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How to waterproof Christmas Light - string light ends

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  1. #1
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    Default How to waterproof Christmas Light - string light ends

    Hi i have the below lights on a trampoline on a irrigation lawn, i was looking at ways to wp the bottom 500mm or so.

    1 - push silicone into each end (assume neutral cure, probably roof and gutter as its outside rated)
    2 - run a 500mm length of clear heatshrink up each vertical strand (this will bind them all tightly together though and they will not sway as nice in the breeze)
    3 - both
    4 - ??

    img_5636.jpg

    img_5637.jpg
    img_5638.jpg
    img_5639.jpg
    img_5641.jpg
    img_5640.jpg

  2. #2
    Jon
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    Default How to waterproof Christmas Light - string light ends

    Hi Dale,

    If you really want try and make them a bit more water resistant I would try the silicon plus heatshrink option. Probably heatshrink over the globe, small squirt of silicon in each end and then shrink it, wiping off the excess as it sqeezes out.
    But a lot of effort and mess and I would not bother, standard low voltage light strings get rained on all the time and survive a year or three.

    https://auschristmaslighting.com/ is a great resource for fellow Christmas Light tragics but I warn you it is a slippery slope into what can be an expensive hobby

  3. #3
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Silicon spray will do the job. Wear a mask and be aware of stains
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
    Franz Kafka

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Hi Dale,

    If you really want try and make them a bit more water resistant I would try the silicon plus heatshrink option. Probably heatshrink over the globe, small squirt of silicon in each end and then shrink it, wiping off the excess as it sqeezes out.
    But a lot of effort and mess and I would not bother, standard low voltage light strings get rained on all the time and survive a year or three.

    https://auschristmaslighting.com/ is a great resource for fellow Christmas Light tragics but I warn you it is a slippery slope into what can be an expensive hobby
    Hi Jon,

    this is more than rain, its on the lawn where the bore water from my gear drives sprinklers kick in at least 3 times a week for 30 mins each run, versus sporadic rain across a Australian summer.

    I do have other lights that have survived 9 years with the odd rain and are now quite brown but still perfect at night so I know what you mean.

    I am not getting into pixels and controllers, just buy a few more store bought lights each year, i have seen that forum.

    So you recommend to take off the outer cover (see original post for an example), in the image below the top globe is missing its cover and the bottom one has it on, your saying apply heatshrink to the globe direct with the cover off?I probably wouldnt fit the cover back on with heatshrink over the inner part.



    Below, is a closer up image, heatshrinking individually i am not really going to get much more coverage then what is already there, with its 90degree position? maybe just up to the red vertical line.





    Further on the heat shrink what do you think of my idea of a complete 500mm long heatshrink from the bottom of each vertical run. ie not each individual strand? bit less effort Cons: every globe ends up straight in a line against the wires not out at 90 degrees like above.

    Then there is the silicone spray idea?

    Maybe this

    https://www.flexseal.com.au/family-o...ex-seal-spray/

    in clear and only if it also has a pipe to attach to spray out of?

    Or this

    https://support.newgatesimms.com/protecting-electrical-connectors-from-water-ingress-with-nyogel-760g/

    Before we go further….There are a lot of retail contact sprays sold that are silicone based. We don’t recommend silicones. We and our partners at Nye Lubricants will not recommend silicones for electrical applications for a number or reasons but primarily:


    1. We sell our 760G to a number of automotive companies that do no allow silicones in their assembly plants as silicones have a fantastic ability migrate and contaminate easily around a factory and they can cause problems, most notably in paint shops.
    2. In electrical applications, silicones can polymerise into hard, brittle material which can cause electrical problems and sometimes weld connectors together.

    The viewer may disagree with our negative view of silicones in electrical applications but decades of experience and the approval of this theory by most of the automotive suppliers and major manufacturers around the world is the best evidence to show this is a widely approved policy.
    these concerns are more for spray shops, at least the first point above is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails xmas-light-globe-potential-heatshrinking.jpg   img_5637.jpg  

  5. #5
    Jon
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    Another alternative I have just remembered is liquid electrical tape. Use a syringe and inject it into around the cable entry point but I am not sure if it would be better done with the cover on or off. I used this years ago when the waterproofing on pixels was poor but now they are epoxy filled it is not an issue.
    Available in clear https://www.theboatwarehouse.com.au/...al-tape-118ml/

    This would be similar application to the spray you linked and the spray would be easier if you could put one of the application straw nozzles on it.

    I agree that putting the whole string in a large tube would take away the random look, it would end up looking like rope light.

  6. #6
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Wd40 Silicone to waterproof electronics.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vMiLNOR97Y

    For more serious applications
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MG-Chemi...4383.l4275.c10
    “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
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  7. #7
    Golden Member havabeer's Avatar
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    not to sound silly but it sounds like it would be cheaper and easier to just throw them and go get a cheap set of extra low watt LED's from bunnings etc then to try and water proof some lights that might not be rated for out doors
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Wd40 Silicone to waterproof electronics.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vMiLNOR97Y

    For more serious applications
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MG-Chemi...4383.l4275.c10
    well silicone looks to be quite a easy and effective tool and I already have it like most of us.

    MG Chemicals 422B Silicone Modified Conformal Coating, 340g

    How to apply this? you cant spray it, brushing on would be good enough, you would need to pour it into that opening somehow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
    not to sound silly but it sounds like it would be cheaper and easier to just throw them and go get a cheap set of extra low watt LED's from bunnings etc then to try and water proof some lights that might not be rated for out doors
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/lytworx-2-0m-x-2-4m-blue-connectable-led-retro-curtain-lights_p0182154

    $49 x 4 i bought, so $200, i dont want to spend that each year on just one small part of my setup, my icicle lights have lasted 9 years, 20m at $80. But this is the first time a set of lights has been under irrigation, they are out door rated as per the link. But of course there are degrees of outdoor ratings

    but if these go on me, ill get cheaper ebay ones in the curtain format, as long as i can connect them to each other to reach 8m or so

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    You could dip them in transformer varnish.

    https://au.element14.com/c/chemicals...s-transformers

    Probably any polyurethane varnish would do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Wd40 Silicone to waterproof electronics.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vMiLNOR97Y

    For more serious applications
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MG-Chemi...4383.l4275.c10
    WD40 themselves say this

    WD-40 Specialist® Silicone Lubricant safely lubricates, waterproofs and protects metal and non-metal surfaces such as rubber, plastic and vinyl. This formula dries fast and leaves a clear, non-staining film that doesn't stick or make a mess, so it won't attract dirt. This silicone lubricant spray is great for use on cables, pulleys, guide rails, valves, linkages, hinges, locks and more however, to avoid damage we do not recommend spraying directly on to electronics
    but they are probably playing it safe

  12. #12
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    Hey Dale,

    Ive had/got LED's permanently hanging both under cover and out in the open. Yes after 2 to 3 years, the ones out in the open do start to fail (joints corroding, wires pulling out or solar panel/battery failing) however the ones under cover (mains powered) also deteriorate...at least from a brightness view point. Any wires that pull/fall out, I simple pull the other one out, solder together and tape up as its to friggin fiddly and time consuming to get it back in.

    I'd suggest to not be concerned with the LED end as the existing heat shrink seals this up really well and focus your attention on the entry of the wires.

    If I wanted to lengthen the life span of the ones in the open, keep it simple!!
    I'd buy a some silicone for $7 and squeeze a dob on each joint then work it in and around each joint and keep a relatively smooth finish. Its water proof, UV resistant so will last forever in the sun (or at least the lifespan of your lights!) and best of all its mold resistant.

    You've then achieved your goal of lengthening the lifespan as best as your likely to get without going overboard with a "limited life" item or having to reapply some sort of spray. Your likely to get many years of life and enjoyment from this one simple action

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/parfix-3...icone_p1232674

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