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Are battery operated lights worth it?


chuck
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There are lots of places in my home where a few minilights would look great during the holiday season but plugging them into a wall outlet just isn't practical.

Now I'm seeing lots of battery operated minilights.  I'm guessing they're LEDs so the lights will stay on for more than a night or two.

Now I'm wondering how many batteries will I need to buy?  Replacing the batteries frequently wouldn't be one of my favorite things to do.  Besides... who is going to see the pretty lights at 2:00 in the morning???

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I'd suggest that you buy one set now and turn it on.  Keep it on while you're home and keep track of how long the batteries last.  That should give you the information you need.  P.S.  Not all batteries are created equal, despite what the commercials say.  We only use Duracell batteries.  They have proven themselves time and time again.  We even use them in our trail cameras because they will last for a whole month while the other brands don't even last 2 weeks.  Good luck!

Wisconsin
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I hate those things too. Anything with batteries drives me crazy, but it's easy to get around it. Just pick up one of those 18650 battery holders that has a 3v port, since Fairy Lights run on CR2032 batteries that are 3v, and those battery banks put out 3v, and with an 16865 battery, that will last forever and when it does die, the whole thing can be plugged into a mini USB port and recharged in a few hours. Plus, they have a 5v side to them as well for emergency charging of cell phones.

 

Something like this. Of course, you'll have to solder the right plug ins for your lights, but that's no biggie.

https://www.amazon.com/Diymore-Battery-Shield-Raspberry-Arduino/dp/B0784FPF8J

Here's a better picture of the ports where it needs to be solder.

https://www.diymore.cc/products/18650-battery-shield-v8-mobile-power-bank-3v-5v-for-arduino-esp32-esp8266-wifi

Church Point, Louisiana
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My wife handles the inside decorating year round and I handle our outside Christmas light show/display. She uses both plug in lights and battery LED lights year round. Just changing them out for color depending on the season. Most of the ones she uses have timers built in. Depending on the manufacturer the timers will be 4, 6 or 8 hours or sometimes a combination along with always on. Some will have a switch you can select between on, 4 or 6/8 hours, again depending on the make of the lights. She uses a lot from QVC both of string lights and Luminara that look like real candles burning. With having the timers, battery lights are very much worth it. I kid around with our family that if we loose power, we'd barely notice it since we have so much battery lights going. LOL But I love having battery lights around the house, especially in spots that a cord won't look good or can't practically get to. 👍

Good luck! 😀

Al

 

Brooklyn Park,MD
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Most of the ones I see do have a timer function built in along with a steady-on setting.  There are two ways to use 18650 battery packs in place of the AA or AAA batteries.  If the device uses three AA batteries (nominal 4.5V), they almost always will function if wired up to single 18650 Li-ion battery.  A quality, freshly charged 18650 battery will put out more than 3.7V so if it uses only two AA batteries you run the risk of destroying the controller.  However, there are cheap buck modules that will allow you to set the voltage to either 3 or 4.5V from a source up to 30V.  A two battery holder will give you the 4.5V needed.spacer.png

Rather than using 18650 batteries as a source, I often use the wall converters that produce 12V DC and run several of these battery operated devices off one converter.  The buck modules above are cheap enough I can use one for each device or run several devices off one module if they all use the same number of batteries.  You can get 6 modules for under $10 https://www.ebay.com/itm/284273684531   You do need a voltmeter to set the voltage on the buck module or can buy modules with voltmeters attached but at a much higher cost.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/191839829197

Battery packs for one to four 18650 batteries are available but probably need to be bought from China but unless you find one that ships using SpeedPak you are likely to get them way too close to Christmas https://www.ebay.com/itm/374252503146

Nevada
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I use battery operated lights everyday.  I have many Luminara candles and all different fun led strings for different holidays.  I try to get the lights with timers and that's a pleasure when they go off by themselves.  When they get dim I just recharge the batteries.  Right now I have AA, AAA and C rechargeables.  I can't imagine being without them now.  Even my husband noticed how useful they were during a few power outages.  I use them indoors only.  Recently I purchased a rapid charger and 4 AA's were fully charged in 2 hrs. This charger is great because I can charge different size batteries at the same time.  My newer lights from Bethlehem Lights use 1 C battery and I turned them on about a month ago and they still look great.  

 

 

 

 

Upstate NY
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I love Luminara candles but I have to admit I am not a fan of battery operated lights in general. The few that we have, I plan on changing them over to be electric. Just add it to the never ending/always growing To-Do List.

😏

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I am fortunate enough to have quite a few outlets around the house. This year for Christmas my kids got me a bunch of indoor wifi Feit timers so everything is on a timer now. Makes things much nicer to up my light count. 

Terre Haute, IN
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On 9/27/2022 at 9:36 AM, chuck said:

Now I'm wondering how many batteries will I need to buy?  Replacing the batteries frequently wouldn't be one of my favorite things to do.  Besides... who is going to see the pretty lights at 2:00 in the morning???

Anyone who works the night shift. Especially the cops that are driving around all night long. I have a friend who is a cop and she says she loves going by the houses that leave their Christmas lights on all night.

😏

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If you are a little adept at soldering and can use a voltmeter, there is a simple way to use any 5 to 12V wall converter to power any battery operated decoration.  Here is a picture of a 16" high snowman with RGB lights that I bought at my local Goodwill surplus store (not a retail store) where they sell stuff by the pound.  It weighs a little over a pound so cost me $2.25.  I wanted to use it outside with my Christmas decorations most of which are operated on 12V DC power supplies.  Not only do I not need to use batteries but when the power supply is turned off, all of the decorations attached go dark.  No need to turn it on and off manually.  I mentioned before about using buck step-down modules in a reply above.  Anything that runs on batteries does not use much current so even the smallest buck module will work.  You can hide this one in the battery compartment because it will fit on a nickel.  The only downside is the output is set using a jeweler's screw driver and can be a bit of a chore to get exact.  You connect the module to a DC power supply (5 to 30V) and adjust the output using a voltmeter.  Once set it does not change.  I decided to put the module inside the snowman since it was easy to remove the base and then connect the output from the module to the battery leads.   If you want to give this a try, you can get the modules for a little more than a dollar each for two or 70 cents each if you buy ten.  Available on eBay with two for $2.13 or ten for $7 postpaid  The third one listed is bigger 1" X 1+3/4" but easier to set.  I've used both types in battery operated decorations,

https://www.ebay.com/itm/123798965111

https://www.ebay.com/itm/144653381279

https://www.ebay.com/itm/314215985170

 

spacer.png

The buck module is at the base of the stalk with the LEDs on it.

Internal parts showing buck module set to 4.58V using 12V input spacer.png

small buck module size of a nickelspacer.png

 

Nevada
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