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RedWingsDet
07-28-2008, 01:13 AM
Do any of you guys make your own strand, instead of buying several and connecting them together. Such as making your own 100ft or 500ft strand for those big trees/etc.?

NightScenes
07-28-2008, 07:40 AM
You can buy C-7 and C-9 in 1000' spools and then cut to length. You do have limits however as to how many amps you can put on each strand.

David Gretzmier
07-28-2008, 04:55 PM
We use c-9 cord in bulk 1000ft spools. spt1, the thinner insulation, is limited to 7 amps, 120 volts or around 120 7 watt bulbs. spt2, the thicker insulation, can be run to 10 amps, or closer to 150 7 watt bulbs. 10 watt bulbs changes things, and it will melt, so be careful.

Using c-7's or c-9's on trees eats power like crazy. I've put 500 ( about 30 amps) on a tree before and it still did not look full. be sure you have several 20 amp breakers at your disposal for each tree. Another option would be 8mm mini-light strands. they have 3 times the brightness of regular mini's, and run around an amp for each 100 light strand. on 6 inch spacing, 16 of those strands gives you 1600 bulbs, and that can make a tree look pretty good and bright , and using only one 20 amp breaker.

sprinklerchris
07-28-2008, 05:32 PM
Another option is c7/c9 LED lamps into a standard C7/C9 lampholder. Cuts your amp draw dramatically.

David Gretzmier
07-29-2008, 10:33 PM
true, but i've yet to find a clear LED c-9 that is an eye pleasing color. most are blueish or fluorescent white. I ordered a new warm white pack of bulbs this week, has 5 leds withing the bulb, we'll see.

Chris J
07-30-2008, 07:38 AM
Last Christmas we decorated our Christmas tree with the mini led strands. While it was a unique look, I couldn't bare to look at it. It was a funky bluish color, and the lights were like looking at individual lazers (very bright)

NightScenes
07-30-2008, 07:56 AM
We did a job last year in all LED lights. 800' of roofline, another 500' of fence rail, a few trees, lighted wreaths and lighted garland. The whole thing on one outlet with a total amp draw of less than 6 amps!!

Chris J
07-30-2008, 08:39 AM
We did a job last year in all LED lights. 800' of roofline, another 500' of fence rail, a few trees, lighted wreaths and lighted garland. The whole thing on one outlet with a total amp draw of less than 6 amps!!

Very cool stuff.

David Gretzmier
07-30-2008, 02:11 PM
6 amps ! led's do tend to live up to the first end of the promise, 1/10th the power. 1300 feet of c-9s at 7 watt bulbs would be around 9,000 watts, or roughly 70 amps. my problem with them is the previously mentioned color, and then whether they live up to the 2nd promise- lifetime. I've heard of 100,000 hours, but I think a more achievable outdoor number might be 10 times the life or 30,000 hours. There is some patent issue with using copper in LED connections, so they use tin and it rusts. so the lifetime of all current LED's is linked to water resistance/corrosion issues rather than LED life. we'll see.

I have an LED mini light set that I want to post a picture of with the bulbs bundled next to an incandecant mini-light. it is truly identical in color, and colorwise, I can't tell the difference. the spread is also nearly perfect as the led is lifted from the husk and looks more like a filament than a thrower. the end of the bulb itself is concave, so no laser effect as Chris mentioned above. the only kicker is cost. Although I won't post my cost on these, a 50 light set nearly exceeds what I charge currently for sold, installed, taken down, stored, and corded/timered. although the cost will come down, It is still a niche product if it costs 10 times what you are currently paying for a workable incandescant product. I can't ssem to spell incandecant, incandesant?, hmm.... at least LED is easier to spell...

Chris J
07-30-2008, 02:31 PM
Incandescent

David Gretzmier
07-31-2008, 10:55 AM
thanks Chris !