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LED corrosion


Paul C
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I had LED's from a few years ago that were not sealed. I think I got them at Home Depot. They started to corrode and rust around where the lights enter the socket. I don't use LED's that aren't sealed anymore because of that. The lights will still work, but when water gets in the socket they start to rust and the lights will stop working.

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According to Wikipedia:

Most LED-based Christmas lights use copper wire which connects to the aluminum-based wires of the LEDs. Exposing this combination of metals to moisture can result in galvanic corrosion inside of the lamps' sockets, causing them to stop working. Many other sets use cheaper steel leads on the LEDs, which instead rust, leading to the same result. Some newer and higher-quality sets of LED Christmas lights have each LED permanently mounted in a non-removable weathertight base to keep out rain and other moisture, helping to prevent such corrosion; however, this prevents the user from replacing defective bulbs.
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Paul C wrote:

Has anyone had any trouble with prematurely corroding LED light strings. :?


Hi Paul, it is a good idea that you posted a separate thread for this. I'll bet you hear all sorts of variations in experience about this.

In my personal experience, incandescent bulbs are just as prone to corrosion as LEDS. In fact, I've noticed a worse problem with traditional bulbs than I have with my LEDs. Anyone living in California knows that December usually has lots of rain and marks the start of the rainy season. We get corrosion problems on some things.

From what I have seen, LEDs are usually better sealed against moisture getting into the socket because generally you don't have to replace the bulbs. They rarely if ever burn out. I have some LEDs that are completely sealed from when they first started becoming popular in the 2005 Christmas season and I am still using them this year! The tightly "molded" sockets are best. Look to see if the place where the wire enters the socket is also molded. If it just has a hole there where the wire enters, then you will have trouble. Further, problems can come from what you can't see inside the socket if they use dissimilar metals as Steven says.

Yup, Ponddude, I also got a few "cheap" Home Depot lights last year "Holiday Accents brand". They were not worth the $6 I paid. By the end of the season, 25% of them were dead due to socket corrosion. I got some from Travis this year that look really good and I put them through a severe moisture test (another thread exist on that test). We'll see how that goes after the season is over.
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What is really nice about Travis's lights...as well as other companies...is that the bulbs are sealed inside the socket. That makes it very difficult for water to enter the socket.

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Thanks for the insight guys. I have never used LEDs before in outside lighting ,was not real sure what they would do.

Richard,
I actually went to Home Depot yesterday, and with out ever shopping for LED's the Holiday Accents brand, looked cheap and cost more than Walmart, Kmart, Lows And Riteaid.


Thanks again Guys.

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