Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

talking face mini lights blowing

Old Sarge

Recommended Posts

I am in the process of making a talking face. I have the head out line done, no problem there.

The problem is when I try to shorton a string of mini light to use for the mouth sections  after they are plugged in for about 1 minute they all blow.

I have searched the net and cannot find if I have to have a minimum amount of lights on for them to not blow.

I currently have about 18 and they seem to be burning really bright and then they all blow out at the same time....

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am a newbie and trying to learn about LOR.


Thanks you in advance



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most regular mini lights in the strands are set to be equal to the voltage divided by the number of lights. Example, in a 50 count strand each bulb will handle 2.2 volts if you remove 15 bulbs and leave 35 bulbs the voltage will increase in the remaining bulbs to 3.2 volts and that will exceed what they are set to cause them to fail. what you need to do is not cut the excess bulbs off but wrap them up. I use plastic that I cut up from a large trash bag and wrap that with black electrical tape. I'm no electrical expert and I may ave even explained it wrong but there are some videos on you tube that explain this in more detail. good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you need smaller amounts of lights, Wally World usually has tons of 20-light strings in clear and multi early in the season.

The problem with covering up the incandescent lamps is that you can easily increase the bulb temp and shorten the life of the bulb. That, in turn, leads to increased voltage coursing through the remaining bulbs, which then leads to what's described above.

Consider LEDs. Those you can cover the extras tightly with no worry about heat.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is another post very similar to this one in another forum on this site.


The problem is your removing lights, and thus resistance.  Ohms law.. less resistance more voltage.   The added voltage is over powering the other lights.  Your fortunate that they are lasting an hour, I would expect they would all blow pretty fast.


The solutions..


#1 Get a shorter strand

#2 Use a resister to replace the missing lights.

#3 use a potentiometer to replace the missing lights


Every light strand is different, but remove 1 light and measure the voltage across.  It will prob be near 2-3v.  So..  you can get a 110v 1k 40w potentiometer from radio shack, turn it up to max out its resistance, and start removing the lights you want.  Then measure the voltage.  Slowly 'turn down' the pot and watch the voltage until it gets closer to that initial value. then your done.   Most pot's are not too waterproof.


OR you could use approx a 110 ohm resister 5% tolerance for each light you remove or add them up and use 1.  (ie  you take out 10 lights, use a 1100 ohm (1.1k) resister.

the 1.1k is   brown brown red  xxx

the 110 ohm is   brown brown brown  xxx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much Thanks to you all..

I wasn't thinking or I should have realized they were diff voltage lights for the number on the strands... Sometime to much thinking about something that is a simple problem makes it seem worse then it is...


Thanks to you all for the reminder... I tried to even add a night light on the strand and that didn't work.... lol... live and learn.. maybe I will try a old plug in glade deodorizer to see if that does anything...  Hey what do I have to loose.... just the other 75 bulbs from the one I cut to try to make shorter... lol..

thanks to you all

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...