Christmas lights are an important part of the holiday. As November and December come, you might see lights everywhere-on Christmas trees, houses, bushes, bushes and even occasional cars! Have you ever wondered how these lights work? Why if you unplug or break a bulb, the whole string goes out? And how do they create lights ordered in different color modes?
You will find that most people use small incandescent bulbs of 120 volts. Each light bulb is a 5 or 10 watt light bulb, just like a light bulb in a night light. You can still find the wiring harness for these bulbs today, but they are no longer common for three reasons:
They consume a lot of power. If you have 50 5-watt bulbs, that bulb consumes 250 watts! Considering that most people need two to three lines to make a tree, and five to ten lines to make a house, you are talking about many features!
Because the light consumes a lot of power, it generates a lot of heat. When used indoors, three 250-watt wires each generate as much heat as a 750-watt space heater! Heat from individual bulbs may also melt objects.
They are expensive. You can buy 10 packs of miniature light bulbs for about one dollar this year. The price of a large bulb can be five to ten times higher.
One advantage of this arrangement is that a failure of the light will never affect the remaining lights. This is because the 120 volt bulb system places the bulbs in parallel, as shown below:
You can bundle two, 20 or 200 bulbs in parallel. The only limitation is the amount of current that two wires can carry.
In this article, we will look at Christmas lights, starting with energy-saving Christmas mini lights, you can learn all about them.
- Christmas mini lights
The 1970s witnessed a revolution in decorative lighting: the introduction of mini lights. Now, in the lighting sector, they dominate the market. The mini light is a small 2.5-volt incandescent bulb that looks like this:
These bulbs are not very different from any incandescent flashlight bulbs (see below for details).
Assuming you plug these 2.5 volt mini lights into a 120 volt power outlet, the obvious question is, "How does this work?"
The key to using these small low-voltage bulbs under normal house current is to connect them in series. If you multiply 2.5 volts by 48, you get 120 volts. Initially, this is the number of multi-strand bulbs. Today, a typical string adds two more bulbs, so there are 50 lights in the string-a nice whole number. Adding these two extra features darkens the settings, so that's okay. The lights in a 50-bulb string are wired like this:
Now you can see why miniature string lights are so sensitive to removing a light bulb. It will disconnect the circuit, so all the bulbs will not light up! When a mini-light was first introduced, any bulb burnout would dim the entire filament. Nowadays, the bulb may burn out and the wiring harness will remain lit, but if you eject one bulb from the socket, the entire wiring harness will dim. This difference in behavior occurs because the new bulb contains an internal shunt as follows:
If you look closely at the bulb, you will see the shunts wrapped around two posts inside the bulb. The shunt wire contains a coating that gives it a fairly high resistance until the filament is damaged. At this time, the heat caused by the current flowing through the shunt will burn off the coating and reduce the resistance of the shunt. (Once the coating is burned out, a typical bulb has 7 to 8 ohms through the filament and 2 to 3 ohms through the shunt.)
Although you can buy simple 50 bulb stocks as shown above, it is more common to see 100 or 150 bulb stocks. These lines are just two or three parallel 50-head bulbs, as shown below:
If one of the bulbs is removed, the harness of its 50 bulbs will go out, but the remaining harnesses will not be affected. If you look at such a harness, you will find that a third wire runs along the harness, whether it comes from the plug or the first bulb. This line provides a parallel connection below the line.
The biggest advantages of miniature light bulb strands are low power (approximately 25 watts per 50 bulb strands) and low cost (bulbs, sockets and wires are much cheaper than a 120 volt parallel system). The biggest drawback is the problem of loose bulbs. Unless there is no shunt in the socket, loose bulbs will cause the entire 50 bulbs to fail. It is not difficult to loosen the bulb because the socket is very fragile.
2.Blinking Christmas lights
There are two different techniques that can be used to create flashing lights. One is rough and the other is complicated.
The rough way is to install special direction indicators anywhere on the strand. A typical directional indicator is shown here:
The excess metal on the top is a bimetal strip (for more information on bimetal strips, see How Thermometers Work). Current flows from the strip to the post to light the filament. When the filament becomes hot, it causes the strip to bend, disconnecting the current and extinguishing the bulb. When the strip cools, it bends back, reconnects the post, and relights the filament, so the cycle is repeated. Whenever the blinking light is off, the rest of the harness is not powered, so the entire harness will flash uniformly. Obviously, these bulbs are not bypassed (if it does, the rest will not flash), so when the blinker bulb is burned out, the rest will not light up until the blinker bulb is replaced.
Now, more sophisticated lighting equipment with 16 function controllers can operate the lighting equipment in various interesting modes. In these systems, a control box is usually found, which is driving four independent miniature light bulbs. The four strands are staggered, not one after the other. If you open one of the controller boxes, you will find it very simple. It contains an integrated circuit and four transistors or triacs-each transistor or triac. The integrated circuit simply turns on the triac to illuminate one of the four wires. By properly sequencing triacs, you can create a variety of effects! If you want to learn more about the sequencer, it is best to read patent 4,215,277.
If the mini bulb is hooked to a normal AA battery, the bulb will light up like a flashlight. However, this will be dim because the bulb expects 2.5 volts instead of the 1.5 volts produced by the battery. You can put two batteries together to form a 3 volt, or you can hang the bulb on a 9 volt battery, as shown in the figure below.
Because you drive the bulb at a higher voltage than expected, the bulb will burn very brightly and will not last long (maybe 30 minutes or an hour).
LED Christmas lights and projector
Two new developments for Christmas lights are LED lights and holiday projectors.
But it was not until the 1960s that LEDs became commercially available. LED lights will burn out without a filament, and they will glow without adding heat. LEDs are illuminated by electrons moving in a semiconductor material. The first LED Christmas lights were sold in 1998, and by the mid-2010s, the Christmas trees at the U.S. Capitol and Rockefeller Center were lit using only LED lights [source: Gardner]. Although LED lights make consumers more upfront, they consume 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lights and have a longer lifespan [Source: Wood and Gerrity]. Another benefit is that these lights are usually programmable, allowing the user to change the color of the lights and select different blinking modes. They also come in a variety of shapes and styles.
5.LED Holiday Projector
Your house can now enjoy kaleidoscopic fun! They produce special effects, such as falling snow or flying reindeer. They work like this: light passes through the lens, then zooms in and displays the picture. Unlike traditional projectors that use bulbs, laser projectors use LEDs to generate light. Holiday laser projectors are popular because they are easier to install than light strings, especially when decorating roofs.
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