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"Anybody Know About Christmas Light Voltage?" Topic

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1,296 hits since 20 Dec 2013
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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2013 4:44 p.m. PST

I've got a collection of old Hallmark "Magic" light up Star Trek ornaments from the 1990s. They plug into the light sockets on "mini" Christmas tree strands. The instructions say to use a strand of "3.5 or 6 volt" mini lights. Well, AFAIK, those aren't made any more, and my old strand I've used for years appears to have died. I happen to have a strand of mini lights that says it uses 11 volt lights. I've tested it (briefly), and the sockets fit and the ships light up, but I want to make certain this is a safe option, both for the ships themselves (don't want to burn out their little LEDs), and for the strand and tree (real one). Can anyone advise me if this is an okay solution, or should I look for something else?
I'm thinking that the lower voltage lights and sound chips of the ornaments should be fine (just like lower voltage bulbs are fine with a lamp), but I want to sure!

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member20 Dec 2013 6:25 p.m. PST

I've been using ours for years. No problems. That's with new lights and old.

Ron W DuBray Inactive Member20 Dec 2013 7:40 p.m. PST

Are you sure its volts and not watts??

All tree lights run on 110V…

Any way it should not be a problem if the ships have LEDs they also have a transformer of some type in them. The LED will be fine. (just don't try to use them with the new LED light strings.)

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2013 7:55 p.m. PST

Oops. Yes, 110. My mistake.

I have all but two lights taken up by the ships, but the two lights seem to be burning brighter than normaló but that could be that the other lights on the tree are lower wattage bulbs already and it just looks that way in comparison (I couldn't get the ships to work on those strands at all). Any chance that the ships could be causing the other bulbs to overheat? I wouldn't think so, but I'm not an electrician.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP20 Dec 2013 8:01 p.m. PST

Are you sure its volts and not watts??

The text on one of the boxes says "Use only with standard U.L.-listed miniature light strings of 2.5-, 3.5- or 6-volt push in type bulbs."

The text on a sticker attached to string says "replace with 11-volt bulbs."

Oh, and for some reason, some of the light bulbs from the strand have long bases (about a half-inch or more), whereas some have the typical short base (about 1/4 inch). It doesn't seem to matter for the ships, though, which all have the short base. They work in any socket on the strand.

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