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LED Full Wave Christmas Lights

May 1, 2008

Unlike traditional incandescent lighting technology, LED lights are not constantly on. That is, all LEDs flicker or turn on and off at a very high rate of speed. This is one of the reasons that they are so much more efficient, but it also can cause some undesirable effects in the appearance of the lights. Currently, there are two different types of LED Christmas tree lights on the market: 1) full wave; and 2) half wave.

Full Wave LED Christmas Lights

Full wave technology is not really new to LEDs. However, the majority of LED holiday lights on the market do not utilize full wave technology. "Full wave" is a term that is now being commonly used to describe sets of LED Christmas lights that are fully rectified. Because a single diode produces a current that flows in one direction for only 1/2 of the AC cycle. An LED set which utilizes a rectifier creates a current that flows in the same direction 100% of the time. The visual result is that the LEDs no longer appear to "flicker." Although the LEDs are still actually "flickering" now they are turning on and off at a rate of 120 times per second which is not detectable by the human eye. For most people this is an important feature. The down-side of fully rectified Christmas lights is that they do not last quite as long as non-rectified sets and are not quite as efficient. This is simply because the LEDs are on twice as much as in non-rectified sets. The loss of efficiency and longevity is relatively low considering the average life of a non-rectified set is nearly 100,000 hours.

Non-Rectified LED Christmas tree lights

In contrast, a non-rectified LED light set only has a current flowing 1/2 of the AC cycle. This means that the LED is turning on and off or "flickering" at a rate of 60 times per second. Although this is not easily detectable by the human eye, most people notice some "flickering" effect especially if the light set is moving. Some people are more sensitive to this than others. Those who are sensitive to it find this to be an unattractive feature of LED string lights. Our commercial Christmas lights have always been fully rectified, while our standard grade LED holiday lights were not.

We will continue to offer some selection of non-rectified LEDs but the majority of our 1/2 product will be replaced with fully rectified sets.