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string lights

Discussion in 'Christmas Light Shopping Bargains' started by uppitt, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. uppitt

    uppitt Apprentice Elf

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    I've not bought any lights for the past 2 years, took a break from having a display last year as I didn't have time as well as went away for Christmas. Apart from BigW, Bunnings, anywhere else for suggestions for string lights? I've bought lights from DealsDirect before, but I don't think they sell Christmas lights anymore.. I know there's high voltage crap on ebay which I would never touch. Or should I be looking to order stuff from someone direct in China? I'm only into a static display, don't have the time to get involved in anything more complex. Maybe I should be starting to look at using LED strip lights instead ? I have a number of trees that I usually wrap strings lights around, or rope lights, but over time some of those are beginning to fail. Open to suggestions.

    I need to go read up on some discussions in the other rooms to see what other people do..

    Edit: thought something happened to dealsdirect. dealsdirect.com.au along with oo.com.au and topbuys.com.au were sold to Mysale group last year. They are effectively all the same sites selling the same stuff, and the new sites are completely changed. How to destroy some online retailers -> https://www.mysalegroup.com/resources/data/news/20151001%20MYSL%20Acquisition%20of%20Online%20Retail%20Business.pdf
     
  2. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    If you only want to stay static and not "hack" and control these strings, then Kmart, Big W, Target will all sell variations of white or coloured strings. (FYI Kmart stock will be in stores over the next 2 weeks :) )
    If you don't want heaps of 240v plugs running around your yard then you could always opt for solar lights, but these tend to not have the brightest output or longest life, especially if left out all year long.
    You can get into strip lighting and there are MANY options, but this starts getting into the DIY aspect meaning you'd potentially need power supplies & controllers. I'm not sure sure how many "plug & play" options there are, as many of us have moved into fully controlled pixels.
    That's not to say you can't have an impressive display only using static, as many homes still do.
    Good Luck!
     
  3. OP
    OP
    uppitt

    uppitt Apprentice Elf

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    thanks for the reply. I will still check out all the big name stores. I've found BigW to be better especially when you can daisy chain 2-3 strings together. I do have a rather large collection of plug packs now, stored in those outdoor waterproof boxes is various places in the front yard (have a large sloping front yard so lights are spread out over a huge area). Solar lights though are rubbish. Had friends buy them and the rechargeable batteries are complete garbage most of the time and lucky to last 1 season. So I've steered clear of them. But I am open to getting into strip lighting and do some hopefully simple controlling. Would definitely make supplying power easier I would think. And by simple controlling, meaning I would not do any programming to music etc. Like I said, I think I need to do a bit of catch up reading here, I've been out of touch with playing with my lights for 2 years. By the sounds of what I've read, seems most people order mostly directly from select manufacturers in China.
     
  4. Homer2014

    Homer2014 Apprentice Elf

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    G'day


    If you start controlling & hacking your store bought light sets don't bin any solar sets that you come across as they can also be hacked. I've got 1000 LED & 600 led solar strings running at 31vdc via a Dmx board and look great.
     
  5. OP
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    uppitt

    uppitt Apprentice Elf

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    I know the solar light strings themselves are not the problem, it's the battery pack they come with which are rubbish. So yes, you can re-purpose them.

    Trying to look for some bargains now. I'm really looking for some long run strings, 500 & 1000 led strings. I fill the tree on the nature strip with fairy lights, it's one of the biggest trees in the street:
     

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  6. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    so what is the recommended way to hack 3V DC or 4.5V DC lights to run from a DC Controller (running 5V, 12V or 24V)
     
  7. Homer2014

    Homer2014 Apprentice Elf

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    G'day , if your talking about the solar light sets then the 1000 set didn't need any hacking apart from cutting off the solar controller. The 600 set I put a 4r7 1w resistor on it but I don't think it needs it. Both are running at 31vdc on a DMX2-18.


    The solar sets are the same watt led as my other store bought light sets so I treat them the same when hacking them. I use 1mA per led X total number of LEDs in the light set (probably not the recommended way) then halve that number to get each channel amount. Then use resistors to get close to that amount calculated. I've only used 31vdc so can't comment on 5v & 12v.
     
  8. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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  9. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Check out the wiki page I wrote some years back, particularly examples 2 and 3.

    They outline how to run multiple voltage power supplies and light sets from a DC controller.

    You *can* run the DC-DC converter module off a channel, but you'll have to stick with on-off control (no dimming).
     
  10. Homer2014

    Homer2014 Apprentice Elf

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    G'day , are the pumpkins light sets the newer 2 wire or old 3 wires ?. Could probably run them at 24v with resistors or diodes depending on what type they are and how many LEDs.
     
  11. OzAz

    OzAz Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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    35 LEDs, 2 wires from battery pack.


    thanks for tips David and Homer
     

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