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Thread: First Bad LED String....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Bethlehem, PA
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    Default First Bad LED String....

    So, one of my LED mini strings finally failed. I've used them for 6, 7, 8 years and this is the first one to go. So, how to troubleshoot? Should I just break down and buy a LED Light Keeper. I haven't had the the need to worry about fixing any so don't even know if something better might have come along.
    As always, Thanks for any info!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Lebanon, Illinois, USA
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    Default Re: First Bad LED String....

    AC LEDs? The keeper has earned its place here!
    Live, Laugh, Love.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: First Bad LED String....

    Did you check the fuse?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    San Antonio, TX
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    Default Re: First Bad LED String....

    And after checking the fuse, do a reality check. How much is your time worth while troubleshooting that might be better applied sequencing or building props? Is this a high-end commercial string or a discount store after season special? Is this from a protected location or is the wire and lamp color showing age from the elements? Is it a critical color match so just replacing this string will spoil your overall display? Might it be better to replace the whole vintage batch anyway before the rest start failing?

    Pixels are easy to cut out and extend as they are more expensive per unit (so worth more effort) and usually replaced in groups of one or three. The failure usually happens just ahead or behind the bad pixel so it is easier to find. AC LEDs are often 25 or 50 lamps in a string between the circuit lumps that regulate the current, so in cutting out the bad part one often loses half the string, unless you want to search through all 50 looking for the bad LED or loose connection. That's not only time consuming, it's hard on the fingers.

    Now if you mean DC RGB LED strings, where all LEDs of a single color are controlled together, then those are often in groups of one or three between the controller and the common rail of the power supply. If the whole string fails, look to the power supply connections, controller, or fuses. For individual or small cluster failures, treat that like pixels and cut the string at the designated spot before and after the fault, then test each cut string separately. Rejoin the working parts. If an LED works when connected directly to the controller but not when chained after a previous LED (or group), then the fault is in the wiring on the output side of the last LED in the previous string. Cut the tail of the previous string shorter and try again.
    (yet another Don) in pursuit of the perfect blinky.

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