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FlikTheBlue
11-24-2014, 02:21 PM
When I was a kid (1980s) we had some lights that I can't find at any store. I call them spiky Christmas lights and they looked like this.

http://messybessy99.deviantart.com/art/Spiky-Christmas-Lights-278835877

That is the only picture I could find of them on the Internet. The employees at all my local stores including Lowes, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart, are not familiar with them. Do these lights have a specific name, and where could I go about finding them? They bring back fond childhood memories, but my parents do not remember where they bought them or what happened to them.

Ethilrist
11-24-2014, 02:26 PM
Well, you could ask the people on that site...

Kimballkid
11-24-2014, 02:27 PM
1980's is old-fashioned?!

johnpost
11-24-2014, 02:39 PM
old is relative.

FlikTheBlue
11-24-2014, 02:40 PM
I think of them as old fashioned because they are seemingly no longer sold. Similar to how watching a movie on VHS seems more old fashioned than going to a theater even though theaters have been around a lot longer than VHS.

Kimballkid
11-24-2014, 02:53 PM
Here's (http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-36-Light-LED-Diamond-Color-Changing-Light-Show-Set-72070X/202870850?N=5yc1vZc3t9) something vaguely similar.

While searching those, I found these (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kurt-S-Adler-Star-Wars-10-Light-C3PO-Light-Set-SW9113/203474890?N=5yc1vZc3t9) and these (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Kurt-S-Adler-10-Light-Blue-White-Star-Wars-R2D2-Indoor-Outdoor-Light-Set-SW9901/203474893?N=5yc1vZc3t9) cool lights.

CrazyCatLady
11-24-2014, 02:59 PM
1980's is old-fashioned?!

Much as I hate to admit it, the 80's were 30 years ago. So if not outright "old-fashioned" then at least "vintage."

Kimballkid
11-24-2014, 03:07 PM
So my high-school diploma is 'vintage'? I should sell it on eBay!!

:D

california jobcase
11-24-2014, 03:20 PM
Miniature lights used to come in a variety of designs like that. Most of the plastic refractive parts around the bulb looked like a corolla or crown. i kind of miss those- all the mini lights are just bare bulbs nowadays.

arseNal
11-24-2014, 03:20 PM
I took this as a google challenge. However the pic you linked to is pretty blurry so it's hard to tell exactly what those things look like. Could it be similar to these?

Christmas Reflectors Colored Bulb Covers Lot of 18 Colored Reflectors Star shape (https://www.etsy.com/listing/166362777/christmas-reflectors-colored-bulb-covers)

FlikTheBlue
11-24-2014, 03:31 PM
I took this as a google challenge. However the pic you linked to is pretty blurry so it's hard to tell exactly what those things look like. Could it be similar to these?

Christmas Reflectors Colored Bulb Covers Lot of 18 Colored Reflectors Star shape (https://www.etsy.com/listing/166362777/christmas-reflectors-colored-bulb-covers)

Those are the ones. The earlier link Kimbalkid posted helped as well, but wasn't quite right. I have googled further, and it looks like they are for sale in the UK, under the name diamond fairy lights. I haven't been able to find the actual lights on any USA stores website.

arseNal
11-24-2014, 03:33 PM
Those are the ones. The earlier link Kimbalkid posted helped as well, but wasn't quite right. I have googled further, and it looks like they are for sale in the UK, under the name diamond fairy lights. I haven't been able to find the actual lights on any USA stores website.
Why can't you just order those etsy ones? At $3.75, what's the worst that can happen

Canadjun
11-24-2014, 03:34 PM
So my high-school diploma is 'vintage'? I should sell it on eBay!!

:D

I guess my Master's degree (UWaterloo 1976) is antique.

FlikTheBlue
11-24-2014, 03:38 PM
Thanks everybody for your help! I found what I was looking for at UK Christmasworld.

FlikTheBlue
11-24-2014, 03:41 PM
Why can't you just order those etsy ones? At $3.75, what's the worst that can happen

They are very spiky, if they are like the ones I remember, and putting them on the actual lights will likely result in lots of small cuts to my fingers :eek:

usedtobe
11-24-2014, 07:12 PM
How many remember these (https://www.etsy.com/listing/171224814/25-off-sale-christmas-bubble-lights?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=christmas+light+bubbles&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery) ?
Once warmed by the bulb in the base, the liquid in the tube starts to bubble.

For those with more time than sense: ;)
Find these in current production.

Loach
11-24-2014, 07:27 PM
How many remember these (https://www.etsy.com/listing/171224814/25-off-sale-christmas-bubble-lights?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=christmas+light+bubbles&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery) ?
Once warmed by the bulb in the base, the liquid in the tube starts to bubble.

For those with more time than sense: ;)
Find these in current production.

How about these (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Holly-Twinkle-Lite-Flashing-Christmas-Tree-Lights-w-Transformer-Works-/291299338543?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d2cb292f)? I remember having these in the house for decades. The best damn lights ever. We kept them as long as we could, way past when most of the color had rubbed off the bulbs. Finally too many bulbs burned out and couldn't be replace. They were originally bought by my father in the 50s long before I was born.

usedtobe
11-24-2014, 07:49 PM
How about these (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Holly-Twinkle-Lite-Flashing-Christmas-Tree-Lights-w-Transformer-Works-/291299338543?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d2cb292f)? ... bought by my father in the 50s long before I was born.

A. Thank you for reminding all us boomers that we are not long for this world.

B. Aren't those still in production? I don't do Xmas, so am not in the market, but I can't get to a pharmacy window without seeing the stuff. Maybe this was ancient history when I saw them.

Mdcastle
11-24-2014, 07:52 PM
Next up: LED bubble lights.

Seriously, there were two versions of the "star" lights. My family had a second version where the bulb used a standard base and the star fit on the socket, so you could use standard lamps instead of having to transfer it to the star base.

astro
11-25-2014, 12:32 AM
Thanks everybody for your help! I found what I was looking for at UK Christmasworld.

If these lights are expecting UK standard 230V will they operate properly with 120V US voltage?

bob++
11-25-2014, 08:07 AM
If these lights are expecting UK standard 230V will they operate properly with 120V US voltage?

I think you will need a transformer

Doug K.
11-25-2014, 08:11 AM
1980's is old-fashioned?!

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Johnny L.A.
11-25-2014, 10:05 AM
I remember these (http://www.light-bulbs.us/christmas-bulbs-424.jpg). (And the bubble lights.)

cjepson
11-25-2014, 10:41 AM
I remember these (http://www.light-bulbs.us/christmas-bulbs-424.jpg). (And the bubble lights.)

Those were the new thing when I was a kid. They replaced these (https://www.etsy.com/listing/212303523/christmas-lights-hy-glow-vintage-set-of?ref=sr_gallery_8&ga_search_query=Box+of+vintage+Christmas+light+bulbs&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery)... we had a few sets of those but never used them as they were wired in series rather than in parallel (so if one burned out, the whole string went dark).

Johnny L.A.
11-25-2014, 11:48 AM
I was looking for an image of something like the one you linked to. That's what I was talking about, but the bulbs were shaped like the ones in my link. There were two sizes; larger for outside, and smaller for inside. I hated looking for the burnt-out bulb!

It's a good thing my parents never caught me using the larger ones as hand grenades when we played Army. (They made a satisfying pop.)

Loach
11-25-2014, 01:29 PM
A. Thank you for reminding all us boomers that we are not long for this world.

B. Aren't those still in production? I don't do Xmas, so am not in the market, but I can't get to a pharmacy window without seeing the stuff. Maybe this was ancient history when I saw them.

A. I'm not that far behind you.

B. I doubt it. I saw a few like it on ebay that looked to be in great shape but they look like the old ones. I remember that the old strands got to be pretty hot. Certainly only for use on a real tree. It would melt plastic. Each one also had it's own transformer. So it probably used a lot of juice. So basically fire-starters that were bad for the environment. But they were a lot prettier than new lights and lasted a lot longer. It seems like if you get more than a year out of a strand now you are ahead of the game.

Terry Kennedy
11-25-2014, 08:46 PM
How many remember these (https://www.etsy.com/listing/171224814/25-off-sale-christmas-bubble-lights?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=christmas+light+bubbles&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery) ?
Once warmed by the bulb in the base, the liquid in the tube starts to bubble.

For those with more time than sense: ;)
Find these in current production.
I worked in the factory (in a different division) that made those in the 70's - Masden Industries on 23rd St. in North Bergen, NJ. They made the glass enclosure and the contents, and then sold the sealed units to a customer (Beacon Electric, somewhere in New England, IIRC) who provided the bases and lamps and did the packaging and sale.

I have some that are 3' (yep, FEET) tall.

The chemistry was quite simple* - the ball of material in the bottom was a mixture of sugar and sodium metaborate. The liquid was methylene chloride. The solid would outgas at low temperatures (even from the heat of a hand) and release bubbles which would float upward and eventually be reabsorbed in the liquid. The trick with the giant ones was to wind a spiral of thin heating wire around them to keep the bubbles from disappearing partway up.

The most annoying thing about this factory was that it tended to explode a lot - the machines that did the glass sealing were all 1-offs and old, and the flame would back up into the main gas line, and kaboom.

* If these are made today, I'm sure the formula is different - the one I posted would run afoul of safety regulations these days.

PoppaSan
11-25-2014, 10:15 PM
I worked in the factory (in a different division) that made those in the 70's - Masden Industries on 23rd St. in North Bergen, NJ. They made the glass enclosure and the contents, and then sold the sealed units to a customer (Beacon Electric, somewhere in New England, IIRC) who provided the bases and lamps and did the packaging and sale.

I have some that are 3' (yep, FEET) tall.

The chemistry was quite simple* - the ball of material in the bottom was a mixture of sugar and sodium metaborate. The liquid was methylene chloride. The solid would outgas at low temperatures (even from the heat of a hand) and release bubbles which would float upward and eventually be reabsorbed in the liquid. The trick with the giant ones was to wind a spiral of thin heating wire around them to keep the bubbles from disappearing partway up.

The most annoying thing about this factory was that it tended to explode a lot - the machines that did the glass sealing were all 1-offs and old, and the flame would back up into the main gas line, and kaboom.

* If these are made today, I'm sure the formula is different - the one I posted would run afoul of safety regulations these days.
Always wondered what made it bubble. Figured it was a simple chemistry trick.
Yes they are made as I've gotten some new in the past few years to show the yung 'uns. Shopko, Kohls, Menards, someplace like that in the upper midwest.

robert_columbia
11-25-2014, 10:58 PM
Next up: LED bubble lights....

Light of wonder, light of night,
Light emitting diode bright.
Power leading, junction bleeding,
Guide us to your InGaN light.

robert_columbia
11-25-2014, 11:00 PM
Much as I hate to admit it, the 80's were 30 years ago. So if not outright "old-fashioned" then at least "vintage."

Hey kids, get off my lawn!

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