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Can I cut mini lights to length? How?


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You did not say how many lights were in the string.

With that in mind, you have to consider the voltage of the bulbs and the number of lights that you wish to have.

If you have a 100 count string it is possible to cut it down to 50 bulbs.

If is also possible to cut it down further but you would have to relamp the string with different voltage bulbs.

Use the packages of bulbs to let you know how many bulbs required per # in a string.

Try reposting with the number of bulbs in your current string and what number of bulbs you wish to go to.

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Great question as I was wondering the same thing today, i want to make a star and want to make one thats 4 sides maybe 6 sided if can figure out how. and want to string it with reg mini lights but i know it wont take a 100ct stran and thats all i can seem to find to buy. only need 50 maybe.

be nice make two strans out one set lights.

Could you just cut the wires then what ones would you tie together? all 3? not sure how the wires work for sure.

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100 count strings can be cut at 50. (only two wires where the 2 strings of 50 come together.) 70's can be cut at 35. You can buy 20 and 35 count lights.

Thanks, well guess my wal mart don't sell em, i live in country and thats only store around.

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]40348[/ATTACH]

I solved this issue by just continuing to wrap lights but I would love to still get this question answered because this is not the first time I have had this issue.

The string is 100 lights.

Any help would be great. Hope you like my new Mega tree... :)

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Look people, there are things you must understand. First and foremost is that you are playing with electricity. It can kill via shock or it can kill via burning down your house around your ears. its great that you are asking questions. but what gets me is the "well cant you just". yes you can, but there is some math involved. I intend to walk you through some of this math so you can understand that in order to help you need to supply more info.

First there is Kirchhoff's law. This law says that all loads must equal the total voltage applied. Example you have a 50 ct string and voltage is 120V. so 120 \ 50 = 2.4 V each. and just to help drill this in, lets say you have a 35 lamp set. Again 120V / 35 = 3.43 each. Now lets take a 35 ct string and remove 15 lamp so you only have 20 lamps left in the string. So, what we want to do is install a resistor to appear to be those 15 lamps. Lets first figure out how much voltage we need to drop across the resistor. 15 * 3.43 = 51.45 V and so across those 20 lamps we will have 68.55 Volts. Now I do not have the actual current value so this will be just some thing off of the top of my head to ILLUSTRATE the math involved. We now need to figure out the resistance value that will drop 51.45 volts across it. 51.45 / .34 A (the current) = 151 Ohms (resistance). Now this would be the end if we were working with D.C. But this is A.C. and so far all values have been in RMS (root mean square, or average for us lay people). So with A.C. we have peaks, but rms is .707 of the peak. And I learned a quick lesson when I was making LED strings that one must remember the difference between RMS and Peak. Ok I think a quick fix would be to take the resistance value of 151 and multiply it by 1.414 to equal 213 ohms. One last thing, the more voltage dropped across a resistor and the more current flowing through a resistor. The higher the wattage rating must be. Otherwise the resistor will heat up and cook its self. This could set something on fire if you do not select a high enough wattage. And even if you select the proper wattage resistor, the material around might not be able to take the heat. So lets look at watts law. Ok voltage is 51.45 * .34 (current) = 17.45 Watts. So the minimum size will be 20 watts. This is a considerable amount of heat in a resistor and great care will need to be taken to keep it from heating up and drying out any form of insolation. And add to that this will need to be water proof and shock proof.

So, it is far better to get a short as possible, and if there are left over lamps. Either buy the black out caps. or tape over the spare lamps with duct tape and then wire tie it so it can not unwrap. The resistor trick works better with LEDs due to the lower current draw. Thus the lower wattage (see above statement I made).

This gentlemen is a free class as to why you dont see many people do the resistor fix for a shorter string. Now a real quick lesson why you cant just cut and twist wires together. Ok Kirchoff's law again. same 35 lamp string, and removing 15 lamps. Ok, now you have 20 lamps and still got that 120 volts. 120 / 20 = 6 volts per lamp. How long do you think those 3.43 volt lamps going to last with 6 volts applied across them?

I sure would love to see this post tacked for all to read and thus I and others would not have to repost each time someone gets a wild hair to cut a string of minis.

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I see what your saying. Didn't read whole post to tired. maybe later. but taking lights from a string of lights more current makes sense. never thought about that.

guess duck tape for my extra's sure hate wasiting all those lights

if could buy 50 ct be nicer all the 25 and 50 count i find are INDOOR use only

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if could buy 50 ct be nicer all the 25 and 50 count i find are INDOOR use only

A 100 count string is just two 50 count strings. You can cut them right in the middle. This is what I do.

I stagger cut both wires about 1/2" apart so they can't short. I normal don't do anything more than that but you could put heat-shrink on the end if you want. The second half I either attach a crimp on plug or solder on a plug and some of the wire from an old retired string (heat-shrink over the connections). Cut off the plugs from your old strings, this is a great use for them.

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Look people, there are things you must understand. First and foremost is that you are playing with electricity. It can kill via shock or it can kill via burning down your house around your ears. its great that you are asking questions. but what gets me is the "well cant you just". yes you can, but there is some math involved. I intend to walk you through some of this math so you can understand that in order to help you need to supply more info.

First there is Kirchhoff's law. This law says that all loads must equal the total voltage applied. Example you have a 50 ct string and voltage is 120V. so 120 \ 50 = 2.4 V each. and just to help drill this in, lets say you have a 35 lamp set. Again 120V / 35 = 3.43 each. Now lets take a 35 ct string and remove 15 lamp so you only have 20 lamps left in the string. So, what we want to do is install a resistor to appear to be those 15 lamps. Lets first figure out how much voltage we need to drop across the resistor. 15 * 3.43 = 51.45 V and so across those 20 lamps we will have 68.55 Volts. Now I do not have the actual current value so this will be just some thing off of the top of my head to ILLUSTRATE the math involved. We now need to figure out the resistance value that will drop 51.45 volts across it. 51.45 / .34 A (the current) = 151 Ohms (resistance). Now this would be the end if we were working with D.C. But this is A.C. and so far all values have been in RMS (root mean square, or average for us lay people). So with A.C. we have peaks, but rms is .707 of the peak. And I learned a quick lesson when I was making LED strings that one must remember the difference between RMS and Peak. Ok I think a quick fix would be to take the resistance value of 151 and multiply it by 1.414 to equal 213 ohms. One last thing, the more voltage dropped across a resistor and the more current flowing through a resistor. The higher the wattage rating must be. Otherwise the resistor will heat up and cook its self. This could set something on fire if you do not select a high enough wattage. And even if you select the proper wattage resistor, the material around might not be able to take the heat. So lets look at watts law. Ok voltage is 51.45 * .34 (current) = 17.45 Watts. So the minimum size will be 20 watts. This is a considerable amount of heat in a resistor and great care will need to be taken to keep it from heating up and drying out any form of insolation. And add to that this will need to be water proof and shock proof.

So, it is far better to get a short as possible, and if there are left over lamps. Either buy the black out caps. or tape over the spare lamps with duct tape and then wire tie it so it can not unwrap. The resistor trick works better with LEDs due to the lower current draw. Thus the lower wattage (see above statement I made).

This gentlemen is a free class as to why you dont see many people do the resistor fix for a shorter string. Now a real quick lesson why you cant just cut and twist wires together. Ok Kirchoff's law again. same 35 lamp string, and removing 15 lamps. Ok, now you have 20 lamps and still got that 120 volts. 120 / 20 = 6 volts per lamp. How long do you think those 3.43 volt lamps going to last with 6 volts applied across them?

I sure would love to see this post tacked for all to read and thus I and others would not have to repost each time someone gets a wild hair to cut a string of minis.

.....ahhhh.....black out caps or tape....got it! lol! Thanks for the info, but way over my head.

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Wow have I learned something.

Putting a resistor in series with a mini light circuit.

Something that will draw more wattage than the bulb.

Something that will have to dissipate more heat than the bulb.

I though that I could cut a 100 count string in half and I would have a 50 count string and I still used the original 2.5 volt bulbs that it came with.

I also thought that I could then cut 15 bulbs out of the CENTER of that same string. Relamp it with 3.5 volt bulbs and I would have a 35 count string.

Or I could take that 50 count string. This time cut 30 bulbs out to the CENTER of the string. Relamp it with 6.0 volt bulbs and I would have a 20 count string.

I always knew enough to be mindful of the size of wire in the string and not exceed the ampacity for the guage of wire.

My only real problem was always figuring out if it was cheaper to relamp the string or to buy a new one.

Packages of mini light replacement bulbs are currently selling for $0.99 a package.

Sets of mini lights are selling for about $3.50 a box as stores are already starting to clear them off the shelves.

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A 100 count string is just two 50 count strings. You can cut them right in the middle. This is what I do.

I stagger cut both wires about 1/2" apart so they can't short. I normal don't do anything more than that but you could put heat-shrink on the end if you want. The second half I either attach a crimp on plug or solder on a plug and some of the wire from an old retired string (heat-shrink over the connections). Cut off the plugs from your old strings, this is a great use for them.

Thanks... I knew it should be able to be done simply as that.

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Hey, I was only working within the parameters of the question. LOL. Now your willing to pay for new bulbs at a different voltage.

I did give you the information. Remember the bit about Kirchhoff's law? The voltage drop across all load devices in a series circuit must equal the voltage applied to the circuit.

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do different light strings have different voltage bulbs?

I am sure led are different from reg mini lights I am talking about all mini lights use same voltage right? i must have 5 different set lights meaning there different size bulbs or the strings look different. We use whatever bulbs when one need replaced.

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do different light strings have different voltage bulbs?

I am sure led are different from reg mini lights I am talking about all mini lights use same voltage right? i must have 5 different set lights meaning there different size bulbs or the strings look different. We use whatever bulbs when one need replaced.

In common use there are 3 different mini-light bulbs: 2.5V ES, 2.5V,3.5V.

Less commonly you might also find 6V and 12V bulbs.

You MUST use the correct bulb - most combinations of mini-light string with an incorrect bulb result in a flash-bulb effect. Very pretty for a few milliseconds.

LEDs, other than those specifically designed for retrofit, are utterly incompatible with incandescent lights and cannot be mixed in a string.

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In common use there are 3 different mini-light bulbs: 2.5V ES, 2.5V,3.5V.

Less commonly you might also find 6V and 12V bulbs.

You MUST use the correct bulb - most combinations of mini-light string with an incorrect bulb result in a flash-bulb effect. Very pretty for a few milliseconds.

LEDs, other than those specifically designed for retrofit, are utterly incompatible with incandescent lights and cannot be mixed in a string.

how do you know what you got? what does ES mean?

they say ont he labels what Voltage? i never noticed. I must have 1,000 or more extra bulbs there all in zip lock bags. i just made a green and blue straing from my extra bulbs they seem to be working fine

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how do you know what you got? what does ES mean?

they say ont he labels what Voltage? i never noticed. I must have 1,000 or more extra bulbs there all in zip lock bags. i just made a green and blue straing from my extra bulbs they seem to be working fine

The VAST majority of bulbs are 2.5v because 50*2.5v = 125 volts.

There are typically 2 50-count strings in a set of 100 mini lights (that's why you can cut them in half).

ES are energy saving bulbs like seen at Target and Phillips brands. They are not cross compatible with standard 2.5v bulbs.

I keep my 2.5v ES bulbs separate from my 2.5v bulbs. I don't think anything I have uses a higher voltage bulb.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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