Christmas lights

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-10-17, 04:32 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 18
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Christmas lights

Trying my hand at custom length Christmas lights this year. Ordered 200 feet of light string and 200 feet of the regular wire to splice between the lit portions. All I can find online, they recommend using Gilbert plugs and basically creating several short light strings with a female plug on one end and male on the other to be plugged into into these plain unlit cords between. Basically I'd end up with 6 or 7 separate cords, some lit, some not that would just plug into each other.

I was hoping to not use plugs and just create a single long run of wire (utilizing both the unlit and lit wire) and just use 18ga butt splices to connect them all.

So my question is, is there any advantage (safety or convenience) to having plugs between all these wires? Or am I better off just using butt splices, liquid electrical tape and heat shrink tubing....which was my original plan?

Here are the products I will be using and the websites recommended way of splicing.

Lit portion:
https://www.christmas-light-source.com/100-foot-c9-christmas-light-cord-6-inch-spacing-green-wire

Unlit portion:
https://www.christmas-light-source.com/250-foot-Green-Wire-SPT-1_p_2248.html

Bulbs:
https://thechristmaslightemporium.com/collections/c9-led-christmas-light-bulbs/products/c9-red-led-christmas-light-bulbs-faceted-pack-of-25

and online recommendation:
https://www.christmaslightsetc.com/pages/How-to-Splice-Wires-for-Custom-Christmas-Lights.htm

(Edit) Also, after emailing the company regarding the maximum run length for the 18ga wire...they replied recommending using "gilbert plugs or inline gilbert plugs for electrical connections."
Also, I plan on having two runs...each no more than 150 feet TOTAL.
Thanks for any advice, trying not to catch my house on fire.
 

Last edited by KC-DIY; 11-10-17 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Adding information
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-10-17, 06:33 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,179
Received 1,118 Votes on 1,038 Posts
Quite a job making custom length light strings. You've chosen a C9 type socket. That makes for a large LED bulb. What I've done is to obtain the closest length I could find and then cut off the un-needed sockets. Then I use glue filled heat shrink to cap the wire.

Solder and glue filled heat shrink tubing makes the best waterproof splices.

Since what you are doing is going to require a lot of splicing.... be sure you run the lights on GFI protected circuits.
 
  #3  
Old 11-10-17, 07:12 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 18
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So just strip the wires, twist them together, solder them and then use glue filled heat shrink tube? Are there any other options if I don't have access to any GFI's? None of my outdoor outlets or outlets in my garage are GFI's.
 
  #4  
Old 11-10-17, 07:17 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,179
Received 1,118 Votes on 1,038 Posts
You should install GFI receptacles where you'll be plugging the lights in. Be careful installing them up high as it will be quite a chore to reset them. You can install one down low and connect a second regular receptacle up higher and connect it to the load side of the GFI receptacle.
 
  #5  
Old 11-10-17, 07:36 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 18
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, thanks....I think I'll be much happier with the project just having two 110 ft runs instead of having 20 different cords that I have to plug into each other. I'm gonna kinda do a T shape....both strings will plug into one side of my garage which is in pretty much dead center of the house. Then I'll go out the garage, up and right/left with the respective string. That way I can just install one GFI in the garage to run them off of.

This is similar to what I'll be doing, so I'll have several splices where I'll be going from lit to unlit.
 

Last edited by KC-DIY; 11-10-17 at 07:42 PM. Reason: Add link
  #6  
Old 11-10-17, 07:58 PM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,108
Received 81 Votes on 75 Posts
Any combination of lit and unlit segments that you are permitted to have using plugs and receptacles at the joints you are also permitted to have using splices instead of the plugs. Except i is desirable that the start of string be a plug to connect to a permanent receptacle on the wall.

But there may be limits on where you can cut apart the 200 foot lit string, for example allowable cut points may be marked every nine inches along the string where cutting between the 9 inch marks will cause a malfunction.

Or another brand supplying you with a 200 foot lit string will work only if all 200 feet are utilized when you intersperse unlit sections. Not using all 200 feet of lit string would result in overvoltage of the lights you did use and resultant short life.

On some brands, if you want a T joint, you must have black* wire of the stem connected to white wire of the first branch, then black wire of the first branch connected to white wire of the second branch, then black wire of the second branch connected to white wire of the stem. Other brands require all 3 black wires connected together and all 3 white wires connected together at the T joint.

Follow the instructions that come with the lit string to be sure it is wired correctly.

* Wires might not be actually colored black and white but instead have other identifying markings.
 
  #7  
Old 11-12-17, 09:04 PM
K
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 18
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, I soldered everything, then went ahead and liquid taped all the bare wires/soldering, once that dries I have the adhesive lined marine heat shrink ready to shrink around each pair of splices.

I tested them with just a few bulbs and it seems all my splices are good. I ended up with a string that was right about 100 feet and another that was 125 feet.

Not sure why....but the asterisks keep replacing "i b b . c o" (minus the spaces) in my image url.

https://*******/fXe9Fw
https://*******/kfeFoG
https://*******/ertKFw
 

Last edited by KC-DIY; 11-12-17 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Pictures
  #8  
Old 11-13-17, 10:16 AM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,344
Received 116 Votes on 107 Posts
Quite the project you have going on!

Certain picture hosting sites aren't permitted here (tinypic I believe being one). Spam and virus protection as far as I recall.

If you don't want to replace your existing receptacles, you can get something like this that will give you GFI protection. I would definitely recommend it.
https://www.amazon.com/Tower-Manufac.../dp/B00YPBITXU
 
  #9  
Old 11-20-17, 09:40 PM
G
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 145
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Have you considered using low voltage christmas lights? That's alot of wires carrying live voltage to be hanging on your house.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: