Re: Altering LED light strands for layout use
Vollrath, Don <dvollrath@...>
I wouldn’t mess with trying to increase the brightness of the individual LEDs themselves as you would be altering their current… and lifetime. But yeah… if you bypass one of the LEDs the current of others would increase, but with little noticeable increase in the brightness.
You would be better off simply rebundling them to be two together to yield similar brightness of each C7 type bulb in a continuous string from ‘house to house’. If you don’t need 25 locations or want more linear space between houses, cover (paint?) the LEDs you do not use.
But Yeah, all the individual voltage drops of each LED (apparently in your case 25 in a series string) lead up to 65-80 volts of total voltage drop, and there is a resistor or inductor somewhere in that string to limit the current from the 120Vac plug. Look for a rectangular ‘blob’ somewhere in the wiring string. I might be molded into the male plug end. Get out your ohmmeter and find it.
But remember that you are dealing with something designed for 120Vac. LEDs are diodes that conduct current in only one direction. The strings might be arranged where one grouping of 25 carries the (+) current and the second grouping wired in anti-parallel carries the (-) current. Each LED tends to ‘sparkle’ or flicker at 30 Hz from 120V, 60 Hz power.
I have also seen 2 LEDs connected anti-parallel within the same plastic housing to directly work from AC current. Still need a mechanism to limit current.
Either way, it is difficult to fiddle with commercial LED wiring without knowing for sure what and where the current limiting element(s) are located. Be careful to not alter the actual LED current and to not create a fire hazard for your household. Anything that plugs into a wall outlet should be UL listed according to your insurance company.
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...]
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2015 10:09 AM
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Altering LED light strands for layout use