Add to GuideAsk a Question

Christmas Lights Not Working

Category Lights
Determining why you have strands of unlit lights can be challenging. This guide is about Christmas lights not working.


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.

February 20, 20140 found this helpful

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.


February 22, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

If the bulbs are removable, replace the blackened ones. The black coating can be an indicator of a light having burned out.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

November 27, 20120 found this helpful

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


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?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 13, 20150 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
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!


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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

December 2, 20140 found this helpful

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.


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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

January 16, 20110 found this helpful

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.



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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

December 1, 20140 found this helpful

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.

Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 16, 20110 found this helpful

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

By jax from Portland, OR


Repairing Christmas Tree Lights

Check to see if they need new fuses. Also sometimes the problem is caused by a loose bulb. (12/17/2010)

By Joan

Repairing Christmas Tree Lights

Check for loose or burnt out bulbs. And if you can't get them to work, toss them. Christmas lights are very frustrating and probably not worth your time. I have worked on sets for hours, and not gotten them working again. (12/28/2010)

By Louise B.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Holidays and Parties Christmas Decorations LightsDecember 2, 2012
Birthday Ideas!
Halloween Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2018 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by ThriftyFun.

Generated 2018/09/21 12:00:06 in 1 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!