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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have this handheld outdoors light that I plug in to any AC Wall power source to turn on. Well I was wondering if there is anything I could buy that would make the light flicker, like it is running low on power. So it is bright, and then dims for half a sec and then flickers at full power again. Would Home Depot have anything that would do it?
 

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Buy a FS-2 or FS-5 (stay away from FS-4) flourescent starter in the light section. It looks like a small white cylinder with 2 silver plugs sticking out one end. Split the 2 wires at some point in the wire, cut one and solder the starter into each wire tip.

Something like
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Buy a FS-2 or FS-5 (stay away from FS-4) flourescent starter in the light section. It looks like a small white cylinder with 2 silver plugs sticking out one end. Split the 2 wires at some point in the wire, cut one and solder the starter into each wire tip.

Something like this.
That looks great! Thanks for sharing the video!
 

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Great video and explanation on the flicker unit.

To make your light dimmer, you might see if you can replace the bulb with a lower wattage bulb, and or put some paper or something around the light or lantern to act as a lampshade of sorts. That lets you control the color and the brightness along with the flickering you get from Warrant's flicker unit.
 

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Here's what I made this weekend, took about 5 minutes. 15W deco light (~$2), ceramic base ($1.50), extension cord ($1.50), FS2 starter ($1). I didn't solder, although I should. I wrapped it with electrical tape. I picked up parts to make 3 more of these.

BTW, the video is not me, it's one I found on YouTube.

 

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I wonder if the wife will allow me the time and money to rewire the entire "pumpkin patch" of electrically lit jack o lanterns with these...
 

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Just today I too made one of these flickering cords using the youtube video above.
What a great and cheap idea! Only a couple of bucks for a 2 pack of FS-2s.
 

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Oooo I'm so excited, I picked up a 2 pack of the FS-2 at a small store in my town..it was marked down to 25 cents, wish I got all of them now!
 

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Wow I'm all for DIY stuff, but that seems so unsafe. You would be much better off buying the actual starter holder and wire that into the cord. That way you could at least get a decent solder point and cover it with heat shrink tubing. Here is an ebay link to show what they look like. http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-Fluoresce...595?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae9842e63

You could also scavenge them from old fluorescent fixtures. With T12 bulbs getting phased out the prices on those fixtures should be dropping soon.
 

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I'll tell you how I made a flickering light purely by accident... I bought a dial dimmer switch and installed it for my dining room. At some point I punched it to turn the light on. Now it flickers hauntingly if you turn the light on and crank the brightness all the way up.
 

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Nothing seems to indicate that it does matter, BUT, does it matter which wire is cut and connected to he fluorescent starter?

I'd like to know prior to actually cutting up any electrical cords...
 

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I was wondering that as well. Technically, the small-blade side of the extension cord is the 'hot' side and the large blade side is the neutral side - given standard polarity.

So if you did:

small blade---FS2----Bulb----large blade Then the FS2 is seeing full line voltage and grounding through the resistance of the light bulb.

If you did:

small blade---bulb----FS2----large blade Now, the FS2 is only seeing the voltage after the bulb resistance and is directly tied to the neutral line.

Does this make any difference with AC power? I would suspect only if the starter has some preferential way of running, which I don't believe it does. But might be interesting to see if there is any difference in the flicker rate.
 

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I was on my way to HD any way so while I was there today, I picked up a couple of those FS-2"s. 20 minutes after I got home I had a fantastic way to make lights flicker. My Wife took one look at it and decided it was the best flickering light she had ever seen! BTW I used solder/shrink wrap and secured the whole thing in a way that is completely safe. Best $2.19 I could have spent.
 

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What a great and easy method.

Do you think this would work for a string of C7 lights? I suppose the down side would be that they would all flicker in the exact same sequence though.
 

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I have read up on a couple forums on flickering lights. The other halloween related forum did a test on which wire to cut and not to cut and both the results were the same, so it really doesn't matter.

For R Lamb, if you are cutting into a lamp cord, one blade on the plug is bigger than the other. As stated above a few posts higher "the small-blade side of the extension cord is the 'hot' side and the large blade side is the neutral side" If you happen to be cutting into a 3 wire extension cord, the black is the hot and white is neutral.

Hope that helps.
 

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Thank you. Now I know how to find the "HOT" side. Now, could some body please explain to me how the FS-2 that I installed yesterday is making the light flicker?
 
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