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Xmas light string blinker for LEDs?

macsrwe

Mar 5, 2010
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The older I grow, the obsoleter I get.

For years, I have had two strings of mini-bulbs surrounding our front picture window. There were on a timer, had a blink-bulb in each, and so they would flash on and off at independent rates.

This year, I got tired of the tedious annual hunt for the blown-out bulb(s) before I could get the strings to light up, and bought two strings of LED lights to replace them. For the blink function, I reached into my box of legacy bakelite adapters and pulled out two vintage Gem-style AC flasher units (bimetallic make and break).

Screen%20Shot%202015-12-06%20at%206.49.08%20PM.jpg


Although they are functional, the LED strings apparently don't draw enough current to trigger the flashing.

I was equally disappointed (though equally not surprised) to discover that nobody makes AC flasher adapters anymore, at least not in this style. I was hoping to find a more modern unit that would work with LED strings. I see a number of units made to flash rope lights, but what I have are just simple Christmas light strings with AC plugs at the end of them, carrying a ten-year warranty, so I'd like not to perform surgery on them.

Does anybody know of such a product, whether commercial or private?
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Hi macsrwe,
Are you sure your LED strings only have an AC plug? No box between string and plug?
Have you got a web link to them?

There are hundreds of LED controllers on Ebay!

Martin
 

macsrwe

Mar 5, 2010
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It's an integrated whole: a 2" plastic box with outlet prongs on the end. Again, surgery is not really an option.

The product is here, but the photo doesn't show the plug.
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Hi,
I would be happy with your lot!
You could always sit by the window and turn the switch ON, OFF, On OFF etc..
Or a timer set for every minute!.

If you cannot change or modify the sets, you are pretty much stuck with the functions.
Again, Ebay has LED strings that flash for $2.
 

macsrwe

Mar 5, 2010
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Our grandfathers had the technology for add-on outlet blinkers back in the 1940s... it seems ludicrous to imply that there is nothing similar we could do today just because bulbs got more efficient.
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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I think your grandfathers would understand that times change!
Back in the old days they switched AC. Don't get me wrong, they still do..
But lighting has moved forward to more efficient LEDs. Softer, cooler running and energy saving!
Blame the government, not us!
We can still make yours flash, but without adding/ modifying , it wont work.
The bakelight is probably about to fall apart as well!!

Martin
 

macsrwe

Mar 5, 2010
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I'm not averse to switching AC in the least. I am still hoping to hear implementable suggestions from some other forum members as to how this can be done using modern technology.
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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I think your attitude is correct sir!
But even that wont help with a DC set of LEDs!..
But I will shut up now . Hopefully somebody will give you a solution..
Forgive me..

Martin
 

duke37

Jan 9, 2011
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@duke37
Any help please sir!
Thanks..

Martin
I don't know why I should be of able to help in this complex case.
I would suggest that you use an adaptor, one input and two outputs and put a small bulb (globe) in the spare socket.
You could make a circuit to do the job but it would need a fairly complex circuit and would need a box to house the circuit safely.
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Thanks Trevor,
I am still none the wiser.
Perhaps the OP understands and can explain to me!!

Martin
 

duke37

Jan 9, 2011
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The op shows
"
Screen%20Shot%202015-12-06%20at%206.49.08%20PM.jpg


Although they are functional, the LED strings apparently don't draw enough current to trigger the flashing"

I would just draw enough current to make them work. We have plenty of two way adaptors in the UK. I don't know what you have in Outer Mongolia.
 

cjdelphi

Oct 26, 2011
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I suppose one easy solution. ..

Plug the blinker ac plug into the wall, plug an extension block into the blink plug, then run the lights from the power block...

Then add a 240vac lamp/Edison bulb to the mix for extra current, paint the bulb green and red or something lol
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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Ooohhh, I never thought of loading the flasher!!
That is just too easy.. Well for others, it would seem:D

Martin
 
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