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Old 26th Nov 2012, 10:30 am   #201
pifcolights
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Thanks for that information broadpage most helpful. Filament lights operating on a transformer are getting harder to find on the high street i find but have seen them online.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 1:49 pm   #202
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

LEDs are now becoming more popular, ESPECIALY for transformer operated lights. The transformer is a relatively costly item, and a given number of LEDs will require a cheaper transformer than a similar number of filament lamps.

I suspect that transformer operated filament Christamas lights may soon cease production.
The choice will increasingly be between series wired mains sets and transformer operated LEDs.
The series mains sets have the merit of extreme cheapness, and being brighter than all but the best LEDs.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 6:23 pm   #203
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

What is the verdict on LEDs though compared to the filament ones? Do they really last as long? They maybe more energy efficient but that cancels that out if they don't last as long. Which ones are the best LEDs? I have no idea what to look for when looking for good quality LEDs except a brand name like Premier or Konstsmide.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 7:57 pm   #204
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

In theory, LEDs last indefinitely whereas filament bulbs have a limited life as the metal is slowly depleted.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 8:02 pm   #205
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

I see a greater proportion of LED lights really shoddily made. I suspect they aren't quality because they don't have to be.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 8:40 pm   #206
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

That's what my conclusion so far of leds (LEDs) are. I also think the cable quality is poor on all low voltage lights generally and prefer to buy mains as it's better quality and thicker. I like the fact that you can just replace a bulb with filament knowing that a perfectly good light chain is not got to be binned because of one or two bulbs failing. It is a shame that lights are not made in the UK or EU as I think they would be better quality if they were.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 9:10 pm   #207
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

LED lights ain't all that bad, the problem with them tends to be the wiring where it connects to the LED, moisture likes to rot the metal legs of the LED's, rendering part of the set useless. I use them mainly in the garden as they're cheap to run.

The 1.1W bulbs may sound like a fire risk but are safe to use if used sensibly, they need to be kept in mid-air!

The other alternative is mains operated outdoor/indoor LED light sets, I'm surprised these are allowed on the market owing to the fact they're running on rectified mains.

The mains sets are for the garden, there is nothing wrong with pygmy and GLS bulbs.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 10:26 am   #208
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Blue and green LEDs are often brighter than similar coloured filament lamps, red is indifferent and yellow generally poor.
White is often bright, but is often light blue/daylight and nothing like small white filament lamps. Pink LEDs are not widely available, though they do exist.

Last year I lit a large Christmas tree with LED lights in red, green, blue, and white (daylight) supplemented with filament lamps in white (very warm white), orange, and pink.
That gave a total of seven distinct colours, all of roughly equal brilliance.
I dont believe that such a good effect have been achieved by use of LEDs alone, or with only filament lamps.

With LEDs only, the yellow or orange would be very dim, pink probably not obtainable, and warmwhite very expensive.

With filament lamps only, the blue and green would have been very dim, and cool white/daylight unobtainable.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 10:46 am   #209
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

@Broadpage What brand of LED lights do you generally buy?
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 12:50 pm   #210
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Very cheap ones from ebay. Short strings of 20 or 25 lamps intended to work from 3 AA cells in an attached battery holder.

It is a very simple matter to remove this battery holder and to connect 3 sets in series from an external 12 volt DC supply. I fit a 0.5 amp fuse, permanently soldered in one of wires and covered in heat shrink, this would only blow in case of a failure requiring replacement of the lights, so no provision need be made for fuse replacement.

John Lewis sell similar lights at a slightly higher price, though still reasonable.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 4:08 pm   #211
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadgage View Post
With LEDs only, the yellow or orange would be very dim, pink probably not obtainable, and warmwhite very expensive.
Pink LED's are available, they're usually called lilac.
I got a load of mains operated ones off E-bay many years ago for a mates wedding, the bride fancied the lights more than the groom!
To date, these lights have been a talking point, this colour does not come cheap though, I paid £80 for 5 sets, totalling 50 metres, 500 LED's.
I sold the white ones a year ago as they were too bright and pretty much drowned out the other sets in the garden.
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Old 5th Dec 2012, 11:14 pm   #212
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

@ Hunts smoothing bomb those lights didn't happen to called 'Snowtime' brand? I think I have seen those sort in Poundland and the range. That brand is pretty poor as the foil decorations are of poor quality too!
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 6:37 pm   #213
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowing Bits! View Post
Pink LED's are available, they're usually called lilac.
Yes, I have one, it came from a toy birthday balloon, there was a cheap plastic holder with 2 small button cells, a rudimentary contact switch mechanism... and this pink LED.

The mechanism looks similar to white LED's in that I'm sure there is a phosphor substance present. The encapsulation is white translucent plastic - milky enough to diffuse the light, but not so much that the 'works' are hidden.

A second balloon lit up green. The LED in this looked similar, but on powering-up it is clear that the chip itself is the green light emitter.

I've half-expected to see more of them, but no - just this one!
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 6:58 pm   #214
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

We purchased a pink LED lit tree from ASDA last year, 20 true pink LEDS for £5.
I have also bought some interesting violet ones from Maplins.

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Old 8th Dec 2012, 11:58 am   #215
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Do you think the modern christmas lights are as festive looking without the shades? Looking through shop windows and houses not many people seem to use shaded lights anymore.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 12:08 pm   #216
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Personally, no. I think the shades make the world of difference.

I also prefer a few bright lights in nice warm colours, as opposed to the modern trend of (sometimes literally) hundreds of dull blue-grey specks.

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Old 8th Dec 2012, 12:29 pm   #217
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

On a tree i don't think you need shades but around a room or window it looks bare just looking and not festive. Personally prefer glass shaded lights though i guess its impossible to make shades out of glass if the shade is that tiny. I managed to get some nice classic looking glass shaded lights by Pifco on Ebay second hand of course but they look great!
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 1:36 pm   #218
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Well it's time to get the Christmas box down from the loft again. Seems like only a few months since I put it up there.

Time once again to play with all those lovely BC lamp adaptors, bayonet plugs, two core extension leads with that old flat clear plastic flex and my beloved Clix plugs.

It would not be Christmas without a couple of hours playing with that lot would it?

Well the results are quite good with just the living room to wire up.

The lights on the beam were a gift from Tasman a couple of years back.
The Christmas tree was by courtesy of F.W. Woolworth and Co. way back in 1972.

Television by courtesy of E.K. Cole Southend-on Sea. Model TSC112 [1949]
Looks good to me.

The pictures were taken a few moments ago.

Film: 'Follow the Fleet' Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. RKO Radio Pictures.

All the very best for Christmas and the future.

Regards, John.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 4:08 pm   #219
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

The lights on the beam look good, some tinsel wrapped round the wire (think garland) would look even better.
Personally, I prefer lantern type shades, on second thoughts, any shade is better than looking at bare lightbulbs.
Fibre optic trees look good too, if the motor would stop sounding rough! Ordinary lights work great on knackered fibre optic trees.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 4:47 pm   #220
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

The next generation of fibre-optic Christmas trees will use RGB LEDs to get the colour changing effect, instead of a revolving coloured disc over a halogen lamp.

Also, when I was a kid, Christmas trees used to be decorated with many different colours, sizes and shapes of baubles. Nowadays, they are often decked out in single colour schemes. Which I personally find a bit ugly.
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