LED Rope Light Off-Gassing...?

LEDAdd1ct

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A few weeks back, I decided to purchase a 33 foot warm white LED rope light, with a whole lot of LEDs inside of it. I had already purchased a remote control for it, and last night with the help of a friend, I set it up in my bedroom. It runs over two desks, under a bookshelf, up into the air, over my window shade/curtains, and down next to my bed. It is bright, cool (thermally), silent, and looks fantastic. I have two remote controls, one on my window sill for bedtime, and one up in the air, wedged between two books. I can turn it on and off when I enter/leave the room, and when I am in bed. There is just one problem.

As soon as I unpacked the long, plastic tube, I could not help but notice an over-powering odor. It is that "new plastic" smell, such as when opening a molded-plastic product, except it is a million times stronger. I thought it would fade quickly in the open air. Well, after sitting overnight, my entire bedroom reeks of plastic, and I think it might be bothering my throat. So I have a few questions:

1) I don't know what type of "plastic" this is made of, since plastic is sort of a generic word for a broad variety of materials. PVC, PET, A-B-C-D-E-F-G, I know there are lots out there. Does anyone know what this is likely to be?

2) I have been trying to research the notion of "off-gassing," but as usual, there are conflicting ideas on the web. Is the smell/odor hazardous to breathe? I have read reports ranging from "it will fade in a few days and really isn't anything" to "the stuff can give you cancer" to "it is only dangerous if you chew on it." While I have no intention of eating the rope, my bedroom is where I sleep, and while sleeping I breathe copious amounts of air. If there is a chance this stuff could be dangerous to inhale, I would like to know.

3) Is there anyone out there who has also purchased an LED rope light, to find the same overpowering "plasticky" smell? What did you do? Did it go away? Did it bother your throat?

I would appreciate any information anyone has, preferably if they could back it up with scientific documentation. I really love my new LED rope light, but do not want to endanger myself or my family if there is a valid, scientifically plausible risk.


:confused:
 
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Illum

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same with DX made lights that have rubber boots, supposedly the only way to mask/get rid of the smell is to leave it somewhere with air circulation, preferably outside or in the garage.

Whatever it is, its certainly not beneficial to your health...I think its some sort of an additive in the rubber...like tennis balls :sick2:, not sure:duh2:
 

LEDAdd1ct

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About a half-hour ago, I took it down, coiled it up, and hauled it to my attic. I am sad to move it, but I really don't know what else to do. I really hope it loses that smell after a few weeks. :(
 

JohnR66

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I guess these are made of flexible PVC tubing so if it has that smell (like a new shower curtain) it is the plasticizers used in the PVC to make it flexible. This will most certainly diminish with time.
 

LEDAdd1ct

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Illum_the_nation, imagine that "flashlight cap smell" but with something like 1,000 times the volume of plastic. It was absolutely unbearable!

JohnR66, I thought it might be a chemical in PVC. How long do you think it will take to fade?
 

csshih

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where did you get the 33 foot rope light? I want one of those ;).
good luck with venting that thing.
 

Ken_McE

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I would appreciate any information anyone has, preferably if they could back it up with scientific documentation. I really love my new LED rope light, but do not want to endanger myself or my family if there is a valid, scientifically plausible risk.

In this situation it is a bit of a bother to evaluate it scientifically, but you can fall back on rules of thumb. I had this same issue with a new shower curtain. Lot of surface area, lot of stink. I left it hanging on the rail of the back porch for a week, let it outgass outside. After that it was fine. I expect you could do the same. Just unroll it and leave it exposed to the air. You should be able to install it again in a week or two.

csshih:
where did you get the 33 foot rope light? I want one of those
Any interest in Amber/12 volt?
 

blasterman

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I don't know what type of "plastic" this is made of

Probaly the same material the chinese add to cat food and baby milk to beef up the protein count......

(sorry, bad joke)
 

LEDAdd1ct

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where did you get the 33 foot rope light? I want one of those ;).
good luck with venting that thing.


I got it from here:

http://www.cbconcept.com/led-166warmwhiteropelightpackage-1-1.aspx

I had no problem with the purchase and they look fantastic; if the dang thing did not emit so much odor, everything would be great!

Thank's, csshih! I think I may put it outside to help ventilate faster. Do you think the sub-freezing temperatures would crack the plastic housing?

Ken_McE said:
In this situation it is a bit of a bother to evaluate it scientifically, but you can fall back on rules of thumb. I had this same issue with a new shower curtain. Lot of surface area, lot of stink. I left it hanging on the rail of the back porch for a week, let it outgass outside. After that it was fine. I expect you could do the same. Just unroll it and leave it exposed to the air. You should be able to install it again in a week or two.

You're absolutely right about the surface area vs. stink correlation. I was thinking the same exact thing about unrolling it and leaving it outside. I am afraid about sub-freezing temps, though, and what it might do.

They have amber 12 volt, for those who may be interested:

http://www.cbconcept.com/166redledropelightpackage-2-2-1.aspx

I paired mine up with this, and the set works nicely together:

http://www.smarthomeusa.com/ShopByManufacturer/skylink/Item/WS-100/

The remote has a very cheap feel to it, but as long as you don't drop it/smash it, it should work great (it worked great with my LED rope light until I removed the light because of the stench). If the remote was made out of heavier plastic, it might inspire some more confidence, so I would not recommend it for a keyring. But, for leaving on a shelf or window sill, it works a treat.

I had originally purchased the rope light so I could go to the bathroom without killing my night vision, but it is *way* too bright to serve that purpose. It is still very, very pretty!
 

LEDAdd1ct

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Probaly the same material the chinese add to cat food and baby milk to beef up the protein count......

(sorry, bad joke)


It can be difficult to find out exactly what many products are made of. I am going to e-mail the merchant and ask them what type of plastic it is.
 

LEDAdd1ct

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It's been a month. I think tonight I am going to go up to the attic and take down the rope light, and see how it is doing. :)
 

65535

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If you coiled it up it might maintain the smell. Most plastics used for this kind of stuff are PVC's or very similar and have some strong smelling components that will eventually stop smelling. Not terribly toxic but avoided if at all possible.
 

Oznog

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Given the differences in elastomer types and formulations, there's no telling what chemical it could be outgassing so no way to estimate the problem or how soon it will go away. In fact it sounds like the whole problem is someone mixed up something wrong to begin with, leaving unreacted chemicals. What consumer plastic stinks like you describe??

Heat should accelerate the outgassing. Unfortunately your cold weather is not making that easy.
 
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Well, as a last resort you can always hit it with UV. Most plasticizers and UV protectors are designed to keep the material soft. Enough UV and you'll cook out the plasticizers, rendering them useless and the material 'hard' and 'brittle'.

I have no idea if it'll work...
 
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