Joining multiple xmas lights for cabinet lighting.

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Pigsbladders, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. Pigsbladders

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 29, 2014
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    Hi, I've built a huge cabinet which would really benefit from each shelf having lighting.

    Due to the time of year and xmas tree lights being readily and cheaply available, I was hoping that they might make a good solution.

    I'm not thinking LED lights just cheap bog standard mains powered xmas lights. I need to light 4 shelves and would like each set to be controlled by a simple 2 position push switch.

    Firstly would I need to do anything additionally circuitry wise apart from wire the switch in? And of course what type of switch is recommended.

    Secondly I would prefer not to use an extension lead with 4 sets of lights plugged in. I'd consider using some joining blocks, connect them all up and run a single cable off to the power supply. But to me this doesn't seem safe and would prefer some advice on the safest way to do this.

    Any help greatly appreciated

    Cheers

    Pigs
     
  2. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,137
    3,054
    LEDs use less power and make less heat. They should also last a lot longer and I think this is a very important advantage in your application. But, some folks are annoyed by the flicker of some LED strings.

    There used to be power strips with switches for each outlet. The one I have was meant for a computer station, so it has "printer", "monitor" and such labels already on it. Maybe you can still find a similar one.
     
  3. Pigsbladders

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 29, 2014
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  4. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,801
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    Are you handy with a soldering iron? If you cut up that array into strips you will have to make connections to small areas of the strips.
     
  5. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Check the specs, not shipped in 6 m length but in 2 pieces totaling 6 m with push-in connectors & maybe a power supply.
     
  6. garybuska

    New Member

    Aug 12, 2014
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    One issue you could have is with lights like the ones you talking about can be wired in series which means removing any light(s) will make each bulb have to use more power and the result could cause them to blow. Of course you can put a resistor to offset the loss of the number of bulbs you removed but that could be tricky. Now if they are wired in parallel you will not have this problem.
    Most Christmas lights are wired in series except for the bigger ones like C9 bulbs in this case they are wired in parallel. What keeps them lit when one burns out is a shunt wire in each bulb. You have to remember that electricity is lazy is does not like to work and always takes the easiest path to ground. so the filament in each bulb has less resistance than the shunt so as long as the filament stays in tact no problem. It is these shunts that can cause a string of lights not to work. But someone came up with a device that can usually repair these shunts and get a set of lights to work. It is real slick the way they work and trust me they do work. I have one and keep it handy.
     
  7. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    I think the ones that we are talking about are LED's. On filament lights , the self shorting works sometimes, when it does not work, I get out my RS amplifier and listen for the bad one. ' have had to change about 20 bulbs out of 247 which operate 20 hours/ wk.since 2004 on recrified 24V ac in strings of about 10.
     
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