is there any way to connect christmas lights to a desk lamp socket??

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by tardis_surfer, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    i want to be able to make a wine bottle lamp with Christmas lights connected any way to a light socket to use a low watt mercury cfl.i was thinking a 120V / 60Hz / 300mA / 20 W bulb or lower.
    the Christmas lights are rated 120v / .4 amps / 48 watts with each bulb rated for 2.5v and a 5 amp 125v fuse. this way i can plug one plug into an outlet and be able to switch on/ off the lamp light. i was thinking of leaving the Christmas lights in series but attaching the lamp socket in parallel but idk.
    any thoughts?
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Are you talking about a way to make a lamp socket usable as an outlet?
     
  3. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    It's hard to follow: Do you want the decorative string of Xmas lights on ALL the time, with a cfl bulb on a switch, all plugged in with a single cord? What all is inside the bottle (and thus a heat problem)? Do you have any parts already, like a switch?
     
  4. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    yeah i want the Christmas lights inside the bottle and instead of the female plug at the end, i was going to connect the wires of a desk lamp/ regular light bulb socket to the end( so i could just use the built in lamp switch to turn the top bulb on and off) and keep the Christmas lights on all the time or put an in line switch on the power cord.
     
  5. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    just to give you an idea this is what i did. http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/515/ppr1.png/ .
    except i didnt have a fuse in in it. im wondering if i wire the lamp on a parallel to the series xmas lights before some sort of in line fuse for the xmas lights if it will blow or what.
     
  6. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    It looks like you have two strings of Christmas lights connected together using their built-in plug/socket and chopped off the second socket to install a switched edison base lamp socket. Is this correct? Also, what kind of Christmas lights, miniature glass bulbs, LEDs or what? Did you start with one of those wine bottle lamp kits or just get parts separately?
     
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  7. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    ive done all this from scratch, and its only one string of xmas lights. as far as i can tell they're wired in such a way that when i chopped off the female connector to attach the edison base lamp socket ,all the lights stayed on; and if i pulled out a bulb from the top half, the bottom half of the string still worked. the lights are miniature glass bulbs and the bottle didn't really heat up when i left it on for a few hours, nor did i feel heat from the open end, but i was thinking of using led if it becomes too much of a concern
     
  8. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    also i forgot to mention that these xmas lights in particular state that you can connect up to 8 strings ( 1600 lights) together for a total of 384 watts, 3.2 amps and im guessing the voltage follows suit. thats why i thought it was weird that the lamp fried cause ( and im not sure if i did that math right) but the volt and watt rating shouldnt have been exceeded but the amps might have. i didnt have a fuse ( i know i should have) but id like to get away from using the built in xmas light ( 5 amp 125 v fuse) and maybe put an inline fuse in for the lamp.
     
  9. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    I would have done it a little differently for safety and convenience. I would have started with the edison base lamp socket and it's normal lamp cord intact, then I would take the string of Christmas lights and mark the polarity on the wire near the plug, cut the plug off, strip the wires and add them to the edison base screw terminals with the power cord wires in the correct polarity.

    I wouldn't worry about the fuse in the plug since it's mainly there in case you try to exceed the 8 string limit or use the Christmas lights as an extension cord. You're pretty safe with low wattage lights in a closed, non-flammable container. If they fry, nothing else gets damaged. Put in your inline fuse holder if you like but use a lower value fuse consistent with the small load of a single string of lights.

    Don't expect those Christmas lights to last too long. They're only designed for intermittent seasonal use.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
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  10. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    thanks so much for the help. if you don't mind i just have two more questions. one , if i were to use leds do you think they would have a longer shelf life? and two wouldn't this configuration make the Christmas lights turn on and off when the main lamp does? or would they remain always on.
    Im imagining something like this

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/803/ppr2.png/

    but maybe an inline switch too on the external lamp cord that would be the original edison socket cord.
    does this seem about right?
     
  11. tardis_surfer

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 16, 2012
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    also would this configuration prevent the same problem i experienced with the last one. The on i built before worked but after plugging it into a different houses outlet it tripped the breaker and heated the xmas lights/ lamp cord they were connected to to the point of them fusing the plastic wire casing together. i have no clue why it would have worked at one hosue then suddenly stop working at another and to such a drastic degree. my only thought is when i switched the edison socket on , the bulb demanded too much amperes from the xmas wire. again thanks so much for all the help.
     
  12. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    LEDs would have a much longer service life and use less power. Your diagram looks about right. Since the Christmas lights are connected to the lamp power in parallel and not controlled by the lamp switch, they'll be on whenever the lamp is plugged in, unless you add another switch as you've suggested. The switch in the lamp base only switches power to the edison socket.

    Everything is wired in parallel so it gets the 120VAC it was designed for. I can only guess that the failure of the previous light string was some low resistance portion of a string attached to power. Not all of these lights have the same voltage drop per lamp and when you start cutting them up you can get surprised unless you're very careful.
     
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