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    ColumbineLights

Changes...Changes...time for a change?
Being different is a good thing!


So Them Lights Just Aint Right?
Maybe they need a little change...

So that LightSet is not quite long enough?
Maybe you need to make a 'T' (or branch)?
Need to eliminate some bulbs?
Want to 'combine' sets for one long set
Want to use 120v lights with 240v?
...well this page has some info on how to modify lights...

Note for most of these Mods you'll need to have an old junk
or damaged LightSet to use for parts (i will call this a
'parts set')...and preferably one made before 1998 (because
it has thinner wires and is much eaiser to work with; this
will in fact be inpossible with some sets made after 1998)
also if you don't know how to solder, dont try this


Things Defined
'Parts Set' = Lightset to be used for parts
'Chip Set' = Any set that contains a IC Chip
such as chaser and musical lights

Taking Apart Sets
To take apart a 'parts set':

Most normal sets will have be 2 or 3 wires, if theres
more, its not a good 'parts set'

First untwist the wires...you will end up with one of
the following:
-- 1 string of bulbs and one wire (best option)
form 1
-- 1 string of bulbs and two wires (2nd best)
form 2
-- 2 strings of bulbs (harder to work with, but ok)
form 3

Second remove the bulbs from the sockets.

Third To remove the wire from a socket insert a nail
between that wire, and the edge of the socket. Then
GENTLY tap the nail until the wire comes loose.

Nail To Remove Wires
Nail Image

In some cases you'll need to cut strip, then solder wires,
and cover with heat-shrink when putting things back
together...It is assumed that you know how to do this.

To re-install wires in sockets, just press the wire tab
into the socket's side slot (where it came from) with a
nail head

Branches & Extentions
If a set is not quite long enough, you can add to it easily
add to the length. The same goes for adding a 'branch'.

Notes: if done correctly this has no chance of overloading the
set...in fact it will be takeing less power!

A thing to know is that this mod is very close in design
to how the original icicle lights (that have now been
banned) were made

Adding bulbs to a set will cause the entire set (or set
section) to be dimmer...in general with a 35 - 50 set
(100 is usually 2 - 50s) you can add up to 10 bulbs.

The mod is fairly simple, and does not require any changes
to the main set. To do this, remove a section containg the
number of bulbs you want from a 'parts set'. (see takeing
apart sets above)

Re-assamble the parts as if you were building a small set of
lights...but instead of putting a plug on the end, strip 1/4
inch of insulation from the wire ends, and feed them through
a bulb-base from the set being added to (make sure all strands
of wire stay on their side or it won't work)
bulb-base plug in

When complete, simply fill the add-on of the same type of
bulbs that are in the main set.

Plug the add-on into any socket as if it was a bulb.
done!
Note: if the set lights, but not the add-on, some of the
wire strands in the bulb-base where its connected are
crossed, simply remove the add-on and try re-feeding the
wires through their bulb-base.

Removing Bulbs
I highly reccommend that you NOT do this...but:

* DO NOT remove bulbs from sets (or set sections) with less
than 40 bulbs or you risk blowing all the bulbs, and/or
causing a fire
* DO NOT try to modify sets with CHIPS (IE: chaser lights)
you risk blowing all the bulbs, destroying the control-box,
and/or causing a fire
* There are ways of doing the above 2, but it involves
replaicing all the bulbs in the set...which would be
expensive...and more complicated

Note: Unlike when adding bulbs, removing bulbs does have a
risk of overloading things.

In some cases you can remove bulbs (sockets) from a set of
lights If the set has 50 or 100 bulbs (2 sections of 50), and
if it says 'use 2.5 - 3.5 volt bulbs' on the box (or tag)...
If it only says 'use 2.5 volt bulbs' then no.
but if it has both, then you should be able to remove up to
15 of the 50 bulbs. Before modifying the set, try using
dead bulbs in place of those you want to remove...if the
rest look too bright or get hot, then don't change it.
if everything seems ok, then see 'Taking Apart Sets' above
and remove the number of bulbs you need.
If you can avoid it, don't cut out sections of the wires that
don't have sockets which will now be too long, instead extend
the sockets wire to the correct length.

If you have a 100 set with 5 sections of 20, you can remove
bulbs, but only as sections of 20


Combining Sets
I don't know why anyone would want to do this, but it
would be fairly easy....
Notes:
* You may overload a set by doing this.
* Only combine sets of the exact same type
* DO NOT try this with 'Chip Sets'
* DON'T connect more than TWO sets

This is easy as long as you have the right type of
lights: if the sets have a male type plug on one
end and female type plug on the other, simply remove
the male plug from one set and female plug from the
other. Then solder the wires together (and cover the
joints with heat-shrink)

Using 120 volt lights On 240 volts
WARNING: this is untested and may have unknown
results, be very careful with this one

Only try this with 100 lightsets that have 2 sections
of 50 bulbs:
The set will have 3 wires:
* one with sockets
* one common
* one to supply power to the next section

there is usually some sort of small markings on the
wires (or a slight difference in color) to tell them
apart.

Locate the center of the set (where the 3 wires change
to 2, and back to 3).
Re-wire this center section so that all 100 bulbs are
in a line, and the other 2 wires of each section are
connected together (see images). It is VERY inportant
to get this wired correctly.
120 - 240 mod

120 - 240 mod

-Closing Comments-
There are ways of 'making' your own custom lights
by modifying sets...this usually requires alot of
re-wireing, and work. This page just gives some
of the basics, and does not get into the more
complicated changes. They would be too hard to
explain

Edit Them Lights!
...........


Disclaimer:
All info here is provided as is without warranty of any sort
I can not be held responsible for any problems/damages/injuries/
etc caused by the use or misuse of this info

Warning: read all the following before you continue.

The info on these pages can be DANGEROUS.

Electricity can KILL or INJURE you, be careful and treat it with
full respect.

Electricity can also cause FIRES, again be careful with it.

Never work on any electric product plugged in.

If you don't know anything about electricity / electric products,
don't even try any of these.

There is no guarantee that this actually will work - build at
your own risk.

Always have someone double check your work before connecting
power to anything you've worked on.

Electricity and Water do not mix.

Avoid working in any area where flammable products (such as gas/
paint/etc) are stored or used

Do not work with electric items when you are tired, being tired
will only increase the chance of mistakes

Avoid working on electric products if you have consumed any
alcoholic beverages or drugs (medical or otherwise) as these
will impair your ability to concentrate on your work

if you become frustrated while working on something, set it
down and walk away (turn off / unplug any equipment you have
on)

Keep your work area clean and organized. If you work in a room/
area without windows (or work at night) install a automatic backup
light... that way when you blow a circuitbreaker/fuse you will not
be in the dark.

Do not overload Circuits/Extension cords/Lightsets/ Etc

Running a product that was designed for 120v on 240v (even if it
has been modified for such) may be dangerous

Modifying any electric product WILL VOID any warranty on it

Using any electric product for other than its intended use WILL
VOID any warranty on it

In addition there is a chance you will void your insurance by
using modified electric items, if that item causes a problem
such as a fire

This is only a partial list of the cautions/dangers there are
many more not listed here (but still apply)

Always remember...
Be safe!
It is not worth risking your life or home over an electric item!


This page and the images on it (c) 1999 - 2016 James K