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Info Section Home
Common Types Of Lights
Uncommon Lights
Power Ratings For lights
Wiring Diagrams Of LightSets
Decorating Tips

    ColumbineLights


About The Wiring Of Mini Lights
most miniature lights are wired in series, meaning
that electricity flows through multiple bulbs (a series)
to complete the circuit...if any one of those bulbs
is missing, loose, or defective, the circuit is no
longer complete; all bulbs in it will not light.

This is mainly done because the small sized bulbs can
not handle 120 volts of power. If each bulb was
independent the set would either have to have a bulky
transformer plug like many small electronic devices do.
(most mini lights in the UK have transformer plug to
convert their 240 volts to low voltage...and in many
countries it is illegal to use 240 volt lights outdoors.
Because of this, lights in the UK are much more
expensive than those sold in the US,Canada,and others
that use 120v)

Mini sets could also be designed so that each bulb would
have a resistor built in to lower the voltage. but the
cost would be much higher.

Many sets today have more than one series, which
technically makes them a series-parallel circuit.

C7 and C9 sets are wired in parallel so each bulb
operates independently of the others

Be aware that I'm no longer updating this section, so it
does not have info on the more modern lights.
I'm still keeping it in place for historical purposes.
Much of the info is still valid, even for LED lights (on
those sets, the number of "bulbs" in a section will be
different though, as will power usage.)


Wiring Diagrams For Mini Lights
Most normal 100 lightsets 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

The image below shows the wiring of a normal 100 set.
100 ls wiring

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

Green = bulb wire
Red === power wire
Blue == common
Standard 50 lightsets are basically wired the same
as half of 100's
like the 100 set, a 50 will have 3 wires:
* one with sockets
* one common
* one to supply power to the next set

below is a image of the wiring.
50 LS wiring

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

Green = bulb wire
Red === power wire
Blue == common
Older style 50 lightsets are without the outlet on
the end are slightly diffrent
there will be 2 wires, and in most cases both will
have sockets

image below shows the wiring of a older 50 set.
old 50 LS wiring

there is no difference in markings (or color) on the
wires of these sets

Red === bulb wire
'Chaser' and/or 'Multi Function' lightsets are a bit
different than 'standard lights' because they have
multiple circuits together. The flashing is controlled
by a microchip.
these sets will have 5 wires:
4 with sockets (one for each channel)
1 common

The image below shows the wiring for a 4-channel 140
bulb chaser set. Sets with more bulbs are wired in the
same way. Some sets only have 3 channels...
Chaser LS wiring

there is usually some sort of small markings on the
wires (or a slight difference in color) to tell them
apart...colors were used in the image to show the
different wires; in some cases only the common wire
will be different.

red ==== channel 4
yellow = channel 3
green == channel 2
cyan === channel 1
blue === common






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