Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 1 decade ago

How can I make my christmas light strand shorter without blowing a fuse or somthing?

Do I need to add a resistor to the strand or what? I have windows that are about sixty lights around and I would like to modify strands to perfectly surround the window.

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  • Gary H
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Whoa! Bad (and dangerous) answer detector activated!!!!

    IF, and only IF, you have lights that are 120V bulbs (assuming your where 120 is the standard, change to 220 if you're UK, etc), which have all bulbs wired in parallel, you may trim lights off the end, while they are unplugged of course, if you are careful to insulate the cut ends from each other and everything else - repeat, the ends you cut should not connect to each other or anything else.

    But if you have the more common minilights, which are wired in series, better forget it. Much better is to do what I do. Starting with the end light of the string, trim it around you window, once the last light is placed, just cover the unwanted bulbs with electrician's vinyl tape. If you're fussy, it comes in all colors, including green. Home Depot, etc.

    Yes, you could do it substituting resistors for bulbs, but the problem with that is the heat. Even 1 watt off a resistor is pretty hot. You'd have to determine the voltage of the individual bulbs, which would be 120V (USA) divided by the number of bulbs in each series. Note that multi-strand lights divide, for example, if you have 4-line chasing strands (4 supply wires plus 1 return wire) of 160 bulbs total, each series is 40 bulbs. 120 divided by that is 3 volts per bulb. Then you need to know the current through the bulb to determine the value and the wattage of the resistor to replace it with. Like I said, tape is easier.

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    How can I make my christmas light strand shorter without blowing a fuse or somthing?

    Do I need to add a resistor to the strand or what? I have windows that are about sixty lights around and I would like to modify strands to perfectly surround the window.

    Source(s): christmas light strand shorter blowing fuse somthing: https://shortly.im/tZGw7
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends on what kind of lights you have.

    If they're the little plug-in kind of mini lights then they are generally in strands of 50 lights. Cutting a strand of mini lights shorter than 50 is a bad idea because they are wired in series and it'll increase the current in the strand; seriously decreasing bulb life. Splicing 10 more lights onto a 50-light strand would work, but the bulbs will be noticeably less bright.

    Yes, a resistor will work but it'll get hot.

    And besides - minilights are cheap. Why dink around with customizing a string of lights that costs you less than $10?

    My suggested answer is to lay hands on strings of lights that use screw-in bulbs. The bulbs are all in parallel so the string can be be any length (up to the current limit of the wire). Make up strings that are just the right length for your windows and off you go. You can reuse them for years and years, just change bulbs when they burn out.

  • 1 decade ago

    Most strands of christmas lights are comprised of two circuits, so if you want to get rid of one you can but it will be half as long. You must be carefull when splicing christmas lights, though, becuase you run the risk of catching your house on fire.

    If you decide to chop it where it needs to be chopped, simply re-connect the wires where you chopped, and then cover it with electrical tape.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Just cut the end of the strand and put a cap on the wires. I have done the same thing.

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