Do you know what the worst Christmas scenario is? Let me tell you! You’ve decorated your tree and gathered all of your awesome decorations, and in the end, you carefully arranged all the lights. Ba-dum-tss, after you plug them in, more than half of your Christmas lights aren’t working.
What now? What can you do? Kids are disappointed and sad, and you’re annoyed by the fact that it took you more than an hour to get it done, and in the end, the lights aren’t properly working.
Before getting to the closest store to buy new lightning, make sure you try to fix them on your own. It’s not a complicated process; in fact, we have some useful tips for you in case you want to save some money but also do some nifty crafty projects on your own!
Keep reading because you won’t believe how easy it is!
How to fix Christmas light fuses
Christmas light strands with defective fuses can be quickly identified by inserting a different, functional strand into the top of the male plug on the problematic strand. The fuses are in good condition if the separate strand of lights works. Otherwise, the fuses are blown. Use a voltage tester to check the top of the male plug if you don’t have a separate strand.
Tip: It depends on how the lights are manufactured; some of them have more than one fuse, and in most cases, they are next to each other. However, any fuse is easily replaceable.
How to: Remove the male plug from the strand and slide back the tiny cover to reveal the fuses to be replaced. To do this, you might require a tiny flat screwdriver. Change both fuses with ones that are the same size and amperage if it isn’t immediately clear which one is faulty. Test the string after replacing the lid.
Change the Christmas light bulb
In order for electricity to flow along the entire length of the string, holiday light circuitry frequently requires that every bulb be operational. A single burned-out bulb compromises every other light on the string, much as one rotten apple ruins the entire basket. And it’s annoying! particularly if you didn’t test the lights before hanging them on the tree.
Identifying the offender can be a time-consuming process; therefore, find the spot where the current is blocked more quickly by using a multimeter. Once you’ve located the broken bulb, all you need to do is swap it out for a fresh one to bring your holiday decoration back to life. Major retailers, home improvement stores, and online merchants all carry replacement bulbs.
Can’t you keep the lights on? Utilize a splitter
Christmas lights are designed to be tied together, but if you connect too many together in a chain, the amount of brightness they generate will overload your electrical outlet. Try distributing the lights among two or more outlets if you think that your problem may be the result of overzealousness.
Another choice is to buy a Christmas light splitter, a useful item that divides electrical current in an even fashion. If you don’t have several outlets, a splitter can let you add extra strings to your Christmas display.
Test your lights before putting them in the tree!
Before having a big deception because you saw that the lights that used to work last year are now broken, test them first! You can check for continuity between the female plug end and the male plug end to see if your Christmas lights are defective by switching your multimeter to AC voltage. The wire string is in good condition if the multimeter displays zero. To further pinpoint the issue, you also examine the fuses and, subsequently, the light bulbs.
Verify if there is something wrong with the power of your outlet
One of the main reasons a light string can break is because of the socket. And this may be the first thing you need to fix before going deeper. Check to see if there is power at the electrical outlet first if a string of lights that you have plugged in isn’t working (if you don’t have a pen tester, plug in another string of lights).
Before going to the breaker box, see if there is a switch if there is no power at the outlet.
Fix the wires
Fresh fuses should work in the plug, but if the string still doesn’t light, the problem is either a broken bulb or internal wiring. Learn more about these problems and what you can (and cannot) do to address them by reading on. Improper storage of your Christmas lights might lead to damaged wires; that’s why it’s very important to check them before putting them in the tree.
Even though some people decide to cover worn-out and cracked insulation with tape, it’s safer to throw away the string lights. But there is a quick and safe repair method available if the cable has been removed from the socket.
After you’re 100% sure that the string lights are removed from all power sources, cut the wire coming from the other side of the socket with wire cutters to entirely remove the socket and bulb from the strand. Two bare wires should be all that is left. After exposing about 1/2 inch of wire with wire strippers, wrap the two wires around one another.
The two wires should be covered by a wire nut of the proper size, which should then be tightened until it holds securely. Electrical tape can be used to secure the wire nut and prevent water infiltration by wrapping the wire and wire together.
Fix the flickering lights
If you notice flickering lights, it may be because the socket is not able to handle the high voltage. Check the outlet in question’s amp capacity by looking in your breaker box. The amp amount displayed multiplied by the quantity of outlet volts equals your maximum wattage.
If your outlet has indeed reached its maximum capacity, scale back your display or add solar Christmas lights to it. You are free to use as many strings of solar lights as you wish because they don’t require any electricity.
Store your Christmas lights properly after the holidays
If you want to keep your lights as bright as possible, remember that it is very important to store them correctly. Also, keep in mind that no matter what you do, the cheapest strings will not last a lifetime. However, we will give you some pro tips to help you protect the Christmas lights while storing them for the rest of the year.
By the end of the holidays, take them down carefully and try not to push the wires too hard because they are pretty fragile. After that, make sure you wrap them (but not too tight!) in their original box or a similar container that protects the bulbs.
Remember that most Christmas light bulbs have a pretty short life, around 1,500 hours, which means almost three or four seasons depending on how much you keep them on. You can switch to LED lighting, which is more durable and also hard to break. Have yourself a merry little Christmas!
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If you enjoyed reading this piece, we also recommend reading 9 Creative Christmas Decoration Ideas for Your Outdoors.