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Author Topic: feds to regulate Christmas lights  (Read 5052 times)

Frank DeWitt

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feds to regulate Christmas lights
« on: May 05, 2015, 10:52:25 am »

We will be a lot safer now.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/05/feds-to-regulate-christmas-lights/

I suspect that by next year we will see a lot of low voltage strings running off wall warts.  I think that would be a good thing.  I notice a lot of commercial buildings running Christmas lights year around.  the wiring for these lights is clearly not up to the task of being wrapped around a out door railing for years at a time.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 11:14:53 am »

We will be a lot safer now.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/05/feds-to-regulate-christmas-lights/

I suspect that by next year we will see a lot of low voltage strings running off wall warts.  I think that would be a good thing.  I notice a lot of commercial buildings running Christmas lights year around.  the wiring for these lights is clearly not up to the task of being wrapped around a out door railing for years at a time.

If you think about it, wrapping a wire around a metal fence rail that's directly connected to 120-volt power is a bad idea. I'm pretty sure that most residential fences and porch rails are NOT bonded to ground, so it's a hot-chassis condition waiting to happen. Of course, these should be plugged into GFCI outlets to begin with, but I'm not sure how you guarantee that either. Perhaps 12-volt Wall Warts are the way to go with this, just like outside sidewalk lighting.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2015, 11:29:22 am »

CPSC is trying to justify their existence. Christmas lights have already been vetted by UL and there are 0.9 deaths per year. I'm not sure how you get less than one death... but this doesn't seem like an important problem.

They have too much time (and tax dollars) on their hands.

 JR

PS: More people die from storming community centers in Garland TX with assault rifles. 
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 11:59:07 am »

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Tim McCulloch

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2015, 12:05:39 pm »

But if it saves just .9 lives....
http://overlawyered.com/2014/11/cpsc-holiday-lights/

The "value" of a human life in the USA is around $4m these days... and I'm sure the surviving family members don't care if uncle Fred was 0.9 or 1.0 if he's dead.
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2015, 01:19:47 pm »

The "value" of a human life in the USA is around $4m these days... and I'm sure the surviving family members don't care if uncle Fred was 0.9 or 1.0 if he's dead.

I agree, but I would prefer uncle Fred to look at the string and say "this stuff is junk' I won't use it." 

My safety is my responsibility.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2015, 02:22:32 pm »

I'm pretty sure that most residential fences and porch rails are NOT bonded to ground


Not domestic, but over here, all exposed metalwork such as railings on public buildings appear to be grounded.



Steve.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2015, 02:52:00 pm »

I agree, but I would prefer uncle Fred to look at the string and say "this stuff is junk' I won't use it." 

My safety is my responsibility.

There is a place for regulation, but this has already been addressed, probably more than once by UL.

It's not like we're balancing lit candles on highly flammable tree branches.

JR
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2015, 03:35:29 pm »

I'm guessing the market would self correct this in fairly short order with LEDs which are a natural for 12 VDC supply.  Perhaps LED suppliers behind the push-to keep demand/pricing up?
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Steve Swaffer

Frank DeWitt

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2015, 04:52:39 pm »

Depending on how the law is written, I suspect that we will see strings of 12 volt LED lights clearly marked not for use on Holiday trees.

A 12 volt supply might be sold separately. 

The law already has an exemption for solar powered lights. Of coarse, they are not solar powered but powered from a battery that is charged with solar cells.  It will be fun to watch.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2015, 06:09:26 pm »

I'm guessing the market would self correct this in fairly short order with LEDs which are a natural for 12 VDC supply.
In what world are LEDs natural for 12V supply? They typically drop 2-4 volts across each and any string will have tens of them, Putting them in series makes an easier, lower current load, to interface with medium to high PS voltage,
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Perhaps LED suppliers behind the push-to keep demand/pricing up?
The LED makers are betting on residential lighting... I thought all but the cheapest christmas lights were already LED?

JR
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2015, 06:50:07 pm »

In what world are LEDs natural for 12V supply? They typically drop 2-4 volts across each and any string will have tens of them, Putting them in series makes an easier, lower current load, to interface with medium to high PS voltage, The LED makers are betting on residential lighting... I thought all but the cheapest christmas lights were already LED?

JR

I converted all my lights to LED two years ago.  Never paid much attention to the configuration.  This year I am going to amp it up with some DMX addressable light strings.  The price has come way down out of China and some great hacking sites.  I will have some type of pixel addressable simple animated display on the roof and some wrapped trees running chases. All sorts of cool opportunities.

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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2015, 09:22:53 pm »

In what world are LEDs natural for 12V supply? They typically drop 2-4 volts across each and any string will have tens of them, Putting them in series makes an easier, lower current load, to interface with medium to high PS voltage.

Of course you are right-what I have observed is that much resi lighting is using nominal 12 VDC supply on the LED sources-probably multiple LEDs in series-perhaps even on the same chip?  I haven't researched the actual internal design-but  it seems they have standardized on that voltage as a supply voltage-even for lamps that appear to be a single LED.
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Steve Swaffer

Steve M Smith

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2015, 01:45:45 am »

The LED makers are betting on residential lighting... I thought all but the cheapest christmas lights were already LED?


Our local council has replaced all of our street lighting with LED.  It's much better than the old sodium vapour lamps it has replaced.  We don't get a horrible orange light pollution glow above built up areas now.


Here, the cheapest Christmas lights are LED.




Steve.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2015, 07:47:14 pm »

Perhaps 12-volt Wall Warts are the way to go with this, just like outside sidewalk lighting.

Made by the same Chinese companies that make knockoff iPhone chargers that electrocute people?
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2015, 02:27:52 am »

12v is on the low side I think. Christmas lights tend to have long runs and many consumes on the wire so thick gauge wire is needed to compensate for the cable loss.

I think that 50v is a more resonable number for that kind of stuff. They should also be pwm-driven to save power...
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2015, 12:38:23 pm »

Here is how similar lights are done now.
http://r.ebay.com/zQu4LD

12 volt DC  You can cu the strip to any length at 3 LED intervals  (the ribbon is printed for series / parallel connection of the LEDs.  It is not hard to imagine this mfg technique packaged in a more traditional Christmas light string.

I have the single color ribbon LEDs that look like this under the kitchen counter.  The effect looks great and they work well.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2015, 12:44:53 pm »

The company I work for makes flexible LED light panels for this company: http://designledproducts.com/


Steve.
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Corey Scogin

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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 02:25:17 pm »

Here is how similar lights are done now.
http://r.ebay.com/zQu4LD

12 volt DC  You can cu the strip to any length at 3 LED intervals  (the ribbon is printed for series / parallel connection of the LEDs.  It is not hard to imagine this mfg technique packaged in a more traditional Christmas light string.

I have the single color ribbon LEDs that look like this under the kitchen counter.  The effect looks great and they work well.

Those do work great as a DIY under cabinet light.  Much cheaper than the under cabinet lights from the big box stores.
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Re: feds to regulate Christmas lights
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 02:25:17 pm »


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