Discussion:
Can LED bulbs be connected to a flasher?
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B***@Weiser.com
2018-05-14 19:08:24 UTC
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A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.

I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
Mark Lloyd
2018-05-14 19:17:50 UTC
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Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
They should. I've been flashing LED holiday lights since 2005. I do not
see a higher failure rate than for those that stay on.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

"...I was suddenly inspired to describe the Judeo-Christian god as a
penis which has been endowed with cosmic significance." -- Soledad de
Montalvo
mike
2018-05-14 21:00:40 UTC
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Post by Mark Lloyd
Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
They should. I've been flashing LED holiday lights since 2005. I do not
see a higher failure rate than for those that stay on.
Holiday lights are typically a bunch of LED's in series to operate off
the line voltage.

Standard home LED lights have a converter/regulator that drives the LED's.
It's likely that the LED's are fine, but the electronics are failing
because of the surge current.
trader_4
2018-05-14 21:35:09 UTC
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Post by mike
Post by Mark Lloyd
Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
They should. I've been flashing LED holiday lights since 2005. I do not
see a higher failure rate than for those that stay on.
Holiday lights are typically a bunch of LED's in series to operate off
the line voltage.
Standard home LED lights have a converter/regulator that drives the LED's.
It's likely that the LED's are fine, but the electronics are failing
because of the surge current.
Agree, it's probably that they don't like being turned on and off.
It may also depend on the cycle rate, ie that they don't like being
turned off then quickly back on. I would not be surprised if a
different brand, maybe ones from a name brand company, might be OK
with it, if they have a more tolerant power supply design.
He could do some experimenting.
BurfordTJustice
2018-05-15 11:33:32 UTC
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So again you run mouth and do not know anything...WTF Dog?




"trader_4" <***@optonline.net> wrote in message news:298887f4-9346-4cfd-839f-***@googlegroups.com...
:
: Agree, it's probably that they don't like being turned on and off.
: It may also depend on the cycle rate, ie that they don't like being
: turned off then quickly back on. I would not be surprised if a
: different brand, maybe ones from a name brand company, might be OK
: with it, if they have a more tolerant power supply design.
: He could do some experimenting.
Terry Coombs
2018-05-16 22:32:22 UTC
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Post by trader_4
Post by mike
Post by Mark Lloyd
Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
They should. I've been flashing LED holiday lights since 2005. I do not
see a higher failure rate than for those that stay on.
Holiday lights are typically a bunch of LED's in series to operate off
the line voltage.
Standard home LED lights have a converter/regulator that drives the LED's.
It's likely that the LED's are fine, but the electronics are failing
because of the surge current.
Agree, it's probably that they don't like being turned on and off.
It may also depend on the cycle rate, ie that they don't like being
turned off then quickly back on. I would not be surprised if a
different brand, maybe ones from a name brand company, might be OK
with it, if they have a more tolerant power supply design.
He could do some experimenting.
  Are you and Mike both reading comprehension impaired ? He clearly
stated that it was CFL bulbs that have failed  .
--
Snag
Ain't no dollar sign on
peace of mind - Zac Brown
Clare Snyder
2018-05-15 03:23:13 UTC
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Post by mike
Post by Mark Lloyd
Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
They should. I've been flashing LED holiday lights since 2005. I do not
see a higher failure rate than for those that stay on.
Holiday lights are typically a bunch of LED's in series to operate off
the line voltage.
Standard home LED lights have a converter/regulator that drives the LED's.
It's likely that the LED's are fine, but the electronics are failing
because of the surge current.
Household LEDS are a LOT more durable than CFL bulbs
CFL ballasts in general are JUNK
B***@Weiser.com
2018-05-15 08:00:28 UTC
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Post by Clare Snyder
Post by mike
Holiday lights are typically a bunch of LED's in series to operate off
the line voltage.
Standard home LED lights have a converter/regulator that drives the LED's.
It's likely that the LED's are fine, but the electronics are failing
because of the surge current.
That's why I asked. I know the holiday lights flash, but the flasher is
built right into them. Having a plug in flasher will surge the power
feeding these standard home LED bulbs.
Post by Clare Snyder
Household LEDS are a LOT more durable than CFL bulbs
CFL ballasts in general are JUNK
You got that right. I had several of them CFL bulbs literally go up in
smoke and sparks. I actually went back to incendescent bulbs for a short
time, because of fear of having a fire from them CFLs. Now I have LED
lights in my whole house and out buildings. I still have about 20 brand
new CFL bulbs. I will probably give them to Goodwill or something. I'll
never use them.
gregz
2018-05-15 08:38:46 UTC
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Post by mike
Post by Mark Lloyd
Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
They should. I've been flashing LED holiday lights since 2005. I do not
see a higher failure rate than for those that stay on.
Holiday lights are typically a bunch of LED's in series to operate off
the line voltage.
Holiday lights flash 60 times a second, 120 if off a bridge rectifier.

Greg
Post by mike
Standard home LED lights have a converter/regulator that drives the LED's.
It's likely that the LED's are fine, but the electronics are failing
because of the surge current.
rbowman
2018-05-15 13:35:17 UTC
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Post by gregz
Holiday lights flash 60 times a second, 120 if off a bridge rectifier.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosensitive_epilepsy
Mark Lloyd
2018-05-15 15:39:46 UTC
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On 05/15/2018 03:38 AM, gregz wrote:

[snip]
Post by gregz
Holiday lights flash 60 times a second, 120 if off a bridge rectifier.
The flashes are the same length. Without the bridge rectifier, every
other flash is dark (LEDs don't emit light when reverse biased).

Most (non-bridge-rectifier) strings I've seen have 2 series (each 25-35
LEDs) using opposite polarity, so there are still 120 flashes per second
(alternating between series).

Some of the flashes I add are about .5 second on. The others are 3 times
that long. You can see a video at http://notstupid.us/video/xmas2017.mp4
or http://notstupid.us/video/xmas2017.webm . Almost all of these lights
are LED. Flashing is done using a small computer (Arduino with
solid-state relays).
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for
reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein
trader_4
2018-05-15 15:54:32 UTC
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Post by Mark Lloyd
[snip]
Post by gregz
Holiday lights flash 60 times a second, 120 if off a bridge rectifier.
The flashes are the same length. Without the bridge rectifier, every
other flash is dark (LEDs don't emit light when reverse biased).
60 or 120 times a second seems like a very high rate. It's the refresh
rate of displays. I'm surprised you'd even see it or that it would
be the desirable kind of flashing for holiday lights.
Mark Lloyd
2018-05-16 18:05:48 UTC
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Post by trader_4
Post by Mark Lloyd
[snip]
Post by gregz
Holiday lights flash 60 times a second, 120 if off a bridge rectifier.
The flashes are the same length. Without the bridge rectifier, every
other flash is dark (LEDs don't emit light when reverse biased).
60 or 120 times a second seems like a very high rate. It's the refresh
rate of displays. I'm surprised you'd even see it or that it would
be the desirable kind of flashing for holiday lights.
I didn't SEE it. That doesn't mean I don't know it's happening.

BTW, I have heard it. Once I replaced the microphone of an audio
recorder with a solar cell, and got to listen to the frequency of light.
It sounded about right for 120Hz.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.us/

"Life can be beautiful, profound, and awe-inspiring, even without an
irate god threatening us with eternal torment." Judith Hayes, In God We
Trust: But Which One? (Madison, WI: FFRF, 1997), p.
mike
2018-05-16 20:42:41 UTC
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Post by Mark Lloyd
Post by trader_4
Post by Mark Lloyd
[snip]
Post by gregz
Holiday lights flash 60 times a second, 120 if off a bridge rectifier.
The flashes are the same length. Without the bridge rectifier, every
other flash is dark (LEDs don't emit light when reverse biased).
60 or 120 times a second seems like a very high rate. It's the refresh
rate of displays. I'm surprised you'd even see it or that it would
be the desirable kind of flashing for holiday lights.
I didn't SEE it. That doesn't mean I don't know it's happening.
BTW, I have heard it. Once I replaced the microphone of an audio
recorder with a solar cell, and got to listen to the frequency of light.
It sounded about right for 120Hz.
There are a bunch of issues here.
A regular led that emits light at the color you see, when operated
off rectified AC, will have an intensity waveform that looks similar to
a 120 Hz. sinewave. The string of xmas tree lights may do that.

The white lights you buy for home use have a phosphor.
Some have a short-persistence phosphor and you can see the effects of
the flicker. Look at an AC powered fan and you may be able to see
the beat frequency in the pattern.
Some have a long-persistence phosphor that tends to smooth out the flicker.

Turn on your LED and let it warm up.
Turn it off.

If the light goes off instantly, you'll probably experience
flicker artifacts.

If the light fades over a few seconds, you probably have a
long-persistence phosphor and will not see as many flicker artifacts.

You could do the same thing with a capacitor, but one big enough to
do much good wouldn't fit inside the bulb and would raise cost
significantly.
Uncle Monster
2018-05-14 22:53:54 UTC
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Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
It really depends on the type of flasher whether or not the LED bulbs will work with it. Most flashers I've seen depend on a certain amount of current draw to warm a little heater inside the flasher to cause a bimetal strip with electrical contacts attached to flex thus breaking the circuit. An electronic flasher may have no minimum current requirement. An LED bulb being turned on and off rapidly shouldn't bother it. ^_^

[8~{} Uncle Blinking Monster
Frank
2018-05-14 23:52:58 UTC
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Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
I've noticed CFL's in places like the bathroom where on and off for
short periods burn out faster. I assume it is thermal shock to other
components. CFL's and LED's also may have components that do not
outlast the bulb and those used may need more robust parts.
Meanie
2018-05-15 02:00:00 UTC
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Post by Frank
Post by B***@Weiser.com
A friend with a small retail store. He has two lighted signs with
changeable letters on them. One sign has a flasher on it. The other one
is steady ON. The flashing one has incandescent bulbs, the steady one
has CFL bulbs. He wanted the "steady ON" one to flash, so he put a
flasher on the plug. In a few days the CFL bulbs were dead.
I looked at it and told him he cant use a flasher on CFL bulbs. It burns
them out quickly. Rather than buying incandescent bulbs for it, I was
wondering if LED bulbs can handle a flasher? Does anyone know?
I've noticed CFL's in places like the bathroom where on and off for
short periods burn out faster.  I assume it is thermal shock to other
components.  CFL's and LED's also may have components that do not
outlast the bulb and those used may need more robust parts.
CFLs do have a shortened life when they are continuously turned off and
on. A programmable ballast will eliminate that but that's more for
linear type lamps. The medium base screw in lamps don't have that type
of ballast inside, thus, they will not last long with constant on and off.

Put them in areas where they will remain on for longer periods and use
LEDs for the areas with on/off action, or, simply use LEDs everywhere.
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