Talk about vintage Christmas lights

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:00 am 
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FROM 1965, THE BOTTOM OF THE AD IS ON TOP--sorry!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:36 am 
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VERY Nice, Maria, thanks for posting. This also shows how many manufacturing options we had before everything went to China. . . . .


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:48 pm 
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There was definitely a lot of variety of midget light sets that sprang up in the 1960s, much like the variety of more recent day miniature light sets. Unfortunately their introduction saw to the quick demise of the series miniature base sets.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:14 am 
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Fred, When I was a kid, the lead icicles I grew up with were superceded by mylar icicles that you didn't save from year to year - you just threw them away with the tree. (Considering that the mylar takes 3000-5000 years to break down, one wonders how many mylar icicles will be dug up by archaeologists a couple millenia from now, the trees long gone.) Today, I think the disposable culture applies to the miniature light strings as well. Even the LED lights, which advertise that they will last for years, only last one season out of doors, because of cheap materials that are prone to corrosion when exposed to dampness (DUH!). I hang maybe 60 strands of miniature or LED lights outside every year, and every year when I get my lights out to test them, I wind up recycling 20 or so strands, often strands I just bought the year previous. Back when you had the screw-in C7 and C9 bulbs, people knew the strands were worth saving from year to year, so they did. Now, you can buy a 100-light strand of miniature lights for $5 or LEDs for $10, so many folks consider them "disposable." Worse yet, many manufacturers make them that way - when one goes out they all go out, no matter what it says on the package.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Paul, I think you need to switch back to some good old Incandescent lights, even if that means using fewer. I do a large outdoor display using a LOT of old 10 watt bulbs and have purchased a number of LED sets and retrofit LED's just to make things stretch on my breakers but have stopped buying them. As they pack it in I refuse to replace them. All of the retrofits I have tried were never sealed to the threads so they take on water resulting in a fried circuit board inside the LED or when it freezes, blowing apart. I have gone through a LOT of plastic glue just to seal them up. The really stupid thing is, your not doing something better for the environment by switching to them either. The pollution from the recycle and re-manufacture is enormous. You may save a few bucks on the Hydro bill but in the end, you shell out more for the LED's and their replacement. They are a band-aid solution to a rapidly increasing population and the struggle to make electricity stretch.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:37 pm 
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Interesting conversation. I too have found that the few LEDS I have purchased simply fail outside--but the ones inside seem to last forever.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:25 pm 
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Fred,

Here's what I use them for:

Image

Started out with incandescent "twinkle lights" but I leave them out a long time and they all faded to white after a couple seasons. The LEDs have so much more brilliant colors. So using lights with a high failure rate is a price I pay to get a certain look. I just wish the manufacturers didn't claim that they'll last for a million hours or whatever. Not outside, they don't. :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:02 pm 
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No question Paul, that display looks awesome, your trees look like a real forest. Are your trees done in blue or true white LED's? I won't deny LED's are a great alternative to miniature Incandescent lights for their lasting color and they look good with a dark background like you have. I have taken to re-using the led covers off of dead LED sets by drilling them out to fit over old miniature Incandescent lamp sets. They make for great reflectors and the only color that lights up pale with clear bulbs in them is the blue which is easily rectified by just using a blue mini-light in the blue covers. I have found that some of the LED covers will easily pop right over the old mini lights without even drilling them out.

I'm a die-hard traditionalist I guess, not fond of them used in place of Intermediate base lamps and in my case, they would be totally lost with all the other lights and lit decs. I use.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:44 am 
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Fred, thanks for the photos, those are great. I agree that there's something vintagey about the C7 and C9 incandescents that miniature lights never capture. But in my case, as you can see, I use miniatures to keep from overwhelming the little buildings and people. The back row of trees is blue, a tradition we started years ago to honor a beloved aunt who used blue lights on everything. I like the LED's "cobalt" tone. The little trees in the foreground are multicolored. When we started this, all of our strands were incandescent minis, but as those strands have given out, they've been gradually replaced until only a few incandescent mini strands are left.

Under an inch or so of snow the whole thing looks good enough to eat, doesn't it? :-)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:31 am 
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Looks just like frosting on a cake. Do you run your trains in the snow at all?


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