Rope Light Degredation

David_AVD

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Has anyone else noticed their rope lights and rope light motifs that are more than a couple of years old going sticky or slimy?

I first saw this with some bulk 24V LED rope light I bought from the Gold Coast guy a number of years ago. It was stored in a plastic tub, and when I went to use it a year or so later it was very sticky. It had never been directly exposed to the sun.

Now the same thing has happened to a few of my LED rope light motifs. They as a little discoloured, but still look fine at night. Every time I touch them though I have to wash my hands as they have a slimy feel to them now.
 

scamper

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yes tends to happen a lot with some plastics. I noticed it on some of my BigW strings this year too.
Funnily enough, it would appear the ones that were outside for a season are a little hard as the UV has affected them, the ones that were inside are gooey :eek:
 

JPB

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May 13, 2010
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Yep, i have had that to varying degrees over the years, and then all the dust sticks to them. And getting sunburnt and turning yellow.
The only rope lights i have now is on two wire frames and they will probably get changed over to pixels for 2017

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
 

jeromej

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Beaconsfield Victoria
Yep!


I have found the same with some stars which l purchased 3 years ago.
The plastic seems to be degrading even though they were rated for outside.
I have tried to wipe them clean with no luck.
 

scamper

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I just did a quick google and it would appear it is the rubber surface coating breaking down. Apparently people use isopropyl alcohol to clean it.
 

uppitt

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Dec 21, 2010
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I have a number of different types of light rope bought over the years. Some suffer this problem, seen alot on some old motifs I have, but then I have other light rope that never has this issue, so it comes down to the type of plastic used in the rope. I've found ones that have gone completely brown over time (multi colour as an example), still work fine with all colours coming through at night. Just during daylight you'd think it wouldn't work.


For the ones where it's got like a waxy film over the rope, from memory I've either used warm soapy water and a rag and just the rag and rubbed the waxy film off and it's been fine.


Can the slimy coating you have, be scratched or rubbed off easily?
 

David_AVD

Bite my shiny metal ass!
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I'm pretty sure I've cleaned some of the rope light before, but it became sticky again after not too long.
 

Missymoo

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Nov 17, 2019
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This thread came up when I asked google about oily residue on last years outdoor Christmas rope lights. They were packed in a cardboard archive box during off season.
just in case anyone else needs to know, scamper suggested isopropyl alcohol. I poured some on a cloth and gave the tube a fairly quick wipe over. The oily residue seems to have disappeared, although I imagine it will build up again before next season.
 

videoman3857

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Apr 21, 2016
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Glass House Mountains
Yes I have had that problem too. Sticky tacky and the tube goes a horrible brownish colour and its hard to see the LEDs
The ropes get very hard to unwind
I have dumped most of mine this year and replaced them with single colour LED strings from Ray.
Got another 20 rope lights that will be dumped or given away at the end of this season .
 
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