Pre-lit Christmas tree lights not working? Here is what you are able to do.


Q: I’ve a pre-lit synthetic Christmas tree, and it appears as if annually, fewer and fewer of the lights are working. The tree is simply about 5 years previous. I don’t need to purchase a brand new tree. Is there a strategy to troubleshoot this?

A: Sure, you’ll be able to most likely repair burned-out bulbs on a pre-lit tree if the bulbs are conventional incandescent mini-lights. There’s additionally probability you’ll be able to restore a tree with LED lights, so long as they aren’t powered by batteries or run by way of a controller.

When incandescent mini-lights had been launched, they had been usually wired in sequence, which suggests the present wanted to stream by means of every bulb to finish the circuit. If one bulb failed, the entire string would go darkish, as a result of the failed bulb left a niche within the circuit. Individuals may spend hours taking out every bulb and inserting a brand new one to pinpoint the issue.

However starting round 1970, producers started constructing a shunt characteristic into mini-light strings, stated John DeCosmo, president of Ulta-Lit Tree Co. in Glenview, In poor health. (888-858-2548,, which started promoting pre-lit Christmas bushes in 1996. When a bulb failed, energy may proceed to stream, resulting in advertising and marketing messages promising that when one bulb burned out, the remainder would hold burning.

However, it’s price changing burned-out bulbs whenever you discover them, as a result of the dearth of energy by means of one bulb will increase the quantity flowing by means of the remaining bulbs. 4 burned-out bulbs inside a 50-light set lower the lifetime of the set by greater than 60 %, DeCosmo stated.

The best tips for buying, organizing and decorating with Christmas lights

However what do you do when a complete part of lights stays darkish? About half the time, a damaged shunt is the issue, DeCosmo stated. That is the place a software that his firm sells, the LightKeeper Pro ($28.99 at Ace {Hardware}), might help. As an alternative of attempting a contemporary bulb in every socket till you discover the place the place it fixes the issue, you’ll be able to restore the shunt with just a few clicks of the software’s set off.

To make use of the software, plug within the lights and take away one bulb within the space that stays darkish. Join the software to that socket by way of a port on the software, as in case you had been inserting a brand new bulb. Then press the software’s set off as much as 30 occasions, till the string relights. Every press of the set off sends a pulse of electrical energy by means of the wires, finally leading to a miniature weld that bridges the damaged connection. Take away the software and reinsert the bulb you took out. Until that bulb had the damaged hyperlink, it’s going to relight, together with all however the one which had the damaged shunt. You most likely received’t even discover that one darkish bulb as soon as the remainder mild up.

If a complete part stays darkish, there’s most likely a break within the circuit too broad to remedy with a mini-weld. Maybe a bulb is lacking or is just not seated correctly. A voltage detector or the LightKeeper software’s built-in detector might help you rapidly decide the place any such drawback is. Plug within the tree, and start testing on the bulb closest to the plug. In case you’re utilizing the LightKeeper, maintain down a button on the highest of the software and contact its tip to the bulb. In case you hear a steady beep, it means energy is attending to that time on the sunshine string. You possibly can then test every bulb or transfer 10 bulbs forward till you get no beeps, then backtrack to search out the issue. Add a bulb if one is lacking, or take away and reinsert the one which’s there. If it stays darkish, change it.

Maybe you’ve learn {that a} blown fuse could possibly be why bulbs cease working. Though it’s true which you could change the fuse (it’s normally constructed into the again of the plug on a light-weight string), it’s unlikely to elucidate why lights on a pre-lit tree aren’t working, DeCosmo stated, so he doesn’t suggest changing the fuse as a primary step. A fuse blows when a circuit is overloaded. Tree manufactures are typically very cautious to maintain the variety of lights beneath what the fuse can deal with, normally three amps, so when a fuse blows, it’s usually as a result of somebody plugged different lights right into a pre-lit tree or linked too many mild strings collectively to brighten one other space.

What must you do if in case you have burned-out bulbs on a pre-lit tree with LED bulbs? LEDs are far much less fragile and have an extended life span than incandescent bulbs, so these bushes are much less prone to have issues. Even long-lasting LEDs will finally cease working, although.

A unique Ulta-Lit software, the LED Keeper ($31.99 at Ace {Hardware}), might help you repair these. To make use of it, plug within the tree and mark the place the lights are off. Then unplug the tree from the outlet and as an alternative plug the tree lights into the software. A YouTube video titled “NEW LED Keeper Educational Video” exhibits methods to check sections of the circuit till you find the issue LED. You possibly can then change the unhealthy LED if in case you have an identical one. In case you don’t, or if the LEDs aren’t replaceable, the video exhibits methods to change the unhealthy LED with one of many two “pods” included with the software. (In case you want extra pods, a bundle of 4 is $14.99 on Amazon.)

Total, the LED Keeper has a couple of four-star score on Amazon. Unhappy prospects complain that the wires on their strings are too skinny for the software to work. DeCosmo stated the thin wiring is discovered on low-voltage units that run on batteries or by means of a controller to create particular results. The software can’t assist with these mild strings or with rope lights, nor will it work on incandescent mild strings.

Have an issue in your house? Ship inquiries to [email protected]. Put “How To” within the topic line, inform us the place you reside and attempt to embody a photograph.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button