Jump to content
Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
christmaswaters.com

Coloring Mini Lights

Recommended Posts

I just finishing repairs to all my bad strings from last season. I had some red strings that was about 1/3 red and mostly white. I tried coloring these strings and was very happy with the results.

The picture to the left shows 2 bulbs on left untreated. the 2 bulbs on right after coloring.

The 2nd picture shows 1/2 string on left untreated, the right side is colored.

The 3rd picture shows completed string after coloring.

The 4th picture shows lights in ball ready for storage.

The 5th picture shows water test I did after the coloring.

This coloring was done with Bic Grip permanent marker red in color. This came in a set of multable colors. I also colored green and blue lights with these Bic markers. They sure looked a lot better after I was done.

The real question is how well will these hold up in use. I did run water over bulbs after coloring and I tried to rub off with a towel and they held up with no change in color. I was unable to scrath off with my finger nail.

I figure this has to be as good or better then Chinese paint. Only time will tell and I hope to advise after this seasons use.

I did this coloring with the lights on. This dried bulbs quickly and side benefit, it showed up some bad bulbs with defective leads. I found I could color 4 to 5 bulbs per minute and 20/25 min to do 100 light string.

Many might ask why do this when you can buy strings after Christmas for less than a buck. Simple answer I had the strings and I'm cheap.

Water Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been doing the same thing for aver 4 years now with sharpee markers. I found the trick to having the color last was:

Make sure all of the old paint is off of the bulb , else it will just flake off after about 2 - 3 days of use.

Using multiple passes over each light will also increase the fullness of the colors.

I started this practice because of some 10' trees we made with longer strings about 8-9 years ago. That length of light strings is no longer available so I have to repair/replace lights as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

Neat idea but I have to say that you are a very brave man for holding an energized light under running water. Let's hope all of your kitchen receptacles are on GFCI breakers and that your life insurance is paid up.

All that would have been required for you to get a nasty shock is for a small break to be present in the insulation on the wire and you could have been very unpleasantly surprised.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

Try an outdoor test for 3-4 rainstorms and see how the coloring holds up. Also the sun may play havoc with the colors as well. This my save you some disappointment come Christmas season.

I made my tune to sign with sharpee markers and it looked great. However after a week of being out in the weather the red faded by about 1/2 intensity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill, I did this with, I believe, 6 strings of blue icicle lights a couple of years ago. I chucked them into a cordless drill. Though the light had to be pulled first, I used wide tip markers and I got the time down to about 10 seconds per bulb, including load an unload times and then placing the bulb back into its socket. The lights looked fantastic with a very deep blue; better than new.

I found that they faded no better or worse then the originals. Yeah I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill,

Neat idea but I have to say that you are a very brave man for holding an energized light under running water. Let's hope all of your kitchen receptacles are on GFCI breakers and that your life insurance is paid up.

All that would have been required for you to get a nasty shock is for a small break to be present in the insulation on the wire and you could have been very unpleasantly surprised.

Tony

Tony

Thanks for the warning and I don't think I'm brave. First I held bulb at an angle tip down and I only ran water over the glass and none of the socket or wiring. Yes I was on GFI breaker. I certainly do not do this on a daily basis and don't recommend it. I only did it for this post.

Water Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done this with sharpies before as well. The color seems to hold well enough, but like Ernie, I'm not sure it's worth it for 'normal' strings. I only do this now if it's, say, one color of a multi string that looks bad, or just for a couple touch-ups here or there, or if I have 'custom' strings like on my mega-tree, where it would be more work to re-create the strings than to color them...

I've just "scribbled" on them, nothing fancy. It doesn't matter (to me anyway) if I"m all sloppy and get marker all over the bulb base, because it's impossible to tell, even during the day, unless you're up close and studying the string...

-Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used sharpie markers to color the buttons back up on a snowman blowmold. It held up quite well out in the weather. :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rosco makes a product specifically designed for recoloring bulbs called Colorene. I plan to color some icicles later this summer as I could not find them in the colors I needed. I need red, green, blue and gold in addition to clear...

PA7615-D.gif

http://www.studiodepot.com/store/index.cgi?cmd=view_category&parent=1012&id=1089

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How fast does that Colorine stuff dry? That looks pretty convenient, but I could see it getting pretty messy with light strings (vs separate bulbs) if it had a very long dry time...

Only other problem I could see is it would be a bit expensive to get all the colors one might need, although it should last pretty long once you own them (as long as it keeps ok...)

-Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being tighter than paper on a wall, I've also used Sharpies in the past for coloring faded bulbs, especially blue ones. Except for specialty items, I've abandoned that practice. In my experience, the colored ones hold up for maybe one full season, depending on how much direct sunlight the bulbs are exposed to. Considering how much time it takes, and the low cost of replacing minis, to me its just not worth it.

George Simmons

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the total lack of lights in the stores this season, I may have to return to this practice for some parts of the display. I never did finish my project with the colorine product, but I am going to get it out and do some tests. I ordered the stuff, just never got to the project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just looking to do my blues this summer, I didn't know they had a paint for it. I was going to pick up a quart of urethane candy blue from my local auto body supplier and give it a try.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still considering switching my display to all LED lights for next season. However, I like to be prepared.

cans.jpg

Since the stores are completely bare of lights this season and there will be no half price deals to be had, I am looking at ways to maintain lights and make ones I have on hand work where I will be needing them. Next season I plan to replace the standard light strings along the roofline of the house with icicle lights. I have not had any luck finding colored icicle (other than multi) lights around, so I am going to have to make my own. I was trying to avoid changing out bulbs with other strings, but it looks as though I may end up having to do just that.

I found a product made by Rosco (the leading supplier of theatrical lighting supplies) called Colorine. It's a product you can use to dip lights (up to 25 watts) into to change the color. The product itself is great, dries fast, super durable. The problem is I am not finding the colors to be a good match for factory mini light colors.

The examples you see are using 7607 Emerald Green, 7604 Moonlight Blue, 7602 Ruby Red and 7615 Canary Yellow. (The green and blue just won't work. I have ordered a pint of Cardinal Red and will see if that's a closer match to factory red mini light paint) You can match up the Colorine colors with the Rosco color chart here.

The only one that turned out well, is the yellow. It's a near perfect match to factory yellow mini lights, if not a slightly nicer hue. This will work.

gold.jpg

I will show the other colors below. In each case the lights I dipped with the colorine are on the left and the factory mini lights are on the right. As you can see, just not good matches. I am especially disappointed with blue as those are the ones always needing recolored.

red_off.jpgred.jpg

green_off.jpggreen.jpg

blue_off.jpgblue.jpg

All things considered, not a success. Oh well, on to the alternative; switching out hundreds 0f bulbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried 2 or 3 coats of colorine, to build up a thicker layer and possibly a much better result? I need to touch up my greens for next season and am interested in your findings.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried 2 or 3 coats of colorine, to build up a thicker layer and possibly a much better result? I need to touch up my greens for next season and am interested in your findings.

Tim

I will go back and give them a second coat today. It's interesting that with the lights not on, the colors seem to be a good match, but when lit they change. The colors from the colorine are nice colors, the emerald green is just that a really vibrant emerald green whereas factory minis are more of a hunter green. It's a shame because the product is really great.. the gold comes out just perfect. Which is nice because it's always hard to find gold in the stores and I use it all over my display.

So, if nothing else, the Canary Yellow Colorine is a success and will be handy to any of us who need yellow minis and can only find clear! I also have high hopes for the Cardinal Red I have coming. The Ruby Red I have is the one listed on the color chart as the best choice for primary red in a RGB application, which is how I saw the red on minis...

27 Medium Red: Good red primary for use with three-color light primary systems in cyclorama lighting, footlights, and border lights.

I will report back on second coat findings as well as the Cardinal Red when it arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of my old theatre days - we used to take rhinestone earrings and "color" them with permanent markers to change the look. To take the color off, use fingernail polish remover!:santasmileyitty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...