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Old 09-11-2009, 05:14 AM   #1
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How to fix Christmas Light


How do you fix your Christmas lights if you find burn out bulbs in the strand?

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Old 09-11-2009, 08:04 AM   #2
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How to fix Christmas Light


Ummmmmmmm, replace the bulb. If a series string, when one burns out they all go out. Take a known good bulb and go down the line, or swap the bad string bulbs into a known good string. At current prices, almost cheaper to scrap the whole thing for a new string.

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Old 09-11-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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How to fix Christmas Light


I agree with Bill why go through all the headach to find one bad bulb when you can just spend a couple bucks on a whole new string
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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How to fix Christmas Light


They sell a lite tester around Christmas time that identifies burned out bulbs
But usually the cost of 8 replacement bulbs is more then the string
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:02 PM   #5
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How to fix Christmas Light


Regarding "mini" Christmas lights.

If just one or two lamps are burned out, you should be able to replace them one at a time.

If the whole string or every other or every third light goes out, chances are it is not worth the effort to find and replace the burned out lamp; throw away the string instead.

If you do want to troubleshoot a string, do be aware that sometimes the wiring sequence is not consecutive. In one example from one plug prong all the odd lights are in sequence and from the other prong all the even lights are in sequence. The sequences meet at the socket at the far end. Add to that two way or three way etc. lights and the wiring can look awfully confusing.

Do not use a Christmas lamp tester that contains a 9 volt battery. This will shorten the life of any lamp inserted into it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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How to fix Christmas Light


Look inside the bulb.
Some series string lamps have a special wire wrapped around the filament posts that drops to a low resistance when the filament burns out so that the rest of the lights don't go out.

I don't know what resistance values these type bulbs should show, before and after. Ask me again in December!
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:59 AM   #7
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How to fix Christmas Light


Thank you all for your replies. there are different types of bulbs available for the string. i wonder if the base of all types of bulb use equal mechanism to get attached to the string.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:02 AM   #8
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How to fix Christmas Light


A lot of the bulb bases are different
If they look like the picture you buy the bulb only & use your existing bases
These bulbs all come in different wattages
Once enough bulbs burn out the power is too much & the rest of the bulbs burn out all at once/very rapidly

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Old 09-22-2009, 01:10 AM   #9
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How to fix Christmas Light


Thanks a lot for your information Scuba_Dave. Got good idea about these tiny bulbs...
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:15 AM   #10
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How to fix Christmas Light


To find out the correct voltage for replacing mini-lights, you need to consider the number of "ways" as in "three way". Take the number 120, divide by the total number of lamps in the set, then multiply the result by the number of ways. This is the voltage to get. For example a 60 light 3 way set has 120 divided by 60 times 3, or 6V lamps. If you cannot find the exact voltage needed, get the next higher voltage.

Alternatively replacement lamps come in a package that says "for 24 light sets" or "for 50 light sets", etc. Take the total number of lamps and divide by the number of ways to get the number to match these packages, for example a 50 light 2 way set uses replacement lamps for 25 light sets. If you can't find the set light count you need, use the next lower count, for example lamps for 20 light sets in a 25 light string.

Feel free to buy lamps with or without plastic bases as replacements. When removing the plastic base that does not fit and substituting an old base from your string, keep to a minimum the amount of bending you do to the little wires.

If your set has "super bright" lights, get "super bright" replacement lamps, in other words don't mix regular and super-bright.

If too many lamps burn out, the wire wrapped around the two filament posts might burn through for one lamp and the whole string goes out. While there may be many good lamps still in the set, they have probably been overvoltaged for some period of time and may not last much longer if salvaged and put into another string.
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:20 PM   #11
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How to fix Christmas Light


And if you want your lights to last a way long time put a 1N4004 diode in series with them.

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