Replacing Christmas Tree Lights with White Ring Base?

Category Lights

Can the white ringed bulbs that have the safety fused lamps be replaced?

By Karen


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December 21, 20131 found this helpful

I found this information on Home

"I am having the same problem. If you don't have this tree, I cannot recommend it. GE has built in "planned obsolescence" of the light strings by design. Within a year or two, one segment of your lights will go out. They will not replace the tree, at best you pay for the shipping of the lights (which is 3-4x what the string would cost) and you have to re-string it yourself (no small feat). That being said, I do love the look and fullness of this tree.

Here is how I fixed my lights myself: Unplug power to the lights. Note that there is one bulb (it is one of the few clear bulbs on my multicolored lights) on each strand with a white ring at the base (most lights have a solid green base, you're looking for one with a white stripe at the base). Carefully pull this white-ringed bulb out (you may have to pull just the bulb then use needle nosed pliers to yank the white base). Remove bulb from the white base and insert a new bulb (you must use the original bases, so thread replacement bulb wires through the white base and fold up wires as they were before).


Re-insert into the socket and plug back in/turn on.

If the lights don't come on then disconnect power, remove same bulb (keep it in it's white base) and squish the socket on the outside to move the contacts closer together, try the bulb again, it should light up now. These "safety fused lamps" have larger sockets than the rest of the strand, GE doesn't sell replacement bulbs for them so you must "squish" the socket so it makes good contact with the replacement bulb in the base."

Word of warning: GE instructions state "Do not remove the bulbs with the white ring base. These bulbs are the safety-fused lamps. Removing these bulbs will permanently damage the light string and will void the limited warranty of this product." This is a load of garbage and is the "obsolescence by design" that I was talking about. Google the terms: gatwood repairing GE lights. You'll get an even more detailed review of how to repair if my quick fix didn't work for you

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December 10, 20170 found this helpful

Worked like a charm. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

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December 30, 20170 found this helpful

The "safety light" with the white base burned out on my Christmas tree and, to my dismay, I found the bulb to be glued into its base. I had to use my butane hot air pencil to melt the glue and extract the bulb.


Re-wiring a large string on an artificial tree is a very time-consuming task that I wanted to avoid. I also made sure the male plug had fuses in it, just in case of overload.

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January 12, 20180 found this helpful

Mine did this too. When I tried to remove it, the light came out but the base didn't. I tried using needle-nose pliers but gave up. I read that I need to heat up the base with a blow dryer (to melt the glue), and then it will come out. I hope it works. I put my tree up thinking I would deal with it this year (gave up and put the tree away last year) only to not ever decorate it because of the large burned out section that wrapped around the middle of the tree. It is January 12th, and my undecorated tree is STILL up because I want to get this fixed before putting it away for another "broken" year.

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November 25, 20180 found this helpful


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November 25, 20180 found this helpful

2 sections of my GE tree are doing the SAME THING! I've done ALL of this, and nothing works. This is so frustrating, & my tree is only 2 years old. I bought it from Home Depot, & paid MORE THAN I NORMALLY would, thinking since its GE, I wouldn't have problems.


Christmas shouldn't be this stressful before the shopping & family visits even enter the picture.

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November 26, 20180 found this helpful

Squeezing the two posts closer together worked as well, thanks I never would have thought about that.

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December 13, 20180 found this helpful

It looks like GE does sell replacement bulbs and fuse bulbs. I'm just try to figure out what size I need:

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December 13, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you! I spent 3 days trying to figure out our tree lights. Just ordered the white-based bulbs. I'm still confused as to how I had about 75 bulbs on one string burnt out.

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December 23, 20180 found this helpful

We have 81 bulbs on the same strand on the bottom of our tree burn out as well. And the top strand did the same. This tree is only 2 years old this christmas. Crazy that GE has this many complaints that are the same.

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December 30, 20180 found this helpful

My Comment aside from the bulbs is why make most of the trees all white GE??? Most people want multi, Or are we suppose to use these trees has vehicle headlights? : (


Looking for a GE 18222LO 7.5 Fraser Fir new in box-Florida. If there is NOT any RUBBER branches. That is another Duh on the trees.

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January 6, 20190 found this helpful

after screwing around with mine awhile, I just got frustrated and cut out all of the fused lamps and soldered the wires together. Now the whole tree work again.

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December 18, 20190 found this helpful

My GE tree is brand new. Middle section of lights do not work. Tried the suggestions listed here. Cannot get the bulb out, pinched the base and found where I can buy replacements. However, there are three sizes listed. Dont know the size of the bulbs. I for one, am so sick and tired of spending my money on high priced low quality products that are immediately problematic. GE should be ashamed of such poor quality products.

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