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Old 01-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #1
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Dim Christmas lights


I replaced all of my outside Christmas lights with LED lights. They've worked fine for three weeks until the other night. I have several strands of the icicle lights hooked together along the roofline. On the strand farthest from the plug, part of that strand is still lit but is now dimmer than all of the rest of the lights. It looks a little funny and I'm wondering what could be causing that? Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Old 01-01-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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Loose connection, loose bulb, no way to tell from here.

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Old 01-02-2012, 12:24 AM   #3
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What is the voltage 120?
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:04 AM   #4
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Okay, it is now Jan. 2nd 2012. For the OP, are you planning on having those lights up for Valentine's, Easter, the fourth, etc? Take them down, or shut them down until next year and then remove and toss if used more than three years, five at the max.

As for the original question, if the manufacturer wanted them to be dimmable, they would not have put shunts into the lights. Problem with lower the voltage, in turn you drop the amps, and the shunts create more resistance on the circuit, which in turns causes more demand to try to draw more voltage from the circuit to keep the shunts in the bulbs from not opening, which can cause overheating so in theory it will not work.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:48 AM   #5
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Could be a loose/dirty connection !
It could also be a faulty LED,
If one of the leds is faulty it would limit the currant
in the series string.
To find the faulty one,
turn them on, and put a digital volt meter
across each led in the string,
If you find one with a higher voltage drop across it
when you compare it to the others,
Then thats the faulty one !
REPLACE IT !
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucksone View Post
I replaced all of my outside Christmas lights with LED lights. They've worked fine for three weeks until the other night. I have several strands of the icicle lights hooked together along the roofline. On the strand farthest from the plug, part of that strand is still lit but is now dimmer than all of the rest of the lights. It looks a little funny and I'm wondering what could be causing that? Thanks in advance for any advice.
I know that some folks leave the higher mounted lights up all year but turn them on only during the holiday season. But it looks to me as if that string of lights has gone bad. Since they are LED's you'll need a little electronics know how as well as electrical know how to debug and repair them. Most folks just throw it out and buy a new one.

I don't know why a portion of a string would go dim; I'm more used to the incandescent lights where if you don't replace a single burned out bulb promptly the entire string (or every other light or every third light) could go dark.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Okay, it is now Jan. 2nd 2012. For the OP, are you planning on having those lights up for Valentine's, Easter, the fourth, etc? Take them down, or shut them down until next year and then remove and toss if used more than three years, five at the max.

As for the original question, if the manufacturer wanted them to be dimmable, they would not have put shunts into the lights. Problem with lower the voltage, in turn you drop the amps, and the shunts create more resistance on the circuit, which in turns causes more demand to try to draw more voltage from the circuit to keep the shunts in the bulbs from not opening, which can cause overheating so in theory it will not work.
Actually, the Christmas season isn't over until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. That's where the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, comes from. It's the twelve days after Christmas Day that the song is about. We leave our lights up and on until Christmas is over.

Thanks to all for the comments. I won't get to messing with it today as there is too much football to watch on tv! Also it's snowing and I don't feel like climbing the ladder.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Good to know that Christmas officially ends on the 6th, it turns out I was not planing on taking my stuff down till then anyway! I like to make it last a bit longer.

As for the issue, could be a lot of things, will probably be easier to troubleshoot once you take them down in summer. Probably a faulty LED as mentioned. Given they are diodes, could be it's doing something funky.

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