I recently bough a string of 300 warm white LED fairy lights from Proxima Direct. These lights were given great reviews on amazon and are pretty cheap at around £20.
I won’t go in to a full review (what pictures I have are ‘borrowed’ from the amazon site) but here are a few things to note should you be considering buying these:
- They are full wave rectified
- The ‘warmness’ of the LEDs is nice, about the same as a warm CFL
- They have eight settings for flashing and dimming, I especially like the ‘twinkling effect
- Despite the full wave rectification the though there is a 100Hz flicker even when fully on
- A set bought by my collegue had every fourth LED dead, so there are obviously some quality control issues
- There is not memory for which setting you had selected before switching them off and constant-on (my preferred setting) is last in the list
- The water proofing at each LED is dubious – no doubt they’d last outside for a while but I suspect after a month or two you’ll have problems
All things considered I think they’re great value for money. My plan is to fix the 100Hz flicker (It’s noticable, but only when they move across my line of vision) and probably improve the water proofing so that I can put these lights outside permanently.
Stay tuned for the next post which will include a teardown, analysis of the flicker (I’ll try and deduce the duty cycle) and some investigation of the driving circuit.