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View Full Version : Guide to cutting LED mini light strings to fit your wireframes.



lostbucket
12-18-2017, 03:45 PM
Hello all after hand stringing 12,000 LED lights to my wireframes for the past 3 months I figured someone might find this usefull.

The guide below is only for Wal-Marts Holiday Time LED lights sold IN-STORES (these are actually Phillips brand fully rectified LED lights stuffed into a wal-mart box.)

Box of 100 - $5.49
Box of 50 - $3.89

Warm White 100 - You can cut these into 3 separate strings. 2 strands of 33 and 1 strand of 34
Warm White 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25

Red 100 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 50 each
Red 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25 each.

Blue 100 - You can cut these into 3 separate strings 2 strands of 33 and 1 strand of 34
Blue 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25

Green 100 - You can cut these into 3 separate strings 2 strands of 33 and 1 strand of 34
Green 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25

When you take the lights out of the box they will be bunched in 3 ways

-big ball cord wrapped around
-2 separate bunches bread tie'd
-3 separate bunches bread tie'd

Don't let this distract you.... Count down the lights and when you hit the number from above you will notice it goes from 3 wires to 2 wires you cut the 2 wires in half to make your separate strings. I used SPDT-1 Green Wire and gave my whole wireframe 1 Plugin for steady burn and 1 for each animated channel. I cut over 50 strings of lights in half or into 3's to get what I needed. I used heat shrink tubing at one cut end to seal it off and added power to the other end. Everything works great.

These walmart strands of lights are fully rectified - AKA no flicker. each strand will have 1 bulb then what looks light a fat empty socket and that's the rectifier. These repeates after every 3 wire to 2 wire transition. I took the lightbulbs out of a whole set to see how they where not going over voltage... and they have resistors built into their LED's so do not worry about it getting to much current.

lostbucket
12-18-2017, 03:49 PM
Also you should know that their 100 light Sets of Warm White do not Match the 50 light Sets of Warm White. The 100's are a true CLEAR light look while the 50's are YELLOW as in pee in snow yellow. Stay away from the set of 50's in Warm White just buy the 100's and make 2 sets of 50!

Airwolf16
12-18-2017, 09:28 PM
thanks!

lostbucket
12-18-2017, 09:54 PM
No prob.

Ruppro
12-19-2017, 01:10 AM
These walmart strands of lights are fully rectified - AKA no flicker. each strand will have 1 bulb then what looks light a fat empty socket and that's the rectifier. These repeates after every 3 wire to 2 wire transition. I took the lightbulbs out of a whole set to see how they where not going over voltage... and they have resistors built into their LED's so do not worry about it getting to much current.

I have several of the Walmart Blue 100 count strings, they do separate into 3rds like you say and can be cut apart fine, But mine have only the lights on the string, no "blob" rectifiers on the string at all. When I pulled them out this year, I thought they were one of my incan strings, till I plugged them in.

lostbucket
12-19-2017, 09:09 AM
Matt if they are LED from walmart they most likely will be able to cut to 33-34-33 strands or 67-33. Count down the first 33 and you will notice there are 3 wires going from one light bulb to the next... then there will be just 2 wires going from one lightbulb to the next right around those numbers... that's where you can cut. If they don't have the blob it just means they aren't rectified but you can still cut them.

BillW
12-19-2017, 09:23 AM
How did you secure the lights to the wire frames?

Dennis Cherry
12-19-2017, 01:40 PM
Could you post a picture of the string you are cutting please.

lostbucket
12-20-2017, 01:02 PM
Dennis I just tried getting a server error when trying to upload pics, will try again later.

lostbucket
12-20-2017, 01:09 PM
Outside of box
https://i.imgur.com/CwLoD5S.jpg
Lights In A Bunch
https://i.imgur.com/MN83FXZ.jpg
Cut at 2 wire - add power here - light then rectifier
https://i.imgur.com/vOnOtIz.jpg
Lights back to 3 wires per light
https://i.imgur.com/Kx1rLJ1.jpg
Here they are on an external site.

lostbucket
12-20-2017, 01:19 PM
Bill this is how I do my wireframes....

Wide Shot. Each light had the previous bit of wire looped under it and a 4" zip tie is applied and pulled, tensioned and cut with a Panduit zip tie puller. It cuts it clean once done. They last 20 years this way.
https://i.imgur.com/PxAaG88.jpg

Close up to show detail.... any questions let me know.

https://i.imgur.com/AQ07WlS.jpg

BillW
12-22-2017, 04:28 PM
I apologize for taking so long to respond, got tied-up trying to fix technical errors with my show. Thanks for the pics, I have an eight foot Bethlehem star that need reworked for next year and your idea helps. Thanks again and Merry Christmas and happy year.

Bill

Scoobysnacks
12-25-2017, 09:16 PM
This was very useful information. As someone who also uses the Holiday Time strings from Walmart, I've come to a few additional conclusions to add to your report:

Regarding the

100-ct green wire, green
100-ct green wire, blue
100-ct green wire, red
100-ct green wire, warm white
50 ct. green wire, cool white
50 ct. white wire, cool white

are all made from the same manufacturer/factory. Look at the white tag closest to the male A/C plug, and if you see "E48723" these are the same as those manufactured for Target under the Phillips brand. So these are of a higher quality, yes.

The 50 ct. colors strings seem to be made from all different factories. I've got manufacturer codes of

E190242 - 50 ct. multi-color (2015)

E119568 - 50 ct. red (2015)
E206653 - 50 ct. red (2016)

E129701 - 50 ct. blue (2015)
E209071 - 50 ct. warm white (2016)

The point of this is that many of the bulbs are not interchangeable (sometimes even from one year to the next in the same string type/color) because they all use different socket styles, and even voltage/wattage requirements at the bulb level. In typical Chinese fashion, there is no standardization. So you have to be mindful about this if you are wanting to re-bulb these strings.



One thing I'd like ask you however, is- are your results based off of strings purchased this year with a date code of 06/17 on the same white tag? I have a number of them from 2015 as well as 2016, and the 100 ct strings are all cuttable on the same boundaries, but they do NOT have any rectifier blobs, if that is indeed what they are. You mentioned your 100 ct. strings had 2 of them, so that may be new for the 2017 manufactured strings?

If these are indeed 2017 models, have you tested the dimming ability for them on a Renard style controller? I'd like to know your results if so.





Hello all after hand stringing 12,000 LED lights to my wireframes for the past 3 months I figured someone might find this usefull.

The guide below is only for Wal-Marts Holiday Time LED lights sold IN-STORES (these are actually Phillips brand fully rectified LED lights stuffed into a wal-mart box.)

Box of 100 - $5.49
Box of 50 - $3.89

Warm White 100 - You can cut these into 3 separate strings. 2 strands of 33 and 1 strand of 34
Warm White 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25

Red 100 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 50 each
Red 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25 each.

Blue 100 - You can cut these into 3 separate strings 2 strands of 33 and 1 strand of 34
Blue 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25

Green 100 - You can cut these into 3 separate strings 2 strands of 33 and 1 strand of 34
Green 50 - You can cut these into 2 separate strings of 25

When you take the lights out of the box they will be bunched in 3 ways

-big ball cord wrapped around
-2 separate bunches bread tie'd
-3 separate bunches bread tie'd

Don't let this distract you.... Count down the lights and when you hit the number from above you will notice it goes from 3 wires to 2 wires you cut the 2 wires in half to make your separate strings. I used SPDT-1 Green Wire and gave my whole wireframe 1 Plugin for steady burn and 1 for each animated channel. I cut over 50 strings of lights in half or into 3's to get what I needed. I used heat shrink tubing at one cut end to seal it off and added power to the other end. Everything works great.

These walmart strands of lights are fully rectified - AKA no flicker. each strand will have 1 bulb then what looks light a fat empty socket and that's the rectifier. These repeates after every 3 wire to 2 wire transition. I took the lightbulbs out of a whole set to see how they where not going over voltage... and they have resistors built into their LED's so do not worry about it getting to much current.

Ruppro
12-25-2017, 10:55 PM
Matt if they are LED from walmart they most likely will be able to cut to 33-34-33 strands or 67-33. Count down the first 33 and you will notice there are 3 wires going from one light bulb to the next... then there will be just 2 wires going from one lightbulb to the next right around those numbers... that's where you can cut. If they don't have the blob it just means they aren't rectified but you can still cut them.

Oh I know how to cut them, and I rectify them myself. Though they did not have the tell tail flicker of a halfwave string.