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I've kept this secret long enough...

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Ok- go to brookstone.com and search for LED mini. The have 70 count led mini lights in warm white and multi for 5.99 per strand plus shipping and tax. I bought 20 strands of the warm white and tightwrapped the trunks of my tree in front of my house. I will be testing these for 12 months until next season, dusk to dawn, 8-13 hours per night. This would represent about 15 years of a Christmas season, or 6 hour burntime for 40 days, so I understand this is pretty much a torture test. also, tightwrapping is the toughest stress on mini's, as the tree will grow and pull at the contacts as the wire tightens.

    I'll try to chime in from time to time on this thread and let you know how these led's hold up. I am guessing some failure in month 6 or 7, but I am hoping they make it all year.

    I have had them up for a few days now, and I gotta tell you - they look like ultra bright mini's from a distance of 10 feet and more. I cannot see the vibration, and this is the first non-rectified ( ac to dc ) AC set I have used that I could not see the 60hz flicker. the color matches the 200 milliamp starbursts from Holiday bright lights that also are in the tree. It is whiter than the yellower 160-180 milliamp starbursts from Brite ideas. The concave lens truly gives a perfect spread from the led inside.

    the sets claim a 5 watt rating and claim you can plug in 40 sets end to end, I did 20 and it was fine. I did not do an amp test, I will do that tomorrow and let you know what it reads. i cannot imagine 120 volts going through 40 sets of these. they are aprox 25 feet long, and 20 sets is already 500 feet long. I may check the voltage up near the top of the tree tomorrow while I am at it.
  2. mathey

    mathey LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 2

    can you confirm the 40 sets connected thing?

    most cheepie LED's only say 3 sets max...and one reviewer said only 3 sets could be connected...

    If it's true, I'm placing an order today!
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    *most* brands have finally started using some common sence this year and stopped posting the "3 string rule" on every set made.

    The whole rule was a sham to begin with anyway, 3 strings means nothing.

    You need to stay under a certian amperage on the first plug. If you can figure that, you know how many you can plug end to end. With LED's you actually have to worry more about line loss over the distance causing the end sets to be dimmer, than you have to worry about overloading the first plug. Rules are made to be broken. :laugh:

    David: Who would think that a odd company like Brookstone would have LED lights that cheap?? Most of what they sell is rather overpriced. Hope they work well, if so, that's a great price on warm white LED's!
  4. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    It;s not the brands that get to set the rules, it's UL. The UL decided this year that LED strands could go for 1.75 amps, or about 40 sets depending on what the sets are. If you are buying lights that say 3 sets end, you are buying older strands.

    The deal at brookstone is alright. They are half wave sets, so when people drive by they will see the shimmer or when they get up close. But for $6, it's a pretty solid deal. Plus they are the nicer holiday creations sets. Looks like they are blowing off the rest of last years lights..
  5. 4.3mudder

    4.3mudder LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,227

    I was putting up the C9 version LED's, they were mabe by Phillips, it said 87 strands max, maybe it is about brand name too. 25 feet, 25 bulbs on a strand/
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    That cant be end to end, maybe on one circuit but that many would have to be split.
  7. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    87 is right. you have to remember that the C9 strands from big box only have one LED in them, not the 5 that the nice retro bubs have. So amps wise, 87 would work.
    But we all know that the wire on those store bought sets are lighter gage ad the electricity wont make it!
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I will say that I can't see the shimmer or flicker in these, even though I know they are AC or non-rectified, or as hotrod says, half-wave. My eyes are pretty sensitive to the flicker, I hate it, so when I say I can't see it, that means 98% of folks can't. You really have to be close to the tree to see any flicker, probably 5 feet or closer, and then you have to look.

    I can only confirm 20 sets total on the first plug, not end to end, and they really are not true end to end as it is a tightwrap and i start only near the first plug and sort of branch away. I started with about 6 sets end to end for the trunk, and then split away on the first 4-5 large limbs, and did further splits from there on the smaller branches.

    Think more of a family tree diagram with 20 names than a choo-choo train with 20 cars.
  9. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    I have some LED strands where I have about 20 sets end to end and don't have any issues. Some day for fun, I will have to hook up all 43 and see what happens.....
  10. mathey

    mathey LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Messages: 2

    I pulled the trigger and bought 40 sets...I'll never have all 40 end to end, but it's nice to know that maybe I could.

    Oh, BTW - Brookstone coupons...

    Free Shipping w/ $100 Purchase • w/ Coupon FREESHIP • (excludes flat shipping fees & surcharges - not combinable w/ other offers) exp 12/19/08

    $10 Off w/ $125 Purchase • w/ Coupon AF8NOV • (excludes Tempur-Pedic, Sony, Bose & gift cards) exp 12/15/08

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