27th November
2011
written by Todd Harrison

G35 LED Christmas Light Review and Teardown

In this write up & video I review the “GE Color Effects” G35 multi colored LED Christmas lights 50 count. I will cover product details, hanging hints and show a teardown and give some links to great hacks at the end.

UPDATE 11/30/2012: My new video “G35 LED Christmas Lights – A Simple Parallel Sync Hack

UPDATE: new links to other hackers at the end of this post!!!

You get to pick from 14 sequence patterns using a wireless controller.  Hacking these lights using Arduino is already very popular so I will be linking to some good hack posts below. In a later video I will be trying some of the known hacks and some of my own.

Link to the GE product page for these lights

In the box you get the below:

40.8 feet of lights
50 lights spaced at 10 inches
50 rain gutter clips, 50 base clips
Radio controller with 14 light patters

CLICK TO READ ALL —>:

The light patterns are labeled on the back of the remote. Very nice touch but the 14 options are not very good. They all blink or change or race too fast. I would have much preferred a softer mood with solid color options or slower changing effects.  These lights just must be hacked!

And you get a switch mode power supply 120v AC 0.4A to 5v DC 3A (later in the post I show that these rating are more than enough).

 

I got my lights on sale back in August at Costco for ~$60 but these 50 count lights can run from $100 to $120 on Amazon.  There are other light counts and light styles in the “GE Color Effects” product line. (See above product page link for such details).

First let’s cover hanging. I was very surprised at how much care and thought was put into the hangers, which are included. You can use the hangers in several ways, either with or without the rain gutter clips.

I don’t have rain cutters so I screwed these base snaps to the underside of my fascia boards.


It was easier for me to sit at my bench and pre-screw the 50 clips with a short pan-head screw.


I then used an 11 inch board with a nail driven though each end spaced at exactly 10 inches.  I used this jig to mark off the 10 inches between each clip.  If you use bigger nails and give the jig a whack with a hammer when marking off, you will get nice pilot holes too.

Even using this jig it was very slow going putting up 150 clips.  I experimented with other ideas and the only other option for my wood fascia board would have been to use the rain gutter clips with some staples. I found that Arrows T-25 cable staples and cable stapler worked just great. These rounded staples leave just enough room to slide the clips in and out.

I also tried square staples but they didn’t work at all. They drive too deep or too shallow and there was no good way to make the square staples work.

Between the rounded cable staples and the screws I picked the screws as seen on the right side of the below photo.

I liked the screw method because the wires are harder to see when you screw the base clips directly to the bottom of the fascia boards.

This is my house with 150 lights. Not easy taking photos in the dark. They are very bright, much brighter than you can tell in this photo. I must say I love how big and bright they are but I will have to hack these lights to get better color effects and timing.

Now let’s take some measurements and take a look inside these lights. When connected to my bench supply at 5v none of the light patterns took more than 1.75A which was solid white.  All the other patterns ran from 0.89A to 1.47A so this is way under the 3A switch mode power supply that comers with each light strand.
I can’t set all the lights to be solid but I was able to pick a slow enough race pattern that would race all the colors to one color before switching to the next color. Just as the 50 lights all got to a single color I would record the amps on my bench supply. Here is what I got.

Red 0.91A
Blue dark 1.2A
Blue light 1.4A
Green 0.89A
Purple 1.46A
Yellow 1.47A
White 1.75A

And the 120v AC amps when set to solid white for all 50 lights came to 0.209A, also way under the power supplies rating of 0.4 amps.  So these lights come with very good rated power supplies for the loads they will be powering.  This also means that running these lights is even less then I thought at 25.08 Watts.  WOW that’s less power than a single old style night light for the whole strand including the controller.

The plastic crystal defusing covers just pop right off giving you a good view of the surface mounted RGB colored LED in a sealed clear plastic case.

Here is a close up where you can see the PCB and the silk screen labeling. You can clearly see where the three wires come into each PCB. The two outside wires are for 5v power and ground and the middle wire is the data line that transmits the color codes to each LED.

Opening up the control box reveals a single sided board with a radio control daughter board on the back side. Here are some close ups.


The black blob is a “Chip on board” where they glue a chip die directly to the PCB, wire bond from the die to the PCB and then seal it all up with a blob of epoxy/resin.  It is a very cheap way to mass produce a product but I find it strange they also have a micro controller on the board.

The micro controller is the surface mount SOP-20 chip (20 pins) by MEGAWIN. Here is the datasheet. http://www.megawin.com.tw/megawin_EN/UploadFiles/MG87FEL2051_4051_6051_DS_v103.pdf

MG87FE2051AS20
Here are the specs.
MG87FE/L2051/4051/6051is single-chip 8-bits microcontroller with the instruction sets fully compatible with industrial-standard 80C51 series microcontroller.2K/4K/6Kbytes flash memory and 256 bytes RAM has been embedded to provide widely field application. In-System-Programming and In-Application-Programming allows the users to download new code or data while the microcontroller sits in the application. This device executes one machine cycle in 6 clock cycles or 12 clock cycles. MG87FE/L2051/4051/6051 has one 8-bit I/O ports (P1),one 7-bit I/O port (P30~P35,P37), two 16-bit timer/counters, one PWM-timer for 8-channel PWM output, a seven-source, four-priority-level interrupt structure, an enhanced UART, a precision analog comparator, on-chip crystal oscillator (combined P42,P43) and a high-precision internal oscillator.

Below is the radio daughter board on the back side of the main board. The unpopulated parts you see are for a crystal for the micro controller on the other side.  To save money they programmed the micro to use an internal timer instead of the quality external crystal.  If they had populated the crystal and the capacitors for the crystal on the front side then I would have had no problem synchronizing two light strands and keeping them in sync.  But with the low grade internal timer, each chip will have a different idea of time and even when you do get two strands in sync the poor internal timers will just drift and the light strands will be all out of whack with each other in under an hour.  Unfortunately you can’t just populate the crystal yourself because the micro is internally set to look at the internal timing not an external crystal, oscillator or resonator.

Under this daughter board I could see another “chip on board” so this radio board was setup for some major mass production. Under this board I can see the silk screening for a button (SW1) so this board can be used with our without the radio option.

And you can see the in the plastic over it is setup for a hole to be punched for a button. I would guess this is for other products GE sales that don’t have radio control and you just push a button to switch patterns or hold the button for a count of “?” to turn on and off.

Button hole on front cover if punched.

This would be where the button would be mounted on the PCB board if this was not a wireless model.  I was able to short these two traces with a quick flick to change patterns and a longer short did turn off the unit as I suspected.

Now for the deep hacking folks.  I wanted to take close up photos of the traces in the hope that maybe a more easily programmed SOP-20 micro could be implemented. Maybe some ATmega or PIC would be dropped on board and programmed in place keeping the board and its radio control.  The crystal and capacitors could also be populated for better timing. Then these strands can be synchronized as well as programmed with better patterns. (Click for larger photos)

If the crystal is populated on the back side here is where the legs come up. And just below you can see C1 and C2 which would be the capacitors home needed for the crystal.

I know we need to see the traces under the IC so I used my hot air wand to remove it and take photos.

Below I tracked the copper just incase it was not clear where the traces ran in the above photos.  This helps a ton being we know what connects to each and every pin of the micro controller. This is a single sided single layer board so nothing hard really.

Now the IC is back on and as you can see the lights are running fine.


That is it for my review and teardown. Now for some links to others that are doing some hacks for these lights.

DigitalMisery.com has an open source drop in wireless replace board for these lights. WOW, you can’t ask for more than that. He does not sell the boards yet but keep checking his site to see if he gets a Kick starter going or just follow his open source documents and spin your own board. He links to his code and the Arduino library’s “G35Arduino

DeepDarc.com put up some amazing engineering details on these lights and reverse engineered both the radio protocol and the protocol used on the LED data bus. You must read his post if you’re going to be hacking these lights. He also shares his code and other very useful tips.

Keithsw has some great stuff synchronizing 6 strands and shares his control code, Arduino circuit and a PC software simulator program to help design the layout and patterns.  Here is his short (video).

CheerLights is an ioBridge Labs project that allows people all across the world to synchronize their lights. This sit gives all the hacking details and you can play along even it you don’t have lights by tweeting a color to @cheerlights and watching on ustream.

Jim at Jim’s G-35 Project Page makes his own control board using a PIC18F2620 micro controler.

If I have any of my own hack updates I will link to them from here and under “All Postings” with the title “G35 LED Christmas Light…”

UPDATE 11/11/2012 for EXTRA LINKS:

Good arduino example with new library – (digitalmisery.com)

11/21/2011: Added new Arduino IDE 1.0.1 supported code – (digitalmisery.com)

(codeproject.com

(flippedbits.posterous.com)

(hackaday.com)

(github.com/MarkEMarkEMark/G35-MEO-Programs)

 UPDATE 12/18/2012 for EXTRA LINKS:

(mevans77.wordpress.com)

 

52 Comments

  1. 29/11/2011

    Nice details. You are right there are lots of examples of people hacking these lights. In my article at http://www.codeproject.com/KB/system/GELights.aspx I used one of the bigger Arduinos to drive 5 sets of lights in synch. The youtube video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8epnb7tkVs . The article describes the hardware and software including a simulator and a higher level programming language for programming the patterns.

  2. […] Harrison] took a slew of pictures in his quest to loose all the secrets of the G-35 Christmas Lights. These are a string of 50 plastic bulbs which house individually addressable RGB LEDs. We’ve […]

  3. George Johnson
    29/11/2011

    Actually, I think you can sync the lights, without replacing the chip or adding a crystal.

    You need to do two of at least three things.

    1. Find a “code” that can be sent down the lights control line, that does nothing.

    OR

    2. Find a code that you can use, if they’re all used (say 32 code are there, but they’re all used).

    And, in the second string, you would have to watch that line, interrupt or what ever, and reset your timer on that.

    So you have two different processors, running almost in time code.

    Of course, it’s not perfect, but it’s not “run away” either, because you’re continuously resetting the sync. So it may be off a couple clock cycles, but won’t wonder far from that.

    (think of those “atomic clocks” that receive the time signal. It’s not perfect, but the clock is always right)

  4. Bill
    29/11/2011

    Todd,

    Thanks for your blog postings and videos. I’ve enjoyed a number of them.

    After viewing your post on G35 Christmas Light Review, Deep Darc’s Hacking Christmas Light (http://www.deepdarc.com/2010/11/27/hacking-christmas-lights/) and a few others and wonder if I may have a solution to your syncing problem.

    I imagine simply chaining multiple light string together would cause power issues. But, what would happen if you were to keep power on separate power supplies, yet connect the data line. See Deep Darc talks about ‘Bulb Enumeration’.

    Possible problems/issues.

    1 – Address propogation may only happen in one direction, so you might need to connect the tail end of the first chain to the front end of the second. It sounds like you could then move the power lines to the new tail end.

    2 -This may only allow you to address up to 64 (2^6) bulbs before you need to start reprogramming the controller.

    Good luck.

    – Bill

  5. profit
    30/11/2011

    Like bill said. just cut the middle wire (looks to be the comunication line) Tie grounds to each other. and use seperate power lines for each strand. Then the data line would probably send the same command to 2 LED’s or 3 or 4 at the same time. unless of course its i2c control and the LED’s are talking back to the master device. but if its a send and forget system then you could probably dasiy chain a bunch together from one controller and many power supplies.

  6. DanO
    30/11/2011

    Check out SanDevices.com. The guy there has created a board that works with the G35’s as well as industry standard pixel strings. It connects via ethernet to a PC running Vixen or Lightshow Pro. I’m running four sets on one of his boards with Lightshow Pro. I considered syncing sets as profit said, until I ran across SanDevices. Each pixel is electrically identical and on startup address themselves. You can actually cut a set of 50 in half and you have two 25’s.

  7. 01/12/2011

    @Bill and profit, That is where I’m at in my mind too. Others have emailed me and said I was going to have problems and shared why so I will be looking into those solutions.

  8. 01/12/2011

    @DanO, That Company does make a workable commercial solution using a Parallax propeller chip. Thanks for the link! But, and this is a BIG BUT for me, they are not open source. You only get the product as is, no source code and no circuit layouts. They have a right to do that and I applaud their entrepreneurship, but I really want an open source solution I can alter and share my changes with others. If it was open I think I would buy it right now and maybe I would use it as is or maybe I would hack it but I want that choice.

  9. DanO
    01/12/2011

    The board is really a DMX gateway and power supply, and all commands are streamed from a running PC in real time. I can see the advantage of an Arduino solution is you can make it stand alone. The SanDevices board is working for me, since I’m running Lightshow Pro. I appreciate open source, but was glad to let someone else do the thinking for me this year. :)

    One thing I found that may be helpful is that the strands are sensitive to voltage drop. I managed to push the limit with a 25 foot lead ahead of some sets using 16/4 outdoor speaker cable (going for UV resistant.) 16 gauge normally would be overkill, but even with that, when set to all white, some of the later pixels have a slightly different color to them. It’s not that bad and I shortened the leads once installed to be just what is necessary.

    Now if the winds we’re having in SoCal today don’t rearrange the lights in my trees, I’ll be happy.

  10. 14/12/2011

    I’ve failed so far at getting the epoxy off the back of the individual LEDs. It must be a simple processor since the LEDs are driven with PWM signals and it’s able to block the propagation of the data for enumeration. Re-programming/replacing that part would allow you to add all sorts of functions (like Blink, Fade, One-shot, automatic color changes, etc.). Expanding the six bit address field would be another target, although there are power issues with the existing led and wiring.

  11. joe
    17/12/2011

    I have a Question here, i’m not a pro at this, well it rained snowed will this short the lights out for sure ??
    I tride to tear down the power box and no power. I went out and bought a different switching adapter at 5v 4a and still no lights. I open the control box and not really sure what is what.. could you give me an idea ..

  12. 17/12/2011

    @joe, I don’t get what you are saying. Thanks for your email. I will contact you by email and see if I can help.
    Todd

  13. Joey
    04/01/2012

    The colornode project is really nice. But, I think it would be really cool if we could just reprogram/replace the MG87FE processor in these sets. It would be cool, if all you had to do was just reflash the uP with custom code.

    The custom code could set up custom patterns that we actually like/want, or take it to the next level and use the existing RF link, the RFM12 (or another simple cheap RF interface like NRF24L01) to send real time pixel data to the string from Vixen/LSP/Madrix, etc.

    I think it would be awesome to just plug these sets in and be able to control each pixel independently and wirelessly from a PC.

    Does anybody have experience/dev tools for this microprocessor?

  14. 04/01/2012

    @Joey, That was my hope. That if I took lots of photos, removed the uP and documented all the traces that somebody with more skills with the uP would commit some time to replace or submit programming tips to the hacker community. Still hope! Maybe by next year.

  15. Dan
    11/11/2012

    Thanks so much for all the work! Got a few strings of these G35s. Like DanO, I want to have a 3-5 meter power cable lead before the controller, around 3-5 meters. Where I am located we get -40C temperatures with plenty of snow… I am just not sure how well the power adapter is going to handle that, so I’d like to put in-doors. Would this be possible without getting to voltage drop? recommendations on the wire gauge?

    Another option of course would be to put the power adapter into a weatherproof box, but that will look just plain crappy on the roof:)

  16. 11/11/2012

    -40c is not a problem and the snow will not be an issue. These GE light strings are sealed up good and made for such outdoor elements including there power adapters. Unless your talking about something else I don’t see why you would have to do anything other an plug them in.

  17. Dan
    11/11/2012

    Thanks for a super quick reply:)
    I’ve read a few reviews on the Costo website, and quite a few people are having issues with the power supplies going dead on them. So I wondered whether it had anything to do with the weather elements.
    That is why I thought to go with a lead cable between the power supply and the controller to keep it in doors. So you say, no need for weatherproof box?

    Still, would you figure the 3-5m cable lead make the strings subject to voltage drop?

  18. 11/11/2012

    Dan, I would have to examine the failed units really but from what I found of there construction they should not have any problem being outside. More likely just your typical cheap Chinese construction and cheap parts caused the failures. They have something like 3 years warranty so if they fail send them back for a new string.

  19. Dan
    12/11/2012

    Thanks Todd!

  20. Ben
    18/11/2012

    Just bought some of the 36 light set of these without the remote control and does 8 patterns. Would it be possible to cut out the control board at the beginning and butt connect them so they stay synced? You said that the power supply was more than enough but didn’t know if that would screw with the programming. Thanks for the great review and website!

  21. 19/11/2012

    @Ben, No. I’m sure these are addressing the bulbs and if so even one more bulb in the strand wouldn’t make sense to the control addressing. I was thinking of crossing over the signal lines between two strands from a center point but I never tried. Maybe I will try that over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    I just finish 3 reviews of three different LED Christmas light products and two were crap but the first reviewed set by Brite Star called “symphony of lights” was quite good. Very nice colors, 15 feet 15 RBG c9 lights and chainable up to 30 sets via optical coupling. WOW! I liked.

    I should get the video review up before Thanksgiving. I had some issue with the build quility and if they could really be used outside. Not weather tight at all but I can’t test that really in the AZ. HA.

  22. Chris
    21/11/2012

    I am curious about Bill and profits suggestion. I would like to hook 3-4 of these 50 bulb strings together but would like for them to not loose the relative timing. Did it end up being possible to just connect the control lines in series, tie the grounds together, and leave each strand separately powered?

  23. 21/11/2012

    @Chris, I’m going to say no. These lights are each given an address when you first turn on. Then the programming address each light or batch of lights. I don’t see the initiation process giving out addresses to any more than 50 lights and even if it somehow does it wouldn’t be controlling the downstream set with any logical sequence order.

    Now I have read that you can connect up the 3 in parallel using one controller box. For this you would power each set from its own transformer but tie the grounds together and tie the data lines together and use only one controller box. That makes sense because the addressing down each line of 50 lights would be the same and the patterns would then match down each parallel line. Make sure to shield that data line and keep it away from any other wires.

    But don’t let me stop you from giving it a tray. As long as you power each set off its own transformer and tie the grounds and tie the data lines at the end you will not harm anything. It just might not work or it might look silly or messed up. Give it a whack and report back! :)

  24. Chris
    21/11/2012

    @Todd. Thanks for the quick reply. Ran the experiment and you were correct. Hooking up a data line strand in series indeed resulted in completely confused quasi-random flickering of the light bulbs in the downstream strand. I just rewired two sets in parallel and they work perfectly with the data and ground tied together in parallel off one of the stock controllers. How firm is your info that the limit is 3 strands? That is what I minimally need this year, so I will try a third. Maybe with these on the house I will order an Arduino. :)

    P.S. For anyone else reading this blog, I also tried the experiment of buying about 10 strands to see if I could find any subset of 2 or 3 that could be operated in a way that they stayed in sync for at least a half hour thinking I would do some kind of periodic power reset to resync. There were no 2 in the 10 sets that stayed synced on their own for more than 5 minutes.

  25. 21/11/2012

    @Chris, Super cool! Thanks for testing that idea and given the feed back. I read a blog that stated 3 was about it because the current drain for the data control line starts to drop the voltage on the data line. You can try more than 3 and report back :)

    You could always add a buffer IC at the head of each line if voltage drop really is the issue then add as many parallel as you like.

  26. Chris
    21/11/2012

    @Todd, OK, hooked up a third strand in parallel. Works great. I doubt a 4th would work without the extra buffer IC mod. After the 3rd was hooked up, even adding the path to ground through my finger simultaneously pinching the last data and ground connections together was enough to stop all the strands from lighting.

  27. Curtis
    23/11/2012

    I too was hoping to find a hack that enabled somewhat simple computer-near real time pixle manipulation either over wireless or network such that crazy patterns could be made at will. It would have to be a combination of the known hacks, but I am very limited in my knowledge of Arduino type programing.

  28. 23/11/2012

    @Curtis, Well dive in son! I have some links to a lot of help when getting started. See my menu item “Beginners in Electronics” and look at the “Working with micro-controllers” links.

  29. Bub
    24/11/2012

    the last 8 lites won’t come on,and the rest of the string is good, can you replace any of the parts or does it need to be returned

  30. 24/11/2012

    @Bub, You can’t service these sets. But GE gives these a 3 year warranty so you should be able to return them and get a new set.

  31. Matt Ball
    27/11/2012

    My neighbor and I both have GE G-35 lights… He is across the street and 2 houses down. I have 3 sets of lights which I set the same pattern. The problem I run into is when he uses his remote to change his lights. The signal changes 1, 2 or all 3 of my strands. Any ideas on blocking or shielding my receivers or changing the frequency?

  32. 27/11/2012

    @matt, the transmitter does not go that far. Somebody is messing with you.

  33. Matt Ball
    27/11/2012

    @Todd – I was standing next to him. As he pressed the botton to change functions my lights changed. We have to unplug our lights so he can change his paterns and vice versa.

  34. 27/11/2012

    @Matt, How far away are you talking? I don’t get more than 50 feet. I guess you could trying taping tinfoil on one side of your control box and make sure the foil side faces your neighbor. Then you could still control your box from the other side. If the RF reflections are low that might work. Let me know how that works. Strange his transmitter is so strong. It really shouldn’t be.

  35. Tina
    28/11/2012

    These lights are crap. The adapters short out really easily. The box says “3 year guarantee covers repair or replacement of this product if it fails to light”. Last year we used them for 2 weeks and two shorted out. Thankfully Cosco replaced them for us. This year we have 2 of 3 sets again that won’t work so we called the company. They told us THE ADAPTERS ARE NOT COVERED UNDER THE WARRANTY.

    GE customer service is horrible…..they backtracked when they found out we still had the box. They want us to mail everything via UPS back to them in order to get repair/replacement. DON’T BUY THESE LIGHTS!!!!!

  36. Matt Ball
    28/11/2012

    @Todd He was standing about 70 yards away. I tried aluminum foil but it did not help. My neighbor and I get along so he makes sure my lights are powered down before making any changes on his. Pretty lame. I agree with Tina customer support from GE is terrible. They recommended I construct a “wall” between my house and my neighbor’s house. I asked if this wall should be made of straw, wood or brick. They said “anything” will work as long as it covers the receiver. So I suggested human bodies and they said “yes, that will work”. I told them that might be a problem because I have 4 sets of lights and don’t have enough bodies lying around for all of them… Thanks for your insight and feedback. :)

  37. 28/11/2012

    @Tina, I have heard a lot of this. Mine are still fine and I got mine at Costco too.

  38. Jim T
    29/11/2012

    Todd oe anyone, I’m not an electrician, and I definitely do not have the capability of hacking or syncing these lights. I have 3 sets, and will pay someone for the service. I am in Massachusetts if anyone is interested.
    My email: jptpats@aol.com

  39. 29/11/2012

    @Jim T, I will be putting up a video this coming weekend on how to sync these lights in parallel. It is easy and you can do it with no electronic skills. Shrink wrap, solder iron, solder is all you will need and you can get that at Radio Shack, Home Depot, Wall-Mart or just about any such place. I’m not sure you want this type of shared plug-in point (a.k.a parallel) configuration, most people would rather have end-to-end plug-in (a.k.a series). But parallel is a solid solution for up to 3 of these strands with a single starting point.

  40. […] I did a full tear down last year of these lights and you can see that (here) […]

  41. Chris
    01/12/2012

    I ran into a problem with regarding to running 3 strands in parallel. One of the strands that I need to light starts about 30 ft from where the other two strands are located. I thought I would simply insert 35ft of 16 gauge speaker wire and found that the extra resistance of the speaker wire caused the built in controller to no longer deliver enough signal through the data lines. Bummer. Glad I did the benchtop test though. Three in parallel work great as long as you don’t have to add a significant length of wire to one of the strands.

  42. Rick
    04/12/2012

    Todd, thanks for your work on this. I’m in the same boat as Jim T except we have used 10 strings to light up our driveway, flower beds, etc. I’d be ticlked if we could simply have all the strings with a solid red, green, or blue. Alternatively, it would be nice to have alternating red and gree colors on all the strings.

    Since I’m dealing with more than three strings and the strings are spread out over a large area (making the combination of strings into one controler a bit problematice), can you suggest a way to achieve my goal (with or without the assistance of a third party)?

    Your post on these was absolutely spot-on. I wish that I had reviewed it BEFORE making the purchase and staking them out on the drive.

    I’d pay for a solution that achieved my simple goals. Frankly, I don’t know why GE doesn’t offer an upgrade to take care of all the issues you pointed out.

    Thanks again for your video!

  43. Warren
    04/12/2012

    Hi Todd, I purchased 2 sets of these lights last season and now with each set the last 14-20 lights don’t light up. When we first used them this year they worked perfect. However they have suddenly stopped. Do you know of a way to reset the control box on these? maybe shorting some leeds together or anything?? any help would be appreciated. Warren

  44. 04/12/2012

    @Warren, I don’t know of any such trick.

  45. Curtis
    06/12/2012

    hmmmmm just got out my set to put up. Figured it would be wise to check them out before I put them on the gutters. More red LED components are failing. not cool. If this continues to be a problem these lights are not going to suit the needs of people who want to do these fancy shows. That or they will have to just kill a few bulbs. Wish they would last longer since they are not easy to hook up new bulbs.
    That will be something they should try to fix in the future.

  46. 06/12/2012

    @Curtis, I bet it has something to do with temp because here in AZ mine are doing fine. I’m thinking the LED junctions must be cracking in the cold or something. If you cut any out send me one and I will look at the die under a microscope.

  47. Curtis
    08/12/2012

    Thing is I live in the valley in cali. We never see anything less than 24-26F. It almost never freezes with moisture. So cold itself not the issue. But I think it could be temperature cycling issues. Not good enough soldering. So, yea, bad junctions. It seems to only be happening to the red element. 3 lights sofar,one of which is just starting to fail, the red element blinking on and off. The red element makes a little bit of sense in that it has different current/voltage requirements than blue/green would.
    I probably get temperatures similar to you. When it gets wet here its warm and wet, when it gets cold here it is dry and cold, but not much below freezing. Cant make snow when you introduce moisture to the air.

  48. Philoregon
    09/12/2012

    I bought mine from Costco and they worked just fine for about 2 weeks, and then one strand has two bulbs only lighting when yellow is supposed to be lit and the other strand has two lights doing the same thing with only red lights working. Very frustrating, any ideas other than return?

  49. 09/12/2012

    @Philoregon, Nope, just return.

  50. Jim
    06/01/2013

    Can the 25 count G35 RGBs work from the same programs?

  51. 06/01/2013

    @Jim, Yes I believe I read that it does but I have not tried it myself.

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