been doing this for years, before I started buying solid colors from online stores. I have found most brands will not work if you change to single color stands so I suggest if it is a 5 color multi strand, start with just five strands see it they work.

 

Papa 

They're 4 color (red, blue, green, yellow). Maybe I will try 4 strings, we'll see.

 

 

I'm just going to stick with multi strings for my big trees and unless I find the red, blue and green at decent prices. I need enough for my eave (50 feet long) and around 2 garage doors (about 23 ft each). I can do the garages and eave with incans.

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From my experiements this is what I came up with:  Changing a multi to one single color can and possibly will release the "magic smoke" in a few LED's.   Especially if you went to all Amber/Yellow or Red, as these are usually anywhere from 1.5 to 3.0VDC, I have found I can usually take an all white LED set and change to an all Blue, as white and blue LED's usually operate on anywhere from 4.5V-5.0VDC, Green does operate around 3.5V-4.0VDC, and so, if you want all green, all red, or all amber/yellow LED, I'd would suggest figuring out making sure the strands are not split, that is like a 50 ct. strand could be 2 - 25 LED's per part of the strand.

 

Now you know the strand operates on 120VAC, so take the "maximum" voltage of the color LED you want to use and divide that into 120VAC, i.e.  Say you want All RED LED: 120VAC/3.0VAC tells you you need 40 RED LEDs on that strand, if it's a 50ct strand, and all 50 is not seperated, then you would remove 10 sockets, otherwise if you use all 50 sockets, the LED's will be dimmer, since you need 150V to illuminate all 50 to full power.

 

If the strands are split, that is 25 LED per strand, then it's 120VAC/25 LEDS to get the voltage of the LED's you'd need to fil that half of the strand, so in this example 120VAC/25 "physical LED bulbs" = 4.8 volts per LED, so you could convert this string safely using 25 White or Blue LEDs on each side.

 

And sometimes you have to modify the strand by cutting out and removing extra sockets to maintain the full brightness of the LED's being utilized in the strand.

 

This is how I calculate my single color strands if I'm changing a multi color strand to a single strand, it's still an 120VAC strand, I just have to take the LED bulb count and voltages into consideration for each strand I want to convert.  I've used this method for years and haven't let any of the magic smoke out of my LED's!

 

NOTE: RGB LED's are a completely different thing, so this WILL NOT work for RGB items.  

This is specifically for individual multi-color LED strands you wish to convert to a single color LED strand!

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They're 4 color (red, blue, green, yellow). Maybe I will try 4 strings, we'll see.

 

 

If they are the 50 count, Holiday Time from Walmart, I think that you will find that they are Red, Green Blue, and Amber with these percentage of bulbs:

 

Red - 34% 

Green - 16%

Blue - 16%

Amber - 34%

 

You will need 7 sets for your test which will result in

 

2 Sets Red

1 set Green

1 set Blue

2 sets Amber

1 set mixed  (19 ea Red and Amber, 6 each Blue and Green)

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Orville get your meter calibrated.

 

Red, Org and Yel are going to be between 2.0 to 2.4 volts @ 20mA and 3.3 to 3.6 volts @ 20mA. I have made some of my own stuff and I have converted some stuff too. One example is that I have a 3, 4, and 6' spiral trees. I have cut the power lead coming into the tree at the proper places and installed a bridge rectifier inline. I can only run 46 White, blue, green, or purple LEDs in series. And that is with no resistors. At the same time I had to put a resistor in line with the 50 Red, org, or yellow LEDs

 

As a few others have told you. Cause the Red, Org, or Yellow LED require less voltage to operate. You would apply more voltage than they need and will either burn out quickly or not to long in the future. And again as a few have pointed out. The Blue, green, white, or purple will either not light at all, or dimmly. At least in this case, you could remove a bulb or two or three and just run a jumper from before the first and to the far side of the last socket.

 

Just remember to treat Dirty D.C. (not filtered for ripple) like AC on your meter. Your meter reads RMS. So, it will not see the peak voltage applied to the LED. If you do not account for the peak voltage and thus peak current you will over do it and shorten the life of the LED

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Well shoot. Thanks scubado. Ok the other colors as I forgot to mention that run at about 3.3 to 3.6 volts is the Blue, Green, Whites, and purples. Basically just remember anything other than Red, Orange or Yellow.

 

Well Seeing how I am posting again. Going to add this little tid bit. I found out the hard way. Ordered some LED off of ebay and had some left over from one project. 6 months or a year later I build another project and need some more white LEDs to finish the project. Cant remember who I ordered the first ones from so I find a good deal and order some more to finish the project off. Well guess what? Seems that the new LED run at a lower voltage. So some of my older LED do not want to light up. This is a string of 8 LED with a 24VDC +/- 2 volts. 6 to 7 of the LED would light up, but 1 or 2 of them would not. Moral of this story is to make sure you get all of your LED at one time from one vendor. This is why you will see the vendors on ebay say that the voltage for a given LED will be across a given range. But notice that they will always give a defenat current range.

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That's funny, because the White LEDs and Blue LED's I purchased state: 4.5-5.0VDC @ 20mA.   And I've been using LEDs and doing LED projects for a very, very long time.    And yes, I have let the magic smoke out of ONE LED of each color testing just how much voltage/current they could take before going POP, and releasing that horrendous smelling {magic} smoke that's inside them.

 

Many of my LED's I have are older, seems the newer LEDs are using LESS and LESS voltage than their counterparts of yesteryear of the same color.    So this may be why our references are so different now.   I have not checked this with newer strands as I have yet to need to buy any to replace what I have, and what I have created from them, that are still working 5+ years later with no ill effect and no blown LED's.

 

Just know what I have, what I've used, and what I've done with the strands I do have, some over 5-8 years old.  So they may be completely different from todays (2013/2014's} offerings.

 

Not arguing the point, just saying as technology improves, so do the items we use in our displays, so there could and probably always will be discrepancies between years and, as others have found out, even vendors.  

 

And the vendors could have these issues because they will move and sell "OLD" stock before new, so at some point, someone may get a mixed bag of old and new stock, and why some LED's will be dimmer, while others are brighter, especially if thy happen to use different voltage/current ratings.   And this happens all the time, it's nothing new to the world of lights, electronics or technology.

 

And these are just a small sample of what does happen with anything that improves over time.

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Thanks for the information on the voltage. I must just be lucky. Typing out loud here (any thought/suggestions welcome)

The Big Lot reel lights had four colors. Each "segment" was 32 lights (5 per set for 160 total)

The Colorite lights seems to have something special going on. Even if you remove a light, the rest stay lit. SSo, the little box much be providing constant voltage. I didn't take apart each light. My guess is that they are providing the 3.3-3.6 volts to each socket and then use a resistor in series with the 2.0-2.4 volts.

The Holiday Time lights have 2 segments of 25 lights (50 light set)

The Holiday Time C9 lights have one segment of 25 lights

Now, I made individual sets of Red, Amber, Green, Yellow, Purple, Blue (depending on the set). All worked fine. I tried this with the big lots "smooth" M5 lights and I let out some of the magic smoke. So, I bailed on that project.

All of the 4 types listed above worked fine as I was switching out the bulbs. Remember, I do this with the sets plugged in. I'd think that if the voltages were off, at some point, I would exceed the voltage per bulb (like I did the Smooth light).

Am I just lucky? Is there something going on here that I am missing? Is there anyway to find out the voltage of each of the individual bulbs using a multi-meter?

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Been there Done that ........This thread is 2 months 2 late.........I swapped out the colors on 5 led strings  3 didn't light and I smoked 2 and all I got out of it was Sore fingers from pullling all those bulbs and a mad wife stating I was trying to burn the house down :blink:

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Not constant voltage, constant current. Now your cheating. LOL Well as I stated in my projects I only installed a bridge rectifier, no regulation of any sort. I would not really know about the constant current regulator and its range of operation. Could you pull all non-red LEDs and install RED LED for all of the other colors? Maybe, all I know about is a brute force LED strings.

 

Orville, I am trying to remember what I did with LEDs about 40 yrs ago. I want to say that was back a few years before we had Blue LEDs. I want to say back then the LED was rated 2.2 volts. But at only 10mA, 15mA would pop the top every time.

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OK, So, I bought a bunch of Multicolor Net lights from Walmart. Last night I finished the switching and all seems to be going well.

Here are my observations:

Each set has 70 LEDs. They are broken into three segments of 23, 23 and 24 LEDs. Math tells me that 120/23 is 5.2V and 120/24 is 5V.

There are more than twice as many red and amber LEDs than blue and green. 6 sets of multis converted to 2 red sets, 2 amber sets, 1 blue set and one (mostly) green set. I had to liberate a few greens from a 7th set to make a full set of greens.

An unswapped set pulls 5.0 watts.

The set of all blue pulls 3.5 watts.

The set of all green pulls 3.1 watts.

The set of all red pulls 5.0 watts.

The set of all amber pulls 5.1 watts.

For all sets, There is no noticeable difference in brightness. It seems that the blue and green draw less current, but operate fine even though they are getting less voltage.

I ran the three brand mentioned above for the entire Christmas without any issues. Is it possible that they voltage requirement are more even in the current generation of LEDs?

Thoughts?

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I think that the Wal-Mart light set are more forgiving.

I have had great luck with them.

 

I am wondering if GMAC used Wal-Mart or another brand of lights?

 

This thread is important info for my next year's plan.

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I think that the Wal-Mart light set are more forgiving.

I have had great luck with them.

 

I am wondering if GMAC used Wal-Mart or another brand of lights?

 

This thread is important info for my next year's plan.

No they weren't walmart lights..........I got them from a local hardware store and don't remember the brand,  I needed a quick fix on my mini trees

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No they weren't walmart lights..........I got them from a local hardware store and don't remember the brand,  I needed a quick fix on my mini trees

Then I am with you. HD and Lowes lights.

Many hours of pulling and sore fingers just to have a smelly living room with a lot of burnt out LED's.

Good Times!

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My only answer that makes sense is that there must be a wire wart somewhere(s). that contain a constant current controller. It will vary the voltage applied to the string in order to keep the current at say 20 mA. But even so, these devices have a range that they will be able to control over.

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