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View Full Version : Holiday Lighting Cutting mini lights???


NightLightingFX
11-19-2007, 02:43 PM
I know you aren't supposed to cut mini light strings but I did, and now need some advise. I was doing a favor for a friend putting up some holiday mini lights. I had extra lights so I cut them. I was thinking along what I do with C9 and C7 strings. (I learned my lesson this is why I should ONLY use my lights) The string of lights I cut has 3 wires. Once I cut the string all the lights on that string don't work. I am assuming all I need to do is complete the circuit by connecting one of the 3 wires to another. I would assume it is two ground wires and one hot. Is that right? The lights are already strung up and I don't want to take down and redo. I hope it isn't too dangerous to fix this problem. Thanks
~Ned
Night Lighting FX

Mike M
11-19-2007, 04:57 PM
LOL I did the same thing last year on my house. Worse then a rubics cube.

wurkn with amish
11-19-2007, 08:18 PM
If you cut minis find where the three wires go to 2 thats where you cut. but I havent been able use the second half.

NightLightingFX
11-19-2007, 09:42 PM
What is the best way to figure out which 2 wires to connect? I have a 50% chance of getting it right. If I connet the wrong wires togather what will happen? I guess the worst thing is that I blow a fuse. I guess I will do a continuity test to figure out which wire is hot. On plug-in sockets is the larger prong ground? or is the larger prong hot?
~Ned

David Gretzmier
11-19-2007, 11:59 PM
I just gotta think, mini-lights are 2 bucks a box of 100 at wally world, and a buck a box on sale at hobby lobby. is it worth it? dave g

NightLightingFX
11-20-2007, 12:11 AM
I already have the lights strung up and I had to use a stapple gun because the lights were to small to fit into the clips. Again since I didn't use my products it turned into a CLUSTER MUCK! I figured out how to wire it. Just cut off at the female end right before one light and re-wire. It is simple however, it took me a while to figure it out. Thanks for the input
~Ned

Nate@TLCS
11-24-2007, 09:05 PM
I already have the lights strung up and I had to use a stapple gun because the lights were to small to fit into the clips. Again since I didn't use my products it turned into a CLUSTER MUCK! I figured out how to wire it. Just cut off at the female end right before one light and re-wire. It is simple however, it took me a while to figure it out. Thanks for the input
~Ned

I feel dumb asking this but wich wires go where after you cut them? back to the plug(female)... cut the female away from the extra lights and rewire accordingly? I know I am just not catching somthing here.

TPnTX
11-26-2007, 09:17 AM
[On plug-in sockets is the larger prong ground? or is the larger prong hot? ]

Neither is ground! One is common but both are hot in terms of...hot!

Lol you been looking at DC current way too long :)

johnh
11-26-2007, 11:29 AM
Ned, two of the wires just carry the hot and common through to the plug at the other end. The other wire is your bulb wire connecting all the bulbs. Here's the problem, beacuse the lights are wired in series, they are designed to have a specific number of lamps (resistors) on the string, if that number changes, you could have all sorts of other problems. I would replace that string, as difficult as that may be. Having said that, if you want to identify the bulb wire, I would use a tone tester, remove the second last bulb, and connect your tone emitter, then test cut ends of the wires. Only one should be "dead", then remove the last bulb and tone test again, the one that had tone before, and now doesn't should be your bulb wire. Hope this helps.

JH

NightLightingFX
11-26-2007, 09:03 PM
Johnh,
That makes sense. I experimented at home and got it to work(but there was the proper amount of lights). When I went to the work site it didn't work I thought I figured it out. Instead more frustation. I just replaced the lights with something that worked. Why do those mini lights work alot of time when one light is burned out. And then sometimes when you replace a broken or burn out light on a string that doesn't work it works again. Is there a rhym or reason to the mini lights?
~Ned

Chris J
11-26-2007, 09:27 PM
Ah, the joy of Christmas lights. I go through this every year at my own home. Spend all day hanging a bunch of lights for my kids to see and be happy. One light burns out, and the whole string goes out. The whole damn thing is Chinese, and it is very frustrating. NOW YOU KNOW WHY I DON'T OFFER HOLIDAY LIGHTS AS A BUSINESSS OPPORTUNITY! This is not an opportunity for anything but headache.

johnh
11-27-2007, 08:36 AM
Johnh,
That makes sense. I experimented at home and got it to work(but there was the proper amount of lights). When I went to the work site it didn't work I thought I figured it out. Instead more frustation. I just replaced the lights with something that worked. Why do those mini lights work alot of time when one light is burned out. And then sometimes when you replace a broken or burn out light on a string that doesn't work it works again. Is there a rhym or reason to the mini lights?
~Ned

Hi Ned,
There is a very good reason. The mini lights are wired in series. That's how they get away with the smaller bulb on 120V, they use the bulbs as resistors to lower the voltage. In a normal series circuit, when one bulb burns out, the whole string would go. In the "always lit" variety, each bulb has a shunt, so that if/when the filament burns out, the shunt will carry the voltage through to the next lamp. When the whole string goes out in a "always lit" strand, it is usually just a shunt failure, and replacing the offending bulb will get the string lit again.

JH

Mike M
11-27-2007, 08:48 AM
Has anyone cracked the code on icicle lights? Last year I trimmed mine to fit my porch roof, the last icicle and a half are off for good, but I'm afraid to just clip/splice any more wires. It's kind of like in those 70's movies: cut the wrong wire and the whole thing blows to hell.

johnh
11-27-2007, 10:37 AM
Has anyone cracked the code on icicle lights? Last year I trimmed mine to fit my porch roof, the last icicle and a half are off for good, but I'm afraid to just clip/splice any more wires. It's kind of like in those 70's movies: cut the wrong wire and the whole thing blows to hell.

Hey Mike,
Most icicle lights operate in the same fashion, although you sometimes get into strands with 150 bulbs or more, in which case there are usually 3 or more parallel circuits. Each circuit of 50 bulbs should be able to run on it's own.

JH