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Overclocking Christmas lights for fun and profit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:22 am Reply with quote
Red Squirrel
AoV Owner
Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 8145
Location: Ontario, Canada

I hate that Christmas lights don't come with a bridge rectifier built in so they can at very least operate at 120hz instead of 60hz. Even better would be if they had a capacitor, and were sized for that.

So I took it upon myself a few years back to build a FULL BRIDGE RECTIFIER box so that anything I plug into gets 120hz pulsed DC. This lets me plug any strand of lights without worrying about over voltage, technically it doubles the duty cycle so if they are undersized it could be an issue but I've been lucky.

Today, I ran into a strand of lights that was built differently, well I think it's common, just my first time running into it. It is several strands wired together in groups. And not all groups had the same polarity, so plugging it in my box resulted in some sections not having light.

That is when the cutters and soldering iron came out...

Bridge rectifier box:

With rectification: (camera set to manual, settings unchanged for both photos)

Without rectification:

Not only does it remove the flicker but it makes them brighter. The 120hz flicker is barely noticeable so not even worth trying to put a capacitor in there.

Just need to make an outdoor rated rectification box and I'm set to put these outside! It's for the garlands, still using 7w C9's for the house ones. I need to change those out some time though, I go through bulbs like crazy.

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Overclocking Christmas lights for fun and profit
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