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Hello All,

Aren't you all tired of turning off your LED PVC candles every night? And changing those expensive batteries is a nightmare!!!! Well, here is the perfect DYI tut for you so that you will never have to do either of those things ever again!

(that was my play on one of those infomercials) LOL

I made this video TUT tonight on how I wire my tea lights (from the dollar store) to a wall-wart / transformer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00artHyIUs0&feature=share&list=UUR4gneaA3VzcM7C5fyYnaJw

Please click on the above link since I can't seem to get it to show up here.....

Any questions or comments are always welcome!
 

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Great tutorial. I'd never thought of wiring them to a wall wart, but it makes a lot of sense, especially when it comes to those little batteries. The tea lights might be cheap when you buy them at a dollar store, but those batteries can cost a small fortune! Awesome idea. I sense a little weekend project coming on...
 

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theedwin,

Great idea!! Do you know how many tea lights can be powered off of one power adapter. I have my PVC candles in groups of 3 (about 5 sets). Also, I took a look at your youtube video of your yard. LOOKS GREAT!!

Happy Haunting!!
 

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I'd also like to know how many I can wire together.
Also, how do you connect the other end of the wires to the transformer in a more permanent way than the alligator clips. My candles are all outside in my graveyard and I was hoping to run extension cords to a power box.
 

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Also once wired you can put them on a timer. I have almost everything on timers so I don't have to turn anything on or off. I'm more often away from home at dusk when I want my stuff turned on. As per the question of how many per wall wart. You need to find out how many volts your candles each take. Try to find a wall wart close to that amount, if your lights aren't bright enough increase your volts until you get the brightness you want. Once you find the eight one that is not too much use heat shrink and solder the wall wart to the leads. Make sure to put a cover over both wires to keep them water tight.
 

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Also once wired you can put them on a timer. I have almost everything on timers so I don't have to turn anything on or off. I'm more often away from home at dusk when I want my stuff turned on. As per the question of how many per wall wart. You need to find out how many volts your candles each take. Try to find a wall wart close to that amount, if your lights aren't bright enough increase your volts until you get the brightness you want. Once you find the eight one that is not too much use heat shrink and solder the wall wart to the leads. Make sure to put a cover over both wires to keep them water tight.
HomeHaunter,
So.......If each tea light uses a 3V battery and I have them together in goups of 3, a 9VDC power adapter would work to power a group (3 tea lights), correct?
 

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I don't think so. Think of it this way. You have two lamps. Each lamp plugs into a 110 volt power supply. If you run one extension cord you can plug them both into the one cord and the each get the necessary power. All though it is still 110 volts of power.
Start at 3 or 4 volts and go from there. There is also a loss in power the further you run a cord. So if your candles are really far away from the plug you might need to use a 5 volt wall wart. Be careful though because if you were to say use a 12 volt you would let the magic smoke out of all your candles.
 

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I don't think so. Think of it this way. You have two lamps. Each lamp plugs into a 110 volt power supply. If you run one extension cord you can plug them both into the one cord and the each get the necessary power. All though it is still 110 volts of power.
Start at 3 or 4 volts and go from there. There is also a loss in power the further you run a cord. So if your candles are really far away from the plug you might need to use a 5 volt wall wart. Be careful though because if you were to say use a 12 volt you would let the magic smoke out of all your candles.
HomeHaunter,

Thanks! After reading over what I posted, I realized I am running on WAY to little sleep these days!!! Thanks again!!!
 

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Ghouls Rule
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just watched the video and had a few questions. This may be obvious to some but Im a total newb to electronics so any advice would be appreciated :)

1: how do you link (daisychain) multiple lights to the wallwart? What is the configuration? Do you have an example to see the paths?

2: if I dont have a solder gun can I just use electronic black tape to close off the ends?

3: You mentioned using the hot glue to help protect it from the elements. Were you adding hot glue on top of the soldered components? If yes, would we be able to just use hot glue instead?

thanks for the video!
 

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Get a soldering iron, you can get one a Harbor Freight for like $4.... look on Youtube for how to's and practice on some wire. It's super easy....

This is a great tutorial.... I have been wanting to do this for a couple years... I was going to use a PC power supply and uses the 3.3 volt wires,,,

Have you tried this on the "flickering" LED tea lights? I have wondered if the flicker circuit is in the LED or in the housing...
 

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I agree you need to get a solder iron. Essentially it makes two wires into one. Instead of having a break in the middle. Much safer if its done right.
There is a way to daisy chain the lights. I don't know how to do that though. What I am doing is running all my wires back to the end of the wall wart. It requires more wire but I will be able to disassemble and adjust where I want the lights.
Second you don't want to use hot glue on live wire. What you want to use is heat shrink. It goes over the exposed wire, when heated it shrinks and replaces the original coating on the wire. Once you have a heat shrink on each wire you want to heat shrink over both wires. This keeps it clean and keeps your work protected.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the compliments everyone! :D

I still have to make the "PVC Candles" themselves. Until I get that done, I won't be able to wire multiples together.

I plan on making another video to show how "I" wire them together.

I am running these in parallel so each one will be wired directly to the lead from the wall wart. In the past, I have run 12 of them off of one wall wart, but I am sure I could easily power another 20 or so. It all depends on the amperage of the wall wart you have.

Kittlyvibe, actually the first time I made these, I just used glue. I still have them, use them and they still work (except for 1 of the tea lights) but I would definitely recommend using a soldering iron. It makes the connections work and stay SO much better. in the video I hot glued them for 2 reasons. The main reason is so that hey don't fall apart. The other reason is hopefully (it is not scientifically proven) it will keep the elements out. Living in Las Vegas, we don't get too many "elements" out here. :D
 

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Ghouls Rule
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thanks theedwin, didnt know I could use hit glue. While looking inside a prop today I noticed it had some hot glue on the circuit board too, so I guess that answers that, lol.

Now Im just looking forward to how you connect them all up :)

I found an old motorola phone charger, can I use that to power these? Think it said input 100-240v output 5v
 

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Kittyvibe, you can't use the charger directly, as 5 volts is too high for most tea lights (they usually run on 3 volts). If you are comfortable with some basic soldering and electronic components, you can solder a couple of 1N914 diodes in series with the output. Each diode produces a voltage drop of almost exactly 1 volt, so the resulting drop of 2 volts will leave you with 3. Just remember that diodes are polarity-sensitive, so they have to be put in the right direction for current to flow.
 

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A follow up to my last post. Here's how you can use a phone charger to run your tea lights, with the appropriate modifications.
Adapter Wiring.jpg
Drop me an email if you have any questions: [email protected]
 

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Ghouls Rule
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thanks, I think I understand the diagram, which is awesome btw :) Where does one find these diodes locally? I dont want to pay shipping for a bulk bag of these online. :/
 

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You should be able to find them at any electronics store that sells components, such as Radio Shack. A 1N914 is an extremely common type of diode. Just don't let them talk you into buying something else... the voltage drop for most "rectifier" type diodes (like a 1N4001 or similar) is higher ( usually around 1.7 volts) so you'd either use only one and put out too much voltage, or use two and put out too little.
 
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