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1/2 wave vs. full wave


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I am new to site but have looked everywhere here and found no answer to my question, so I am hoping someone can help me. I use mostly a static display of LED lights. Most were purchased on sale after the holidays and I,m sure they are half wave. I picked up a GE lights and sounds of chrstmas and intend on animating some trees. In looking for lights I noted a comment about full wave rectified lights vs. half wave rectified. It seemed to infer that half wave will not function properly when animated. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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Half wave, Full wave. Neither are the magic bullet nor is one or the other the purple pill either. What the problem is is that a LED string that uses a filter cap. to smooth the ripple. It appears that these caps do not like having the power turned on and off to it. Even though the D.C. voltage off of the rectifier is constantly going up and down. This does not seem to effect the cap. It is the voltage being applied to the rectifier via the controller. And one other thing is that the LEDs do not fade well or will not SNAP off if there is a cap in the string.

Listen to the talk of others sharing which strings that work, and which that dont work or play well with a controller.. I would say that you are safe if you order from the vendors that are in the vendor list.

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Brand? Oh boy. From suppliers here? Well. Many are from our favorite box store two seasons ago. Lots are Phillips from Target last year and a bunch I just got at several Kroger's this year. Many from the Kroger's are GE but many are also an off brand. I could pull the stair down to the attic and get the brand though if I need to. I guess what I am hearing is that I should hook them up to the controller and see if they work?

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Brand? Oh boy. From suppliers here? Well. Many are from our favorite box store two seasons ago. Lots are Phillips from Target last year and a bunch I just got at several Kroger's this year. Many from the Kroger's are GE but many are also an off brand. I could pull the stair down to the attic and get the brand though if I need to. I guess what I am hearing is that I should hook them up to the controller and see if they work?

I would try one string just to see what happens but you don't want to plug in 16 strings until you know they won't be destroyed.

Try fading it up and down repeatedly in the HW Utility and then let it run a chase sequence for a while. If it's still working normally after an hour or so it's probably safe to assume it's OK.

Be sure to note the starting/ending intensity of the string. If it's noticeably dimmer at the end of the test then it probably shouldn't have been dimmed. :P

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I dont think you will have a problem my father-in-law has that lights and sounds animation and he uses both half and fullwave. The reason why i dont think you will have a problem is from watching his show it basically just turns the lights on and off without any fading. He has the GE brand which is about 2 years old since then they may have made changes and started fading you would have to try yours.

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I dont think you will have a problem my father-in-law has that lights and sounds animation and he uses both half and fullwave. The reason why i dont think you will have a problem is from watching his show it basically just turns the lights on and off without any fading. He has the GE brand which is about 2 years old since then they may have made changes and started fading you would have to try yours.

Going off of what was said here, In the past I used some LED's with a Mr. Christmas and like was mentioned in the quote, the Mr. Christmas Lights and Sounds unit basically just turns the power to each of the sockets on and off with no fading or shimmering so I think you should be fine this year using the Mr. Christmas... Then you will know for next year if you plan to go LOR if you need to stock up on LED's after Christmas.... So no need to go digging I wouldn't think:)

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Brand? Oh boy. From suppliers here? Well. Many are from our favorite box store two seasons ago. Lots are Phillips from Target last year and a bunch I just got at several Kroger's this year. Many from the Kroger's are GE but many are also an off brand. I could pull the stair down to the attic and get the brand though if I need to. I guess what I am hearing is that I should hook them up to the controller and see if they work?

Last year i purchased the Phillips from target. Have no idea if there 1/2 or full BUT they dim nicely. Up and down from 0-100%.

I've also purchased from CDI (vendor here) and those dim as well with one exception, I did get some red m5 nets and those will not dim at all. I had make a few snubs, strictly for them

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I am new to site but have looked everywhere here and found no answer to my question, so I am hoping someone can help me. I use mostly a static display of LED lights. Most were purchased on sale after the holidays and I,m sure they are half wave. I picked up a GE lights and sounds of chrstmas and intend on animating some trees. In looking for lights I noted a comment about full wave rectified lights vs. half wave rectified. It seemed to infer that half wave will not function properly when animated. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I have used a Mr. Christmas (4 module wireless system) for the last two years. It was used with both LED and Incandescent lighting. LED strings were from these retail chains: Walgreen's, Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, Lowes, Home-Depot and K-Mart. I had no issue with any of these from any of these stores using a Mr. Christmas Unit.

These same light strings are now being used with LOR, however, I don't recall where the string(s) were bought or brand off hand now, but a couple of strings when I pulled the LED's out had small capacitors inside the LED holder, directly underneath the LED, they were not soldered in, just placed under the LED in its holder that plugged into the string socket.

The strings did not dim well with LOR initially, so I took all the LED's out and looked to see where these capacitors were located, seems they were in every 5 or 6th LED holder, I removed every single LED to look for a capacitor, and then removed them from these LEDs on the string, now the string fades, dims, does everything and I allowed these strings to operated for several days, 24/hours non-stop, I have yet to see any damage to the string or the LED's.

Strange thing was I wasn't even aware of these capacitors in the string until I had to replace an LED that wasn't making a good connection in its holder, when I took it out, the capacitor fell out of the holder, I thought it was placed there in error, so I didn't put it back in after fixing the errant LED's leads. Then I just decided to start pulling ALL LED's from the string, just out of curiosity to see if I found any more capacitors just pushed down into any other holders, which I did, and promptly removed. When you pull a LED that has these capacitors, you will see two leads on each side (total 4 leads) two thick leads which are the LED's and two thin leads which are the capacitors. So each side will have one thick and one thin lead. (sometimes, though the thin lead is hidden or covered by the LED's leads).

The string is still in operation and has been now for a couple of months, no adverse affects by removing these capacitors from the holders, the only thing these capacitors did was to prevent the string from being dimmed or fading down or up properly, dimming seemed to give a slight fluctuation effect on all the LEDs' but fade down would not fade to complete off, but leave a slight glow to the LED's in the string, BUT only to those that had the capacitor in the socket and those immediately adjacent to them(one or two on either side), most of the other LED's that did not have the capacitor inside their socket did fade all the way off, again, only with the exception of the ones right next to the one with the capacitor installed.

Don't know why the capacitors were even there. They don't appear to be needed at all.

So you may want to look and see if any of your strings have these added capacitors inside the LED holders that plug into the sockets on the strings.

Every string I found them in, and removed them, again, has had no adverse effects, all light normally, no damage to the LED or to the strings from their removal. So I really can't see why they were added in the first place, except just NOT to make the string able to be dimmed or faded.

And these may be 1/2 to full wave as strings as well.

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I do believe it only turns the lights off and on. (No fading or shimmering) I hope to do some more serious animation in the future but I am not sure how far the neibors will allow me to go. I am the first house in a one street subdivision. Anyone who turns in goes past my house then has to go two blocks down, to the end of the street and turns in the culdesac at the end then comes back by. All of the residence stop and say how much they enjoy the lights but I have heard that there are mumblings about the traffic. I'll pull the controler down over the weekend and start trying some out and post my results. Y'all have been very helpful.

:santasmileyitty:

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Looks like I worried needlessly. First, the GE Lights & Sounds of Christmas does not dim or shimmer. It only turns off and on. Secondly I pluged in nearly every manufacturer and style of LED I had in the attic and they all functioned fine. Ran the lights, I plan to use on it, for a couple of hours with no noticible deterioration.

I did discover were I saw the supplier that had me concerned. Holiday-Light-Express in thier ad states "Compared to other LED Lights, Our FWR LED Lights: *Can be used in light shows *Are dimable"

I did go to How things Work (Ain't the Internet great?) and learned more about half wave and full wave rectification of AC. My guess is that the capacitors that Clay speaks off are an attempt to level or use the bottom half of the cycle on the alternating current, since this is not used by half wave LED lights.

Anyway looks like I'm all set. How many days till Christmas?:giggle:

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ILOVEKAY,

I spoke of the filter cap back in post #3. The filter cap has nothing to do with using the lower half or negative half of the wave form. But what it does is it lowers the peaks and fills in the valleys or when the wave form is heading for the zero volts. to give a more constant voltage, also known as the RMS (Root mean square) which is 70.7 % of peak voltage. This is the power that an AC voltage will do if converted to D.C.

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ILOVEKAY,

I spoke of the filter cap back in post #3. The filter cap has nothing to do with using the lower half or negative half of the wave form. But what it does is it lowers the peaks and fills in the valleys or when the wave form is heading for the zero volts. to give a more constant voltage, also known as the RMS (Root mean square) which is 70.7 % of peak voltage. This is the power that an AC voltage will do if converted to D.C.

To follow up on what Max Paul is saying, here's a great thread that explains caps (I call them snubbers) with O-scopes pictures...
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