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Christmas tree light failures

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by N_Cook, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. N_Cook

    N_Cook Guest

  2. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    When the festivities are over, our 30 year old set of 40 small lights
    gets carefully wound onto a copy of the Christmas edition of the Radio
    Times from around 1980. They are then put away carefully.

    The following Christmas, before unwinding them, I always plug them in
    first to test them. And guess what? They NEVER work until I check the
    tightness of all 40 of them - and it IS always number 40 which is the
    slack one. Only then do I unwind them, and put them up. Finally, I spend
    a few minutes nostalgically looking at the old Radio Times, and realise
    that most of the performers are now dead.

    However, this year, I couldn't find them. I've obviously put them away
    too carefully. So I treated myself to a new set. These are high-tech,
    with 8 programmable modes of flashing. Christmas will never be the same.
  3. Graz

    Graz Guest

    And there's no way the new ones will last 30 years.
  4. And there's no way the new ones will last 30 years.

    Oh, they will... if you don't take them out of the box.
  5. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    They will if you use the same maintenance procedure as the council
    road-sweeper who had the same broom as he had when he started the job 30
    years ago!

    Actually, that's not completely true. I've also had to do the occasional
    bit of re-soldering where the flex has broken off from the sockets.

    I've actually got a set of lights (20 largish bulbs) which my parents
    tried to surprise me with around 1950. It's short of a few working
    bulbs, but I think you can still get them. Unfortunately, they are in
    the same place as the set which I have lost.
  6. Charlie

    Charlie Guest

    1) I have found the best way to find something that is missing is to buy a

    2) Then carefully decide where you will store the replacement to be sure you
    can find it later.

    3) You will then put the new stuff right beside the one you couldn't find.

    4) Next year you will either have found all of them thus having more than
    what you want


    You will be unable to find any of them. In that case

    Go to step 1 and repeat.


  7. **Indeed. They will last longer. MUCH longer. Most sane people buy LED
    Christmas lights. These have an almost indefinite life, better colour
    rendition (particularly blue) and consume far less energy. My most recently
    purchased set (unfortunately purchased at the post-Christmas sale, last
    year - I will be checking any future purchases immediately) had the last
    four green ones out. Some genius in China had installed one of the LEDs
    'round the wrong way. A quick fix and the lights will last longer than I
    will. I have absolute confidence that the lights will last many hundreds of
    years. Incandescent Christmas lights are so last century.
  8. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    I'm sure that you are correct. LEDs are less likely to fail, The problem
    is that their introduction seems to have coincided with a different
    'fashion' in the colours of the lights. Instead of having a good variety
    of red, green, blue. orange. purple, white etc, a lot of the new sets of
    lights are all one colour (usually garish blue or white). They have made
    up for the lack of colours by having providing a lot of programmable
    modes for making the lights flash (most of them in a most un-Christmassy

    I have always loved Christmas lights. Although I was barely more than a
    toddler, I can still remember arriving with my mother by bus in the
    centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, and finding lots of Christmas lights
    festooning the trees. It was the first time that they had been allowed
    after WW2.
  9. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    Oops! I meant 'manner'!
  10. Ian Jackson

    Ian Jackson Guest

    My goddamned spoil chalker was ploying oops.
  11. **I guess we're more fortunate down here in Australia. My lights (of the
    budget variety) have the following colours: Blue, green, red and
    orange/amber. There are 8 modes of operation, including a rather nice
    'twinkling' mode. It even has a slow flash, wich my partner finds less
    annoying than the regular falshing. We probably use the always on mode most
    of all. We also have several varieties of white LEDs available, along with
    blue, red and other colours.
    **I STILL reckon LEDs are far and away the best thing in Christmas lights
    ever made.
  12. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    IME most problems have been due to poor connections rather than bulb
    failures. Of the bulbs that do fail, many are crushed due to

    I agree that LEDs are the way to go, but I'd want them hard-wired for
    maximum reliability. Of course that would then stop you from
    customising your own colour arrangements.

    - Franc Zabkar
  13. **ME? I doubt that. I have a soldering iron, a heat gun and a good supply of
    heatshrink. The average punter may be flummoxed though.
  14. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    Sorry, I didn't mean to impugn your ability. I was speaking generally.

    - Franc Zabkar
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