How do you stop christmas tree lights from blinking
Stop your Xmas lights flashing!Stop your Xmas lights flashing!
I'm not sure why the Chinese manufacturers think we like flashing Christmas lights, especially ones fitted with those awful little mass produced flashers that invariably reset to the demo mode every time you turn the lights off. Then when you press the button until you get to what you thought was just static lights, it suddenly starts to fade them up and down!
So here's how you can disable those pesky controllers for good. Or better still, replace them with a tiny little rectifier.
This project can involve working with mains voltage of enough amplitude to blow the Christmas spirit right out of you and potentially turn you into the ghost of Xmas misfortune. There's also the (amusing) possibility that you might set fire to your Xmas tree if you modify your lights incorrectly. It's also noteworthy that some cheapskate companies supply lights with controllers that have no static mode because the transformer can't handle the full load of all the lights being on at once, but these are rare.
Best of all, some really nasty lights from China commonly sold on ebay are so inadequately built that you can get smoke off them just by setting the static mode on the supplied controller. AWESOME!
No liability will be taken for death, fire, destruction of giftwrap or loss of Christmas spirit. You tackle this project entirely at your own risk.
Here are the culprits. Mass produced flashers used either on mains voltage or with 24V transformers. Note the white one with the UK square pin plug is running on 240V and has totally inadequate wiring. It was one of many dodgy delights bought directly from China on ebay.
The controllers can be either clipped or glued together. If they are glued then they will be hard to get apart. If they are clipped then they will pop right open with very little effort, just like the 240V one did! In fact a child could have opened it, exposing live mains connections!
The circuitry in these things is very standard. There's a rectifier consisting of four diodes, a small PCB that slots into the main PCB that has the control chip on it under a blob of resin, a few support components and between one and four small thyristors for switching the lights. Thyristors are usually used because they are easy to drive and are well suited to the phase control used for dimming effects. The number of thyristors used will depend on the number of flashing channels and how cheap and nasty the Chinese manufacturer was. Some use all four, some use two, the very odd ones use three and the nastiest use just one.
The easiest way to stop the flashing is just to short out the thyristors. They have three pins, and the ones that are closest to the control chip are usually the control pins, while the other two are usually the switching side (anode) and the common negative (cathode). It's easy to just bridge across the anode and cathode with a bit of wire, and since they all share the common negative you can just bridge them all with one bit.
A neater way is to replace the thyristors with wire links.
My preferred approach to stopping the flashing is just to replace the controller with a bridge rectifier. This effectively removes all the control circuitry and just feeds the lights unswitched DC. You will have to choose a rectifier based on your lighting string. For a 24V string you can use a common 1 Amp 50V rectifier, but for higher voltages you will need to use a rectifier with a suitable voltage rating. On 240V I used a 400V rectifier, but on 120V a 200V unit should be ideal. Most home lighting strings will be fine with a 1 Amp rectifier, but larger "industrial" strings may require a higher current rating.
Bridge rectifiers have four pins. The two with a squiggle next to them are the AC pins and will be connected to the mains supply or transformer output. Polarity is not important since it is AC (alternating current). The other two pins on the rectifier are the positive (+) and the negative (-) outputs. The lighting string will generally have one common positive connection, and between one and four negative connections for each channel of lights.
The common connection will go to the positive (+) pin of the rectifier and the other wires will be commoned together and connected to the negative (-) pin of the rectifier.
If the connections on the controller are not marked as shown on the righthand controller above, then you'll need to work out the connections by tracing the tracks on the PCB. The power-in connections from the plug or transformer will usually be next to each other and will usually head straight to the four diode rectifier on the PCB. The output channels should be obvious because the tracks will go straight to the little thyristors. The common positive for the lights will often be at the opposite side from the two power connections, but not always. If you can work out what the power connections (from the plug or transformer) are and then deduce the outputs then the only remaining connection should be the common positive for the lights.
For a mains set I used a small DIL style rectifier rated for 0.9 Amp at 400V. I soldered the mains connections to the AC pins and the lights to the DC (+/-) pins. I then tacked the wires in place with hot melt glue, used a bit of heatshrink sleeving to cover the rectifier and filled the remaining cavities with more hot melt glue to act as a simple cable grip and make the assembly more robust to avoid damage.
For a low voltage set (24V) I used a common 1 Amp 50V rectifier and again connected the output from the transformer to the AC pins and the lights to the DC pins, applied the heatshrink and filled the assembly with hot melt glue.
And there we have it. Two sets of lights that don't flash any more, and also don't have that horrible little controller.
Spectacular. This is a cheap set of Chinese LED lights bought on ebay. Aside from the fact that the tiny inline resistors are a mix of values, they are grossly under-rated for the job they are doing, even if the controller is flashing them on and off. I'd say the resistors are rated at 0.125 Watts, and in the string that has already smoked there were three 3000 Ohm resistors in series with about 33 red LEDs. Given that a typical red LED has a forward voltage of about 2V that would give a total LED voltage of about 66V leaving 174V to be dropped across the resistors on a 240V supply. The total resistance of all three 3000 Ohm resistors is 9000 Ohms, so the average current will be roughly 19.33mA (which is good) but the dissipation across the resistors will be 3.36 Watts meaning that even with the current split over three resistors they are dissipating ten times their rated value! No wonder they went up in smoke.
This happened while the original controller was still in use and set at static. I was playing with the LED string while it was on (highly dubious thing to do given the quality) when I noticed a hot smell and then felt a burning sensation from one of the resistors. For all it would have taken to add a few more resistors in series along the string, I really don't know why China puts stuff like this out.
I also spotted defective wire in the string which actually had wire strands emerging from the plastic insulation. That's definitely a serious shock risk. Definitely one for the Chinese deathtrap collection.
How To Make Led Christmas Lights Stop Blinking
How can I prevent the LED Christmas lights from flashing?
Turn off the light first. For each flashing bulb, hold the bulb in its socket (where the bulb attaches to the wire) and remove the bulb and bottom cover. Remove the bulbs from the house. If you have trouble removing the lamp and case, use a screwdriver to remove the light.
Why do LED Christmas lights blink?
Short answer: Your LED Christmas lights flicker because they don't have built-in rectifiers. These full-wave rectifier circuits (diode bridges) invert the lower half of the incoming electrical waveform, resulting in a higher flicker rate that almost disappears to the ■■■■■ eye.
Also, why are my fairy lights flashing?
Loose cables are the number one cause of flickering lights and a leading cause of home fires. Before removing the device, turn off the light on the power switch to check the wires. If your appliance feels loose or unsafe, it's time to call an electrician.
You may also be wondering how can I stop my LED light from blinking?
Flickering LED Light - A Complete Troubleshooting Guide
- Step 1 - Identify your current configuration. The first step in identifying the problem is to evaluate the current configuration.
- Step Two: Reduce Other Potential Errors.
- Third step: take the part that doesn't work.
- Step 4: Replace the T8 LED tubes or buy an LED bulb.
Why does only half the cable work with Christmas lights?Sometimes a loose bulb, broken ■■■■■■■■ or frayed cable is enough to cause the cable to malfunction. After taking apart the bulbs, you will need to plug them in before storing them to make sure they still work. Then carefully pack the candles in the original container or something similar, being careful not to collapse the bulbs.
Why do LED Christmas lights stop working?
If one of your LED string lights fails, it likely has a faulty bulb. If one lamp fails, the rest of the cable may stop working. This means that you have to remove each lamp, replace it with a good one and plug it in. If it lights up, you have found the wrong bulb.
Can LED Christmas lights be repaired?
Christmas lights are very difficult to repair. The hard part is finding the blown light bulb and most people do it through trial and error. When you have a set of irreplaceable LED bulbs you may think that all is lost. But don't be in too much of a hurry.
Are the LED Christmas lights on?
LED Christmas lights use light-emitting diodes instead of filaments to create light. This new technology makes LED lamps more efficient, more durable and longer than fluorescent lamps. They do not burn and overheat like other lamps, so they are much safer.
Why are there 3 strands on Christmas lights?
Removing a bulb (or twisting it until the wires break) also removes the shunt, so they all go out. These lamps have three wires to carry electricity from one end to the other so that the fairy lights can be connected together.
Why are the low voltage LEDs blinking?
What makes the LEDs blink?
There can be a number of things. But most of the time, the LED lights in your home can flicker or fade when there are voltage fluctuations in your home's wiring. When the electrical loads in your home are turned on and off, the voltage level changes, which can sometimes cause the LED lighting to dim or flicker.
What would make the LED lights shine?
There are many reasons why an LED lamp can flicker, but the most common reason is a lack of lamp resistance for the dimmer curve to work properly. The same problem occurred because the fluorescent lamp does not have a sufficient resistive load between the load and the neutral conductors (complete circuit).
Are flashing LED lights dangerous?
Dimmers with incompatible bulbs (such as LEDs) can blink if set too low. Fortunately, this isn't a dangerous situation, but it can be annoying. The only solution is to try a different type or brand of LED light or change the dimmer yourself, suggests Orr.
How can you make an LED flicker like a light?
Flashing LED Lights
Is LED flickering dangerous?
How do I make the lights flash?
Some screw controls use a standard light switch to flash a lamp. You can recognize a light bulb by its filament.
How to make Christmas lights flash correctly?
How to make the Christmas tree lights flash
What happens if you put too many Christmas lights together?
Since the fairy lights have a maximum wattage, many fairy lights come with a small fuse in case you plug in too many at the same time. The fuse is designed to burn so as not to overload and damage the Christmas lights. It happens when your power exceeds the capacity of the circuit amplifier.
How do I know if it's a Christmas wick?How To Make Led Christmas Lights Stop Blinking
How to fix a garland - Lifehacker
December 28, 2018LikbezDo it yourself
Do not rush to throw away old lights and run to the store for new ones.
As a rule, garlands have a rather simple design and typical faults that are easy to fix even without special skills and tools. But in some cases, you may need a soldering iron and a multimeter. Therefore, you may still have to turn to a familiar radio amateur.
The cause of a garland malfunction, like any electrical engineering, is the failure of one or more circuit elements. Everything is usually repaired by replacing a faulty part, which can be found in another garland or some kind of broken equipment.
Careless handling of the electric garland can result in electric shock or damage to the device. You perform all actions at your own peril and risk. Lifehacker does not bear any responsibility.
How a garland is arrangedsamelectrik. ru
All electric garlands are arranged in the same way. In older samples, these are light bulbs connected in one circuit that light up or flash when connected to the network. In modern ones, a controller is added to glow in different modes and the bulbs can be replaced by LEDs.
Usually, old or decorative garlands have two wires, or to be more precise, one, which is connected in the form of a ring and twisted. Modern models have five wires. Four LEDs are located - these are branches. The fifth - general - remains empty.
At the far end, they all connect together, and their other ends go into a small box with a button and a plug.
Inside the box is a controller - a small board that contains a chip for creating effects and a few parts. A diode bridge, a capacitor, a pair of resistors and four (or two) thyristors that control the glow of each of the branches with lights of the same color.
In the photo on the left, the four black parts are thyristors. The blue one next to it is a capacitor, small light-colored edges are resistors, behind the scarves with a microcircuit are a diode and a button.
In the photo on the right is the reverse side of the board, two wires from the bottom - mains power, a row of wires from the top - lines of branches of each color and a common one.
How to fix a garland if it does not turn on
Cause 1. Broken power wire
Thin wires are often damaged by breaking at the plug or coming off the board inside the control box.
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How to fix
Move the wire at the plug and next to the box. If the garland works, then the problem has been found and all that remains is to replace the cable by disassembling the controller unit.
If not, troubleshooting should start with the power cable. Open the cover, unsolder the two wires going to the board and replace them with a working wire with a plug.
If there is no visible damage to the board, this should help and the garland will work. Otherwise, the problem must be sought in the power diodes.
Cause 2. Burnt diode bridge
Power surges can destroy one or more diodes of the diode bridge. As a result, the board will not be powered and the garland will not turn on.
How to fix
Check all diodes with a multimeter and replace the non-working ones with good ones. Details can be taken from another garland or found suitable at the denomination indicated on the case.
How to fix a garland if one of the colors does not work
Cause 1. An open circuit in one of the branches
Due to poor quality, the wires can break off either at the board itself or somewhere between the LEDs. In both cases, the circuit opens and the LEDs stop glowing.
How to fix
Separate the dead branch from the rest and carefully inspect the wire to check its integrity. If it has moved away from the board, strip it, re-solder it and fix it with hot glue for reliability.
If there is damage on the cable between the LEDs, strip the ends of the wire and solder or twist them together, then insulate with heat shrink or electrical tape.
Cause 2. Burnt LED
Low-quality LEDs often light up. With a serial connection, this means the same open circuit as in the previous case.
How to fix
Finding a broken LED or light bulb in a series circuit is more difficult. One option is to ring each element with a multimeter.
You can also make a jumper of two needles connected by a wire, and alternately close the incoming and outgoing wires on each LED with them. The garland must be turned on. The LED, when closed, all the lights of the branch will light up, and will be defective.
To restore the circuit, a non-working LED can either be replaced, or simply removed and connected the ends of the wires to each other, insulating them. Without consequences, you can throw away up to five LEDs in one branch.
Cause 3.Thyristor failure
If the control thyristor of one of the lines fails, all LEDs of the same color stop working.
How to fix
You can fix the breakdown only by replacing the thyristor with a working one from another garland or a suitable one at face value. To check, you need to use a multimeter or resort to the following method.
Identify the wire of the non-working branch and swap with one of the good ones by unsoldering or cutting and connecting with a twist. If the defective line then works, then the problem is in the thyristor.
The wires that go to the thyristors are usually arranged in a row at one of the edges of the board. On the opposite there will be only two wires - this is power. It's hard to confuse them.
How to fix a garland if one of the colors is dimly lit
Cause 1. Branch wire tear
Due to a break in the wire inside the wire, contact is broken in the circuit of one of the branches. The current still passes, but it is no longer enough to light all the LEDs.
How to fix
Carefully inspect the entire branch. Move the wires at the board and each of the LEDs of the switched on garland to determine the damaged place. As soon as you find it, all the LEDs will light up in full force. Next, it remains to restore normal contact by soldering the wire or stripping and connecting it.
Cause 2. Broken thyristor
Due to a faulty thyristor, one of the lines may not have enough current for the normal operation of all LEDs.
How to fix
This breakdown is treated only by replacing the thyristor with another one. You can check the performance with a multimeter, or by transferring the wire to one of the working lines.
How to fix the garland if it flashes randomly in any mode
Cause 1. Failure of the capacitor
Drying, leaking or swelling of the electrolytic capacitor causes malfunctions of the controller.
How to fix
Carefully inspect the capacitor. If it is swollen, darkened, or electrolyte streaks are visible on it, then a replacement is necessary. Examine the case to find out the rating and voltage, and then find an analogue with parameters no less than the original ones. Carefully unsolder the old capacitor and install a new one, observing the polarity.
Cause 2. Broken resistor
Burnt resistors also cause controller malfunction and unstable lighting modes.
How to fix
Check the resistance of the resistors with a multimeter and replace the faulty ones with working ones of the same rating. If visually the parts are intact, it is still better to replace them to rule out a malfunction.
How to fix the garland if all LEDs are on at the same time and do not blink
Cause 1. Chip failure
Damage to the controller chip causes all LEDs to light simultaneously and without blinking. The modes stop working, and when you press the button, the lights turn on and go out when you release it.
How to fix
Unfortunately, garlands with this problem cannot be repaired. A working controller from another garland will not work. It is designed for a different number of LEDs and resistance, thyristor current. Therefore, at best it will not work, and at worst it will cause a short circuit.
Read also ⚡️🧐
- 18 unusual Christmas garlands from AliExpress
- How to make DIY Christmas garlands: 11 cool ideas
- 10 Christmas decorations worth making with your own hands
- What to give for the New Year - 2023: only the best ideas
Christmas tree, don't burn! How to Safely Decorate an Apartment for the New Year - 9 Tips0001
© pixabay.com, rawpixel
Children and adults are waiting for the most important pre-New Year moment - it's time to decorate the Christmas tree! Multi-colored tinsel, bright lights of garlands, glass balls will create an atmosphere of celebration and joy. However, do not forget about the basic rules of fire safety. How to decorate an apartment so that the holidays are not overshadowed by an accident, the RIAMO correspondent in Balashikha figured out.
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How to arrange a Christmas tree
© site GIPHY
Employees of the main department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia advise to treat the decoration of the apartment with special attention. In the memo on the website of the department, it is recommended to carefully choose a place for installing a Christmas tree.
Natural spruce should be at least half a meter away from radiators and heaters, as it is a resinous tree, the needles of which can easily ignite.
The top of the Christmas tree should not “butt” into the ceiling, especially if it is stretched or sheathed with flammable material. Ideally, keep a distance of at least 10-15 centimeters.
Live spruce should be installed by securing the trunk in a bucket of wet sand or in a special stable stand. Fallen needles must be immediately taken out of the apartment - it is extremely flammable and can flare up from any spark.
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When choosing an artificial Christmas tree, carefully read the information on the package. It should indicate that the product has a fire-resistant impregnation. Otherwise, even with the slightest fire, the artificial tree will begin to melt and spread - it will be much more difficult to stop the fire. In addition, burning plastic releases toxic substances that are very dangerous to human health. So choose only quality goods!
Finally, according to fire safety rules, it is not recommended to place a Christmas tree in doorways or at the exit from the room - in case of fire, it will turn into a serious hindrance.
It is also necessary to decorate the Christmas tree, taking into account fire safety rules. It is strictly forbidden to light candles or sparklers on it. Also, experts of the Ministry of Emergency Situations strongly recommend abandoning paper, celluloid and other flammable toys, as well as the "snowball" of cotton wool.
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If the Christmas tree caught fire
If a live Christmas tree does catch fire, despite precautions, you need to quickly knock it to the floor so that the fire does not spread to curtains or wallpaper. Then pull out all the garlands decorating it from the outlet, after which you can bring down the flame - pour it with water or throw it with sand. Then cover with a thick wet cloth - for example, a towel, blanket, bathrobe.
Artificial spruce should be handled differently - also thrown on the floor without touching it with hands, but in no case should it be extinguished with water. Burning synthetics melt and spread, and if liquid gets on it, it can boil and start “shooting” hot drops in different directions - this will only increase the ignition area. Therefore, it is necessary to throw a thick blanket over a flashed artificial Christmas tree and preferably cover it with sand.
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How to choose garlands
© site GIPHY
It is impossible to imagine decorating an apartment for the New Year without all kinds of garlands. Unfortunately, they are the most likely cause of the tragedy. So, according to the official statistics of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, during the New Year holidays in Russia, every eighteenth fire breaks out due to low-quality electrical decorations.
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To avoid an accident, you need to be conscious in choosing your garlands. So, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations recommend buying only certified goods - this means that they were produced at the factory, and not in artisanal conditions, and were tested in modern laboratories.
In addition, pay attention to the power of the garland - it should not exceed 65 watts, and the voltage of each light bulb should not exceed 26 volts. There should be no more than 50 pieces in one garland. It is very important that electrical jewelry is equipped with fuses. All these criteria are a guarantee that the garland will not overheat, and ignition will not occur during power surges.
The garland also needs to be carefully examined for external damage - all the bulbs must be intact, and the wires must be dense, thick - thin wires will easily break or catch fire from overheating. There should be no holes or abrasions in the insulating layer.
Also, employees of the Ministry of Emergency Situations remind that there are garlands for indoor and outdoor use, and it is strictly forbidden to change their places, since each product has its own power and specificity.
Guide to Christmas trees and New Year's performances in Balashikha: December 2019>>
Safe use of garlands
© flickr.com, michael boylan
In recent years, a huge number of types of garlands have appeared - not only for Christmas trees, but also for walls and windows. However, the rules for safe use are the same, and the most important of them says: it is strictly forbidden to leave working lights unattended. In other words, the garlands need to be turned off at night and for the period of time when everyone leaves the house.
It is necessary to fasten garlands on windows or walls carefully, because if they fall, they can not only break, but also catch fire.
The garland must also be hung on the Christmas tree with special care - so that it does not come into contact with "rain" or tinsel. Otherwise, the metallized foil may cause a spark in the wiring, and this, in turn, will cause a fire.