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LED strands and # of strings


jfelix
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I have the C9 LED's from HD, 25 count 2 feet long. It says you cannot put more than 3 end to end. Does anyone out more than that end to end with their LOR units? If so how many do you string together?

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15 strings, that is a lot. Didn;t know you could squeek that many out end to end. I was looking at 5 or 6 at most. I am familiar with the UL rating, but many people manage to stretch it out. I have had very little luck stretching the mini lights past 3, but figured since LED's use so little power I might be able to.

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Um... not to step on toes or anything but the fuse in mini incandescent lights are 3A. And the wire is rated for well over 3A. I have four 10' arches that I wrapped in two colors, multi-color and white for effects. The multi-color strands are end to end and there are 8 total. When I measure the current draw it is ~2.5A... which is under the limit of the 3A fuse in the first plug.

I think the "rule of three" is something the NEC states and I'm not positive why but I think it was just some generic rule. I've read that they may actually revise this rule in 2009 to actually reflect current capacities of conductors but I've only read that on the internet so take it for what it's worth.

I'm not saying you should plug in more than three strands because safety is safety. BUT you should be able to plug in more than 4 or 5 if you decide to and not have the fuse blow(or the wire melt).

-Jeff

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I believe the rule was changed; I have seen different string counts on a variety of strings. For example, I remember reading one box of LED lights that stated "Do Not Connect More than 30 strings." I have a feeling that the printing of boxes and instructions inside the boxes have not caught up with the rule change yet.

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jfelix wrote:

15 strings, that is a lot. Didn;t know you could squeek that many out end to end. I was looking at 5 or 6 at most. I am familiar with the UL rating, but many people manage to stretch it out. I have had very little luck stretching the mini lights past 3, but figured since LED's use so little power I might be able to.

Since we are talking about LED strings... consider this.... a typical string of the type you bought at HD is going to consume about 5 watts of power or less. Even if you put 10 of them together, that is still only 50 watts...(less than 1/2 amp). As long as the fuse in the first plug can handle the amperage, you are ok. I have seen all sorts of fuse sizes in LED strings, so you can't depend on it being any particular rating.
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In this thread on PC

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?p=215596#post215596

Paul from CDI informed the community of the change for the rule of 3.

He states from his supplier.

"The New rule was updated from this March, and will start from 2010.
Since 2009, UL label will be changed and mentioned how many sets can be connected for every different count (lights).
Old rule was 3 end to end, no matter how many counts of light.

New rule is changed to:

3A standard plug ? can run to 210W total.
Polarized plug ? can run to 420W total.

It means: includes incandescent mini lights & LED lights.

0.17A of 50L ? can connect up to 10 sets.
0.34A of 100L ? can connect up to 5 sets.
0.02A of 35L, 50L & 70L (our new LED lights) ? can connect up to 87 sets
0.04A of 100L, 120L & 150L (our new LED lights0 ? can connect up to 43 sets."

Chuck

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Jeffrey wrote:

Um... not to step on toes or anything but the fuse in mini incandescent lights are 3A. And the wire is rated for well over 3A. I have four 10' arches that I wrapped in two colors, multi-color and white for effects. The multi-color strands are end to end and there are 8 total. When I measure the current draw it is ~2.5A... which is under the limit of the 3A fuse in the first plug.

I think the "rule of three" is something the NEC states and I'm not positive why but I think it was just some generic rule. I've read that they may actually revise this rule in 2009 to actually reflect current capacities of conductors but I've only read that on the internet so take it for what it's worth.

I'm not saying you should plug in more than three strands because safety is safety. BUT you should be able to plug in more than 4 or 5 if you decide to and not have the fuse blow(or the wire melt).

-Jeff



Mini incandescent lights are generally a different story then C9 lights. You can usually get safely about 6-8 strands of mini lights end to end. Minis use 20 gauge wire which is only rated to 3 amps. Which is the reason the plug has a 3A fuse. Keep in mind this only relates to end to end, stacking the plugs doesn't hurt anything, but I still wouldn't go buck wild though if you can help it. Replacing with a higher fuse on minis isn't going to help you any since the wire is only rated for 3 amps. So the highest possible fuse is already in there.

C9s use 18 gauge wire which is rated up to 10 amps. Each 25 count of incandescent C9s pull about 1.5 amps a strand. The plugs only come with 5 amp fuses. Which is why you can only get 3 strands of C9s together without popping a fuse. Sometimes you can get away with maybe 4-5 together but you are pushing it and normally anymore then 4 you are going to pop the fuse. But if you up the fuse then you can tie more 3 C9 strands together and get more then 4 or 5 Just don't go over 10 amps in the first strand.

That is the reason why you can not plug more then 4-5 strands together because minis are completely different structure then C9s because of the wire gauge and the fuse. Of course the original poster was referring to LED so the above doesn't matter. So for LED I would Kill-a-watt the strand, find out what fuse is in there, and what gauge wire it is using and go from there.
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I did a little test and connected 5 strings end to end and let them set and they were fine. I just need to go about 5 strings to cover a part of my eves. BTW I did boo boo on the feet, 25 feet long not 2 feet.



I need to look at my minis, as i have had no luck with moe than 3 strings. It would be nice to go t 5 for trees and stuff.

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i started putting up the other day and one section i had to do 5 sets of 100 and another 4 (all incandescent) and theres no problems or overdraw...you can get away with 5 MAYBE 6 incandescents but i heard somewhere last year someone had close to 50 100ct LEDs or some ridiculous number...not sure where but the amps are VERY low for LEDs so the draw is capable of going further than 3 strands...when you see them dimming while plugging them in then find another power source LOL

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jfelix wrote:

No th eminis are not LED, I wish.

Incandescent minis are hit and miss. Sometimes you can get away with more then 3 but not likely. I can't remember off the top of my head if I have ever gotten away with more then 3 or not. I wanna say I have but then again I think I remember blowing fuses for using more then 3. I generally tried to follow the 3 strand rule anyways. Minis are pretty much maxed anyways because of the wire it uses and the fuse, so not much you can do with those to get more then three. The wire is only rated to 3 amps and they generally come with a 3 amp fuse.
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