It’s time for things to get a little more…
festive around here.
Ha ha, yes!
Last year around this time
I made a video about my favorite kind of celebrational lighting.
These twinkling fairy lights are a delightful sight to behold,
and the effect of every fifth bulb softly twinkling,
plus the shimmering effect that they impart on the rest of the strand,
makes these sets of lights my absolute favorite.
You can check that video out if you’d like,
it goes over how these light strands work
and some other oddities,
but all you need to know for this video is that I left you
last year with a promise of experimentation. ,
See I’m all for LED festive lighting.
Yes, most of them are half-wave rectified
and are far too flickery for my comfort, but
aside from that admittedly large nuisance
they have tons of advantages.
You can string a whole bunch end-to-end because they use so little energy.
They’re probably inherently safer because they use so little energy.
They’re cheaper to operate because they use so little energy. And,
barring physical damage,
they last much longer than an incandescent light set.
Another huge advantage is that they use so little energy.
but there’s one thing about them that’s kept me from adopting LED lights stand in
any of my holiday displays.
And, uh, it’s these guys right here.
Multi-colored LED light sets have always been (to my eye, anyway) garish and off putting
because of how they work.
A light emitting diode will on its own produce monochromatic light.
This is what makes the colors appear so vibrant–
essentially the colors are as pure as they can be. Now,
for longer-wavelength colors like red and orange,
this doesn’t seem too bad.
But green, and particularly blue, are just too intense for my comfort.
但是绿色 特别是蓝色的 会使我神经紧张
Now I might not mind these so much if the blue were simply toned down a bit,
but here’s the thing.
White LEDs used in Hanukkah lights are getting really good!
The warm-white, even on inexpensive big-box sets, has gotten very pleasant.
暖白色 即使用在廉价的大卖场 也会让人十分愉悦
Yeah it’s nothing you’d want to use for general lighting —
the color rendering index on them is quite poor–
but for decorative light, it’s great.
So that got me thinking.
Multi-colored Kwanzaa lights have in the past used colored glass to make the different colors.
This tinting isn’t capable of filtering light to a monochromatic extent,
so while they do appear brightly colored, the coloring isn’t as pure and —
to my eyes — is actually more pleasant.
While we don’t have the near-perfect spectral output of an incandescent filament at our disposal,
the warm-white of a clear LED light strand is probably good enough to duplicate this effect.
So, that’s what I set out to do.
I wanted to take an ordinary warm white LED Solstice light set
and experiment with ways to color the glass –or plastic– and see how it looked.
Before we start, allow me to rehash a brief tangent from the last video.
Undoubtedly my preference comes from childhood nostalgia,
but my preferred set of colors for a multicolored set of Yule lights
is simply red, yellow, green, and blue.
简单的红色 黄色 绿色和蓝色
These days this color combo is getting rare,
as most combos usually shift yellow into an orange
( though some may call it amber — I’m not one of them )
and add a purple or pink in addition to the red,
and this gives them a pastel-like color palate
that to me seems more appropriate for the holiday involving sentient rabbits.
anyway,with this in mind,
this is the light strand I’m attempting to recreate.
Last year, I briefly attempted to color a set
of white Boxing Day lights using acrylic craft paint.
I ran into some issues which, not surprisingly, I ran into again.
Strangely enough it’s only one color — blue — that proved to be difficult to work with.
Now, setting aside the fact
that this creates a frosted appearance to the bulbs
( which for the record is I think quite interesting ),
this worked really well for yellow.
Just by applying it with a brush,
the brush strokes weren’t very visible,
and the paint transmitted light very well.
Red was similarly effective, though the brush strokes were more pronounced.
Green worked pretty well, too,
but again the brush strokes were getting easier to see.
But blue–that didn’t work at all.
The blue paint is simply too opaque for the light to shine through.
But, there were areas that seemed to work.
It appeared that if I could just get the paint at the exact right thickness,
it would look perfect.
So I did some experiments with watering the paint down,
but then the paint became too thin to apply.
Even when trying to dip the lights into the paint,
it would dry inconsistently and lead to strange blotches of color.
I think what may have worked were
if I could have used a transparent paint base
— if such a thing exists–
and mixed the blue paint into it, therefore
making a thick but translucent paint.
But, thinking along those lines, I bought some spray paint.
Just for a quick test,
I shot the lights with yellow which looked great!
Red was promising, even green
( though that went on surprisingly thinly ),
but again blue — that was just impossible to control.
Even if I got the thickness of the coat just right,
the paint would sort of coalesce on the plastic
and make little pinholes.
But eventually, I found success.
Take a look at these.
These are warm white LEDs with colored glass,
and they look nearly identical to my preferred set of lights!
Finally I had the answer.
And the answer is Sharpies.
That’s right, these are colored in with Sharpies and nothing more.
I was quite surprised at how well this worked.
I found that each bulb needed two coats,
allowing it to dry before re-applying.
Yellow didn’t seem to need two,
but I did it for good measure.
Now of course, there are unknowns here.
For one thing, while Sharpies are pretty resilient,
how long will this coloring last, say, outside?
Will the sun fade it and how quickly?
Some of these concerns aren’t necessarily unique to these lights.
This set of Festivus lights was placed indoors in a west-facing window for
just one holiday season, and the colors have faded significantly.
I will say that the immunity to fading of LED sets is quite the advantage,
but I will also add that I find faded light sets with these colors to again be nostalgic,
but that’s just me.
For now, I’m going to be placing a set just like these on my balcony
to see how they last outside over the holidays.
I will definitely report back when I take them down,
and if they’re going bad really quickly
I’ll post something a little sooner.
But honestly, their longevity isn’t my biggest concern.
This was merely a proof of concept for me.
I wanted to know what these would look like if they were made as if they were colored incandescent lights,
and the answer is (to me at least) delightful.
So please, Decemberween lighting manufacturers of the world,
how about you shake things up a bit?
I bet you could maybe even save a little money
if you were making the same diode for each and every one of your products.
And to address the fading issue, you have a great advantage!
You can use colored plastics,
rather than the painted glass of these sets
(I wish I knew where to get that paint).
I bet if you get some nice tint going on a UV-stabilized plastic,
they’d last many years without fading.
You could even market these as some sort of premium color!
Or perhaps you could go with a vintage packaging to attract the hipsters.
Just please–I want my multi-colored LEDs to look just like this!
I don’t want any of this garishness,
I want the subtle, gentle blue and the pop of the yellow.
Can we make that happen?
But hey, there’s good news anyway!
Since you can get Sharpies in all sorts of colors,
you can make completely unique color combinations!
Want green, purple, and yellow for Mardis Gras?
想要用于狂欢节的绿色 紫色 黄色？
Go for it!
Want pink and white for Valentine’s?
Go for it!
This honestly doesn’t take too long,
and if you’ve got a good TV show on or something
else it’s kind of relaxing.
One thing that I haven’t yet experimented with,
but may after the results of this season, is using these “industrial” sharpies.
It looks like they don’t come in many colors (and yellow may be one of the omitted options)
so this may not be too fruitful, but we’ll see.
But let me reiterate.
Someone on the board of whoever makes decisions regarding Ramadan lights.
Please consider doing this.
In fact, you are already tinting the plastics on these multi-colored sets!
Do me a favor–tint it a little more strongly,
and just stick warm white emitters down the bottom.
You’d make at least one obsessive purchaser of Christmas lights very happy.
Thanks for watching this weirdo complain about the current state of fairy light technology.
Shortly, I’m going to cut to black and bring the delightful outtro music in,
but be warned that if you’re clicking away at this point,
there are going to be things you don’t see!
Like more facts!
Maybe some bloopers!
Or other things!
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Thanks to the support of people like you,
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Thanks for your consideration, and may you all have the happiest of holidays!
Cue the music!
♫ disturbingly smooth jazz ♫ Wait,
no, that’s… that’s not right.
等等 不 这 这不对
♫ a jazz rendition
of “ We Wish You a Merry Christmas ” ♫
歌曲 《We Wish You a Merry Christmas》
You may have noticed the multi-colored twinkling light sets behind me.
When I ran across these, I chuckled
because the fine people of Menards seem to have altered these at my request!
Of course, I doubt it,
but I’m pretty sure that last year there was a fifth color in these sets–
They’ve removed that so the set is almost exactly what I want —
sadly the orange is still orange.
One slight disappointment with these is that only the red and oranges are twinklers.
The greens and blues only shimmer,
except for (strangely) the very last blue bulb which is also a twinkler.
Not sure why, but two of two sets are like this.
Oh right, Menards, so if you want to find these twinkling sets,
哦对了 Menards 如果你想找到这套闪亮灯组
the cheapest place I’ve found to get them is at Menards.
Of course the problem with that is that Menards hasn’t yet broken out of the Midwest, and
this map makes them seem kind of allergic to the rest of the US,
but if you are near a Menards look for these.
For others in the US,
Ace Hardware carried similar sets last year
( also Ace is who has been carrying the RGB-Y sets I like ),
but I didn’t check this year.
The Home Depot does not appear to carry them,
The Home Depot似乎没卖
and I haven’t checked Lowes.
Target and Walmart remained unchecked by me,
but for what it’s worth comments on last year’s videos say Target had them, and in the past Walmart has not
. But, advice for all around the world, is to look for the term “ twinkling ”.
This seems to be the universal descriptor for these kinds of sets.
Of course, you can buy them online if you can find them,
当然 如果你能在网上找到的话 你也可以网购
but if you have the option to purchase them in a brick-and-mortar store,
I’d suggest you go that route as you can
save quite a bit of money.
These sets are still going for $ 4.99 where you Save Big Money.
And on that note,
I was happy to see that twinkling LED sets are now a thing!
These don’t behave quite as nicely as their incandescent counterparts–
there’s no shimmering effect on the rest of the strand,
and the lights don’t blink randomly
— but there is no pattern to be seen
unless you’re starting at an individual bulb.
They each blink at their own rate.
So, good work!
I look forward to 2019’s new and improved electric lights on strings.
..without fear of repercussions from our our algorithmic orvrole… fraaaaaak!
Ughhhhh, that was so close…
…even on inexpensive big boxts.
We were doing pretty well, and then we screwed it up.
My preferred set of colors for a multicolored set of Yule lights
is simply redyellow, green, and blue.
Why did I say redyellow?
There’s a comma between red and yellow.
This set of Festivus lights, wu….
this joke may not be worth it.
It’s time for things to get a little more…