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Forever Bright LED Christmas Lights

This is a large page with at least 22 pictures of Forever Brights on it; please be patient.
This page has now been expanded; follow this link to get to the second page.

Forever Bright brand LED Christmas Light Set, from $9.99 (Page 1 of 2)
Manufactured by Fiber Optic Designs, Inc. (www.foreverbright.com)
Last updated: 12-25-09



LED Light



Tired of getting out the Christmas lights every year and finding they don't work because half of the bulbs are broken? Tired of the endless chore of hunting down & changing bulbs as they go out over the duration of the holidays?
Do you live in California or Washington and pay so much for power you can no longer afford to put up lights anymore? Then these are for you: A fairly ordinary looking set of Christmas lights that have colored LEDs instead of bulbs. They run cool and the bulbs never pop, and the whole set uses just a few watts of your precious electricity.

Forever Bright is a line of LED indoor/outdoor Christmas lights that need no transformer (they plug directly into 110VAC) and unlike other sets, they are available with blue and white LEDs as well as multi-color sets.




Use these like you would use ordinary miniature Christmas light sets.
They have the same fused plug as your existing miniature lights, and the "end-to-end" feature that lets you plug additional sets into the end of the strings, rather than at the outlet.

Since the bulbs never need replacing, you can forget about the annual ritual of "find the broken bulb" on the Christmas light strings as you unpack the Christmas boxes to decorate each year. You know, the broken or burnt out bulb that makes the whole set go dark, so you get all pissed off and eventually slam the defective strings into a garbage can and go out to buy new ones.
For most people, this is an annual ritual; though if you're lucky you only do this about every other year.

That won't happen with this set. Just remove it from the box year after year and start decorating - the Christmas tree, window & door frames, the garland atop the mantle, tabletop settings, or just hang the suckers off your bedroom or dorm room ceiling for that special holiday feel all year 'round.





How unique are they from other LED Christmas light sets? Let me count the ways...

  1. No transformers. They plug right into a 110VAC receptacle with an ordinary fused Christmas light plug.
  2. End-to-end connectivity. These have a plug at both ends for more decorating versatility; you can plug additional sets onto the end of the string, rather than having to start each one at an outlet like other LED Christmas sets would have you do.
  3. Compatible with your existing miniature Christmas light sets.
  4. Sets can be ordered in any solid color, including white and blue.
  5. A multicolor set is available which includes blue, something not found in other LED light sets.
  6. UL Listed flameproof bulbs - should something set one of the LED bulbs on fire (say, a broken bulb from another light set or a child playing with matches or a cigarette lighter), it extinguishes by itself.
  7. Rated for both indoor and outdoor use.
  8. Lights come with a 5 year warranty. The other set doesn't appear to be guaranteed at all.

The only real test though, is hanging them up and living with them. So what if it's late July? A true lighting fanatic wouldn't care what month it was when it comes to installing interesting and unique lighting.

A 35-light set in blue and a 50-light set in 3-color multicolor (red, yellow, and green) are being tested.
They light up about as brightly as was expected; the multicolor appears to be just a bit brighter to the eye than the blue. Again, this is normal when you take into account the type of LEDs used.

From what I can determine, here are the peak wavelengths & probable LED chemistry used for each color:
        Red: Gallium Arsenide Phosphide (GaAsP), 623nm
        Yellow: Gallium Arsenide Phosphide (GaAsP), 590nm
        Green: Gallium Phosphide (GaP), 565nm
        Blue: Gallium Nitride on Silicon Carbide substrate (GaN), 430nm

LED Light
Closeup pictures of the light sets.



Closeup of one of the bulbs in the 2000 Foreverbright sets.



Really, really closeup of one of the bulbs in the 2000 Foreverbright sets.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the red LEDs in this set.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the orange LEDs in this set.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the yellow LEDs in this set.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the green LEDs in this set.


Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the blue LEDs in this set.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.



TEST NOTES:

The tested samples are from an earlier generaton (approximately 07-01-00) - current models are said to be noticeably brighter.


I hastily hung the blue set so you can see what they look like in use.
I still have to hang these properly and then I will get a better photo.

When entering a room with the blue string illuminated, the bulbs appear to have a distinct, deep blue violet color; becoming slightly more whitish only upon staring at the bulbs.
The lamps appear to have a sparkling appearance to them, especially when you cluster them densly, walk around them, or when a breeze blows your outdoor installation around a bit. This was noted when the blue string was used by itself in a dark room; the light and dark shadows it cast on the wall seemed more obvious than in the Highlight brand lights shown on another page.


Forever Bright light sets can be purchased when seasonal lighting is set out around Halloween at such stores as Rite-Aid, Albertsons, Harrows, Raleys Drugs, and Orchard Supply Hardware. These are also apparently offered on QVC (the cable TV shopping channel).

More distributors will undoubtedly become available as Christmas comes closer.


UPDATE 10-24-01: As promised early in the year, Forever Brights are scheduled to be sold in more stores as Christmas approaches. Here is the latest listing.
    Ace Hardware
    Albertsons
    Alsto's
    Anawalt Lumber
    Ashmont Discount Centers
    Aubuchon Hardware
    Bronner's Christmas Wonderland
    The Bruce Company - Retail
    Bordine's Nursery
    Brookstone
    Crown Import
    Discount Drug Mart
    Dixieline Lumber
    Franklin's Hardware
    G-Boys Garden Center
    Green Arrow / Green Thumb International
    Harrow's
    Merritt's Hardware
    Orchard Supply Hardware
    Plow & Hearth
    QVC
    Raley's
    Rite Aid Drugstore
    TruServ/TrueValue Hardware
    Wasatch Shadows Nursery
    Waterloo Gardens
    Wolf Hill Garden Center


UPDATE 11-21-01:
I found these at my local Rite-Aid, but they only had the yellow ("Antique Candlelight") and the three-color sets (red, yellow, green) available. I was not able to locate sets with white lamps, blue lamps, or four-color sets with red, yellow, green and blue.
Tonight I'm hanging up the two sets I just bought, and will use them along with the test sets that have already been running since last summer.


UPDATE 11-29-01:
A lot of people have been looking for the white and blue sets. They were made, but none of the retailers bought them because they were more expensive than the red/yellow/green sets. According to the manufacturer, this is expected to change in 2002, and you should be able to find them in time for the 2002 holiday season.


UPDATE 12-04-01:
An article about Forever Brights appeared on the AP wire, and then to my local newspaper, the Seattle P.I. (The story subseqently expired, and can no longer be found)

UPDATE 01-08-02:
It has been found that the bulbs only fit the sockets one way, so you don't need to worry about putting one in backwards and wondering why the set doesn't light. Concerns have also arisen about the possibility of bulb loosening, but I have not found this to be the case with the numerous samples bought & tested over the last six months. If you tug on any light set hard enough while untangling, there's always the possibility of dislodging a bulb and causing the set to become nonfunctional. The cure is to look for and push in the offending bulb.

Spare bulbs are provided in the set. This is a UL regulation which applies to *all* Christmas light sets sold in the US, and is not an indication that bulbs in the set are likely to go out. Once the UL revises its rules to accomodate the newer LED Christmas light sets, these will probably stop being included as they really aren't needed.


UPDATE 07-01-03:
I was provided with some new Forever Brights last October, but I was away all fall and part of the winter and could not use them or even hang them up for the hell of it. So I haven't really tested these by hanging them up on a ceiling, wall, or Christmas tree. I did plug them in all bunched up like you see in the following pictures though, and left them that way for a couple of months. One of the blue "bulbs" was burnt out when I got the strings, so I simply left it in there rather than trying to replace it. No faults were expected or recorded with the rest of the string.


These are the new FR series. These have white LEDs and clear, round, faceted "bulbs" around them. The manufacturer calls these round things "Razz Berry" lenses.


These are the new FM series. These have 470nm blue LEDs and blue-tinted, faceted, miniature lamp shaped "bulbs" around them. These are known as "Mini Ice", because they look a bit like small icicles when hung up.


And these are the new FT series. These have color tinted, faceted, C6-shaped "bulbs" around them. The LEDs in this set are red, amber, yellow-green, and blue. And these are known as "Flame Tip".


UPDATE 09-22-03:
I had a set of "Antique Candlelight" (amber) go out a few months back, and I quickly forgot about it because it isn't Christmas. But last night, I had a set of multicolor (red, amber, green) quickly flash at normal brightness and then go out as soon as I plugged them in. So I'll have to find the Christmas set tester (the kind you wave over each bulb, and see if the LED on it goes on) to find the bad "bulb" in these two sets. Unless several LEDs went pow at the same time, this should be a quick and easy fix if I know where I put the spare LED bulbs for these sets and the tester.


UPDATE 10-23-03:
I ordered a set of 6-color 70-lamp Forever Bright lights at Brookstone's website (expect to pay $19.95 plus S&H & sales tax for a total of $28.18 for these), and they came today. They appear to be the "FT" series, with C6 sized flame tip lenses. The bulb colors are red, orange, yellow, true green, blue, and purple.


This picture shows them on a bed. Only part of the string is shown here, not the whole thing.


This picture shows blue, purple, and green lamps lit up.
The green appears to use InGaN technology, and emits near 525nm.
The blue appears to use GaN technology, and emits around 475nm.
And the purple appears to use a white LED with a purple colored lens around it. I believe this particular combination was chosen because true violet LEDs have much shorter lifetimes than the others, the combination Forever Bright uses does not cause unwanted fluorescence in surrounding materials, won't cause yellowing of the lens over time, and appears bright enough to compete with the other LEDs in the set.


UPDATE 11-02-03:
Today, I found the 35-LED string in C6 "flame tip" style, with red, yellow, green, and blue bulbs at Wallgreens for $7.99, and of course I bought them. What flashaholic wouldn't? ;-) These weren't in the Christmas (seasonal) aisle yet, but were found in an aisle with such items as disposable douches, disposable enemas, face wash, lipstick, and similar horse puckey. The salesman who directed me to where the Christmas lights were didn't even know these LED Christmas light strings existed; let's just say he does now. ;-)





This picture shows the box, as I bought it. Six of the lights are on a plastic frame glued to a white cardboard thing; this is what you see in the window in the box. The rest of the lights are just kind of put in there any way they'll fit. This saves a bit of money, and makes it a bit easier to get out and use the string; since only six of the bulbs are clipped to the frame, not the entire set.
The lighted length of this set is 12 feet (3.6 meters) and it has a dark green cord, to help blend in with tree branches or other Christmas decorations you might put it on.

Note: This set comes with 2 spare fuses, but no spare bulbs. It was a UL regulation that ALL light sets, LED or not, had to come with spare bulbs. Apparently, the UL has revised their regulations so that spare lamps do not need to be included with LED-based light sets, because the LED lamps aren't supposed to blow out like the bulbs in incandescent sets so often do.


UPDATE 11-29-03:
A dedicated fan of this website who lives in Philadelphia PA. wrote to me a day or so ago with the results of his search for Forever Bright LED Christmas lights:

Forever Bright Christmas lights are available at:
Walgreens
Eckerds

They were not found at:
K-Mart
Sears
Home Depot
CVS
Rite Aid
a True Value hardware store

Did not have but said they could order:
the nearest Ace Hardware.


UPDATE 11-30-03:
I have heard that I will be receiving some Forever Bright 2004 strings in the next couple of months or so, so keep your eye on this page over the winter to see the new Forever Bright sets.


UPDATE 12-10-03:
I received two UPS "Code Orange" packages this morning; they were from Holiday Creations (a licensee of Fiber Optic Designs). They contained 4-color Forever Bright sets (red, yellow, yellowish-green, and blue; with C6-sized flame-tip lenses) and these folio things that contain some reading material.


Here's a picture of the package they came in.


And here's how they're affixed to the frame. Only a few of the lamps are clipped to the frame; the rest are just packaged any way they'll fit. (There should be a red lamp clipped in on the left side of the frame - I see it came off before I took this photograph.)
See the 11-02-03 update above.


And here is a rather bad picture that shows the lamps lighted on their frame.

All Forever Bright light sets are UL and CSA listed for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can hang them pretty much anywhere you wish.


UPDATE 12-13-03:
I received an email from another Pennsylvania website fan, and she reported the following:

We live in Delaware County PA, about 20 minutes outside of Center City Philadelphia. I checked local Eckerds & Walgreens here in DelCo, & sampled 3-5 of each in Philadelphia proper, & no one even heard of these!
The same was true of craft stores: Frank's, A C Moore, Michael's.



As a further update (same day as the above information was posted), the woman who wrote in earlier had this to say:

A further update for you. Sheer cussedness led me to 2 sites that sell these: a Boscov's in Delaware County PA & another in Wilmington DE. Their selection was limited to one size (75 lights), 1 style (the pear-shape), & only a few colors; & they're apparently not good sellers (since the store doesn't advertise them, hardly surprising!), because they were reduced from $15 to $7. Anyway, we bought 2 sets.

By the way, found the Brite-Lite Online Store that's selling them, but the site's S&H seems too inflated to me (about $9 Ground).



UPDATE 12-15-03:
I received an email this morning from another Forever Bright user. An excerpt of that mail follows:

Hey I finally bit the bullet and bought some a those Forever-Brite LED Xmas lights and they do work very nicely. Only thing is they're so SMALL. Had to use a double string in a certain area just to see them well enough from the street.

I don't know what size or shape of Forever Bright light sets he used, so please don't ask. I posted this for informational purposes only; not as a slam against these light sets.


UPDATE 12-20-03:
Received the following report on Forever Bright sets via email a short time ago:

Buggy string #1: This one got into my hands. One red "bulb" was missing the "outer bulb", leaving a bare LED. So I replaced it (successfully) with the red "spare bulb". One yellow bulb did not glow, so I replaced it with the yellow "spare bulb" - not successfully, since the yellow spare was missing a contact (a LED lead was broken just inside the green fitting). Turns out the original yellow dud was reversed, so I fixed that by sliding off the green fitting and putting it on reversed from the way it was.

Buggy string #2: Friend's uncle got this one for use in his family's home. String worked when plugged in while still packed in its packaging, but did not work when fully unpacked. Uncle tries pulling the last "bulb" and notices the replacements do not fit in that socket due to having a longer stem than the original bulb in the end socket had. Friend makes a trip to the mall to exchange that string for a good one.


Because these sets have replaceable bulbs, they are probably not 2003 Forever Brights, but are probably from an earlier generation - 2002 or 2001 sets.


UPDATE 12-24-03:
A fan of the website, Bob Huffman of Munster IN., took the following pictures for me to use on this webpage, as I live in a 3rd floor downtown Seattle apartment and cannot hang lights outside:


A string of 4-color Forever Bright LED Christmas lights lines this rooftop.


Another string of Forever Brights lines this part of the rooftop too.


A view of the installation with Forever Brights and incandescents both visible.

As quoted from Bob's email:
As you can see this is a mixed display with flood lights and mini lights in addition to the LED's. The blue LED's look to be about on par with the incandescent mini's but the other three colors are clearly less bright. I hope this is helpful to you and thanks for maintaining the web site.


UPDATE 08-04-04:
This page has now been expanded; follow this link to get to the second page.


UPDATE 07-01-06:
The white Forever Brights with the "Razz Berry" lenses failed to turn up yesterday when I went looking for them so they could be installed for a birthday party later today, which is why you now see the "*" icon next to its listing - it would appear that they got left in Seattle when I moved to Sacramento in late-May.


PROS:
Cheery, colorful lights include orange, true-green, blue, purple, and white
Unique "lenses" or caps over each LED
Very low power usage
UL rating for fireproof bulbs
Transformerless operation
Sets can be connected end-to-end
Compatible with your existing miniature light sets
Lamps appear to have a bit more "sparkle" than others
They can be used both indoors and out
Impressive warranty.


CONS:
Not as bright as traditional incandescent
They will tangle up just as easily in the closet as ordinary strings.


        MANUFACTURER: Fiber Optic Design
        PRODUCT TYPE: Miniature style Christmas light set
        LAMP TYPE: LED, multiple colors, custom lenses
        No. OF LAMPS: 25-100 depending on set
        BEAM TYPE: N/A
        SWITCH TYPE: N/A
        BEZEL: N/A
        BATTERY: N/A
        CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 3-6 watts @120VAC
        WATER RESISTANT: Yes, weatherproof
        SUBMERSIBLE: NO WAY HOZAY!!!
        ACCESSORIES: 2 spare lamps (older sets only), 2 spare fuses
        WARRANTY: 5 years

        PRODUCT RATING:



Of the four brands of LED Christmas light sets made available to me for testing, these are the best of them, and are what I recommend if you decide to decorate with LED based sets. This is why Forever Brights earned a spot in the Trophy Case despite their limited brightness.



Forever Bright LED Christmas Light Set * www.foreverbright.com










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