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Christmas Lights Not Working

November 23, 2019

One string of lights on my Christmas tree doesn't work and all the bulbs are black. It's not that one light makes them all out! Why are they black?


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November 24, 20190 found this helpful
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If the bulbs are all black that normally means they are burned out and the string of lights has a short in them. I do not believe there is much you can do with these lights except get a new sting and replace them.

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12 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 15, 2018

I have an older set of incandescent Christmas lights, the mini kind. There are four or five bulbs that are out and each time I replace them with a new bulb it immediately blows.

The section stays lit, but that bulb does not. I'm assuming there's something wrong with the socket? Is there any fix for that?

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December 16, 20180 found this helpful
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You need to test each fuse. You will need to buy a tester for this. Complete instructions are here. www.familyhandyman.com/.../

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February 20, 2014

I have a wreath with a 2' blown out section. All the bulbs in this section are blown out with a black coating inside the bulb. Do you have any repair suggestions?

By Daniel G.

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February 22, 20140 found this helpful
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If the bulbs are removable, replace the blackened ones. The black coating can be an indicator of a light having burned out.

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December 5, 2019

I have a long strand of mini lights with the middle third of the strand burnt out (blackened bulbs). There are too many to fix.

Is it unsafe to go ahead and use the strand (just bury the blackened section out of sight in the tree)?

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December 5, 20190 found this helpful

It is OK to use a string of lights with some burned out bulbs.

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December 5, 20190 found this helpful

I've always continued to use the strands with burnt out bulbs (bulbs still in sockets) on my trees and never had a problem but I usually discard that strand after Christmas and replace it the following year either with new strands (after Christmas sales or thrift store strands). I have never had a problem and they are not very noticeable on a tree that has lots of lights.

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December 6, 2018

I have 3 strands of brand new (Target brand) snowflake lights. They all work when tested inside. After being hung and attached end to end, only the set (#1) closest to the power cord works.

I detached the middle set (#2) and plugged that into the extension cord and it worked. The sets specifically say they are meant to be connected to multiple sets. What gives?

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December 7, 20180 found this helpful

If they are brand new, I would return them to Target.

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December 8, 20180 found this helpful

did you try to flip them around so that you plug #2 to the wall and then #1 to it?

aside from that, clearly the packaging lied and they do nt like being plugged in end to end

if you dont' want to/can't return them, you could always just run a bunch of extension cords to create the illusion of cohesion

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November 16, 2018

I have a Peanuts nativity scene display. On some of the characters all the lights are black. I assume they are blown. I have replaced all the bulbs and voila they all came back on for a millisecond, but now they are all blown again.

One made it a few hours before it blew again. Anyone know what is going on with this stuff?

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November 16, 20180 found this helpful

You probably have bad fuses. Repairing lights is not easy. It is probably cheaper to replace them.

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November 16, 20180 found this helpful

This guy kinda cracks me up, but he has some interesting hacks to try to fix bulbs.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCN1lo9Wjlo


He is clearly selling the tool, but I have friends who swear by it!

If this doesn't work, there may be a video that works better for you.

There is no picture of the set, so it may be possible to remove the old strings and replace with new. I am super nervous about old lights and avoid them at all costs...but that is just me...I am an old fashioned safety first gal!!

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December 29, 20180 found this helpful

This took really works! Has saved me a lot of money!

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November 11, 2018

I checked the fuses, only 1/2 of 1 string is out on a pre-lit artificial tree that plugs into the base in 3 sections.


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November 12, 20180 found this helpful

You may have to replace individual bulbs. The cheapest solution is to put another string of lights on right above or below it. This is one reason people dont like pre-lit trees.

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December 7, 2015

We have a string of large snowflake lights that aren't working. There are 5 large snowflakes. The bulbs are encased in plastic. Any ideas on how to fix? Many thanks!


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September 30, 20170 found this helpful

Normally, if one bulb burns up in these types of light strings, they won't light any longer. You would have to find a way to get to the light bulbs and change them out one at a time. Otherwise inspect the wiring to make sure there is no damage to the wire and you don't have a broken wire.

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January 1, 20190 found this helpful

Its a bit late to help the originator of the question but I am working on what sounds like the same snowflakes. I was able to gently pry apart the two halves of the plastic snowflake with a glathead sctewdriver. All bulbs are black inside the first flake, and it looks as if all are from what I can see through the white plastic.
I put in a new fuse. Now need 30 new white bulbs. Bah humbug.

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November 27, 2012

We have attempted to put on Xmas lights. We have outlets under the eaves on both sides of house. One side is working perfectly. The other side not so much. We tested all the strands and the one closest to our power cord was out. We changed the fuse in that strand and once again it went out once we plugged it into the main outlet. Next we changed the strand out completely and started over, with same thing happening. The lights worked for about a minute and then all went out.

Are we tripping another outlet or using the wrong kind of electrical cord?

By Amy A

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November 29, 20120 found this helpful

Have you left it on long enough to make sure that you don't have a blinker bulb in the string?

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Anonymous
December 13, 20150 found this helpful

yes all the bulbs light with tester but no when in the string

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December 2, 2014

Yesterday I strung 6 sets of hanging snowflake lights together outside. Those were plugged into one socket of an outlet. I had 3 other lit up decorations strung together and I plugged those into the other socket of the outlet. A few hours later all of the snowflake lights stopped working.

I reversed the lights in the outlet. Same thing happened; the decorations lit, but not the snowflakes. I switched extension cords, but that did not help. What do I do next? These took many hours and a tall ladder to hang. Take them all down is not what I want to hear.

By Debbie H.

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December 21, 20140 found this helpful

Did you check the fuse located in each plug (male end)? Perhaps the fuse on one.or more string of lights blew.

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January 16, 2011

My Christmas tree lights are not working properly. One strand burnt out all the lights. I replaced all of the lights, plugged them in and some branches are dim, some are normal, and one is extra bright. I don't know what to do. Please help. The part number is P-3269.

Ron

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January 23, 20110 found this helpful

If you still have the box the lights came in, check to see the wattage of the bulbs it takes. Assuming you are talking about mini-lights, you can't mix wattages. Some take the 2.5 - 3.5 watt bulbs, and others take 6 watt bulbs. Also, some bulbs are "super bright" and others are regular. You might also want to check the fuses - most light sets have the tiny fuses somewhere in the plug. I have a feeling you mixed the wattages and that's why you have a mix of dim and bright bulbs. The string won't last long that way.

After Christmas I sometimes buy new strings at 75-90% off and cannibalize them for bulbs for older strings. Today I got a 100-bulb multicolor string for nothing at a supermarket, because it was the only one left and no one knew what price to charge, so they gave it to me! I plugged it in and it works perfectly.

You could see if you can still get post-Christmas discounted lights and either replace your old string or cannibalize the new string for bulbs - just make sure they're the right wattage. Usually strings of 35 lights or more take the 2.5 - 3.5 watt bulbs. Shorter strings and tree toppers may take the higher wattage. If the bulb bases in one string won't fit the other, you just unbend the two wires and pull the bulb out of one base and transfer it into the base that fits.

It also helps to have a bulb tester on hand. The whole string can go out if 5 or more bulbs burn out, and then you have to find the blown bulbs by hunt and peck. There's a bulb tester that slips over the bulb and reads it. I have another kind that requires me to pull the bulb out of the socket and insert the bulb into the tester, which takes a 9-volt battery. These things help a lot when fixing a light string. Good luck!

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December 1, 2014

We've been putting a set of approx. 50 mini lights in our bay window for years and within 2 days, 2 sets have burned out completely, with each bulb blackened. What could be causing this?

By Pete D.

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January 16, 2011

My Christmas lights are half gone. Several strings of lights only work on half the string. What do I do?

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