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splicing lights


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With going with 7 segment arches I find that I am going to have about 3 inches with no lights. I don't want to spread them out or would it create more issues down the road. Has anyone cut a 20 light or so lights out of an extra mini string and connect them to at 100 count string to make it look full?

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Unfortunately cutting or shortening light strands doesn't work very well. It seems that the resistance to work properly is based on the entire full strand of lights, unlike modifying C-7 or C-9 strands.

I have seen 20ct strands of lights for sale in stores during the Christmas season so I'm sure you could order whatever you need online somewhere.

These guys here can explain better than I can why they can't be cut.

If someone has figured out a way I would like to know too.

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Another option, leave a few inches on either side. I do (and paint the pvc green). Keeps the lights of the lawn. You can also cut some the excess off.

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I was playing with wrapping the arch. right now I don't have zip-cord to splice and run the cord down the pvc so I wrapped it just for fun today. Plus my controllers are coming tomorrow. I left 6 inches on each side it still was full. One question that I have is the other end where you can plug more lights into(female side). What the heck do you do with that just hide it or do people cut them off and do something fancy.

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Honestly, I just leave the ends on the light string. You can zip tie them out of sight but no one ever sees them anyways. Even in the daylight it's hard to see.

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friskybri wrote:

One question that I have is the other end where you can plug more lights into(female side). What the heck do you do with that just hide it or do people cut them off and do something fancy.


I cut them off, and slip a piece of heatshrink over the wires.

I have a lot of people walking by during daylight hours, and just like for things to look neat and tidy, plus one less place for water to get in.
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Jeff Millard wrote:

JBullard wrote:
I cut them off, and slip a piece of heatshrink over the wires.

I have a lot of people walking by during daylight hours, and just like for things to look neat and tidy, plus one less place for water to get in.




Same here John. I went a step further. I needed wire to extend the plugs so they didn't hang in the middle of the arch. So, I cut the plug off the end and heat shrinked the wire to the end socket. Then I unwrpped the wire back to the middle of the string where it connected to the last socket in the first set of 50... It gives you about 12' to 14' of extra wire to tape to the pole before you wrap the lights... Nice and tidy.

Jeff
Actually I cut both ends off. Splice in zip cord to extend the male (use vampires) ends to 3 feet past the end of the pipe, then connect to the forty foot wire harness back to the controllers
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I would definitely agree with nice and tidy, especially when items are placed near areas with public access.

The only spot I could place my arches were near my house, well away from any walk areas. I considered lopping the ends off but underestimated the time it took to build them anyways.

So I just wrapped the ends up tight, filled all voids in the vampire plugs with silicone and finished it off with a zip tie. In fact, each strand has two zip ties so when I need to replace a strand I just unplug, cut the strand off, wrap and plug the new one in. I didn't want to mess with splicing on something that will probably have a short life span anyway, although waterproof quick connects would be really nice but they would end up costing more than the lights:) So I'll keep saving those for the SPT instead.

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I have to disagree that cutting strings does not work to well. I have done it for years as have others and there is no problem.

I guess in order to get seven sections of lights you guys have to do some over lapping on each string. The way I wrap my PVC the most I can get on a ten foot section is six. I wrap my lights like a spring around the PVC so that all lights are facing outward.

Three inches left over is nothing. Besides do not want the lights going into the ground. Give yourself a little room.

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Robin wrote:

I have to disagree that cutting strings does not work to well. I have done it for years as have others and there is no problem.

Do you follow any kind of rules of thumb when cutting strings Robin?

I would assume for instance if you took a 100 light strand (actually 2-50 light circuits) and tried to make a 20 light strand out of it, you would now have 2 1/2 times the voltage applied to those bulbs. (Really bright and wouldn't last long)
-or-
As the OP mentioned, adding 20 lights to one of those 50 light circuits in that 100 light string would take the voltage on each bulb down from 2.4 to 1.7 volts which I would think would make them quite a bit dimmer.
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I think I am understanding this now. Sense a string of lights is 2 sets of 50 light circuits. Then what would happen if I cut off the female plug at the end and added another 1 set of 50 light circuit? That wouldn't lower the voltage correct. 200 light on a 15' arch is to many but 150 would be about right.

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If all you have is 100ct strings then you could very well split it up then splice onto the end of the full string.

As far as I know all 100ct strings go from three wires to two in the middle which makes it easy to find the middle of a 100ct strand. Just cut it in half there where it goes to two and splice onto the end of the first strand after cutting the end off. Polarity doesn't matter with the cheap-o strings, just pick a wire on each end and hook'em up. Be sure to use rubber shrink wrap, not plastic.



Robin,

Are you talking about shortening say, a 50ct down to 25 or 20 or just splicing a 100ct and 50ct together to eliminate the plug-ins?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Robin wrote:

If you try to splice a 100 and make a 20 out of it then the bulbs should pop rather quickly.

I once saw something not to different but not the same. Place I worked at as a Maintenance Electrician, bought some security controllers. The D.S. company that made them wanted to give a visual status if the enable switch was on. They used LEDs with power coming from a 30VDC Power supply through the switch. Then installed 470 ohm resistors for a current limiting resistor. Well any of you who have played with LEDs and TTL logic know that this is the right value of resistance for 5VDC logic.
Well the tops of the LEDs started popping like popcorn about 3 days later, or the day after the factory guys left.

Cheif of Security called me in to figure out what was going on. After I reviewed the problem we called the CEO of said company and I gave him a royal butt chewing, esp after he told me that he had burned the units in for two weeks. Actual value was much higher like 2K ohms at .5W


So, yes even LEDs can POP!

Max
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When I did it I removed the female and male end of two strings and soldered them together (200 count strings). Same as plugging them end-to-end minus the plugs. I also ran spt down the shaft of the pvc.

This made the setup cleaner. Was it worth the work? I'm not sure. The extra plugs will come in handy for other projects as well.

If you're worried about a few inches of the pipe not covered no need to worry. Mother nature will fix that problem with white stuff. :)

I like the green paint. Great idea.

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