How to Fix Christmas Lights
It’s the right time of year to talk about how to fix Christmas lights. I’m referring to the string or strands of lights that you put on Christmas trees, along roof lines and wrap around trees and bushes to decorate for the holiday.
Last weekend I got the Christmas decorations out and unpacked the strings of lights. Some will go outside, some will go on the mantel and some go on the tree.
Unfortunately, about half the lights had problems. Either the entire string was out, half the string, or just a couple bulbs here and there.
I started with the easier ones – the ones with only a bulb or two out here and there.
As always, unplug the light strand from the outlet!!
All I needed to do in this case was swap out the burnt-out bulbs for new ones.
Whenever I buy string lights, I put all of the spare bulbs and fuses that come with it into a ziploc bag. I’ve accumulated quite a large bag full so far!
Like I do, you may also have a pack of just bulbs with two leads sticking out. These are a little more tedious to replace, since you have to feed the two leads down into the holes of the base.
Now on to the strings that are half lit and half unlit. In this case there is probably a loose or broken bulb. Start with the first unlit bulb and work your way down the string, wiggling and inspecting them to check for looseness. If it flickers, then replace it. If they all check out, then swap them for a good bulb one at a time until the strand lights up.
More than likely, one of the bulbs has popped out of it’s socket. Today’s mini lights are manufactured with a shunt wire that keeps the circuit intact if a bulb burns out, which is great because the rest of the lights stay lit. If a bulb becomes unseated or pops out of the socket, the electrical connection is interrupted.
If the whole strand is out, then start with the logical steps of trying another outlet and then following the steps for the half lit/half unlit strings.
Next thing to check is the fuse. Most string lights have two tiny fuses inside the plug. Using a small set of pliers or flathead screwdriver, slide open the cover on the male plug. Take out the fuses and replace them with new ones. Slide the cover closed and plug it in.
TIP: handle your string lights gently — tugging on them when they’re tangled can damage the bulbs.
Good luck with your lights! I hope this info helps you fix your existing lights so you don’t have to go out and buy more!