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LED Rope light.... fire starter


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Just a word of caution to anyone using these products, this has not been an isolated incident, in fact, it has now happened 5 times to us, most recently this morning, I was working on a sequence, and saw smoke outside my window. The cord powering the rope light heats up and begins to melt, then the cord catches fire, and can start a big fire in a matter of seconds. Thankfully we have been able to catch it before any damage has been done to anything except the cord. I purchased this rope light from ebay, and it is indoor/outdoor lighting, and has happened with both 3/8 and 1/2 inch rope light

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You might want to tell us what stuff you're running, and also take a good look at what you have wired. I don't remember anyone else mentioning light rope as a fire safety problem and lots of people use it, and second, is LED light rope should not be drawing enough current to get the power cord even warm - let alone hot enough to catch fire.

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True Jim, but if water gets into the rope and bridges over between the two wire. Well things can start to heat up. Notice how these coffee makers that use the little cups of coffee, how they heat up the water? Surely is not with a heating element. Run power straight through the water. Lots of heat and fair amount of current. I suppose the OP should be using a fuse inline with the plug.

Edited by Max-Paul
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you need to watch the gauge of wire and length that you use to supply those lights. put a watt meter on there and check you might be surprised on how much current your drawing

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Just a word of caution to anyone using these products, this has not been an isolated incident, in fact, it has now happened 5 times to us, most recently this morning, I was working on a sequence, and saw smoke outside my window. The cord powering the rope light heats up and begins to melt, then the cord catches fire, and can start a big fire in a matter of seconds. Thankfully we have been able to catch it before any damage has been done to anything except the cord. I purchased this rope light from ebay, and it is indoor/outdoor lighting, and has happened with both 3/8 and 1/2 inch rope light

5 times?

Return them to vendor.

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the rope light, is using the standard power cords sent with them, and none have used more the 15 feet of extension cord leading to them, they are only in their 2nd year of use, and the longest length has been about 15 feet . the cord starts to melt about 6 inches below the connection to the rope, and I have seen sparking in the rope itself

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If this is genuine, you need to do three things:

 

1. Stop using that product immediately.

 

2. Contact the vendor and mention your attorney's name.

 

3. As previously requested, share what specific product you're referencing so someone else here might save their house from burning.

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  • 1 month later...

Planning on purchasing some rope lighting off eBay shortly, so I'd be interested in knowing what product has been giving you so much trouble so that I can avoid it.

And not that it matters Max-Paul, but Keurig coffee makers most certainly use a heating element and do not conduct electricity through the water itself LOL - I just replaced the heating element in my Keurig last weekend.

Edited by jonsimp911
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I use led rope light from here:

http://www.christmas-leds.com/productinfo_v3.aspx?productid=LED-38-150FT-RP-MET

Led. Cuttable every 20". 3 years old now. No fire yet.

I do make my own cables. So no rectifiers are used just straight 120 into the rope. I do use the supplied cables for testing when I receive the rope light.

I highly recommend this rope light over any from eBay.

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Just a word of caution to anyone using these products, this has not been an isolated incident, in fact, it has now happened 5 times to us, most recently this morning, I was working on a sequence, and saw smoke outside my window. The cord powering the rope light heats up and begins to melt, then the cord catches fire, and can start a big fire in a matter of seconds. Thankfully we have been able to catch it before any damage has been done to anything except the cord. I purchased this rope light from ebay, and it is indoor/outdoor lighting, and has happened with both 3/8 and 1/2 inch rope light

Only took one time for me to stop using the red led ropes from Phillips I got at target in an after christmas sale a 4 years ago.  on their 2nd season, I applied power and ... smoke & flame for 10 seconds.  Took the others down and replaced them with strings of m6 from CDI and haven't worried about it since.

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I had problems with the last year that CDI offered rope lights. The problem I had was that the pins from the power cord and the actual spacing of the leads in the rope were of a different spacing. One one occasion the power pins ended up angling towards each other and touched. This blew the rectifier. I agree with the earlier comment (sorry forgot who made it). Got to do a really good job of sealing the ends so that water does not enter the rope. Dirty water and high voltage (120VDC or AC) will heat up the moisture and can cause the plastic to melt and allow more current to flow that gets hotter and so on till something catches on fire.

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Pikadroo had some "Cuttable" rope light, I believe two years ago, that was literally exploding when power was applied.  The details are a little muddled in my mind since a lot of time has passed, but I remember him saying that he had to stop using it because it kept exploding on him. 

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I'm still waiting to find out what brand/source the OP was using.  That would certainly be, at the very least, friendly - and perhaps even life saving - information to provide.  I don't understand someone having those kinds of issues and not broadcasting loud and long what product they used.  Makes me question the legitimacy of the OP's original post ...

Edited by George Simmons
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