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View Full Version : Cutting Down Candy Cane Light Sets



tconley
09-01-2008, 03:15 AM
I have these candy cane light sets i got they are basically configured with 3 candy canes connected together supplied by one plug. I got them and the local Walgreens last year. I would like to cut them down so that i can have more control over the lights. You can see them in my video from my show last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU6Y40sJfe0

How can i cut them down so i can control each cane individually?

jpb
09-01-2008, 03:38 AM
If it is only two wires between each candy cane, each candy cane will be running at full voltage (whatever that may be, mains or from plugpack) and they should be able to run separately.
Cut the wires as they leave each candy cane to go to the next one and extend these wires back to your SSRs and connect whatever voltage was running them originally.

Jon

toodle_pipsky
09-01-2008, 05:15 AM
I've been cutting up lights for the best part of a week now to do a similar sort of thing and it took me a bit to understand how, why and why not to cut lights in certain ways, so I hope this helps! If I get this totally wrong, someone correct me! Basically it comes down to if the lights are running in parallel or series to each other. Series is one after the other and the total volts of each of the individual bulbs will make up the output volts of the wall plug. If it's parallel they're running side by side and each individual bulb will be the same volts as what the wall plug outputs.

Strings of lights are usually a whole bunch of series running in parallel to each other. I've just been cutting strings in their respective series so essentially splitting up the parallel circuit. However when you start splitting a series of lights, that's when you run into problems. When you remove a light from a series you cause more voltage to be supplied to the bulbs because you have taken away 1 part of the equation. Eg You have 10 2.4V lights in series connected to 24V wall plug. 10 times 2.4 equals 24. Take away 1 light so that’s 9 times 2.4 equals 21.6. So this means you have 24V running though a series of lights that can only handle 21.6V. And that means lights go pop and blow light a fuse. You have to compensate with resistors or a different wall plug and it's the reason why when most ask the question "can I remove a light?" the common answer is "no".

So after all that - first you need to identify if it's series or parallel. As suggested by jpb, see how many wires run in between the canes, post that and it'll be easier to identify what your next step should be.

A little disclaimer - if you're unsure about anything, don't do it or ask the pros here. If you have a spare set of these lights work on them, don't go cutting up a set if you're unsure and that's all candy canes you have. And before you cut, unplug the lights!

XmasInGalt
09-01-2008, 09:58 AM
Another way to check is to remove one blub from one of the candy canes. If they all go out, then they are in series and cannot be cut down as each candy cane represents 1/3 of the 120 voltage drop. If the other candy canes stay on, then they are in parallel and each candy uses 100% of the source voltage. Toodle makes a good point "if you're unsure about anything, don't do it." I have candy canes that look similar to yours but each one has it's own plug. I think they have about 35 lights in each cane. You may be able to use a 35 light string if you double it up. I think the light strings are about 6' and the candy canes about 3'. Good Luck.

TERBObob
09-01-2008, 10:05 AM
LOL ... if those are the same as I have ... you can NOT simply cut them up and rewire each individually .
You could do as I did , and remove the lights that are in there , and replace with strands of 20 count minis

kostyun
09-01-2008, 12:51 PM
Depending on how big they are - I took all of the lights out of my candy canes (and tossed them in the trash) and rewired them with rope light.

tconley
09-01-2008, 06:53 PM
that is an idea

Jeff Millard
09-01-2008, 09:28 PM
Take a look at my thread from last year... It might help a little. (http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=648)

tconley
09-06-2008, 07:08 PM
thanks i haven't been able to get to my candy canes yet i burried them at the back of the storage for my Christmas display. Then of corse i got sick so i nursing a cold now. Thanks for the information though. I will check asap