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Old 10-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #1
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


I have a two small trees that have a short strand of Christmas lights intertwined amongst the branches. The light strand is not removeable. They worked fine for a while and then I noticed that the lights became very bright and hot! Suddenly, they all burned out. I replaced the bulbs and got them working again, but they were again really bright and hot and again they burned out within a few minutes. The fuses are good and I have tried them in my house and my neighbors and I am having the same problem! Can someone please help me!
Thank you!

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:07 PM   #2
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Sounds like the light bulbs you are replacing them with can't wait the voltage that is being sent to them. Are they the proper bulbs that it says?

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


how long have they been out there? and why can't they be replaced?

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:19 PM   #4
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


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Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
how long have they been out there? and why can't they be replaced?

DM
I think he means that they are part of the tree. One of the fake ones
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


oh, i get ya.... ive seen those. perhaps a wire is shorting and increasing voltage? are they wired in series or parallel? (if one bulb goes out, do others stay lit or do they all die?)

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:36 PM   #6
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Well, if one bulb is out, the others do stay lit. I just replaced every bulb AGAIN and they are still burning like a supernova! They are so bright, they hurt my eyes! I am using bulbs from a regular strand of Christmas lights. By the way, I have two of these small, fake trees and the other one that I fixed is working fine. I just can't figure out why this one is burning so bright! I appreciate your help!
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:56 PM   #7
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


I added a few photos of what the trees look light when turned on. Obviously, the one on the right is the one that is burning way too bright!
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Old 10-03-2008, 10:42 PM   #8
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Quote:
Originally Posted by asugrads View Post
I added a few photos of what the trees look light when turned on. Obviously, the one on the right is the one that is burning way too bright!
What watt / volt are the light bulbs you are installing?

Are there transformers in these or do they run right off 120v?

Have you put the bulbs that are in the left one into the right one to see what happens?

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Old 10-04-2008, 12:07 AM   #9
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Alot of Christmas light strands are wired series-parallel. This means that groups of lights are wired in series, say five or six, and each group is in parallel. So, removing one lamp will kill five lights but the rest stay lit. It sounds like there is a short somewhere that would cut across all the groups', allowing a higher voltage to appear across each individual lamp. Perhaps it is in the middle of the circuit, or between just a couple of wires. There is usually three wires at any spot in the string: a hot bringing 120 V to each group, a "neutral", and one series wire for the next lamp in a particular group. If you got short at the right spot, then I could see how the series-parallel balance could be upset.

But what are the chances that the short would have an effect on EVERY light. Seems more likely that some lights would be super bright, and others would be normal, and still others may not burn at all. Are you sure that every single light is doing this?
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:01 AM   #10
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


InPhase277 <---what he said. oh wait, i said it too! ok, he said it better! since these are 'permanent' wired, and probably chinajunk, the only option is to replace the whole thing. could be dangerous. but what do i know? i'm just a mouse...

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Old 10-04-2008, 07:17 AM   #11
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


I suspect you are using the wrong voltage bulbs - personally I would find a way to put a new string on the tree if possible.

http://www.ciphersbyritter.com/RADEL...S/LITESFAQ.HTM

I have an old decoration that uses 10 bulbs; can I use modern replacements?

In these series circuits, the 120V line divides equally across each light. So in 50-bulb circuits, the bulbs run at 120V / 50 = 2.4V. Similarly, 35-bulb circuits use 3.4V bulbs, and a 10-bulb circuit uses 12V bulbs. We cannot expect to replace 12V bulbs with 2.4V bulbs. However, modern, fairly-cheap 10-light, 20-light and 30-light sets and replacement bulbs have been available on the net. My approach would be to get 2 or even 3 new strings each having the same number of bulbs as in the decoration. Then I would replace all the old bulbs with new ones, and keep the remaining string(s) for future bulb replacements.
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:26 AM   #12
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Thanks to everyone for your help! I think, after reading everyone's advice, that I may try to find a shorter length of Christmas lights and use those bulbs as replacements. Each bulb is equally as bright as all of the others, so I think the theory that it is a short is less likely. The bulbs that are in the tree now are from a 100 light string and there are only about 25 lights on the tree. If this doesn't work, I will just try to remove the whole string and replace it, which will be more work than it is worth, I am sure. This thing may be made in China, but whoever wired it with those lights did a bang up job!
Thanks again for all of your help!
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:17 AM   #13
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


This is exactly what is going on! Ive fixed thousands of stings of lights over the years, and I try to stay far away from the 10-35 light sting setups. The bulbs for those tend to be harder to find than the standard 50/100 light strings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribe_fan View Post
I suspect you are using the wrong voltage bulbs - personally I would find a way to put a new string on the tree if possible.

http://www.ciphersbyritter.com/RADEL...S/LITESFAQ.HTM

I have an old decoration that uses 10 bulbs; can I use modern replacements?

In these series circuits, the 120V line divides equally across each light. So in 50-bulb circuits, the bulbs run at 120V / 50 = 2.4V. Similarly, 35-bulb circuits use 3.4V bulbs, and a 10-bulb circuit uses 12V bulbs. We cannot expect to replace 12V bulbs with 2.4V bulbs. However, modern, fairly-cheap 10-light, 20-light and 30-light sets and replacement bulbs have been available on the net. My approach would be to get 2 or even 3 new strings each having the same number of bulbs as in the decoration. Then I would replace all the old bulbs with new ones, and keep the remaining string(s) for future bulb replacements.
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:48 AM   #14
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Last Christmas I spent 4 hours and 15 dollars for a tester on one of those !@#$ trees - It was like putting flash bulbs in there !

I gave up, bought a strand for 1.99 and replaced the string - was not really that hard........ even if you have to cut the old string off.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:43 PM   #15
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


So within any given series section, one "burned out" light bulb will cause the entire section to not work, is that correct?

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