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Need Help With Christmas Lights

  1. profile image0
    jenuboukaposted 5 years ago

    Could someone simplify the equation for the outlet amp thing....

    I have 4 sets of 150 light at .61 amp (I think) of one brand.  When I tested those lights alone, they got pretty hot, or I am terrified of burning down my house, 

    Then, in my journey to light my tree up so the space station will see it.  I bought another brand of 100 string of lights that say.34 amps...I have seven of those.  Through trial and error, I kept shorting the last strands out, and oh yea, I wanted more lights. But came to grips with what I had purchased as the amount. 

    so then I took all the lights down.   I have a fake tree to which had a Sh**-load of lights on it and it's own extension cords to it.  I figured out that I can plug in the first set of brands, up to 6, together, and the other brand up to 4. 

    The first set gets extremely hot, in my opinion while the other 7 not so much.  They are all going into the same outlet, but strung in sections and plug in at different points of the extension cord.

    So is this safe, or should I find another outlet.  The tree was pre-lit and had three times the amps or maybe two that plugged in, so anyone know a good solution"

    I would like to string all 11 strands on the tree, but the equations on line to configure if I am going to burn down my house is confusing. 

    I did a test last night, it seemed okay but wanted an experienced person's opinion before I tackle the tree lighting, again.


    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      this was missed...there must be someone here that can comment...you must be having fun decorating!

      1. profile image0
        jenuboukaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Ah thanks someway.....I know, I was waiting for someone to respond.  I figured it out.  Sadly I only got 800 lights on it. But it was worth the effort.

        Thank you!


  2. 2uesday profile image79
    2uesdayposted 5 years ago

    Well done for getting it sorted it looks very nice.  It is the wires I hate, trying to hide them out of sight and in a safe place.

    1. profile image0
      jenuboukaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks 2uesday!  I was worried of shorting out the neighborhood with all the lights I was trying to use. I finally figured out that I was connecting too many strings at one time, and my outlet could not support the 1100 lights I wanted originally.  The ribbon I use is for hiding any exposed lights and connections.  I just pray my light bill doesn't go through the roof.smile

  3. Lisa HW profile image73
    Lisa HWposted 5 years ago

    Your tree looks nice.   I don't know if you want this information at this point, but I have a couple of new boxes of "Merry Brite", 100-light, strings.  The box says, "Caution" and (essentially) don't string more than 5 together.  That's pretty much what I've always seen on the packages over the years.  (I don't recall with the strings of more than a hundred.  I do "tons" of lights on my tree and (not saying you ought to do this) I have three extension cords with the tree's built-in lights on one cord, and the other two cords shared between several hundred white lights I use (which is never more than 600 anyway).  The box I have handy does make a point of saying "exact sets of lights", so I know it may be different for different brands/number-of-lights-per-string.

    I don't pretend to know anything (at all), but, personally, I'd be nervous to have even 800 all strung together, rather than be split up between a couple of different cords.  I just wonder if you may want to double-check (if you haven't already) with someone who does have solid knowledge of electrical matters.  Of course, concerns aren't always just whether an outlet is over-loaded but whether the strings get hot enough that they could ignite or slowly melt anything that the bulbs touch.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Stringing too many together will cause too much amperage to flow through the small wire used in these lights and that will in turn result in heating of the wire and could cause a voltage drop to each individual light.  As the total amperage is in line with what the outlet can provide the breaker does not trip until insulation is melted to the point that there is a dead short in the string of lights.  It's one nifty way to create a house fire on Xmas eve.

      On the other hand, plugging in too many strings into one outlet will blow the breaker.  Most houses use 15 amp breakers and should not be asked to provide more that 15X.8 = 12 amps on a continuous basis (defined as operating for more than 3 hours).

      1. profile image0
        jenuboukaposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks wilderness, yea figured that out, of course, the hard way....