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Old 11-26-2007, 12:51 PM   #1
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


I have had a problem hanging christmas lights for a while now and a light finally went off in my head to post my problem here!!!

attached to this post is a pdf file of the layout of my home and where the duplex receptacles are located on the exterior.

BUT i have a receptacle on the back side/front side of the house. i ran an extension cord up to the roof then plugged in 3 sets of christmas lights for each receptacle. then the other outlet i did the same. now the problem i am having is:
1) the 6 sets of lights are not long enough to decorate the whole house.
2) when i have three sets of lights on the receptacle, my fuses inside the light run keep blowing. my breaker is not tripping but the fuse in the lights are.

i see these yards that are all decked out and i cant figure out how they light everything up. im trying to decorate my roof but after 30 seconds, the fuse burns out and i have the house decorated with no power.

once the fuses go out, i first went back to the panel to see if my breaker tripped, and that was not the case.

how the heck can i get this house lit up using the two receptacles i have and to not blow these fuses?????

please help cause i am totally lost on how this can be avoided. i have also searched for higher amp fused light strands but find that they only go as high as 2 amos (i believe).
Attached Files
File Type: pdf house outlets.pdf (8.1 KB, 119 views)

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Old 11-26-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


What you need to do run more extension cords directly from the receptacles and break up the number of sets connected in one string. Daisy-chaining from one set to the next is why the fuse is blowing. It usually says how many sets you can connect in a string on the box. I would limit it to three.

How many sets you have connected in one string?

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Old 11-26-2007, 08:03 PM   #3
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


As junkcollector mentioned, you cannot daisy chain beyond what the light strings recommend. You also cannot plug larger lights (c7, c9) not miniature style strings.

The trick to using a large quantity of lights sucessfully is to break up the strings into smaller segments, and use extention cords that offer multiple connection points. You CAN plug more than 6 sets into a receptacle, but you cannot exceed the wattage that the receptacle, and whatever else happens to be on that same circuit, can handle.

When outlining large houses, windows, fences, etc... sometimes paying for the extra "commercial/heavy duty" strings is worth it. I use commercial duty 200-light strings to outling my house, and they allow for connecting 6 sets, instead of 2 or 3.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:40 AM   #4
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


Have you tried this....... Just some humor. Too much load on your light string fuses either they aren't all the same or you need to break up the strings more.

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Old 11-27-2007, 07:33 AM   #5
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


thanks guys!!! i know what your saying about the extension cords but i was trying to find lights that i could just daisy chain and be done with it. was trying not to spend a crap ton of money on extension cords. ah well, if it needs to be done then extension cords it is then!!!!

thanks everyone
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:34 AM   #6
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An alternative is LED lights. Despite what the UL label says and the packaging, LED lights use so little power, you can plug 80 strings together in one long chain. For standard sets, the UL requires that a rating of "3 sets maximum" be printed on the tag, even though the guage of the wiring and limit of the fuses is much higher.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


lawnguylandsparky,

i have never seen LED christmas lights. I work for a engineering firm as the lighting designer, and i see the cost of LED light fixtures. I couldn't imagine these xmas lights would be cheap. can you recommend any LED xmas lights or atleast send me in a direction that would be worth looking at?

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Old 11-27-2007, 02:24 PM   #8
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by reds_21 View Post
lawnguylandsparky,

i have never seen LED christmas lights. I work for a engineering firm as the lighting designer, and i see the cost of LED light fixtures. I couldn't imagine these xmas lights would be cheap. can you recommend any LED xmas lights or atleast send me in a direction that would be worth looking at?

reds_21

Check out this site : http://www.foreverledchristmaslights.com/shop/home.php

I've seen lots of houses decorated with these LED lights and they look great. Prices at first were a little steep but have come down with popularity.
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Old 11-27-2007, 10:50 PM   #9
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


I also have a question:

I am running approximately 13 strings, all broken up to 3 different outlets. One outlet on the front of my house, one in the back and one in the garage. In the last two days, the lights have started going out along with my fridge in the garage and it is tripping my GFI breaker. First, how do I prevent this from continuing to happen, and second, can someone explain to me why this is happening?

It is very odd, the GFI breaker is tripped and only the lights and the fridge don't work, but everything else in the house does. Even weirder is that none of the lights work, but they are on 3 different breakers. How is that even possible?
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:55 AM   #10
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That GFCI breaker is probably protecting a circuit that includes your garage outlet, and all of your outdoor outlets.

So, even though you're utilizing a number of different outlets, they're all on the same circuit.

It sounds like your home was built around 1975-1985, when GFCIs became a requirement for all outdoor outlets, as well as bathroom outlets and garage outlets. (within 6' of the kitchen sink came after, but they would have to be on the 20amp, kitchen small appliance branch circuits) Typically, a GFCI breaker ran about 100 bucks, so every outlet required to be GFCI protected was put on one single GFCI protected circuit.

Unfortunately, with GFCI breakers it's impossible to know if the trip was due to a ground fault, or overload. Either way the breaker simply trips.
13 strings of traditional C9 lights is 175 watts per string of 25 lights, or 2275 watts.

A 15a circuit is good for 1800 watts, a 20a circuit good for 2400 watts.

If your strings are miniature, this is probably a ground fault problem not an overload. When tripped, also check your bathroom / powder room receptacles. They might be on this circuit as well.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:04 AM   #11
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by reds_21 View Post
lawnguylandsparky,

i have never seen LED christmas lights. I work for a engineering firm as the lighting designer, and i see the cost of LED light fixtures. I couldn't imagine these xmas lights would be cheap. can you recommend any LED xmas lights or atleast send me in a direction that would be worth looking at?

reds_21

there are few LED christmas light on market now and price wise it little higher than the conveteal mini lights but one thing about the LED they are more brighter than the mini lights if you noticed that.

and they use just a FRACTION of power over any other lighting source and they have very long service life that what it stated on the box

the one i got is the light string from Slivyina [ sp ] at one of big box store { WM } and it cost about 10 bucks or so depending on what style you want.

and i did string it around the house and it look pretty bright just about almost the same as C-7 light level but for power useage it is very low i did read with my ampmeter it barely read under 1 1/2 amp the most with few string hooked up [ i used the line splitter with multi on it so i can read low current devices so there is the fact there ] try that with the C-7's they are either 4 or 7 watts and the C-9's useally 7 or 11 watt range so you get the idea there.

Merci, Marc
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #12
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help with christmas lights!!!!!


Let's cut to the "chase". Is the OPs first name "Chevy" by any chance?

Sorry but I couldn't help the pun...National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

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