Maintenance & Repairs

How to Fix Christmas Lights?


Big sets of lights often have multiple circuits connected side by side. This is why sometimes only a part of the lights stops working. The good news is that in most situations, you can fix Christmas lights whether the entire set or the dark section by just swapping out one faulty bulb.

Frustration of Malfunctioning and the Desire to Fix Christmas Lights

Discovering that your carefully strung Christmas lights aren’t working can be frustrating. We’re here to guide you in bringing back the festive glow to your holiday decorations.

The task of fixing malfunctioning lights might not initially feel worth your time. It’s undeniably disheartening, especially during the cheerful commotion of the holiday season. However, restoring your festive light display might be the small price you have to pay for a cheerful and well-lit holiday ambience.

Common Problems with Christmas Lights

The reason your Christmas lights may not be working could be due to several factors:

1. Damaged Wiring

If only a part of your lights is not working, and all the bulbs are correctly in place, there is a possibility that the wiring is damaged. This can happen due to aging, pulling too hard during installation or storage, or even because of animals like squirrels or opossums. Check if a Wire has Visible Damage.

2. Blown Fuse

If your lights flicker or fade out during setup or shortly upon plugging in, it could be due to a blown fuse. Ensure that the total wattage of the light strings in the series doesn’t exceed 210 watts. Most Christmas light sets have a small door in the male plug revealing a fuse. Use a small screwdriver to check if the fuse is blown; you’ll observe that the wire inside the glass cylinder is broken if it is. Replace the fuse, but be aware that a blown fuse might indicate an underlying wiring problem.

3. Bulb Not Seated or Missing

In many Christmas light strings, if one bulb burns out, the others typically remain lit. However, if a bulb is partially unseated or missing,the remaining bulbs in that circuit might blackout. Without addressing out and putting back the bulbs, see if any are not there. If you find one missing, put in a new one. Your lights should function properly unless there’ a complication lying in wiringharness.

Addressing these issues should help you identify and fix the problem with your Christmas lights.

Tools Required to Fix Christmas Lights

  • Bulb tester
  • Materials Required
  • Light string fuses
  • Replacement light bulb

Steps to Fix Christmas Lights

Alright, let’s break down the steps in simpler terms:

1. Diagnose the problem

Before plugging in your Christmas lights, check for any visible damage like cracked wires, frayed areas, or damaged plugs. If you find any, don’t use that string of lights.

For smaller light sets, check if they are wired in series, meaning the current goes through each bulb. If one bulb is bad, it might affect the whole set.

2. Swap out the bad bulb

Use a tool like the multimeter or a Luminary Pro to find the faulty bulb. The LightKeeper Pro is a handy tool that can detect voltage, remove bulbs, and test them.

Ensure the small wires at the base of the bulb are connected and not touching each other.

If a bulb is damaged, replace it with a new one of the same voltage.

3. Fix the faulty filament or shunt

If a section of lights is not lighting up, it could be because of a broken filament or a malfunctioning shunt.

Use the LightKeeper Pro to fix a faulty shunt. Plug in the lights, remove a bulb,fit the socket with the tool and activate it to send pulses through the set. This might reactivate a faulty shunt.

4. Replace the fried fuse

If you still have issues, check the tiny fuse behind the male terminal of the plug utilizing a tool like the LightKeeper Pro.

5. Change the Lights

If everything else fails or you’re getting new lights, consider switching to LED Christmas lights.

Safety Tips

Avoid pulling on the wires too forcefully. A strand of lights can easily malfunction due to a loose bulb, a broken socket, or a frayed wire.

When you’ve finished usingthe lights, insert them in before stocking to make sure they are still working. Simply coiling them into a compact bundle and securing them into a box islikely to result in them not working properly when you take them out next year. Take a little extra care in storing them to keep the festive spirit alive for seasons to come.


Fixing Christmas lights can be approached in various ways, and the method may differ pivoting on the variety of lights you’re dealing with. We’ll outline ways to address light issues based on the specific problem. We’ll focus on LED lights, which have become more prevalent due to their lower incidence of breaking. And with improved energy efficiency and longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent strings.


Q: What should I do if it seems like my entire set has stopped working, but the fuses are still good?

Ans: Check the entire wire for a shunt interruption. Follow the instructions carefully. They might seem complex initially but become clearer as you become more familiar. Replace the light bulb, at the first interruption. Eventually, replacing one bulb may light up the entire set.

Q: What should I do if my light strand is out?

Ans: Consider replacing the strand. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s possible that the lights need to be disposed of properly.

Q: Why are some of my Christmas lights not as bright as others?

Ans: They may be close to burning out and require bulb replacement. If they are new, they might not be as bright as advertised.

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