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#4441561 - 06/25/17 10:38 PM Late Christmas Lights Present
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4325
Loc: Taiwan


Big dump of them, from scrapped decorations. Looks like a cutting torch was used on these so some of the strips are burned, and they've also been randomly cut, but spot checks with live 12V voltmeter probes into the wee internal contact pad things suggest most of them work, which is quite a lot more than I'm likely to be able to use.

I'm thinking I can use them for car interior light, inspection and test lights, and maybe to supplement (or replace? dunno if they're bright enough) sidelights and indicators. Dunno yet how much current they draw but I assume if I dont use too many (say six) I could just parallel off the existing light circuits.

Any snags that I'm too blinded to see?

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#4441671 - 06/26/17 06:20 AM Re: Late Christmas Lights Present [Re: Ducked]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5203
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Accent lights like that characteristically use little amperage. They're designed to be strung many-in-a-row on one circuit so they're kept small. Also, lights like these are often used in display work where heat buildup is to be avoided.

The trick'll be to get enough bare wire to terminate. What you might find more doable are the common 6 inch long plastic bars which contain 8 or 10 wee lights (still not LEDs). We replaced the 120V aisle lights in movie theatre seating with these small strips. Sorry I don't have a brand name or p/n.

I suggest running it all straight and flat and see what you have that's usable. Do it out in the Sun so they flatten out. Scavenging this kind of equipment is something I've done a bit of with no experience of splicing it into a car's electrical system.

Good luck and PATIENCE to you.

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#4441727 - 06/26/17 07:43 AM Re: Late Christmas Lights Present [Re: Kira]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4325
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: Kira


The trick'll be to get enough bare wire to terminate.


Stabbing with voltmeter probes seemed to work, so I was thinking I might just be able to staple or pin them to strips of wood or plastic and wire (maybe solder) to the staples or pins.

Copper would probably be best but I dunno if I can get copper staples/pins.

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#4441747 - 06/26/17 08:03 AM Re: Late Christmas Lights Present [Re: Ducked]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5203
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
I've poked cheaply wired examples into the draught of a wood fire to soften the insulation so I could peel/cut away a bunch of it. Then I fold whatever conductor back on itself so there's something to work with.

A wood stove's barometric damper offers easy access to draught. Oh yeah, you're not burning too much wood in the tropics this time of year.

I wouldn't bother with piercing the cheap wire because it always seems to vibrate loose or blacken.
Plus you do not want to go anywhere near causing a fire. VASTLY cheaper and SMARTER to buy correct lighting or even do without.
Don't be a dippy-doo (which you're not).

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#4441867 - 06/26/17 11:02 AM Re: Late Christmas Lights Present [Re: Ducked]
gomes512 Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Chicago, IL
Those look like strips of 5050 smd with the weatherproof coating. Used them for interior/cab lighting in our vehicles and they put out great light. But, some component of the waterproof coating eventually migrates into the diodes and contaminants them, making them give out a yellow off color. Over time they'll burn out. Likely why someone ripped them out. I've since switched to strips that have a clear tube of material over its length instead of that poured on weatherproof stuff.

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#4442316 - 06/26/17 08:44 PM Re: Late Christmas Lights Present [Re: Kira]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4325
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: Kira


I wouldn't bother with piercing the cheap wire because it always seems to vibrate loose or blacken.
Plus you do not want to go anywhere near causing a fire. VASTLY cheaper and SMARTER to buy correct lighting or even do without.
Don't be a dippy-doo (which you're not).


I got POTENTIAL though.

If fairly simple improvisation doesn't work I probably won't bother, or I'll keep some for off-car use and/or temporary setups like inspection lights that aren't permanently wired. That should reduce the fire hazard.

Edison's idea is actually working OK so far, so this isn't an actual need.

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