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What to do with dodgy Chinese LED lights

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by Cameron, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. Cameron

    Cameron New Elf

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    As per my welcome post I'm here to get some help and advice on finding a useful solution for a bunch of cheap Chinese Christmas lights that I confiscated from my neighbour to avoid him burning down both our houses. I replaced the three sets of 180 LED strings with a set of 600 from Bunnings and he is happy enough.
    Now to find a use for the cheap Chinese ones as the LED’s seem fine although the wiring is not waterproof and the resistors might need to be removed.[/size] [/size]I’m more than happy to invest time and some money in this as a project so before anyone tells me to throw them away, that won’t be happening, even if I have to desolder all the LED’s I’ll find a use for them.[/size]
    [/size]The lights use the PSU/controller as per this post so have been cut off and discarded.
    [/size]http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,8057.0.html
    [/size]So basically I have 3 sets of 3 strings of 60 white LEDs wired in series with a couple of low watt resistors to match the voltage of the PSU. I’ve ruled out replacing the PSU as-is because the voltage is simply too high to use safely so was thinking something along the line of converting them into a standard set of string LED running at around 24v. I figure I could run approx 9 LED’s comfortably at 24v using a regulated PSU and if I string 3 or more sets together with a common 24v rail and GND I could get sufficient length of cable to maybe make them into a free standing Christmas tree something like this. http://www.innovaled.pe/admin/images/img_db/arbol%20navidad%20regatas_6314.jpg but much smaller. Then I could use an Arduino with a multi channel relay board to switch the strings on and off to a programmable pattern.
    The other idea is wire them all up to a common 24v rail and GND and make some sort of LED netting, although the overall current draw of this solution might be a tad high.
    [/size]Thoughts?[/size] [/size]Any other ideas?[/size]
     
  2. multicast

    multicast Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Re: What to do with dodgy Chinese LED lights - You put them on dodgy houses?

    ?
     
  3. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

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    See http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1887.0.html
    Your strings might be wired differently but it can't hurt to have a look at this.

    I don't think you'll have to worry too much about current draw of one option versus another because it will be low. Careful about the current you have flowing through each LED though. As they're cheap, a value around 10mA would be a good target.
     
  4. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    If these are planned for 2016 then leave the strings out in the sun for a month or so before you contemplate further. If they are anything like the 1st lot of Chinese leds I bought then it's entirely possibly the wire and insulation will go through a wonderful process of bio decomposition. I modded up 100s of metres of 240V super dangerous 240V baby killer leds down to 24V and then 12 months later had o throw them all out as the wire had all but disappeared after only a month on the roof and the insulation was no longer insulation.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Cameron

    Cameron New Elf

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    Already aware that they were not water proof so wasn't planning on having them outside in the weather. The PDF is exactly what I planned on doing plus lengthening the strings by adding sections in parallel with extra wire.


    Thanks
     
  6. EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

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    You say that you don't want to throw them out, but you should really think about whether it is worth it or not.
    You may have to spend more than the cost of a new string on getting them safe, and it will take hours.


    Also, when you do you have have other problems, such as the one above.
     

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