R.I.P. My Christmas Light Project Individual LEDs keep failing on the strips I installed,

R.I.P. My Christmas Light Project

Individual LEDs keep failing on the strips I installed, and we haven’t even reached our usual lows, temperature-wise. Time to turn them off.

The good news is the most expensive part of the project was the LEDs, and I can salvage all of them for other (non-outdoor) projects.

The better news is I learned a lot in the process – mostly from the amazingly helpful FastLED community. THANK YOU EVERYONE

Starting today, I’m looking into what I can make work for next year! Stay tuned. :slight_smile:

And sincerely, thanks again to everyone in this group for the help and encouragement I’ve received on this and other projects I’ve tackled.


Out doors i use the 12mm bullet style and the C9 style leds. These are supposedly waterproof (and they mostly are), i wouldnt put a strip outside. Yet.

Merry xmas

@Stuart_Taylor Yeah… the strips were an attempt to have lots of light while keeping costs down. Do you have a link to an example of the lights you’re referring to (assuming they work with FastLED)? Doesn’t have to be a “recommended” link – just something so I can learn a little more about them.

I mostly buy from Ray Wu and Rita.

Here is an example:

50 nodes DC12V WS2811 LED addressable rgb full color pixel light;waterproof, full color ;with smooth milky C9 cover
(from AliExpress)

I bought a load of these (with the faceted C9 covers) as they are not common in the UK, and so they appear to be “jumbo”.

C9 DC5V 12mm through hole WS2811 led smart pixel node,with all WHITE wire(20AWG),IP68 rated;addressable;50pcs per strand


(from AliExpress)

@Stuart_Taylor : And you use the 12 V versions? 12 V should be OK with Arduinos, can you confirm that? Any experience you could share?

The strings i have take +12v power a 5v signal/data and common ground (two wires for ground, i common them).

Some of the 12v string have 9 leds (3xR 3xG 3xB) per “node” managed by one ws281x chip.


Here’s an example without C9 covers. I’m using these outdoors in Ohio currently. We’ve had rain and freezing nights, but no snow yet.

Hmmm I was about to try some IP67 strips outside. I’m in the not-quite-yet-frozen tundra of suburban Boston. I will lower my expectations accordingly

My biggest frustration was that I siliconed the strips to lengths of J-channel to make things “maintenance-free”. But that was assuming minimum or no LED replacement. Last night I had an idea that might make things more accessible. If it works, I’ll post it.