Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Success! Taming the "warm-white" Christmas LEDs
Old 12-18-2016, 10:11 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,454
Success! Taming the "warm-white" Christmas LEDs

I've been buying the warm-white LED strings for a few years now and replacing the old filament style as they burn out. The LED have so far been 100% reliable - nice.

But the 'warm-white' isn't as 'warm' looking as the incandescent. Not bad, but not as good as I'd like. I make a point of not using old and new side by side.

Well, DW bought a string of 'warm white' LED without asking me, and she got some other brand, and they were really not very 'warm' at all. So then she bought (again w/o asking me!) some old filament style (I'm trying to get rid of them!).

So last night I finally tried something I had thought about - since the warm-white LEDS are actually producing a fairly broad spectrum of light, I ought to be able to filter it to look better (the old red, green LEDs could not be filtered - they are a single wavelength). So I experimented, mixed up and thinned some of her acrylic hobby paints, and I quickly found a mix that looked really good ( ~ 4 parts 'Terra Cotta' 1 part Yellow) thinned with water. Only took a minute or two to get the bulbs coated, even while on the little tree.

I had DW look at our main tree (pretty nice 'warm' LEDS), and another decoration with similar warm LEDS, and then the 'too-white' LEDS that she bought, that I had painted. She thought it looked perfect and was very impressed. Success. I looked later, figuring my eyes might have adjusted, but they looked great to me then as well.

So then I 'attacked' the LEDS on the mantel, where DW did mix in some filament style. They were pretty good, but these had a green-ish cast to them. Turns out some thinned 'Tangerine' worked just right. There's still a difference, but it is slight.

I think when I take down the outside LEDS, I'll experiment to find a nice warm glow tint for them, and tint them before I put them away. I think I could get it down to where I could just dip them, and it should go even faster than brushing. The water-thinned paint brushes on very easily.

I wonder why the manufacturers don't use tinted plastic on the 'bulb' part of these? They could get it just right.

-ERD50
__________________

ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-18-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,451
Sounds like more effort/involvement than it's worth to me. To each their own. Be happy.
__________________

gerntz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 04:24 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 24,635
I have not bought any Christmas lights in recent years, but you would think that the manufacturers know to put the right color in the plastic casing of the LEDs to make them warmer. This also applies to regular LED bulbs.

I wonder that it may be that in many countries people do not mind the harsh white light, because electricity is expensive and they want the brightest light possible. They often use white fluorescent tubes throughout that we reserve for kitchen areas only.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 04:49 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I have not bought any Christmas lights in recent years, but you would think that the manufacturers know to put the right color in the plastic casing of the LEDs to make them warmer. This also applies to regular LED bulbs.

I wonder that it may be that in many countries people do not mind the harsh white light, because electricity is expensive and they want the brightest light possible. They often use white fluorescent tubes throughout that we reserve for kitchen areas only.
I don't get it either. I do think some people may want the brightest, and that would be the unfiltered white like you say. But the fact that they are making the 'warm white' would make me think there is a market for the old filament look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerntz View Post
Sounds like more effort/involvement than it's worth to me. To each their own. Be happy.
Well sure, if the color tint isn't a consideration to you, it wouldn't be worth any work at all. But it was a very small amount of work for what I saw as a big improvement. And DW appreciated it, so how can that NOT be worth it!

-ERD50
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 06:02 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5,112
Ah, another answer to waddaya do all day.

Neat solution. But I am not willing to spend the effort. Too many bulbs on the tree.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 06:10 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 1,761
I saw these in Lowes the other day.

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/15...dmYaAuSk8P8HAQ.

They looked nice.
EastWest Gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2016, 07:40 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls99 View Post
Ah, another answer to waddaya do all day. ...
Yes, I was thinking of working that comment into my OP.

Quote:
Neat solution. But I am not willing to spend the effort. Too many bulbs on the tree.
We have 6 strings of 50 on the tree, those were outside for three years, and they seem to have gained a bit of amber with age. But I might give them this treatment. If I can dip them, 300 bulbs won't take long, maybe 10 minutes if I dip each individually ( at ~ 2 sec each), I might be able to grab a bunch at a time. And about 10 strings outside that I might want to do.

We already spend a fair amount of time decorating, a little extra work to improve the look of things is no big deal for me. Kinda fun actually. Not everybody's idea of fun, but that's what makes the world go 'round.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
I saw these in Lowes the other day.

https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/15...dmYaAuSk8P8HAQ.

They looked nice.
Yes, but those are the large style, we have the mini-lights. At $4 each bulb, that would be a huge investment for our decorating.

-ERD50
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 01:06 AM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 289
5000K is the only way to go
__________________
"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable"
- J.K. Galbraith
FireBug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 04:22 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Central PA
Posts: 1,761
You're talking about Christmas light only. I was just expanding it to all lights. It seems Christmas LEDs only come in multiple colors, or way too white. I like your acrylic paint idea, but how long will the paint stay put with handling the lights?

It's annoying that the LED manufacturers never quite give you what you want. That way you'll buy more of them, I guess.
EastWest Gal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 07:37 AM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
You're talking about Christmas light only. I was just expanding it to all lights. It seems Christmas LEDs only come in multiple colors, or way too white. I like your acrylic paint idea, but how long will the paint stay put with handling the lights?

It's annoying that the LED manufacturers never quite give you what you want. That way you'll buy more of them, I guess.
Only time will tell. I didn't do anything to prep them (a little sanding or chemical treatment would probably help the paint adhere, but that could run into more effort than I might be willing to do), and with all that water in the paint, it probably doesn't have all that much adhesion?

I just played with one, it scratches off pretty easily with my fingernail, but that might still hold up fine with the minimal handling they'll get. OK, I just gave a more aggressive test - really went after it with my fingernail, purposely trying to scratch more off. You can see the scratch marks if you look for them, but I don't think anyone would notice, and at about 3' away, you can't even tell when you know. So unless it just flakes off (and it might), I think it will be OK.

But handling is pretty minimal, on and off the decorations once per year. So I'm hopeful. A redo in 5 years or so wouldn't bother me, especially if I can get a dipping technique worked out.

-ERD50
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 07:05 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,519
Budding business? (ie retrofitting)

Some folks can be passionate about their light bulbs.

-gauss
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 07:11 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 24,635
Needs outsourcing the labor to some neighborhood kids. Then, the long term is to go to China.

Oh wait. Can't somebody order the Chinese to make the lenses or covers for the LEDs with the right color to save this step?
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 08:08 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by gauss View Post
Budding business? (ie retrofitting)

Some folks can be passionate about their light bulbs.

-gauss
I'm retired!

-ERD50
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 08:11 PM   #14
Moderator
samclem's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 14,078
Thanks, ERD50. I'll have to give this a shot. Any idea whether the slightly higher resultant bulb temperature might decrease longevity? Probably not a big deal in this application, as with the life of these things and the number of hours they'll get used per year, they may outlast me.
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2016, 08:24 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 21,454
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Thanks, ERD50. I'll have to give this a shot. Any idea whether the slightly higher resultant bulb temperature might decrease longevity? Probably not a big deal in this application, as with the life of these things and the number of hours they'll get used per year, they may outlast me.
I can't detect any temperature rise at all. There's probably more far variation in people's room temperature that they use these in, than any increase from a little translucent paint. The LEDS are about 60 milliwatts each, just not much heat generating capability there at all. The whole string of 50 is ~ 3 watts, less than half the heat of a night light bulb, spread out over a large area.

I'm pretty sure you could paint it black, and have trouble raising the temperature of the LED junction much at all. The leads and wires are acting as heat sinks as well.

-ERD50
__________________

ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Taming my healthcare cost monster Alex in Virginia Health and Early Retirement 18 05-11-2013 05:39 AM
Happiness leads to success vs Success leads to happiness Midpack Other topics 4 02-06-2012 07:59 AM
My First White Christmas Cruisinthru Other topics 10 12-25-2009 07:57 PM
CFL Lightbulbs, LEDs, Incandescents cute fuzzy bunny Life after FIRE 81 03-11-2007 01:13 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:38 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.