Professional Christmas Lights Technology

Christmas lights can be a beautiful sight to behold. They can decorate public spaces and homes.

Stringing lights outside can be a real safety hazard if you’re not careful. For outdoors use the lights you need to have lights that are designed to be used outdoors.

For outside use there are nowadays both consumer and professional LED light systems – and they are quite different how they are built.

I have made a write-up on quite safe consumer LED lights at where Big Clive shows a dangerous example at More dangerous Xmas lights from eBay with fake fuse! video.

LED lights used in big professional installations are different than consumer products. These are the strings of lights often used on city centre trees, either wrapped round the branches of ordinary trees or strung seasonally on big Christmas trees. Stuff like this tends to have a rough life, with extreme weather exposure and frequent installation and removal by people who often don’t treat them too well.

The difference in price and construction between home and professional Christmas lights is huge. Big Clive video The construction and wiring of professional LED strings that shows how those professional LED lights work.

The lights are usually available in white, black or green rubber, with black being a preferred choice. The use of a high voltage DC bus allows a lot to be run end to end, but you have to be careful to ensure that the sealing o-rings are in place in the connectors.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    2021 Behind the Scenes – Pixel Christmas Light Show Walk Through – Crosscreek Lights

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    My 500-LED xmas tree got into Harvard.

    In short: each line of the CSV starts with a frame number and then R, G, B values (one ‘column’ each) for all of the LEDs in sequence. (You can see examples in the Harvard github.) Send them in by 09 January 2022 either directly on the standupmaths GitHub or email to [email protected]

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The technology behind the dazzling neon lights in New York in the 1930s in color! [A.I. enhanced]

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Although Christmas may be several weeks behind us, various colorful LED contraptions can nowadays be found in our houses at any time of year. [Tim] got his hands on an LED curtain that came with a remote control that allows the user to set not only the color of the LEDs as a whole but also to run simple animations. But these were not your standard WS2812B strips with data lines: all the LEDs were simply connected in parallel with just two wires, so how was this even possible?

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The ABC’s of Awesome Lighting Terminology with Brad Schiller – Webinar

    Martin Professional Business Development Manager Brad Schiller shares his favorite lighting terms and explains their meaning, importance and history. Covering all genres of production, this webinar introduces some of the more obscure nomenclature from every letter of the alphabet.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fundamentals of Lighting Design for Concerts with Craig Rutherford – Webinar

    Where do you start when tasked with developing a lighting design? What makes a design memorable and interesting? Led by expert lighting designer, Craig Rutherford, this webinar explores the fundamentals of visual design with a focus on lighting concerts and developing a coherent style.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Automatic production of LED string lights.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hanging Christmas Lights With No Ladder And No Fuss

    Getting up on a ladder to hang Christmas lights is a great way to hurt yourself if you’re not careful, and winter conditions only add to the peril. One enterprising hacker has whipped up a neat way to avoid ladders entirely, by hanging their lights while planted safely on the ground.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LED Christmas Lights Optimized For Max Twinkleage

    Old-school filament-based Christmas lights used to be available in twinkling form. LEDs, with their hard-on and hard-off nature, aren’t naturally predisposed to such behavior. To rectify this, some time ago, [Mark Kriegsman] built an Arduino program that makes LEDs twinkle beautifully.

    The program is known as TwinkleFOX, and relies on the popular FastLED library for addressable LEDs. [Mark’s] demo setup is built around using WS2811 LEDs, put together in a string with plastic diffusers on each bulb. The Arduino is programmed to vary the brightness of each LED according to a triangle wave function. To create the twinkling effect, each LED has its own unique clock signal, so they vary in brightness at different times and at different rates.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Weird AliExpress LED loom

    Having seen an interesting LED wiring loom used in a particular style of decorative light in the past, I was surprised to find it on AliExpress during a search for signage components.
    It’s basically a long series string of two pole XH type connectors designed to allow easy connection of a string of LEDs in series on a non-isolated capacitive dropper power supply. That allows a large number of individual LEDs to be powered from a cheap and simple power supply.

    The downside of this system is that every socket poses a shock risk due to a lack of shrouding of live metalwork. That makes it particularly awkward that this system was used on a fashionable decorative light range that had the LEDs stuffed randomly throughout a structure wrapped with spiral aluminium wire, and in amongst “flowers” that were more coiled aluminium wire scrunched together. I don’t think they were earthed/grounded, which makes me wonder how many people got tingles off the lights. The newer ones seem to have switched to using strings of sleeved LED Christmas lights.


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