Christmas lights

oilpainterNovember 28, 2009

I have a tree topper that I really like. I would like to change the multi colored bulbs for clear bulbs. There are 15 mini lights and the instructions on the box says to use 12 volt replacement bulbs. No one sells replacement bulbs anymore so I thought I'd buy a 20 string of clear bulbs and use those to replace the multi colored ones, but they are 6 volt. It seems only the strings of 10 have 12 volt bulbs and you can't buy them either.

To make a long story short. What would happen if I used the 6 volt bulbs instead of the 12 volt. If it just meant it wouldn't burn as bright that's OK. I just wouldn't want any fire hazard.

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saltcedar

10 count string.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clear Mini Christmas Lights

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 2:00PM
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billhart

If you use 6 volt lights where 12 volt lights were intended, they will burn VERY bright and burn out soon.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 5:41PM
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fix_it

Christmas lights are wired in series. That means that the supply voltage is divided equally among each bulb. You have around 120 to 125 volts supply. There are 15 lights. This means that each bulb will recieve about 8 volts. There probably are no 8 volt bulbs available, so the recommendation is to use 12 volt bulbs. They will be a little dimmer than if they were used at 12 volts, but they will also run cooler. This is not a problem at all.

But if you use 6 volt bulbs on 8 volts, then they will get very hot and burn out quickly. This could also cause a fire hazzard. Do not do this.

You noticed that 20 light strings use 6 volt bulbs, and that 10 light strings use 12 volt bulbs. If you multiply the number of bulbs by the voltage of the bulbs, then you will see that in each case the result is 120 volts.

Just a little extra info:
All strings that are multiples of 50 use 2.5 volts bulbs because 50 times 2.5 equals 125 volts. If the string is 100 bulbs or 150 or so on, then there are 2 or 3 or 4 individuals strings of 50 put into one assembly.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 4:50PM
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