1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
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Noob Powered light question

Discussion in '101 Display Basics' started by Shaun85, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. Shaun85

    Shaun85 New Elf

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    I signed up a while ago and did extensive reading however my lights still havent gone past solar powered lol.
    However my wife has jokingly said that i can go and buy powered lights cause they look better lol. I did warn her that i had taken her seriously and intended on going shopping for lights now.


    My intent is to only buy the basic connectable lights from Big W and what not but i was wondering if there was anything in particular i should know in terms of the powering of them and connecting to avoid any issues?


    Any tips or pointing me in the right direction of right topic would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
     
  2. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    I understand that you're getting store-bought lights. Do you want them to be computer controlled or not?
     
  3. keithsw1111

    keithsw1111 Full Time Elf

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    For store bought lights without computer control the biggest challenge is powering them in a weather safe way. That usually involves use of low voltage Christmas light extension cords which you can find but they can disappear fast. Grab EM early or you will have to make your own extensions.
     
  4. Lishfish

    Lishfish Full Time Elf

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    i13 is a pretty good expert of using store brought lights with a computer controlled sequence, it can be a bit of a challenge to work your head around especially if they are multiple voltages.
     
  5. Derf

    Derf New Elf

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  6. heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    cheap as chips sell those for a bit cheaper
     
  7. videoman3857

    videoman3857 Full Time Elf

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    I am a 1 year old noob.
    My lights consist of retail light with their own controller, and computer controlled LED strings and RGB dumb pixels.
    My retail lights are my main feature with a 3 mtr Midi tree using 12 sets of coloured and 12 sets of white sets of lights.
    These 24 controllers are connected to power boards housed in a "Stackable lock lid storage box"
    It houses the power boards comfortably, The lid seals over the body well. I have cut a small nick out of the top for the power lead to fit into the box without causing distortion to the lid.
    I have experienced torrential rain (50mm or there abouts) Opened the lid after the rain and everything was dry as a bone.
    My one warning to you, is that if you purchase the retail chain-store lights and the "Christmas light bug" bites and you want to connect your lights to computerised controllers (like me) you are in for a shock
    Most of the in built controllers on these lights use two wires to illuminate the lights and use electronics to flip flop between the two sets of lights on the string. In layman's terms if you have 600 lights on your string of lights and turn your controller to "on" all 600 would light up. If you took the connector and plugged it into a transformer of the same voltage with out the "in Built controller" only 300 would illuminate - every second one would not turn on.
    The older style lights used 3 wires. One for the positive connection of all the led. The other two wires would connect to the negative of each alternate LED. This was easy to control with a "Standard" computerised controller.
    The new lights need a different type of controller which was specifically designed and built by some members of this community.
     

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