Outdoor LED garlands: frost-resistant and moisture-resistant decorations
The opportunity to decorate the house with colorful lights not only inside, but also outside appeared relatively recently. For a long time, the use of light bulbs on the street was impossible due to difficult weather conditions: frost, precipitation, etc. But progress does not stand still and today you can find outdoor LED garlands on sale: frost-resistant, thermo- and moisture-resistant. Let’s consider what opportunities such decorations for the street provide to their owners.
How New Year’s LED garlands for home appeared
For the first time, street Christmas garlands appeared about 100 years ago in America. Of course, they did not immediately become widespread. But due to the fact that they were used to decorate the main Christmas tree of the country, it soon became much easier to buy a garland for the street. The shops were the first to support this fashion trend, and then the owners of private houses.
In Russia, street garlands appeared much later. First of all, this is due to the harsher climate and severe frosts, which are characteristic of the cold season. But today this problem has been solved and LED garlands for the house give everyone the opportunity to decorate their home. In addition, such devices are often used to decorate shop windows, advertising signs, banners, etc.
Outdoor LED garlands: frost-resistant and moisture-resistant. Advantages of devices
The use of LED lamps as a decoration has a number of advantages, which provided garlands with their popularity. The main ones are:
- in comparison with conventional incandescent lamps, LEDs have a much longer service life (usually it is 4-5 times longer);
- LED light bulbs can boast of a high level of brightness, as well as the purity of the glow;
- from the point of view of economy, they are more profitable than conventional ones, so you will not have to worry about excessive overspending of electricity;
- a special plastic case is able to protect them from the effects of any environmental factors and moisture ingress;
- the parallel connection of the bulbs allows the garland to continue working, even if one of the elements is faulty, while for incandescent lamps, only a serial connection is used, which requires the indispensable serviceability of all components;
- there are many ways to decorate and diversify an LED garland. For this purpose, special plastic nozzles of various shapes are used.
Useful advice! Thanks to the various attachments, you will be able to use the same garland for many years, while decorating the house and territory in different ways each time. For example, in one year you can use nozzles in the form of stars, in another – hearts, etc.
How to choose a high-quality Christmas tree LED garland
As with any other product, a number of requirements are imposed on LED street garlands for trees (it is important to understand that only if your purchase meets all these parameters, you can count on its long and uninterrupted service):
- the first thing you should pay attention to is the quality of the plastic that was used to make the case. It is quite simple to distinguish high-quality material from low-quality. If a cheap alternative was used during the manufacturing process, the case will not be able to withstand severe frost and will crack. It is much better if the manufacturer used rubber or rubber instead of plastic. This will ensure not only the best functionality of the garland, but also a higher level of safety of its use;
Useful advice! To make sure that the frost resistance of garlands for trees on the street, pay attention to the labeling when buying devices. This criterion is indicated by the letters GIR.
- when it comes to decorating a large Christmas tree or the facade of a house, the question of the required length of the garland is acute. The standard dimensions of the devices range from 5-20 m. The most popular and convenient option is a street LED garland of 20 meters. With due diligence, you can find a device up to 50 m long. The easiest way to extend the garland, if necessary, is to use special connectors that allow you to connect several devices into a single circuit;
- the level of protection from moisture is another important selection criterion. Everything is quite simple here: if the device does not additionally have protection against the directed flow of water, this is indicated on the package by the letter N. For use in outdoor conditions, it is worth choosing a garland that does not have this designation.
Another important point that you should definitely pay attention to is the stability of the voltage in the power grid. If it is not stable, even the most carefully selected garland can become faulty due to a sharp voltage drop. To completely eliminate the risk of light bulbs burning out, it is best to use a special stabilizer, which will require additional costs.
Varieties of LED garlands for the street
LED garlands are divided into types according to two main parameters: power supply method and configuration.
According to the type of power supply , the devices are divided into:
- connected to the power grid;
- autonomous power sources — it can be a frost-resistant outdoor LED garland powered by batteries or powered by solar panels.
The advantage of the second type is that there is no need to look for an outlet nearby. At the same time, the use of solar panels as a power source is considered to be more convenient, as well as environmentally friendly. So, a solar-powered street garland accumulates the energy received during daylight hours, and then gradually spends it on the operation of LEDs.
Useful advice! Battery-powered LED garlands are very convenient if you want to decorate an object removed from the outlet. But do not forget that the energy consumption of such devices, as a rule, is not too great. Therefore, if you still decide to buy a battery-powered LED garland, make sure that there are several sets of batteries in stock.
What kind of LED street lights can I buy in shape and appearance
Another way to separate street garlands is their shape. Depending on the configuration, they can be used for different purposes and in different conditions:
- universal garlands are the simplest and most familiar option, which provides alternate arrangement of light bulbs on a flexible wire. For all its apparent primitiveness, with the help of such a device, you can decorate almost anything, giving the garland any shape. You can purchase both a single-color and multi-color universal garland with one or more modes of operation;
- an LED garland-curtain on a window (or as it is also called an LED garland-curtain) is a cable located horizontally, with hanging threads on which LED light bulbs are fixed. Depending on the length of the threads, and it can range from 1.5 to 9 m, such curtains can be used both for window openings and for entire facades. You can often see that they are fixed on cornices or canopies. These garlands got their name due to the ability to control the flow of electricity supplied to the LEDs, which allows you to create the effect of dripping or flowing water;
- devices in the form of icicles or fringes – it makes sense to buy a street garland of this type if you want to design the visor or cornice of the house in an original way. The principle of its operation is similar to the previous type of devices, but the number of bulbs in the fringe threads may vary. As a rule, the length of one thread does not exceed 1 m, but they all differ from each other in length. With the help of the controller, as well as grouping the LEDs into bundles by color, the effect of a running radiance is created;
- the LED garland-grid is a more complex system, which is a set of wires, at the junctions of which LEDs are fixed. Such a grid is designed to decorate the entire facade, openings, as well as recreation areas. Using special connectors, individual elements can be combined into a single structure of almost any size. The only difficulty that may arise and which must be taken into account is that the wires themselves are quite fragile and easily subject to mechanical damage. Therefore, such a grid should not be used when it comes to decorating trees.
Is it worth buying a duralight? LED garlands in tubes
Duralight is a special kind of garlands, which are a tube inside which LEDs are located. Depending on the type of garland, the distance between the glowing elements can be from 12 to 27 mm. At the same time, you can buy a multicolored street garland duralight or pick up a monochrome model.
Depending on the type of cord that is used to connect the LEDs, the garlands can be round or flat. With the help of duralight, it is convenient to create various glowing figures, inscriptions, as well as to design facades, storefronts or advertising signs with their help.
In a separate category, garlands can be distinguished, which look like melting icicles. They are made on the basis of the same duralight, but thanks to the controller, the LEDs located in the hanging threads gradually go out. Thus, it seems that the surface is gradually decreasing. Depending on the model, one garland can have from 5 to 10 such icicles, the distance between which is from 10 to 50 cm.
Due to the unusual effects that duralight can create, this type of garlands is gaining wide popularity when it comes to the design of recreation areas, verandas, as well as facades of houses and cornices.
Modes of operation of outdoor LED garlands on the house and other objects
Each of us has seen that the flickering lights of LED garlands located both on the street and in houses can differ in a wide variety. Each mode has certain names, and all models of garlands are pre-programmed for one or another combination.
Main names and descriptions of modes:
- fixing – the mode of static illumination of diodes without any additional effects;
- chasing – gradual ignition alternating with slow attenuation of LEDs. Due to the smoothness of this process, it is used to create effects such as overflows, as well as light waterfalls;
- flash (flicker) – in this mode, every 5th or 7th LED in the garland flickers;
- chameleon (chameleon) – constant intensive color change of LEDs;
- multichasing, which requires a controller. It includes combinations of several different modes at once.
Models that can provide all of the above variety of effects are certainly more expensive than those that are limited to one or two modes. In any case, it is worth checking the serviceability of each mode in the store before you pay for the purchase.
How to repair an LED garland with your own hands
Quite often there is a situation that last winter the device was completely serviceable, and now it does not work as it should, for example, the LED garland lights dimly or does not turn on at all. It is also not uncommon when one color of an LED garland of several is not lit. It is quite possible to repair and bring the device into working condition on your own. To successfully solve the problem, it is necessary to have an idea of what kind of breakdowns are most common, as well as possible ways to repair the LED garland in one case or another.
Wiring diagram of the 220V LED strip to the mains: correct installation of the backlight. Properties of LED strips, their use in the interior. Self-adhesive 220V models. The price of tapes and their installation with their own hands.
How to fix an LED garland: a separate section is not lit
The most common breakdown is that one or two colors of the garland do not glow. It happens that the whole section does not work. In this case, it is worth starting the repair of the LED Christmas tree garland with the disassembly of the control unit in order to make sure that all contacts are securely attached to the board and the wire break did not cause a malfunction. If you find that the problem is hiding in this place, the broken contact must be fixed. You can learn more about this procedure from the video how to repair an LED garland located below.
If the cause of the breakdown was not detected in the control unit, this indicates that it is hidden in the common wire. The fact is that for LED garlands, unlike conventional ones, a parallel connection is used, which eliminates the possibility of malfunction of the garland due to the burnout of one element. Therefore, your task is to check the common wire for damage, punctures, etc.
Useful advice! Often the cause of the malfunction is pets that chew through the wires. Make sure in advance that your pets do not have access to the garlands, as it is unsafe, first of all, for them.
How to repair an LED garland if it is completely faulty
If the LED garland is not lit when the power is connected, the problem can also be fixed with your own hands. The LED garland requires a standard inspection for damage to the power cord and power supply. Make sure that all contacts are securely connected to the chip and to the board. If all connections are in order, most likely, the board itself has burned out.
At this stage, it is necessary to make a decision: whether it is worth repairing the garland or it will be easier to buy a new one. Of course, if we are talking about an inexpensive Chinese garland, it will be easier to replace it. If a decision is made in favor of repairing the old one, use the provided tips.
The control unit can be replaced with a starter from a fluorescent lamp. Depending on how powerful it will be (127 or 220 volts), the LEDs will flash at different speeds.
You should start by checking exactly how the LEDs in this garland are connected. Here you should be interested in how the extreme elements of the groups are interconnected. If the connection is made using anodes, you will have to search the Internet for the scheme of a Christmas garland on LEDs and make some changes to connect the extreme elements with cathodes. This is due to the fact that for the normal operation of the garland through the starter, a 5-watt resistor is needed, which will supply voltage to the anode with the necessary resistance. In addition, you need to include the diodes in the circuit so that they can pass through the reverse current from the network.
It is quite troublesome to figure out the scheme of the LED garland yourself and fix it. Therefore, it will often be much easier to buy a new one.
Replacement of individual elements of the LED garland
If necessary, replace a separate LED that has failed, this can be done quite simply. You just need to disconnect the garland from the power supply to avoid an electric shock, solder the burned-out element and install a new one in its place. The main thing in this is to observe the polarity.
It is especially worth noting the ways of repairing such garlands as duralite. Sometimes you have to deal with such a phenomenon as a malfunction of a separate section of it. But here the solution is simple: it is necessary to detect the problem area (you can do it visually or with the help of a tester), and then just cut it out using special markers made by the manufacturer as a guide. The non-working part can be thrown out, and the serviceable ones can be combined using a special connector.
How to make a garland of LEDs with your own hands
It is quite possible to make a garland yourself if you use the scheme of a Chinese garland on LEDs as a guide. Let’s consider three algorithms that differ from each other in the complexity of manufacturing and, accordingly, the sophistication of the final result.
Simple LED garland for the Christmas tree
In order to make the simplest version of an LED garland, you will need the following components:
- LEDs (preferably at 20mA);
- wire with a cross section of 0.25 or 0.5 mm;
- resistor with a resistance of 100 ohms;
- 6V power supply;
- silicone sealant (transparent) and a gun for it;
- soldering iron, rosin and solder.
The simplest scheme of a Christmas tree garland on LEDs implies the serial connection of all elements. It is very simple to implement this. It is necessary to decide what distance you want to observe between the glowing elements, after which the appropriate designations are made using a marker on the wire. The standard distance between the LEDs is 20-25 cm.
Then, using a sharp knife in the places where the LEDs will be attached, the top layer of insulation is cut off. The length of the cut should be 1-2 cm. Rosin and a little solder are applied to this area, which will allow you to fix the LED more securely and easily. After that, the legs of the LED are soldered.
The soldered LED itself is not too reliable, therefore, in order to provide the garland with greater strength, it is necessary to create additional protection, which, at the same time, will allow isolating the bare part of the wire. To do this, you will need a thin tape. Each LED is wrapped in such a way that it turns out to be “in the pocket”. Then, using a silicone sealant, the upper part of the pocket is fixed.
After the procedure for creating a “pocket” of tape is completed, you can attach a resistor and a power supply to the wire, and then proceed to test the system.
Multicolor garland on LEDs: Scheme (China)
Making a multicolored garland is not so difficult. After reviewing the scheme, you will see that the principle of its operation is quite simple due to the fact that each color is connected to a separate generator. Therefore, understanding the general structure of the system for one color will allow you to use several identical channels at the same time, allowing the garland to glow with many different colors.
Due to the fact that each color channel is connected to a separate generator, they are independent of each other and can continue to work even when one of them fails.
But if the channels themselves are arranged according to the principle that was considered in the process of creating the simplest garland, special attention should be paid to the controller. Such a device is inexpensive, but it greatly expands the possibilities of the garland. The wires are soldered to the chip, which is responsible for the operating modes of the device, and the control button allows you to freely switch from one mode to another.
Thus, having spent quite a bit of money, you will be able to create a much more interesting and perfect multi-color device that will fully work in several modes.
A complex garland on LEDs: a diagram and step-by-step instructions
A garland with lithium batteries is more complex in design, but at the same time more spectacular. The principle of its device is somewhat different from the Chinese LED garland, the scheme of which is given above, and assumes that a bright colored train will remain behind the garland. This effect is great for creating patterns in the air.
It is quite problematic to buy such an LED garland for the street, mainly because of the high cost. But if you pick up all the necessary parts and devote some time to the assembly, you can save a lot, while achieving the desired result. The list of required materials includes the following:
- 10-millimeter diodes capable of scattering light;
- narrow tape;
- magnets with a diameter of no more than 1.3 mm and a thickness of 3 cm;
- epoxy glue;
- CR2032 3V lithium batteries.
After all the necessary components are selected, follow the following algorithm of actions:
The main difficulty of creating such a garland is that the same operation must be repeated accurately and carefully many times. But, in addition to the proposed options, on the Internet you can find a lot of other ideas on how to make a garland of LEDs with your own hands. It is enough just to set a goal and you will be able to realize almost any idea.
How to choose and buy LED garlands: for home, street, fringe garland, etc.
If the idea of making an LED garland yourself does not seem attractive to you, you can buy a new one. Let’s look at some of the most popular options: their cost and some defining characteristics. This will help you make the right choice and choose the most suitable model.
It is worth understanding that you can buy Christmas LED garlands at very different prices. A lot depends on the country and the company that is engaged in production, as well as the length of the garland and lighting effects.
Let’s give an example of average prices for popular models of Christmas garlands:
- LED garland curtain “Rain” is a very popular model that is available in a huge range of sizes and prices. For example, a high-quality single-color LED garland with parameters of 1.5 x 2 m and a transparent wire can be purchased for 2900 rubles, while a multi-color garland will cost you 3700 rubles. At the same time, you can buy a Chinese-made LED “Rain” garland. The analogue will cost much cheaper (about 1000 rubles), but it will be noticeably inferior in quality to the original;
- LED garland-curtain on the window. You can buy such a decoration from a Chinese manufacturer for 800 rubles. But really high-quality LED garlands for windows will cost you at least 2 times more expensive. Naturally, much depends on the area covered by such a curtain, as well as the availability of additional functions and color management capabilities;
- you can also buy LED icicle garlands at very different prices. Basically, the range can be outlined as follows: small Chinese garlands will cost 560 rubles or more. The upper limit of prices is around the 3000 rub mark. For this price, it is quite possible to purchase a high-quality device with the appropriate effect, for example, a LED garland “Melting icicles”;
- outdoor frost-resistant LED garland fringe costs about 3000 rubles and above, depending on the configuration.
Useful advice! It is worth noting that, speaking of cheap garlands of Chinese production, options worth 100, 200, 300 rubles are not taken into account. Such products rarely meet expectations, so it is difficult to call the purchase of these garlands expedient.
As you can see, the prices of LED garlands have a fairly wide range, which makes it possible for absolutely all segments of the population to purchase jewelry. The only question is that the cost of the garland directly affects its service life. Once purchased, a high-quality product will pay off in a couple of years, unlike cheap garlands, which will constantly fail.
Street garlands spend most of their time in the pantry, however, during the Christmas and New Year holidays they are irreplaceable. Therefore, when it comes to buying them or making them yourself, it is best to treat this with due attention. Then the house and the territory of the plot will shine with colorful lights, giving a good mood and creating a cozy festive atmosphere.