Christmas lights- half on, half off!! why?

cateyanneNovember 29, 2008

Why are my Christmas light only lighting half way? These are not old lights, yet I have half of my lights this year only lighting half way up the string? it does happen every year but not this much so I guess I'm especially frustrated. I can't be the only one this happens to. If it is a blown fuse wouldn't the whole string be burnt out? if it is a missing bulb that would be easy to see, and these days a burnt out bulb is not supposed to make a whole section go out, right? Is there some trick I am unaware of to get these things to light completely for more than one season at a time? There is not a lot of extra money this year so I can't just run out and replace all these, what do you do to fix them?

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luvstocraft

Hi Cateyanne, welcome to the Holiday forum. I've had that happen to me when I buy the extra long strands of lights. I think they are like two regular strands they've hooked together. The first thing I usually do is sort of shake the whole strand. If they flicker when I do that, then it's probably a loose bulb. Next I make sure each bulb in the strand is tightly in it's socket, and I try to hold them up to a light to try to see if any look burned out.Sometimes there may be a bulb missing. Sometimes it is just the fuse too. I know it is very frustrating when this happens. If you don't get them working, maybe you could just hide the non working sections in the middle of the tree and still use the part that will light up. Luvs

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 7:25PM
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donnawb

I have had that happen to me many times. Sometimes it is the leader light. Go to the part that isn't lite and change the first bulb. Sometimes that works. I also do the other steps that luvs mentioned. I get really frustrated when they are working and then you put them on the tree and get all the lights on and some strands go out.

I always buy 100 light strands and have heard that 50 are better because of that problem.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:47PM
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Sandi_W

So sorry this has happened to you. It is so frustrating, I know. Luvs and dd gave you good ideas and I can't help any further. I hope you get your lights fixed.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 10:59AM
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bourbonlady

I am so sorry! I don't have any good suggestions, since my methods of dealing with those sweet little non-working light strands usually result in statements truly inappropriate for the season.... :)

I would like to know if anyone has tried the Light Keeper Pro Repair Tool? The first time I had even heard about or seen this was at Hobby Lobby a couple weeks ago for $20. There were a couple women talking about it and it caught my interest I didn't buy it then, thinking about all the time I've spent trying those little $5 light testers and ended up just throwing out the strand anyway. But then, I was on frontgate.com and they are selling it as well......my goodness, they sell $800 tree-skirts....so my interest is peaked since I don't think that they would sell something that inexpensive that did not work.

Has anyone tried this tool?

Alex

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 2:08PM
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blizlady

As Alex said, ".....my methods of dealing with those sweet little non-working light strands usually result in statements truly inappropriate for the season.... :)"

My thoughts exactly...lol!! No, I haven't used the light repair tool. I only have a small tree, not pre-lit either - so when I have problems with a strand of lights, it gets tossed. But it looks like a neat tool that would help fix lights on pre-lit trees, or if you have tons of lights and can't keep replacing the sets just for a few bad bulbs.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:01PM
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juicyfruitkid

We had that problem with Walmart brand lights,some times it is the fuse though. I started to buy the commercial ones and they don't seem to do this.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 8:50PM
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luvstocraft

My DIL just told me that the new commercial lights my DS bought last year are only half working! Those were NOT cheap! Gosh, the old outdoor lights we used to buy lasted for years and years! They want us to put out good money for these new LED things and then what--have to replace them every year????? What kind of energy efficiency is that? Sorry, just ranting a bit here. Almost afraid to pull out our lights now. Luvs

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:00PM
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donnawb

Someone on HTE mentioned that they bought the Light Keeper Pro and it worked on garland that 1/2 went out. She said you just have to follow the directions and it will tell you what to do. She purchased in HD or Lowe's. Next time I see it I will pick it up. So far so good this year but haven't started the outside and some inside.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 12:07PM
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patty_cakes

I've had the same problem, but now I know the solution~too many lights for the power source, which is the extension cord. If you read on the box, you're only supposed to use so many strings per extension cord, but I don't remember how many. You might want to give this a try if you're only using one extension cord. ;o)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 12:20PM
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cateyanne

Thanks everybody, I have made it through my light ordeal.

Sorry to say I had to toss some :(
Fuses on all were good, that would have been too easy!

On closer inspection, I did find a few with broken bulbs and once replaced, the strings lit up.

Some, I suspect have internal wire damage. And that's not fixable by me.

The bad thing is the light strings are being made cheaper and cheaper, they are not made to last longer than a season or two. They are like so many other products we purchase these days DISPOSABLE. If you buy what is marketed as commercial grade you'll get a thicker wire, but even that is nothing like the quality of wire that were in even the lights our parents had. I have older light sets that I bought early in our marriage which have outlasted those bought just two years ago! Heck I have lights that my grandmother used, though these are not considered "safe" to use nowadays!
It's the times we live in folks!
HO HO HO :)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 2:30PM
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donnawb

You are right. Most only last a few seasons. I always buy some after Christmas because of that.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 4:37PM
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bourbonlady

THE ENTIRE MIDDLE SECTION OF MY BIG TREE JUST WENT OUT!!!!!!! If it is not just the fuse, there may be more than just a few choice words said......remember Chevy Chase beating the daylights out of that poor plastic reindeer........

My husband was supposed to stop at Hobby Lobby today while he was in the city and pick me up one of the Light Keeper Pros....but....he forgot.

Alex

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 6:58PM
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luvstocraft

Oh gosh, Alex, I'm so sorry to hear that. Sure hope you can get them working again. I put my tree up today and added extra lights. Pattycakes, your theory might be true in some cases, but I had one strand today that I tested before putting on the tree, and only half of it lit up. I spent a few minutes testing every bulb,and gave it a few shakes. Finally decided it just wasn't worth the effort so tossed it aside and used another strand. You'd think that since they are constantly hammering at us to recycle and keep things out of the landfills--they could at least give us products that will last more than a couple seasons. Good grief! Luvs

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 11:47PM
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NeetBeet16_verizon_net

WHAT IS THE ANSWER? I checked all bulbs of the un-lit half and put new fuses in. What is the answer to the one half lit strand of Xmas lights and one 1/2 un-lit? Please help.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 10:50AM
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amw4444_aol_com

hmm I think the following website explains why with some suggestions. It is not light reading especially when you are preparing dinner, decorating the tree, and trying to watch Frosty The Snowman... but maybe you all will be able to decifer it all.
http://www.ciphersbyritter.com/RADELECT/LITES/XMSLITES.HTM

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 9:11PM
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adalena

ALL MY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ARE WORKING HALF WAY BUT THIS MORNING I CHECK EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM AND I TOOK A WORKING BULB AND CHECK EVERY SINGLE ONE THEM AND I CHECK THE FUSE AS WELL AND IT STILL WORKS HALF WAY THE FUSE ARE FINE AND I TOOK ONE OF THOSE EXTRA BULB AND CHECK EVERYONE OF THEM BUT IT STILL LIKE THAT I DID EVERYTHING I COULD THIS OF AND IM ABOUT TO RIP IT OFF AND GET A NEW LIGHTS I USE THE 50 LIGHTS SO THINK IM JUST GOIN TO TAKE THEM BACK AND GET A NEW ONE SINCE I STILL HAVE THE BOXS AND HOPEFULLY THE REICPT TOO

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:52PM
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phonegirl

Bah Hum Bug when we have lights that don't work when we plug them in. I think it's worse when I plug them in and they work. Hang them, go out to find that some are no longer working!!! I agree they don't make them like they use to. We still use the old large bulbs on the eves of our home.

One thing for sure tho. I love to drive home from work every night and enjoy the site of Christmas lights. So good to see so many posting on the Holiday forum. Hope you will share pictures with us here.

Punk

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 12:19AM
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decorcrzy

I just bought a lightkeeper pro a few days ago from a Lowes, because half of my 100 ct light strand on my garland was out. Of course this happens after the garland is up and decorated.

It really did fix the light strand!!
When half a light strand is out it is usually a defect in the wire, apparently when a bulb burns out what happens is that the electricity bypasses that bulb to reach the rest of the lights, however if the channels in the wire are not working properly it will not allow the electricity to pass through to the rest of the string. Using the lightkeeper pro is kind of like fixing that one blockage and clearing the wire.

Wish I would have gotten one alot sooner.
Here is a hint if you purchase one:
The directions in the package can seem quite overwelming and a little confusing. I went to youtube.com and watched a video on it and it was so much more understandable

Keep in mind that if the bulbs on the string have that blackened look, then the strand is probably beyond fixing

I give lightkeeper pro two thumbs up"I'd give it three thumbs if I could)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 7:52AM
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Hexmate

Whoever posted the information about Light Keeper Pro I want to thank you. I spent several hours working on an outdoor Christmas wreath that had 2 strings of lights. I tried everything I could think of to fix the one burned out string, but nothing worked. So I figured what do I have to lose if I buy the Light Keeper Pro. I went to Lowe's and bought one. It took me 2 minutes to repair the light string. I'm with decorcrzy on this one. For $20 you can't go wrong.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2014 at 11:17PM
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