While icicle lights add sparkle and amazing decor that we all love, too many or too few lights can ruin it. So how many icicle lights can you string together?
Read on to find out the number of icicle lights that you need.
Plus, you’ll find out how to connect the strands safely without overloading.
How Many Icicle Lights Can I String Together?
The answer to the question on how many icicle lights you can string together depends on the type of light, cord specification on the string light, and wattage of your circuit.
Incandescent lights have a high wattage. Hence, it reduces the number of string lights you can put together.
LED string lights have a lower wattage – maximum of 3 watts per strand – unlike incandescent, which have 5 to 10 watts a string.
The power cord of your string light specifies the number of wattages it can support.
Your home circuit (domestic use) has around 15 to 20 amps. In terms of voltage, it’s 120 volts.
To find the maximum wattage of your circuit, you calculate the amps by the volts.
A 15 amp circuit (15×120) will yield 1800 watts, while a 20 amp circuit (20×120) gives 2400 watts.
However, for safety concerns, it’s recommended to use not more than 80% of your circuit output.
Hence, for a 15 amp circuit, you can use around 1400 watts, while for a 20 amp circuit, you can use 1900 watts.
Now, back to the string lights. Suppose you’re using an LED string light of 5 watts per strand, then for a 15 amp circuit, you can connect 280 icicle light strings.
15 amp circuit = 1400 watt (safe level)
1400w ÷ 5w string = 280 strings
Check the wattage indicated on your string light, then divide by 1400 if your circuit is 15 amp, or divide by 1900 if you have a 20 amp circuit.
An incandescent light string of 100 mini bulbs uses 40 watts. Hence you can only connect 35 strings if you’re on 15 amp or 47 strings on a 20 amp circuit.
How Many Icicle Lights Do I Need?
To get the accurate number of lights that you need, it’s important to consider what you want to light: a tree, window, wreath, deck railing, door, hedges and bushes, pillars, or something else.
The size in inches or feet will determine how many icicle lights you require.
A mini icicle light – 26 feet in length has around 300 lights.
If you’re decorating a wreath, you need one light for every inch of the wreath.
Depending on how wide it is, you might need 50 to 100 lights for a window.
The easiest way is to use a string of 100 lights per foot, either vertical or horizontal. It will give you a balanced, well light, and decorated effect.
How to Connect Icicle String Lights?
Most icicle lights have a male and female end on the strings, which enable you to connect several strands.
However, make sure that the lights are compatible before connecting.
Step 1: To connect different strings, look for the blank ends then unscrew them.
Step 2: Take a male and a female blank end and screw them together tightly, and you’re done.
Step 3: If both ends are female, you might have to remove the plug (in some cases, the plug is removable).
Step 4: You’ll then see the male connector, which you can now attach to the female one.
Step 5: Remember to cover the plugs with electrical insulation tape to block out moisture.
What Happens If String Too Many Icicle Lights Together?
Circuits have a maximum wattage beyond which they can explode and cause a fire.
When you connect many icicle light strands, you overload the circuit, which is a hazard.
Fortunately, most string lights have a small fuse so that when you connect too many strands, the fuse is the one that blows.
Once that happens, it breaks the circuit and stops the power supply without damaging your bulbs.
However, you’ll have to replace the fuse to continue using the bulbs.
Now that you’ve learned how to calculate the number of icicle lights you need, you can safely string them together using the above steps and enjoy the amazing lights.