As I walk my way home yesterday, I was excite and amazed seeing the beauty of landscapes in the street decorated with blinking and flashing colorful Christmas lights twinkle with the beat of the Christmas jingles. I just came to realized, pasko na naman! (It’s Christmas time again!).
While I’m on the beat of my excitement, an interesting question burst in my mind – how these Christmas lights do blink. I pause for a while and thinks again. This gonna be a good question to search on, I said to myself. Early morning today before the office hours I talk to my good friend Dr. Google about it and this is the result of our conversation.
Generally Christmas lights are made of different shapes and colors of mini-lights. They are the 2.5 volts incandescent bulbs in multiples or strands connected in series to compensate the power source at home or offices. You can just imagine if this 2.5 volt bulb directly plugs in your 220 volt outlets, what do you think will happen? The bulb might explode or be burned-out.
The blinking or flashing effect in Christmas lights is a result of either by a blinker light bulb or a sophisticated controller system connected on it.
The blinker light bulb contains a special piece of metal that bends when it gets hot. Like the ordinary bulbs, the current goes in through its post, heat the filament resulting to the bulb to light-up. However with this special bulb, when the filament gets hot, it causes the metal strip (special metal) to bend, disconnecting itself from the post to stop the flow of current and extinguishes the bulb. As the strip metal cools, it bends back and reconnects to the post and re-lights the filament so the cycle repeats resulting to a blinking effect. The special metal in this bulb serves as a virtual switch that puts on the current to stop. Therefore, whenever this blinker bulb is not lit, the rest of the strand is not getting power too.
While, the other process is through the use of an integrated circuit connected on it. This Christmas light is called sophisticated light sets. It has 16-function controllers or typically a controller box that is driving the four separate strands of mini-bulbs. This gonna be a “nose-bleeding”, technical sort of things, so I won’t be going further on this. What I understand is, this integrated circuit together with transistors programmed the patterns on how the current flows out in each of the strands of lights resulting to an amazing sorts of interesting patterns.
If you want to read more about this, visit howstuffworks.com