Classic Rope Lights, Upgrade Tips

To have a better view of LED ropes, it is important to consider the benefits of standard or classicc rope lights. Many features of their younger cousin are traceable directly to them.



Colors and Fading
Shapes and components

Standard ropes
Chasing ropes
Flat ropes

Typical Q & A
Will my new 120 volt LED rope light be brighter than my old 12 volt LED rope? >>

Replacement And Upgrade
Tool, accessory and installation tips for 12V here and for 120V here.

You need to distinguish various types based on different things. Here they go:

Based on voltage
  • 12 Volt or 24 Volt, also called low voltage
  • 120 Volt, 240 Volt, (In Europe and in some Pacific regions 200 Volt and 220 Volt) also called high voltage

Colors and Fading

The color of old ropes come from the tint of the encasement, not the actual bulbs.

Whites are
incandescent whites. The hue is warm yellowish. (Approx 4000 degree Kelvin color temperature.)

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Other colors on the market are yellow, orange, red, green and blue.

Natural Fading
As they have incandescent bulbs they don't fade, but burn out without much of a warning - may be a little flicker.

Shape and Components

Various Types

All rope lights

Light units are coated in plastic (PVC) or resin than is solid (can be hollow too, though very rarely.) Because of the light parameters of the coating require standard sizes, typical standard size profiles are used:

Standard profiles
Standard sizes are either 3/8" (inch) called square (this size is also called mini.) Next comes the 1/2" (half inch). Now if this value measures the width of the profile it is also called square (just to confuse you I guess.) But if the half inch measures the diameter of the profile, it is called tube. There you have it, these are the basic profiles.

Standard rope lights
Light encasement is solid, not hollow - certainly not a glass tube as the name may suggest. In fact, light ropes are sometimes also called neon ropes (rightly or wrongly.) But it helps making the point that they can be used for similar purposes as your old neon lights. One thing is sure. These encasements don't brake. (I review LED neon ropes here.)

Chasing ropes
These ropes are standard light ropes with a simple pre-set chasing program. All patterns of lighting can be achieved via a dedicated controller.

Flat Ropes
These are not rounded but flat (often very thin) lights. They give off a very focused bright light. This light is only viewable from one chosen direction.

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Typical Questions Answered

Q. Will my new 120 volt LED rope light be brighter than my old 12 volt LED rope?

A. Unfortunately no. It won't be. But there is one advantage ...
You will find that the wattage per foot is the same for high voltage rope lights and low voltage rope lights. So the brightness is also about the same. And LED ropes are no different.

The advantage you get with 120 volt LED rope (or high voltage) is that the amperage draw - or current draw - will be 10 times less.

That means that voltage drop over a distance will be so much less too. The result is more even brightness over the same distance. Or put it in other way: Longer distances with same brightness.

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Replacement And Upgrade
Tips for Using Rope Lighting here

Thinking of upgrading? Follow these steps.

  • If you current rope is encased in a hollow tube consider going for a rope with solid encasement. You will gain more flexibility.
  • Because of sudden burnouts, schedule your rope replacement (or upgrade) by taking into account a shorter lifespan than specified.
  • And please upgrade your old neon tube lights to neon ropes. Glass neon tubes are INEFFICIENT and just no longer cut it, sorry ...
  • And if you want new patterns, don't just replace your old controller. Instead, consider also the upgrade to LED rope light or LED neon. The results will be more magnetic, more psychedelic. 

You SEE and will thank me for these tips. Each one will have its rewards.

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Go to LED Rope Lights Overview and Navigation from Conventional Ropes

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