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Pesky Christmas lights

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], Nov 28, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    I have a question about two Christmas star lights that go on top the
    Christmas tree. Each star has 11 lights and take 12 volt bulbs. The
    instructions for the gold star specifically state that you shouldn't
    replace the flasher bulb with a steady burning bulb because it could
    cause overheating.

    The silver star doesn't have instructions (it belonged to a relative).
    I'm trying to figure out if this star can use both the flasher and
    steady burning bulbs or just the flasher. The relative had a steady
    burning bulb in it and it did overheat (just a bit) causing some of the
    reflectors around the lights to melt a little. However, I'm not sure if
    this is because this star only takes a flasher bulb or because the
    wrong voltage of lights were used. It uses 12 volt lights but I
    strongly suspect that the relative had been using 2.5 volt and 3.5 volt
    bulbs in it.

    Is there a way to figure out if the star can use a steady burning bulb?
    The only info I have on it are the two little stickers on it that state
    what amps are used and have a bunch of numbers on it that don't look
    like anything important. I really have no intentions of using this
    star, but I think the relative kind of wants to use it (since I'm not
    using it).

    BTW, could someone tell me what having a light set with too much
    voltage would do and what one with too little voltage would do? As I
    see it, in a 50 light set you could have as much as 600 volts in it
    (the most you could get in the average light set). You could have as
    little as 25 volts in a 10 light set (the least you could get in the
    average light set). I'm interested in what would happen to the light
    sets if you used either of them (I have no intentions of using them,
    I'm just curious as to what would happen).
  2. 11 x 12 V = 132 volts, so that sounds OK for series-connected bulbs. The
    flasher reduces the duty cycle and the heat ... so that suggest that
    something is margninal in this design. As to the melting reflectors, I'd
    suppose they are the weak link.
    With those bulbs, it would have failed in short order.
    Use the flasher bulb or wire in additional series bulbs to drop the heat at
    each one.

    In a series circuit with identical loads, all you have to do is divide the
    source voltage by the number of loads to get the individual load voltage.
    As an example, 120 V with 10 identical loads in series means that each will
    get 12 volts.

    Happy lighting.
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