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Old 12-18-2011, 05:54 PM   #16
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


The two most likely problems are !
The voltage is too high,
(ie 110v lights on 120v.)

Or wrong lamps
(wrong voltage)

Please check both !

Check the manufacturers specs.
most are available on line.

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Old 12-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #17
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


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Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
The two most likely problems are !
The voltage is too high,
(ie 110v lights on 120v.)
Really? +/- 10volts on resistance bulbs is going to cause a problem?
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #18
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Replacement mini Christmas tree bulbs also have an amperes rating that is usually not published. Mismatched amperes ratings will also cause some bulbs to be overvoltaged even if all of the bulbs in the string or zone are working.

Because stating amperes rating let along stating the instrucfitons on how to use the amperes rating adds tot he complexity of replacing the bulbs, they odn't publish it and hope that mismatch is not too bad in practice. You can get a hint that the amperes rating is different if the bulbs are labeled "super bright" which means more amperes drawn.

It is actually the lower ampere rating bulbs that will burn out first if you mix and match them.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #19
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Some of the newer series mini lights actually have some kind of bridge mechanism where when the light burns, it activates, so it does not break the circuit. Leave too many lights burn, and the voltage to all the lights will be too high.

That may be the situation. Which reminds me, one of my lit garlands outside just stopped working, I should probably go check that out, but I'm too lazy. The bridge does not activate 100% of the time, or maybe I left too many bulbs burn... do as I say, not as I do lol.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:07 PM   #20
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


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Old 12-20-2011, 01:10 PM   #21
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


So the bridging mechanism must be in the mini light base so that when the bulb is removed the series circuit remains connected, correct?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:28 PM   #22
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Problem with Christmas lights burning out


Nope, the bridging mechanisim, usually called a shunt, is in the bulb itself, and closes when the filament burns out. So a string of lights may work properly with one burned out bulb, but not with one removed bulb.

The gotcha, as mentioned in another post, is that if too many bulbs burn out and shunt themselves, eventually the current in the whole string gets too high, and the rest of the bulbs will all burn out nearly simultaneously.

Not all bulbs have a shunt, though, and the shunts don't always close when the bulb burns. Some of the christmas light tester gadgets have a feature to put a high voltage pulse through the string to get any bad bulbs to close their shunts.

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