1
   

Christmas light trouble shooting

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 04:26 pm
I've only done the external Christmas light thing for the past few years, and am still clueless about many aspects of Christmaslightdom. I have one of those net things, a web of little lights that go over shrubs. It's maybe 9' X 3'. The middle section of one of them is dead. So about 3' X 3' in the center. I jiggled it and pushed in all the bulbs (maybe 50 of them?) but couldn't fix it.

I have some extra bulbs that seem to be exact matches for the ones that are there.

Do I toss the whole thing and buy a new one, or is it fixable? If so, how?

Thanks!
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 11,984 • Replies: 20
No top replies

 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 04:44 pm
soz : those new LED's are supposed to be great ; they use little electricity and are inexpensive to buy .
last weekend our local hydro gave them away for a set of "old-fashioned ones " to encourage energy-saving .
sorry you were not here ! :wink:
hbg
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 04:45 pm
Oh wow, me too! :-)

I'll look into buying LED replacements tho...
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 04:57 pm
looking at the "canadian tire store" flyer :
100 indoor/outdoor LED lights CAN $ 16.99 - 90 % energy savings !
can you pass up such a bargain ?
head across the border quickly ! (you might be back by christmas )
hbg
0 Replies
 
tycoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 04:58 pm
On the female end of the string is a small compartment containing two fuses. You can pry the compartment open with a small screwdriver. Many light sets come with extra fuses packed in cellophane, much like the extra lights you found.

I would replace both fuses. I wouldn't hold my breath however. Most lights--such as your webbed design--will likely only give you a year or two of service before the entire thing will need to be tossed.

I remember as a kid replacing each light bulb until the set would relight. A special challenge would occur if two bulbs happened to be burned out. But that is not what's plaguing your set. Modern Christmas lights are designed to burn regardless of missing or burnt out lights. I suspect the middle portion of your string will never glow again.

This is a throw away world we live in.
0 Replies
 
2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2006 05:24 pm
The older strings {I was appointed bad bulb seeker in my youth...Uggg!!} were a true series circuit...one bulb dies, they all die. The newer ones are still wired in series, though a bit better. I still have my old 1980, handy dandy Radio Shack christmas bulb tester....still works.



String Faults

The most common problem with these strings is that a bulb can burn out. Most strings come with a couple of replacement bulbs which may be enough for a few weeks of operation. But if we want to keep a string running for years, we are well advised to purchase an additional identical string simply to provide replacement bulbs.

It is interesting to note that each year the bulb bases seem to differ, and typically it is impossible to get direct replacements another year. Probably we could remove the bad bulb from its base, and re-use that base with a new bulb. But using a bulb from a different set often has sad consequences.

These lights are designed to be wired in series, and so drop the 120V line voltage to typically 2.4V (120V/50bulbs=2.4V/bulb) without using an expensive transformer. As a result, any single bulb failure could darken an entire circuit. To avoid this, each bulb has a "shunt" of several turns of tiny wire inside the bulb near the bead. The shunt is intended to conduct current when the filament fails, but the shunts often do not work.

When a shunt does operate, it takes on a low resistance. As a result, each bulb in the rest of that circuit takes slightly more voltage, gets slightly brighter, and lasts less long. So it is important to replace bad lights promptly.

Beyond bad bulbs, some socket connections may become intermittent (especially outside). Even less commonly, a fuse in the plug may also become intermittent. But it is very common to overload the fuses.


http://www.ciphersbyritter.com/RADELECT/LITES/XMSLITES.HTM
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 05:41 pm
Thanks all!

My extremely low-tech fix:

I have a bunch of regular strings -- not webs -- of similar lights. I just plugged one into the end of the faulty web and then went back and covered the area. <shrug>

Looks fine -- it's on a big bushy boxwood and covers the cords pretty well. The grid isn't as nice and even as the rest of the webbing if you look closely, but the general "twinkly sparkly hedge WITHOUT a black spot" effect is maintained at zero extra cost and very little extra effort.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 05:47 pm
"...at zero extra cost ...'

let's hear it for thrifty soz ! Laughing
hbg
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 05:50 pm
Are those LED lights for both indoor and outdoor use? Hadn't heard of them before reading your post, Hambugie. Just Googled it and looked at a couple places but they didn't specify outdoor use.

Any links available?

Thanks!

~Tooterfly :wink:
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 11:25 am
here in the "cold north" the LED lights are being advertised as indoor-outdoor lights , local example : home depot .
hbg
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 11:27 am
I've been looking around and there seem to be a couple of different versions. Indoor only, and indoor/outdoor. The indoor/outdoor ones I saw were in colors that I didn't want, haven't seen any plain white ones yet.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 11:32 am
"The indoor/outdoor ones I saw were in colors that I didn't want, haven't seen any plain white ones yet. "

now we are even getting fussy with the colours . what''s santa to do , accept special orders ? the old fellow is frazzled enough already Sad .
hbg
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 11:35 am
If you're still having trouble shooting the Christmas lights, I suggest you talk to cjhsa and get a recommendation on a bigger gun! Laughing
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 11:35 am
Fussy fussy fussy! :-)

My neighbors do the multicolor thing and for some reason I think it looks better to have a plain white-light house next to a multicolor house. Blame my art-major years!
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 11:43 am
"Blame my art-major years! "

time to take an "up-to-date" arts course . one that specialises in phsycedelic colours :wink: Shocked .
hbg
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 07:25 pm
http://static.flickr.com/51/156642670_8778e58a0f_m.jpg

Here you go, Soz! Have yourself a very neon holiday!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Nov, 2006 08:26 pm
Hmmm...

Meanwhile, of course this would happen but I'm still happy about it, after I did the plug-in-a-new-string-at-the-end-of-the-faulty-net thing, the net suddenly perked up and worked. There is one (ONE) dead bulb in the middle of it all, but the formerly dark section is working. Yay!
0 Replies
 
adburt
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2007 05:31 pm
half of my external lights are working and half are not, any suggestions?
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2007 05:43 pm
get yourself a very big mirror
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2007 05:49 pm
Don't knock prying that little box open and replacing the fuses. I had a string of dead lights and lo and behold, once I replaced the fuses, it worked!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Poo-tee-weet? - Question by boomerang
Let's just rename them "Rapeublicans" - Discussion by DrewDad
Which wood laminate flooring? - Question by Buffalo
Metal Roofs pros & con s - Question by Swimpy
Buying a new entry door - Question by sozobe
Need water help - Question by richierich
Lifesource Water versus a 'salt' system - Discussion by USBound
Rainsoft - Discussion by richb1
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Christmas light trouble shooting
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/25/2021 at 07:40:50