View Full Version : question regarding installing Xmas lights
12-11-2010, 07:40 PM
Hi guys, I'm an irrigation contractor here on this forum and have a couple of questions regarding installing xmas lights at my house, so I thought I would asks the experts! Am I able to cut the plug off the end of the mini lights and splice with the two wires with 18 guage wiring? The dilema is I've got sections of trees/shrubs that I want to group together. Also, I was wondering how many watts each mini is and how many I can have on a 15 amp breaker? Thanks for your help in advance:canadaflag:
12-11-2010, 09:18 PM
you can't cut mini lights out of the circuit, so I would not cut off the plug but it is far easier just to get some cheap 6 foot ext cords at a bucks or so apiece if you need space between bushes that have no lights on them. a trick that pro's use is mini-light black out caps, they are black vinyl caps that cover mini lights between bushes and let you just continue to plug in mini-lights together until you hit 600. this is for incan, not LED. black out caps are available online at most Christmas supply places.
On a circuit, you can go 80% without tripping the breaker, so if you have a 15 amp circuit you can go to 12 amps. incan mini lights come in different amp ratings, but most 100 light sets are around .2-.4 amps. so at the high end, around 6000 mini lights and at the low end 3000. the best way to check is to get a clamp meter, usually cheap ones are 30-40 bucks, and split a cheap 6 foot cord and clamp it around one side of the wire while you test your load under power. on the amp setting, it should tell you how many amps you are pulling. another option is a "kill-a-watt" meter which is the same thing, but all in one piece, just plug it in and it will tell you your watts,voltage, or amps.
LED mini's would allow you to do about 4-8 times as many incan mini's at the same amp load, but they are 4-8 times more expensive.
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