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Old 17th Dec 2023, 8:49 pm   #701
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Probably worth a few quid if you sell them on eBay, but wait until the end of November next year.

You can still buy 20V olive bulbs with an MES base for 12 lamp sets, but they're not cheap.
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Old 18th Dec 2023, 9:07 am   #702
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

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Originally Posted by wireman View Post
In reorganising my mother's attic I have found a set of 12 Pifco Fairy Coach lights that I remember from er.. a long time ago.
Any thoughts on how to revive these?
240V chain, connector is B22! bulbs are 20V 0.1A (impossible to find) and a couple of bulbs are broken.

I wonder if LEDs are available mounted on an E5 screw fitting (I think that is what these use).
AFAIK, that style of Pifco lights were generally in sets of 20 lamps each 12/12.5 volts or in sets of 35 lamps each 7.2/7.5 volts.
20 volt lamps are not readily available in E5.

Options include, adding another eight or ten lamps in series, so as to use standard 12 volt lamps. Some lights of a different style will look fine on a Christmas tree, but dont look right if hung up in a string.

Or fit 12 volt lamps to the existing string of twelve lights, and power from a 120/125 volt transformer.
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Old 18th Dec 2023, 3:22 pm   #703
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

There are E5 LED retrofits available online, seemingly only in 'white'.
I fear they may look 'wrong' in this particular application, and i'm not sure how wide the emission angle is.

Personally i would convert Wireman's set to 12v lamps. The 120v transformer idea would let them run at 83% of rated voltage. That's just about spot on for a compromise between light emission/colour rendering and long life.

Those E5 20v Lilliputs are priced through the roof- what few are available.

Dave
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Old 18th Dec 2023, 7:52 pm   #704
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

I didn't mention it but I also have a 20 set of Lanternlites (no 1274) with bulbs that are 13V 0.1A so I could look at adding a few of those to the Coach lights.

Both boxes say for A.C or D.C supply 200-150V. Would anyone have a D.C. supply in that era (or any era for that matter)?
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Old 18th Dec 2023, 8:58 pm   #705
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Some areas had DC supplies into the 1960's think they were largely phased out by then. But certainly it hung on for many years
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Old 19th Dec 2023, 10:58 am   #706
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Wow, I didn't know there were D.C. supplies that recently (and it should have been 200-250V in my post).
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Old 19th Dec 2023, 12:28 pm   #707
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Yes there were DC supplies around in quite a few places in the 60s, some relatives had 200 VDC as their supply, they were in the Nottingham coalfields and the electricity came from the local colliery generators, it was free, in the same way as many miners got a free allowance of coal.
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Old 8th Jan 2024, 1:16 am   #708
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

Well it's now way past the 12th night and all the decorations are down and packed away, but just before Christmas I thought I'd have a good look in the loft to see if I could find all the old sets of filament lamp sets that I had.

The first set shown below is the usual set that I use these days and although it's fairly old I just don't have any memory of where it originally came from. I've never bought a set myself in my life, so it's either a family 'pass-down' or from a load of decorations, including a tree, that a work colleague gave me when he emigrated years ago.

The next two sets are definitely from my late parents and one of them would have replaced the original 50s set that had large lamps in the shape of a Father Christmas head and other similar likenesses etc. I remember pulling the old large bulb set to pieces as a kid and several of the lamps and some of the bulb holders and wire were around for a while, but now sadly long gone - it's possible that a couple of the lamp holders still exist somewhere in a box of bits.

Of these second two sets I seem to think that the Netabrite 20 lamp set is probably the oldest and came directly after the old 1950s large bulb set, but I'm not sure. When I found it the other day, the actual lamp set was in a bag separate from the box, but as it's an obviously old 20 lamp set I'm assuming that it and the box should go together. The set of lamps is now fitted back in the box, although it was quite a squeeze with the decorative shades, hence me having slight doubts that the two went together.

I did wonder whether the Mazda set was the oldest, as I remember this set being used a lot, but as it's a 40 lamp set I tend to think it's slightly newer - I think they both date from the 1960s. There used to be an original two section tree that dated from the early 50s and it was only the other day that my brother mentioned it and asked if I'd still got it. Unfortunately it was one of the items that I now regret leaving behind when I moved 23 years ago, although it was a truly awful tree with branches made of what looked like bottle brushes that you bent out and then bent back in to put it back in its box and one or two eventually broke off and we crudely wired them back on, but what a talking point it would be to display such a dreadful thing now!

I run them all on reduced voltage via a Variac at around 180-200 volts.
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Old 8th Jan 2024, 10:48 am   #709
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

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There used to be an original two section tree that dated from the early 50s....... a truly awful tree with branches made of what looked like bottle brushes that you bent out and then bent back in to put it back in its box and one or two eventually broke off and we crudely wired them back on, but what a talking point it would be to display such a dreadful thing now!
Worse than this one? I don't think this is nearly so old, it's a three section tree that was in the attic when we arrived five years ago, here adorned with a probably '50s Mazda eight-bulb lighting set (seven of them still work). The metal core and joints are solid and heavy, but I've thought branches could start breaking off, and so I only bend them a little way back before returning it to the attic (there isn't a box). The tinsel was an addition to the tree this year, I've previously given it to the standard lamp as a seasonal adornment but I blew 50p. on a length of white for her: on examination it may be made of the kind of biodegradable carrier bag that disintegrates after a few months, so I'll keep an eye on it so it doesn't make a mess anywhere.

Well, we knew we'd have no visitors, otherwise I might even have invested in a sheet of bright crepe paper to cover the block of wood the tree stands on

Paul
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Old 8th Jan 2024, 11:15 am   #710
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Default Re: Vintage Christmas Tree lights

As the Decs are now all safely back in in the loft time to close this one until December, I am sure it will come around quicker than ever

Cheers

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