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Are there any instructions on adapting Christmas lights, I.i., LEDs, for models? Namely how to cut the wires to eliminate lights you don't need and then rewiring them so they work? I've got absolutely no experience with this.
 

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I have pretty much just been using the entire strings when using them for lighting.
Not a hard core lighting guy, but one test would be to cut a string in half, join the two new ends together to complete the circuit and it they seem much brighter then you need to add a resistor. If you get a variable potentiometer you can alter the resistance easily to meet whatever configuration you end up with (I would suggest running the lights slightly lower levels than stock to make them last longer). Extending parts of the string (like up a pylon) is simple, just splice in a section between the two, keeping track of which wire is hot, but if you make mistake they just will not light then swap.

What project are you lighting?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have pretty much just been using the entire strings when using them for lighting.
Not a hard core lighting guy, but one test would be to cut a string in half, join the two new ends together to complete the circuit and it they seem much brighter then you need to add a resistor. If you get a variable potentiometer you can alter the resistance easily to meet whatever configuration you end up with (I would suggest running the lights slightly lower levels than stock to make them last longer). Extending parts of the string (like up a pylon) is simple, just splice in a section between the two, keeping track of which wire is hot, but if you make mistake they just will not light then swap.

What project are you lighting?
Nothing at the moment, but I've always wanted to do simple stuff. For example, I installed fibre optic strands in the Grim Reaper's eye sockets and just want to have a small light as a light source.

Jeff
 

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I sometimes to buy the 10 to 20 led battery powered lights at Hobby Lobby, This time of year you can usually find them in the Christmas clearance anywhere from 60 to 90% off! You can get white or colored lights and as a bonus they come with a battery holder with built in switch. Now is the time to hit the Walmart, K-Mart and Target clearance isle for LED light sets. Last year I scoured two 200 LED sets for $3.00 each, I don't think I will ever need to buy LEDs again!
 

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Just be aware that Christmas Light strings use the cheapest cruddiest LEDs that are available.
The major cost in these Christmas lights is in the manufacturing, so materials need to be as cheap as possible.

You are always better off using LEDs from a decent supplier. Much better reliability and consistency.
 

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Just be aware that Christmas Light strings use the cheapest cruddiest LEDs that are available. The major cost in these Christmas lights is in the manufacturing, so materials need to be as cheap as possible. You are always better off using LEDs from a decent supplier. Much better reliability and consistency.
You're probably right, Alien, but I've gotten by with Christmas lights okay - so far. I used them to light up the shadow box I ended up building around a Moebius Frankenstein. They've worked for the last year and, believe me, I'm no Matthew Lawrence!
 

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