Checking for “Leaks” with LED Christmas Lights

April 16, 2009

It’s is amazing how many uses people find for products that are not even remotely related to the product’s intended purpose. We frequently receive phone calls and emails from customers who ask us questions about our products and occasionally inform us of new and interesting uses for LED Christmas lights.

I recently learned about how some musicians are using LED Christmas lights to test their musical instruments. Although I love music, I have absolutely no musical background and know nothing about musical instruments, but I was fascinated to hear from a musician who was using LED Christmas lights to test his 1853 antique bass. It turns out that wooden instruments (especially older wooden instruments) develop tiny cracks over time that can affect the sound and performance of the instrument. These tiny cracks are commonly referred to as “leaks”. Musicians who are fortunate enough to own a classic antique musical instrument, and who are good custodians of their prizes, must regularly inspect their instruments for “leaks”. Apparently, one of the methods used to inspect for “leaks” is to drop a light source into the instrument, move to a dark room, and look for light escaping through the “leaks” or tiny cracks. However, there is a problem with this method. Wooden instruments, especially very old antique wooden instruments, are very dry, delicate, and extremely sensitive to heat. Trying this testing method with a light source that produces a lot of heat, such as incandescent lighting, could damage the instrument.

Enter LED Christmas lights. Christmas lights using LEDs are the perfect tool for testing for “leaks”. The bulbs and string are small enough to fit inside a musical instrument, the LEDs emit a bright and intense light, and they produce very little heat.

So there you have it. Not only are LED Christmas lights an energy-efficient, cost effective, and sustainable tool for decorating, they are also ideal for testing antique musical instruments for “leaks”. Who knew? Not me.