decreasing xmas lights lenght

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by v1rtu0s1ty, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. v1rtu0s1ty

    v1rtu0s1ty DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Chicago IL
    Good morning folks. Is it very bad to shorten xmas lights? The porch roof is only 18 ft and I have 25 ft of xmas lights. I don't want any hanging wires with lights to make it looks nice. If it's ok, I will do it next year. :)

    Thanks.
  2. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    To me, it is not a good idea to cut and shorten an outside wire, because water could find a way in and short it out. Unless, you buy a kit, for about 20 bucks, it is used for underground (splice) repairs, that is good, it might be way overkill but, that is what I would do. There might be easier cheaper ways, or buy a new strand which fits.

    Or, I would just be creative in my hanging of the few extra feet.
  3. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,540
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Good answer and if I had a way of doing so I would give you a cookie, wait a minute you are a cookie :D :D

    All jokes aside that was a very good answer.
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
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    I am a cookie. :D
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Many of those strings of mini bulbs are designed to be "X" many bulbs. The bulbs are NOT 120 volt bulbs. They are low voltage, in series. For example, each bulb in a 30 bulb string might be a 4 volt bulb. If you cut the wires, even if you manage to get them splice back together so the bulbs light up, you will now have....lets say 6 volts across each bulb. They will be brighter and will burn out sooner.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    light

    If the strand has an outlet on the end of it, then there are three wires and two of them have to be connected together to create the light circuit. Removing bulbs changes the voltage of the remaining ones, just as allowing burned out ones to stay in the circuit using the shunt wire to bridge it does.
  7. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Not necessarily. C7 and C9 bulbed lights run at 120V and are commonly constructed using zip cord with the individual sockets 'biting' through the zip cord insulation. There's a plug on one end, a socket on the other, a 2 conductor zip cord and 25'ish sockets and lamps in between. No 3rd wire.

    For the mini-bulbs where they're in series, you're correct.

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