LED Christmas Lights

Decorational lighting used around the holidays.

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Half of the string of LED Christmas lights doesn't light up

a bit of a low-tech although seasonal question for you...

I have a bunch of Noma LED Christmas light strings each with 70 LEDs. With one string, exactly half of the LEDs don't light up when plugged into the AC. The whole string used to work, and it's only about a year or two old.

My understanding is that Christmas light strings like these are often two independent circuits, with fuses built into the plugs at either end. I notice that most of the way through the string there are three wires - but at the middle point of the string there are only two wires joining the 2 halves. So this idea that there are actually two independent circuits seems to make sense to me. There must be a fault in the 2nd half of the string or the fuse in that half must have blown.

my question is this:

has anybody ever tried repairing this kind of LED Christmas light string? is it worth trying to replace the fuse? (of course, it would only make sense doing so if there wasn't some other more serious fault in the circuit - but how would you debug the cause of the failure?)

the plug at the end with the problem looks like it has a small catch you could push in with a small screwdriver, but it appears almost impossible to pry open the plug without damaging it. Even if I did get the plug open and find the fuse, I'm wondering if the fuse is even some standard size/type of fuse that can be replaced? or just a one-shot type of fuse?

failing repairing the 2nd half, I might cut the string in two and just insulate and seal the cut end with heatshrink. has anybody done this to a broken string of LED lights?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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ok I have a set of Holiday Time Icicle LED outdoor lights,now my problem is that half way thru the first set about a 2 ft.section is out,now these lights have blank stubs every 2ft or so,nothing removeable that I can tell but the lights between these two stubs are out.Any answers out there to my problem.

by Bill Matusevitz

i have my Christmas lights up and i went out side this Morning and it is full of water i need to stop it before the Christmas lights get Turn on

by CaleE

I bought Noma LED (Large String lights) for my house and I turn my Christmas lights on the first of Dec 1st.

By the third week half of them did not work.

I checked the fuse as instructed but it still did not work after replacing the fuse.

I have tried to buy replacement bulbs but I can not find them on an shelves where I bought them.

They supply two light when you buy them at first.

I will not buy Noma lights again if I can find a replacement maker other then Noma .

by Ron

I bought 70 mini lights half my tree went out what can I do about it

by Kiara

A simple solution: Inspect each l.e.d. by removing from socket. Two terminal wires should be visible. If not, you may have found your culpret! I fixed mine by taking a copper wire about 1.5 cm (5/8") long and inserting it into the hole alongside the broken terminal wire. The make shift terminal wire looks like a J. It should touch the broken terminal wire to make a complete circuit so I made a few slight bends to get a sure contact. You may find a wire just the right diameter to touch the shortened l.e.d. wire. No wire? Try a paper clip etc. Thanks - this site gave me enough encouragement to at least try to find a simple solution!

by Spey Guy

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58 Answers

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Good Evening to All and may all your lights work. I encountered the age old problem of half the strand not working. I discovered it before I put it up on the eaves. This year I got an early start on my lightscape so I had time to troubleguess the offending strand. I inspected the wire for breaks. Then plugged it in to the wall socket. I removed one LED at a time starting at the plug end. After the sixth LED I was ready to quit. #7 proved to be the problem. The prongs of the LED were misaligned in the base so they couldn't make contact with the socket. I pushed the prongs into position, put the LED in the socket and "bam" the rest of the strand came to life. The whole task took 10 minutes. The best part is that I was able to live up to the expectation of my 7 year grandaugther who was observing the proccess. In her words, "Good job Granpa". I hope this answer is helpfull to someone. Happy Holidays from Phil in Kansas.

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+ That just shows that when the going gets tough, the tough keep on trucking.....:-) Happy Holidays

by oldturkey03

Thanks! found the one faulty bulb and replaced it and now all the lights work again!

by dbaumy

how did you find the faulty bulb. i have C7 diamond cut and they don't seem to have prongs.

by Phyllis Kandul

Thanks Granpa. Also, found one faulty contact and presto they all came on. Except I started at the plug-end and it was third from last at the opposite end. Never can tell!

by shellseeker536

It worked! Found one with a broken wire, inserted a small piece of wire into the hole where it should have been as a bridge, and popped it back into the socket. Everything looks good. Thanks, and Merry Christmas, Phil!

by jakenyt

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Yes, LED christmas light strands are often two independent circuits.

The LEDs are connected in series, so if one is disconnected or somehow failed open circuit, that circuit will go out. Of course the same will happen if there is a break somewhere in the wire.

You could check with a voltmeter to see if you are getting 120vAC out of the socket on the tail end, which if zero would mean a wiring break.

But I think chances are you have one failed LED.

Further testing would mean cutting into the strand.

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Same problem, new solution. I tried new fuses and still the one end of each string would not light up. So I thought...Since one string has the plug end that won't light and the other has the receptical end that won't light, what if I cut the strings and put the two ends that do work together? Making sure that I connected the one wire that runs straight thru the entire string to the same on the other side and the other wire that goes into the bulbs together I now have a complete string of working lights. Forgive me but...I somehow feel like a genius right now :). And a special thank you goes out to my daddy, who passed away on Christmas Eve in 1981, for letting me tinker in the garage with him when I was a child. And to all a good nighttttttttttt!

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Excellent idea, what a cool way to fix things. Welcome to ifixit and hope to learn ore from you. Happy Holidays...:-)

by oldturkey03

hi can take a set of lights by themselves and they work but when i attached the other lights i am only getting half power could anyone tell me the problem to help me i suffer from cancer and the lights are a pain in the ass could you please help me at mikelake1955@hotmail.com thank you kindly mikr happy new year

by mikelake108

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The small catch in you plug is where the fuses are. You should find two of them in there. I am not sure where you are located but I get my replacement fuses at Walmart and its a lot cheaper and less time consuming to start with that. Give it a try and thanks for the Christmas Spirit....Good luck.

UPDATE

just added an image due to another question about this....

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only 54 more sleeps!!!!! best get all those lights working..

by pollytintop

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I have never seen light strings with fuses in the plugs will have to look again, but what we DO have is light strings with "Fusible Links". These strings may well have more than two light series in them, separated by a fusible link on each end of the series. Imagine a ladder where the legs of the ladder represent each side of a 110 volt circuit. The light strand(s) are the rungs with perhaps 20 lights per strand. At the intersection of the "legs" and "rungs" you have a fusible link. If a short or a break occurs in any of the light strands, one or both of the fusible links will blow, are sealed for life, and are not serviceable. That light strand will be out and the rest of the strands will remain lit. The fusible links are for safety, not for convenience.

Now for a bit more info. If you try to cut out the fusible links or even replace them with a more serviceable unit, you need to understand something about LED's as opposed to incandescent lights. LED's operate on Direct Current (DC) and will only light with that current running in one direction. They would blow up (literally) if applied to 110 volts AC when they are designed for more like 6 volts DC. So in every light base, or as part of the fusible link, there will be another diode whose job it is to create that DC low voltage. To remove that is to invite disaster.

If you have a string failure, best to cut your losses and go get yourself a new one.

This isn't the same thing as testing for bad lights and replacing them. This is quite different. Meantime, I'm gonna keep my eyes open for those one with replaceable fuses.....

Update

I don't see that chris mentioned a single light as being a problem....

As to the fix you mentioned, if there are that many disposed light strings, could you not cut that light out and replace it with a salvaged one. Might be the best solution as these strings are in series. Every light removed increases the amperage of that one string. This will case other failures eventually. The diodes on these things are balanced with the deign load. They do have a "Threshold" that once exceeded will fail, then that whole string will be out.

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A quick search on Google will reveal plenty of sites like this like this or even this one. Multiple references out there, and surely a PITA if the string does not work.Of course here is even a reference to the fuses in the LCD string. This is not to discredit your answer, it is a very good and correct one. There is always more than one way... :-) Happy Holidays..

by oldturkey03

Hi Again

We may be talking Apples n Oranges here. Or UL n CSA. I'm Canadian. We may not have removable fuses in our strings...... Fewer fires too maybe but more waste...

by RoddyMacRoddy

RoddyMacRoddy, it is definitely possible :-) Since I am now in the market for Christmas Lights, I will most certainly check on the LCD strings and the fusible links. Your answer is most certainly interesting and very informative. Only good thing is we don't have to worry about TÜV.....:-)

by oldturkey03

don't buy NOMA. every strand I buy ends up one half doesn't work after a week or two. and don't buy a noma pre-lit tree. what a nightmare.

by smileycyrus

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This business of flipping the plug, using oscilloscopes, or noting hz is all indicative of not understanding Diodes. LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) only work with the current flowing through them in one direction... direct current. Alternating Current (your house current) fluctuates or oscillates 60 times a second.. hence "60 hz". In order for your LEDs to wok on that circuit they need half of those oscillations to be eliminated. They also need the voltage to be greatly reduced.... from 110 down to about 5. LED's also cannot be tested like an incandescent string of lights using an ohmmeter because they have no filament. Testing a bring of LED's would require setting up your multimeter as an ammeter, breaking and testing the light string only (not the other two lines.

Because the string is made to work AS A WHOLE UNIT with AC power, the observation that flipping the plug should alert you that this function has been destroyed. The fuse was there to prevent further damage (fires). The fact that you can replace them should also bring with it the caution that you need to find out what caused the failure in the first place.

A shorted bulb in one of your strings most likely caused a failure in a diode that changes that 110v AC to DC . That event likely caused the fuse to blow. Replacing the fuse or flipping the plug does not address the root problem, and my bet is that you will have to toss the string and buy new.

While you are inspecting your defunct string, break into and have a look at an LED. See that the two electrodes inside are different sizes. The large one is the negative side, the small is the positive. There is space in between... no filament. The polarization of the two poles, and not current flow from one to the otheris what makes that space in between give off light. In fact, if the voltage is too high (AC or DC) that space will be violated and the LED will literally "pop its top". Depending on the element in that matrix, you get different colours. Red is the cheapest light to produce. Clear light is one of the most expensive.

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RoddyMacRoddy Once more, excellent answer ;-) It's time for you to make a guide for ifixit that shows how to repair those buggers.

by oldturkey03

Don' forget that LED's are diodes themselves--they don't need other diodes to create DC for them. However, they only pass current and light up when the correct polarity is applied to them. If AC is applied (at suitably reduced voltage--which is obtained by connecting many in series) they only light up during half of the AC cycle. You can't see this if they are stationary. Try moving the LED's when they're on and you'll see little dashes of light.

by Ken Wodlinger

We should not have to spend all that time to get a string of NEW Christmas lights to work.My daughter and I spent hours pulling lights ( very hard to remove) on my one year old 9 strings of lights. Noma should step up and replace these. They are going to lose a lot of customers and get a lot of complaints. I, for one will not buy Noma lights again. They are the 70 set LED strings. C6

by shashachap

Oh and we only managed to get one set working, hung them outside and AGAIN half the set went out.

by shashachap

I have two strings of the Noma outdoor LED lights, the kind that you can chain together. I put both sets up and accidentally dropped the connector between the two sets into the gutter which had standing water in it. Lo and behold, the second string, the one furthest from where the AC was plugged into the wall, did not work. Blamed myself and bought a new string which worked for a couple of months then it too failed! I agree with shashacap, we should not need to be popping out fuses and checking for badly connected bulbs on BRAND NEW strings of lights. These things are not fit for purpose and I don't want to spend hours trouble-shooting a problem that should not exist if the product were properly made.

by Chris Halford

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I came across a good fixit write-up online by Terry Ritter. Seems like there are lot more problems to LED lights which requires more thinking process.

http://www.ciphersbyritter.com/RADELECT/...

Nish

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Good info here. Thanks Naoya!

by RoddyMacRoddy

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half a string is better than no string, cutting the 'broken half' off makes sense - as long as the good half still works afterwards

merry x-mas

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Thanks OldTurkey. Problem is, in the spirit of this blog, we are attempting to be less wasteful, so trying to fix instead of toss. That is a laudable goal except that (as any stereo repair shop can tell you) parts are simply not repairable. So we are stuck with the conundrum; do we use old, inefficient technology and repair it as needed, or do we buy into the more efficient products and toss them when they fail? I'm leaning to the latter. I have had this string of LED's up for 3 years. Although the string and most of the lights will last forever, the failure of a small component renders the entire string (or large sections of strings) to the garbage.

by RoddyMacRoddy

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If you get one half to light its not the fuse as one fuse is for both halves

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Just verified my above statement. Checked the 2 fuses on the inside of my plug removed one and Bingo, half the string out.

by oldturkey03

I spent hours trying to fix the problem I changed each bulb by putting in a part that worked but no luck,Returning that it was not going to beat me,I tried again this morning'TIP'' MAKE SURE WHEN YOU PU'T THE BULB BACK IT IS IN THE RIGHT WAY. THERE IS A LONG AND SHORT SIDE,(POS-NEG). DONT FORCE IT IN'IF ITS TIGHT THEN TURN IT ROUND AND THAT SHOULD SOLVE THE PROBLEM' MERRY XMAS'

by alcopusher

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I have the same problem. Half of LED string of lights come on -- the other half does not. Unplug and flip plug 180 and replug and the other half comes on -- and the half that did work now does not. There are no bad LEDs. Every one comes on at one time or the other.

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Mickey, did you try another outlet?

by oldturkey03

Took lights down and plugged them into a house outlet -- they all worked. Put them back up -- half worked. By-passed two led strings (that were working fine) with an extension cord and the string worked fine.

This does not make sense to me. But am going to resist the urge to find an oscilloscope to see what the by-passed led strings were doing to my current. I will be content that, 'it's a mystery.'

by Mickey Ray

Are you using the same outlet whenever you have the half-side failure? If the lights worked fine in a different outlet, check the outlet first. That wiring sounds screwy....good luck

by oldturkey03

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I have the same problem and i tried to fix it, my Christmas lights are 120v and 60Hz AC. The problem is when i brought m lights out and plugged them in, for some reason the whole entire light string wasn't working. So i looked at the fuse and the fuse was OK, so then i looked for any bad light and i think i found it. I went to the market to buy a replacement and found out the old bulb was bad. But apparently when i plug it in the lights light up but only half way. So fro not working i got to work but it only works have way. what can i do to fix it. Please inform me by step by step on how i should fix my lights.

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Attari have you looked at your plug of the light string. Did you find the small cover for the two fuses that are usually inside the plug? Did you check those?

by oldturkey03

Yes i have checked the two fuses and both are working, cause it's understandable that if the fuses were bad or not there then none of the lights would turn on when you plug it in. But i have looked at the whole string and i can't decide what the problem is, please help me with step by steps instruction.

by Attari

I believe that the two fuses are for the two separate circuits of the light. Check those with a multi meter and see if they have continuity. You may also just go ahead and replace them since they are not to expensive. The other thing that can happen is that you might have more than one burned out lightbulb. Check on here http://www.ciphersbyritter.com/RADELECT/... or Google some more info. It is not hard to do and I am convinced that you will get it accomplished. Good Luck and hope you are having an early Christmas

by oldturkey03

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Thanks, but you see i can't replace the whole entire half string. And i do have a multi meter with the positive and negative leads but where do i check (place them) to find out if the circuit is flowing freely

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Lets start of one step at the time. Did you recheck the two small fuses, not just visually checked? Does your string have a receptacle at the end? Do you have power at the strings receptacle?

by oldturkey03

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Sounds like one of the strings is only passing dc instead of ac resulting in one half of the string being lit. reversing the plug would allow the dc to light up the other side of the string. Connecting directly to an outlet would allow ac and both halfs would light. Your problem appears to lie in a string of lights before the affected string.

Buzz

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I tried reversing the plug and it didnt make the other end light up. Just wanted to let you know.

by citygirl70

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How do you open and check the fuses? Is it where the plug is, or the little cylindrical thing near the plug? Both look encased in plastic, with no opening...

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Most of them have a little tab in the plug that you pop open and you should find 2 small fuses in there. Just added an image to my original answer so you can see what I am referring to.

by oldturkey03

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hmm..same problem. These LED's contain NO fuses and the bulbs are not removable. Half a strand out, flip the plug 180 degrees and the other half is out. This set is in the middle of about 10 sets, and the lights before, and after work fine. screwy..

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my particular LED's operate on AC (noticeable strobe/flicker in peripheral vision much like an old CRT tv)

I looked at the strand and actually pulled an LED out, and there is in fact, no diode. There is also no in-line box or anything indicative of additional in-line electronics. They also pass 120V AC to the next strand (and in my case, through 10 strands) because they power small incandescent mini light globes at the end.

A friend of mine just put up all his led strands and low and behold there are at least 3 or 4 sets out of 15 that are completely dead. They worked last year and were stored indoors, not abused or damaged.

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this kind of LED christmas gifts 2011 light string? is it worth trying to replace the fuse? (of course, it would only make sense doing so if there wasn't some other more serious fault in the circuit

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9 times out of ten. you have three choices. Get a new fuse, take a good bulb and replace it with the blown one, or just buy a new set of christmas lights they're cheap anyways.

by williamcasey80

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LED lightsets that are used outdoors are prone to water leakage and subsequent corrosion of the LED leads inside the sockets. Pull the LED's out of their respective sockets in the string. If the leads are rusty, the LED's will need to be replaced. Don't try to clean them if they are rusty. The sockets can be cleaned with a bit of WD-40 and a small screwdriver (please do this with the string unplugged). New LED's can be inserted into the holders. Pay attention to the orientation of the LED's in the sockets. There is usually an indicator on the LED holder that shows a "long" side and a "short" side. Place the new LED into the socket with the long wire on the long side, short wire on the short side. Bend the leads back slowly. They are steel and are not as flexible as brass or bronze leads that are common on the older mini-bulbs. Stop by the automotive dept. and buy a tube of dielectric grease. Squirt some of that grease into each socket before you place a new LED into the socket. That will prevent further corrosion. When you buy new LED strings pull each LED out and coat the contacts in each socket with the dielectric grease before you place the string into service. Replace the LED's back into the sockets, push the securing tab down and your new corrosion proofed lights should last a very long time time. Good luck!

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Ok, so I am having the same problem. Half of strand works, other half is out. The next strand in the series works so I am assuming that it is not a break in the wire and must be a bulb. Would it be the first bulb in the series that is out or could it be any of them?

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Last night I had the good ole plug them in and 2/3 of the lights do not come on AFTER testing them in the garage. I have found out a couple of useful things. The strands that I am talking about are the C9-100LED's. 1) These starnds are actually split up into 3 sections and a bulb going out will kill that section of the strand. On the 1st section I checked 8 lights before finding the bad one the second was 15 before I found the culprit.

2) the Christmas Light Tester/Repair Gun can test a LED bulb BUT the bad part is that the buld socket is too big to fit inside the opening that over rides the strand and make the rest of the bulbs work.

I hope this helps.

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just "cut out" the ones that don't work (since the actual bulbs cannot be fixed). Then reconnect the lines together ( i use the plug that you crimp and then heat to melt the connector to the wire), then insulate with a lot of electrical tape and you voila...done. It will be shorter but it will work.

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it was easy to replace the bulb every string comes with replacements.

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Yep. The fuse is actually a 1.2 ohm 1/4 watt resistor and in the set I hacked is present at each end. There are also two 1N4007 diodes at each end.

The 'electronics' are housed in a heat molded lump of plastic close to each end of the string.

The string of LEDs is on the third conductor, the other two wires are live and neutral (117vac Canada) At one end the leds are fed from the anodes of the diodes each diode connected to live and neutral respectively, the one diode going to the live side also has the fuse resistor in series.

The other end of the led string is fed from the cathodes of the diodes, one diode going to the neutral wire has the other fuse resistor in series. Using a fuse at both ends guards against the diodes shorting and overloading the circuit. Using a double feed from live and neutral powers the leds at 2x the power-line frequency or 120Hz here in North America which makes the strobing a bit less noticeable.

The string I took apart had failed and the cause was dry solder joints at the diodes. The soldering was typical awful Chinese soldering using lead free solder.

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the same thing happened to me. half of my string of lights was not working. the answer ended up being very annoying and simple. it seems my Nova outdoor lights are susceptible to water infiltration from where the wires enter at back, the water freezes and Severs the contact, causing the lights to go out. it was simply a matter of finding the bulb that was no longer in contact, melting the ice( by blowing into the socket while on my ladder to melt it) and then pluging the light bulb back in. presto we have light! hope this helps and the stops at least one person from Cutting apart their lights. merry xmas!

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i checked each led bulb by pulling it out and looking at the two wires. I straightened several of the wires up so they would get better contact.

Almost to the very end of the string I found one bulb with a broken wire. The plastic that protects the led was loose. I replaced it.

It all works.

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I crawled on the roof, freezing my arse off, and found the last bulb that was still lit. I put a replacement bulb in it to ensure the new bulb worked before I went bulb-by-bulb on the bad ones. MORE lights went out, and I couldn't get them to come back on, even with the known good bulb back in.

SO, since i had an extra length of lights at the end of the run, I just pulled the dead light section aside and rehung the line starting at the lit section.

When i take them down this year, I'll troubleshoot them in the warm garage!

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When only half the string lights up, it's usually because of a single light in the bad section. I've had this happen to me a few times now. I've fixed the problem by individually pulling each light and inserting a light you know is working. You're done with this exercise when you find the bad light and the string comes back to life. If the bad light is the first one you replace, it's an easy fix. If it's last one in the string, you'll be wondering if you shouldn't have just gone out and bought a new string.

The toughest thing about doing this is getting the light covers off to expose the LED. On most of my strings the covers are hard to pop off. I end up with a raw thumb if I have to pop several to find the bad light. One way to avoid this is to get lights with covers that screw off.

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Anyone from Canada on this discussion? I have the front half of two LED strings out but up here we have no fuses or fusible links and the LEDs are not replaceable and the plug is polarized. Looks like the trash for these lights. What the heck is the point of having LEDs that save electricity and are supposed to last 250,000 hours if you can't even get them through 1000 hours? And they are not cheap. They are 2 or 3 times the old incandescants which were a pain when a bulb went out but at least they could be fixed if you took the time. Any ideas before I head out to Canadian Tire?

Odd thing is there are two wires at front end then it goes to three on first bulb so those wires must be good. There's .008 A on them and of course 0 on the third that comes out of the first bulb. And 120 V at the plug at the end. I had a third string with half out but jiggling the wires got the bad half back.

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Hi David. Fellow Canuck here. I suspect up here in the frozen north, that we don't have replaceable bulbs and fuses like I see in this discussion. We do have fusible links. Those are the bulges on the cords, or they are built right into the male end. Your frustration is valid. The only savings may be at the meter. Having said that, I have a string up now on its fifth year. After year three the first third failed. I had more length than I needed, so just moved the lit portion and hid the rest..... its still going. Maybe like the first stone in the windshield eh?!

by RoddyMacRoddy

I am Canadian as well. We switched over to LED lights to conserve energy. Every year we have to replace at least 1 or 2 strings of lights. We still have a big container of 35 year old lights from my in-laws and every year we think maybe we should go back to using them as they still light up. Any savings on electricity has been eaten up by replacing LED lights every year. How is this good for our environment ( as well as our pocketbook)?

by Peggypetunia

I too am in Canada and am sooooo angry with the whole thing. Spent too many hours and way too much money on these lights. Next Christmas will be lightless. I am a senior citizen and my fingers just cannot pull out all the lights on 9 sets, thats 630 bulbs !!

by shashachap

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I started down this path because I have a no-name LED set with 50 lights and they all checked good with legacy light tester. Filament light tester will drive the LED bulbs if inserted correctly (trial and error, but they are keyed to go in socket only one way) What the legacy tester will not do is find the break in the 115 VAC on the line because it is passed to the repeater socket. Also the clicky piezo pop-voltage function should not be used because it is designed to activate the shunt in legacy filament bulbs, not LED bulbs.

So I still don't know how my sting is wired or why the voltage seems to be passed down the string but the LEDs aren't getting the required forward voltage.

It does sound like alot of folks have miswiring on their house outlets and should just buy one of those testers that shows their hot-neutral and ground are properly connected. On that note, my string uses two 3 amp fuses in the plug which both test less than one ohm and there are three wires connected to the spades which are not keyed for hot and neutral. As in the plug can be inserted either way. Best advise I got from this web page was go buy another string and keep these bulbs for spares.

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After reading most of the Q & A's here. I don't know why anyone in their right mind would bother to buy these lights! It seems to me that the manufacturers are getting away with daylight robbery.

I recently bought three sets of NOMA Leds and after succesfully testing them ok, spent nearly four hours installing arounf the roof of my house. They worked fine the first time I switched them on but the second night half of one set was out and the next night half of another set failed to light.

What a rip-off!

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You know... for all the LED hype, these things are sure a pain in the a**, they're just like the old single wire lights, check bulbs 'til you find the culprit. Some 'progress' !

I wonder if anybody's actually calculated their 'power savings' vs. how many strings they've thrown away and re-bought, to say nothing of the recyclable glass, copper, and plastic in this 'offshore' junk.

Gimme' my old 2-wire 'screw-in's' ANYDAY, 1 -out, 1-in, fixed, ta-da !

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Drew's comment is spot on.

The waste associated with manufacturing products that are to be tossed into the landfill in short order is appalling.

After researching the methods used to make these it's obvious LED's aren't going to work satisfactorily in exterior Christmas decoration applications when produced the way they are now. And to do it right the cost will be prohibitive, unless some big changes are made. Don't hold your breath waiting for that.

Controlling the voltage on incandescents makes much more sense. Triacs work.

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I'm having a similar issue that I'm not seeing stated exactly here. I have 4 connected strings of 50 LED lights that have worked for the last 2 years. After pre-testing and hanging all 4 strings initially worked. However, after an ice storm I noticed that the 2 last strings were out. When looking more closely, the bulbs were actually on but extremely dim. I replaced the fuses on string 3 (the first string with dim lights) and this did not solve the problem. I then ran an extension cord, disconnected string 3 from string 2, and plugged string 3 into the extension cord. Upon doing this, string 1 & 2 remained lit while now string 3 & 4 also lit fully. When looking at the female end of string 2 (where string 3 plugs in) there are no fuses like on the male end. In fact, the end seems completely incased. Also, these 2 connecters were covered together with electrical tape which should have been a water tight seal.

Any idea what my issue is?

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Hi Chris

Its behaving like strings 3 & 4 are hooked up in series to the female end of 2. The only way I can see this happening is if there is short in that #2 female. (not the #3 male) Any sign of heat in that end? There should be none; LED's draw very little current, and a heavy current draw would create heat. AS you can see from some of the problems above, these things may have fuses in them, but if yours are like mine, the plug end(s) mint contain a fusible link which you cannot repair. Actually, you could IF you had a bad string and you KNEW the plug/fusible link was ok AND that the change-out was for the same number of LED's.

IF you suspect dampness is the problem, you can disconnect string #2 and spray a drier in there (or hydrogen peroxide), then knock that out and put some white rice in a bag enough to encase the end, tying it on tight and leave it for a day. Then try again.

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Thanks for the feedback. There is no heat in female #2 and I've dried drying it with no success. You are right in that I cannot get into that end at all to discern and/or repair the issue. I'm not going to the trouble this year since the lights are already on the house, but next year I'm just going to move string #2 to an end location of one of my light runs.

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with a power tester find the light that is dead, cut the wire on each side and marret the two ends together the string should work fine minus 1 light .i have fixed 10 failures this way

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Question : I have a string of lights that will only come on if it is warmer than minus 15 degrees Celcius or 4 degrees above zero Fareinheit . This makes it virtually impossible to get that one section of lights to work unless I decide to do the repair in the non-working environment . Anybody have a light string failure that was temperature related ?

Thanks Danny

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Hi Danny

LED's are good for sub zero temperatures, so any fault must be in the string. AS you might have noticed in the submissions to this post, many strings have two or three sub-sets in them. If there was a problem with one of those sub-sets, just that set would not light. It seems that your entire string does not light, so I would point to the male end as the problem. I imagine you are plugging in outdoors, so it could be the duplex (Wall plug) that is the real problem. It is possible that the cold is causing the clasps inside the plug to not function properly. Perhaps check that. Replacing that might be a cheap fix. Metal connections made up of layers (Bi-Metal) will move with temperature changes. This feature was standard in thermostats, but may be a problem in your duplex.

by RoddyMacRoddy

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I have a variation on the above problem - I have a (quite) new 200 string LED set, the first 40 are not quite out - they are on but very dim.

Is this still a "one bad bulb" problem somewhere in that first segment.

Jim

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See my post below. A bad socket can cause a very dim result.

by Mark

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On a 200 light set, there are five parallel strings of 40 LED bulbs. Each bulb is biased by 3 volts. If one string is dim, it means the forward current of one (or more) of the LEDs is not passing as designed.

So yes, one or more bad bulbs is an open but may not be a true open like a popped filament in an incandescent bulb.

You should be able to remove the bulbs one a time and measure using a multimeter on diode setting and find one that has high reverse voltage and and also high forward voltage. The good ones will have a distinctly lower forward (pos on anode, neg on cathode) reading. Typically on LEDs the longer lead is anode. Also, if there is flat edge on the plastic case, that's adjacent to the cathode. Finally the anode lead is typically connected to less hardware inside the colored plastic if its visible.

You can do the same thing with a nine-volt battery and two jumper clips. Use a weak battery or make one of the jumpers a 1/4W 100 ohm resistor to keep from overdriving the LEDs. I know, 40 times of doing this makes buying another set attractive. The light guys know this. When you're reinserting the bulbs, it doesn't hurt to gob a little vaseline to keep water off the steel leads which rust.

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Loadster, Roddy, Harvey, et al, and Danny,

Danny, you've got another 'Canuck' here, so your not alone in the 'Great White North' !

Bought a bunch of fuses, HAVE a LOT of spare bulbs/strings, learned how to use my 'Multi-meter', have some 9V batteries, amongst others, and resistors too.

Sat down in now warm garage, and 'had at it' !

Discovered that I had current end to end on ALL my strings (except the ones the squirrels chewed the sockets off) from various stores, Costco, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Rona, Sears, and probably some others, and that ;

1. SOME bulbs CAN'T be removed from sockets, Norma's I think.

2. Bulbs have a 'positive and negative' side.

3. All 'sockets/bulb holders' are different sizes.

4. Those 'bulbs' are REALLY THICK (had to use my VISE to break them open) !

5. Different length strings bulbs all have different 'power needs' to light 'em up.

6. Too MUCH power in a bulb will 'blow' it, not ENOUGH does nothing.

7. Had NO such 'problems' with old 'incandescents' from 'mini-lights' to 'C-9's.

Conclusions ;

A. 'Standardization' of socket size would be nice, like the old incandescent's .

B. I'm sure glad I used 'Home Hardware's SCREW in C-9's when I replaced all my 'main string' big bulb's !

C. Even the newest string of 'C-7' LED's I bought from Wal-Mart that worked IN the store, but NOT at home, are crap. ( Couldn't return them, already threw out box, stupidly, being so 'trusting' 'cause they DID work in the store !)

D. Expensive as LED's may be, they are NOT worth the 'tearing of hair' and increased 'blood pressure' TRYING to get working. Even the Firemen at Vancouver's Stanley Park's 'Christmas Bright Nights' display can't get these LED strings working, and THEIR 'on the clock' getting PAID to try to figure them out ! So 'screw it', off to the landfill they go ! Maybe some Archaeologist in the distant future can figure them out ! Maybe I'll take them to the Gun Club, might be fun using those little bulbs as .22 (or bigger) targets ! 'Recycling' be damned, 'repurposing' as targets is more fun !

E. The 'Chinese/Vietnamese/ whatever, manufacturer's, WITHOUT 'standardization' and 'Quality Control', WIN !

So much for 'LED's save money' ! Gimmie BACK my MANY DECADES lasting incandescent's !

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The 'fuse' on some lights made for the north american market is actually a low value resistor which appears to be a 1/4W size moulded along with a couple of diodes into a blob both ends of the string. I did open up a blob and deemed it not worth repairing. The actual failure turned out to be poor soldering and not component failure.

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Alright, fuses are okay what's next? Take the extra bulb that came with the set and begin at the first bulb that is out and exchange them. If the set does not light do the same thing to the next bulb. You should not need to continue using the extra bulb just use the one from the cocket before it. Assuming it did not fix the problem means it is most likely okay. Here is the problem with what I found. On my set I found two bulbs in which one of the tiny leads from the led was missing. Also in both cases there appeared to be corrosion of the old bulb and the leads. These were used outside for two Christmas seasons. The bottom of the sockets are open to water entering if the bulb is not upright. Keeping them upright is really impossible. So, I believe GE has a bad design here which allows water into the area of the socket which makes connection to the bulb. Water and electricty do not mix. Corrison starts and it's just a matter of time until the bulb and socket are shot. To prove it I removed both sockets, soldered the wires together and all was good. All bulbs now burn. I do not recomend doing this because unless you are a electronics tech. you may burn your house down and I do not want to be the one who told you to repair the darn wiring. If you have your receipt from when you purchased them I'd go back and plead my case to the store. Otherwise throw them out but!!, buy a different design next time GE or not GE.

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I just saw legacy strings (screw in sockets) with replacement LED bulbs. This will be costly on a bulb-by-bulb basis, but should solve a basic problem that is driving us all crazy. The existing strings of LED's, depending on they length, have 3 or more conductors; two ensure the 110v cabe carried to the next string, and the third is used alternately switching between the Anode and Cathode sides of groups of LED's ... each of these groups needs to have an on-line diode/resistor package to bring the voltage down to about 10vDC.

Trouble-shooting these groupings by shorting out the connectors etc is not recommended, because those bulges on the string are configured for the number of lights in the string. That is why lights are sold as 25's or 50's or .... their current draw is balance for that many lights.

by RoddyMacRoddy

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We should ALL write to CSA;

Dear CSA Worldwide,

Every year, myself and millions of others, are going through the frustration of LED Christmas light string failures . I’m sure you’ve all experienced it, half a string goes out, the other half is on . Power is received at BOTH ends , but no lights, or only half of either end .

NOBODY seems to know the reason for this , and everybody seems to experience it . It applies to EVERY manufacturer, and 2 years ago Home Depot had to ‘pull’ their ENTIRE inventory off the shelves and return them .

The various ‘forums’ offer different methods to solve this problem, but most don’t work . They also usually close with a “Don’t use my method or your house may burn down .”, disclaimer .

This puts this problem squarely in CSA’s ‘bailiwick’ .

What I, obviously, would like to see is these LED lights WORKING , CONSISTENTLY !

The recyclers, for the responsible, are getting filled up with these strings of lights, and the Landfills for the less responsible .

I think CSA should ‘pull’ their ‘Stamp of Approval’ from ALL LED light manufacturer's in ALL countries until they can make these light strings WORK consistently, and for a long time . I’d also like to see them ‘Standardized’ in types of sockets, bulbs, fuses, resistors, etc. .

These ‘Money saving’ LED lights , aren’t , because one keeps having to buy new strings every year !

Give me back the old ‘2-wire’ incandescent’s, those worked for decades , if ONE went out, you replaced that light , not the whole string ! Even the 1940’s single wire lights were easier to repair than these ridiculous 3-wire LED ones !

I believe CSA is the ONLY organization that has the ‘clout’ to do this for we consumers .

Thank you,

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CSA? Canucks Rule!

by RoddyMacRoddy

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Okay. I listened to all the answers and none actually solved the problem. Here is what I did. I took all of the lights out of the half of the set which didn't work and one by one tested them in the other half of the set (the side that worked). Low and behold, I found 5 of the lights from the side that didn't work would not light. When I plugged them into a socket on the side that worked, the other lights would light up, but the bad one would not. Four of the 5 which didn't light acted that way. But ONE of the lights which wouldn't work was "so dead" that even the other lights wouldn't work. I repeated the test to see if I got the same result and that is what happened.

So, I am now searching for 5 replacement LED lights to see if multiple LED failures caused the problem. I know in regular incandescent christmas light sets, that if too many of the bulbs go out, then the entire set starts to fail quickly. Don't know if the same is true for LED sets.

So... everyone, test the LED lights one by one, find the ones that work and throw out the ones that don't. Find replacement LED lights and plug them in and see if that solves the problem.

These lights came from Holiday Time LED mini light set (50 COUNT) purchased from Walmart.

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I piled up all my strings with 1/2 not working or half really dull. Cut out all the dead and dim halves and reattached the plug. Works great.

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Hello, i just found this thread. I have been doing Christmas displays for decades and LEDs since they came out. Since Christmas is right around the corner I figured I'd chime in.

It is true these LED strings aren't as perfect as we'd been led to believe, but many of the issues can be resolved. The problems spoken of on this forum are many because the failure modes are many. Some problems are similar or identical to those with incandescent light strings, and new ones have been added! (of course.)

1). As mentioned by some, the only truly reliable way to fix a string that has a bad section is to take each lamp (LED or incandescent) out of the nonworking part and swap it into a socket of a known working string of the same type. You may have to do this with every last lamp in the bad section! Do so with great caution, as you're working with a live string. Work on a non conductive surface and make sure you are neither touching anything grounded nor any moist surface. If you doubt your abilities or the situation, it would be far better to just buy a new string than possibly risk your life!

2) Some of the posts from several years ago mention plugging in lights one way and half the string lights, flip the plug and the other half lights. This issue came about because around 2007~maybe 2008 one brand of string available at The Home Depot, ACE Hardware and possibly others contained a bridge rectifier (four extra, non- light emitting diodes that direct both half cycles of the AC waveform into the same direction to make the LEDs brighter and with less flicker, as mentioned previously.) This is not unusual in itself- many types of Christmas light strings have rectifier diodes to reduce flicker, and they're used in some LED rope lights as well. The problem here is the manufacturer used a GLOBAL rectifier that affects, not only the LEDs in that particular section (25, 30, or 35 LEDs typically), but the add-on socket at the end as well, which unfortunately for most people is a standard Edison type connector! This was only done for a year or two, then they realized the error of their ways (or the safety agencies had their say) and stopped doing it. This is found exclusively in certain strings that have non-replaceable LEDs with each base covered in a thin green or clear shrink wrap where you can see light leaking through the base itself, and where there is a single, bulbous plastic molding at the male end only, which comes before any of the lamps. This contains the global rectifier. DO NOT plug anything requiring actual AC into such a string (for example a motorized yard decoration, as it could overheat and burn up!) Some LEDs and probably all incandescent can be plugged in, up to probably about an ampere of current, with some caveats.

Some LED strings are wired with both halves (or more) in polarity, and some out of polarity. Why? I have no idea! The out-of-polarity ones will not work properly with the global-rectified strings, exhibiting the behavior already mentioned. The in-polarity ones will work in their entirety (if the string itself is OK) and will be brighter as a result and have less flicker (unless they have their own rectifier too in which case you wouldn't notice a difference). HOWEVER-- the current limiting resistors in the unrectified LED strings plugged into the global-rectifier string may overheat and possibly melt, so you shouldn't use this as a feature unless you really know what you're doing! Check the enlarged knob or bulbous plastic molding on the plugged-in strings to see how hot they're getting. It might be best to get rid of those offending string(s), or give them to someone who knows what they are and how to properly use them. Yes, yet more waste for a supposedly environmentally friendly product:( Unfortunately even some very rare Jewel cover LED strings were made this way.

3). LED strings sold in brick-and-mortars (at least here in Tucson, Arizona) have not used mild-steel-leadframe LEDs for several years now (yay! The manufacturers are to be commended for doing something right!!!), so corroded-off wire legs should be a thing of the past, even if the sockets are not sealed from rain. This change can be verified with a magnet, and is probably at least partly responsible for LED string prices not having dropped as fast as we expected over the years. Interestingly, the packs of bare replacement LEDs available on eBay, etc. still use steel:(...

4). Where there are enough LEDs in a section (about 25 or 30 seems to be plenty) they are usually not provided with any protective electronics for each LED other than the current limiting resistors in my experience. All the LEDs are run in series, not parallel, except for the really low voltage strings that run off a small solar panel. The nature of the LED semiconductor itself is such that they share the total voltage (170 volts peak for a 120VAC line) as long as the reverse voltage rating of each LED is not exceeded by too much. (The manufacturers fudge it a bit, you see, as we've come to expect from this quality of product- sometimes 6 or 8 volts is close enough to 5 for them). So you can have 5 x 35 lamps = 175V which is higher than 170 and we're OK. I would hope when they get down into those 25-light C9 strings, and especially the 15-LED icicle sets, that they're including reverse blocking diodes to protect the LEDs but... who knows?!?

5). Yes, just like with an incandescent series string, leaving bad LEDs in the string or cutting them out entirely will tend to reduce the life of the others in that same series section. This is because the same total line voltage now is shared aamongst fewer LEDs, so the total forward voltage of all the LEDs in that series section is reduced, causing the line voltage to be able to push more current through the remaining lamps. If you want your series light strings to last longer, try splicing in a few more lamps than were originally in the string, not taking some out. This will make the lights unnoticeably dimmer.

With LEDs, bear in mind that if you splice any in by wire splicing (using waterproof connection methods of course!) that the polarity of the new lamps needs to be correct or the new lamps will probably fry or at least be damaged due to excessive reverse voltage (the voltage that's applied to the string of LEDs when the AC cycle has reversed and the LEDs are not conducting, unless they're running from a rectifier.) An LED probably designed for 5 reverse volts could easily see 50 or even more this way!

6). Almost universally these LED strings are pushed by the manufacturer to their limits to make them as bright as possible, rather than running them conservatively to help ensure rated lifetime. Current limiting resistors are usually too small, letting too much current flow, particularly when used in a warm climate. This is especially true of the 25-light C7 and C9 types in my experience. (Some LED types handle this service better than others.) This sometimes makes it hard or impossible to realize the supposed 25,000 hour lifetimes, let alone the 100,000 hours they were touting when these first started coming out about 10 years ago!

6). As for the comment about standardized strings and LEDs, they are already available... well, kinda. Check out the GE brand strings. These are characterized by a string that has alternating 4-wire, 3-wire, 4-wire etc. numbers of wires between each adjacent socket. They always have 50 lamps per section, though the string might be 100 lamps. Both the male and female power connectors are largeish and rectangular, with a screw showing in one side that looks like it has been sealed with Loctite or similar. 3 wires protrude from each male and female plug, rather than the usual two. There is no stacking male plugs with these ones.

The four wire/three wire thing is because every 4-wired-together pair of sockets is in parallel with itself and in series with every other pair of 4-wire-connected sockets (called a 2-parallel, 25-series arrangement), so that if one lamp falls out, the string continues to light, but with the remaining lamp of the affected pair being a bit brighter now. You could in fact lose up to 25 lamps from these strings (every other lamp) and they'd continue lighting! (hopefully...)

To achieve standardization, the LEDs for these, both red/orange/yellow and green/blue/white alike all have a forward voltage of about 3 volts and are thus interchangeable!!! (Well, mostly anyway...). They accomplish this seemingly impossible feat by adding an actual extra non-LED diode junction inside the package of each lower-forward-voltage (red, orange, non-filtered warm white yellow) LED! Pretty cool!

The only-kinda-interchangeability I alluded to consists in the fact that the manufacturer has not been consistent, over the years, in what polarity they assemble these lamps in! Go figure. :(...

And I must mention, unfortunately, that these strings have 2 major problems, unless they've fixed them recently:

1: they include a small circuit board in each male and female plug. Due to water ingress into the plugs the circuit board is subject to corrosion which will take down the string itself and any other string plugged into it :(

2: on those circuit boards rests a rectifier (good- less flicker) and a capacitor ( further reduces flicker) which unfortunately causes major problems when trying to dim these strings. Some dimmers will not do it at all, becoming latched on while the GE string remains connected, and the ones that do dim the string cause a great deal of audible noise and noise on the AC line due to this capacitance. I haven't had anything get damaged though after a couple seasons of running a dozen or so of these strings on dimmer, but you can tell it's not a happy setup and I'm not going to be dimming any of them at all this year. So don't go thinking these strings would be good with your light show controller if it does any dimming at all.

I hope this all is not too confusing and offers some help before this holiday season!

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Many finger shredding aggravating afternoons later has led me to the conclusion that decorative holiday lights are fleeting and disposable. If you get three seasons, they don't owe you anything. Properly route them to a recycling receiver and don't fret about the cost. You only get average of 40 to 60 memorable holiday seasons in life. Don't buy the most expensive or the cheapest, buy somewhere in between. Don't buy the one that has the most bulbs or the brightest with the most light changing modes. They will disappoint. If you buy the newest latest greatest laser contraption, it might work. Once. Let it go and don't burn down your house or make the electric company rich for gross excess. Sometime soft and accent lighting makes a wonderful feeling. And bright loud and hot makes you go oooh! shield your eyes. and then retreat to find a quiet soft lighted place to have good conversation.

Remember the reason for the season. Its not all abou' the candles, lights or stars.

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I hade the same problem on a set of GE led lights. Second half of strand was out. I took out each light staring at the end and I found one with a wire broken off of the bulb. I put a new bulb in and boom, fixed. Thanks to everyone for the help! Scott V.

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Regarding lights with a broken wire, if you are handy with a soldering iron, they can be fixed. First thing to do is check the light to see if it is good. Remember, LED lights are polarized. So using a "light fixer" for the original mini lights, remove the bulb from the socket and touch the leads to the light tester. If it does not light, reverse the leads and try again. If it lights good. If not discard the light.

To repair the light, First find a piece of stranded wire and strip off about 2 inches of insulation. Next, separate about 4 strands of wire and twist them together. Keep doing this until all strands have been used. Next, heat the soldering iron.

While the soldering is heating up, prepare the leads on the light. Use a small file or your wife's or girlfriend's emery board to clean the leads until shiny. Next, dip the leads in soldering flux. I use a quick clamp to hold the light steady. Tin booth leads of the light. Tinning the unbroken led will make it stronger so when you insert the bulb in the socket it should not break when you bend it. Tin the wire strands. Holding one of the tinned wire strands to the broken lead, touch the soldering iron to make the connection and when the connection has cooled cut to length.

Check the light again to make sure it still works. Too much heat from the soldering iron can kill the light. If good insert in socket and then the light set. You might have to use a small screw driver or drill bit to enlarge the hole for the repaired lead. If the light set still doesn't work, look for another bad light.

When you have a light set with bulb covers, you have to replace the light with the same color for best results or a clear or white light for ok results. Any other color will not work well.

Happy soldering and don't burn your fingers.

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My two light sets had the same issue - half of each not working. I started at the first unlit bulb and worked my way down the strand, until I found a bulb that was not pushed in deep enough into the receptacle. At another location, the unlit bulb was pushed in enough, but the tiny copper strands on the base of the bulb were broken. I replaced it with a new bulb and the whole strand worked fine.

On another set of lights, one of the two wires that go into the receptacle had pulled loose from the receptacle, so there was no connection. I just snipped the light out of the circuit and spliced the two wires together, with success.

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A simple, safe solution that worked for me: I inspected each l.e.d. by removing the "bulb". (The coloured bulb is merely a housing for the small l.e.d. . Although there is no need to twist to remove it from the socket, the l.e.d. is not damaged by twisting.) There should be two wires at the bottom of the l.e.d./bulb - if not, you may have found the broken circuit! I cut a copper wire 1.4 cm (5/8") long and formed a J shape. Insert the long end into the hole alongside the shortened broken terminal wire and replace the l.e.d./ bulb back into its socket. Of course the "J" should touch the l.e.d. wire to complete the circuit so try to find the proper diameter extension wire or place a few wavy bends in it to insure contact. Remember: A complete circuit is necessary to have your entire strand of l.e.d. lights to give you joy!

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OK. So I got frustrated pulling icicle light bulbs and decided to cut and splice. It works great. But then there are all these light bulbs in the cut out strand, so I started scavenging them. What I found was interesting. The last 2 lights on the dangle seemed more corroded than any others. I think water follows the wiring and eventually finds its way into these lowest sockets. So from now on I will check those bulbs first. Also, removing the bulbs got easier using a jack knife to gently pry them out of the sockets. I saved one strand by going to the last lit bulb and trying each unlit light in that socket until I found the corroded/non working bulb. Wether you cut and spice or pull bulbs, it is going to take time so name your poison and go for it.

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This is the first ever Christmas Light Training Video in the WORLD !

http://bit.ly/21J5Aqi

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After splicing, replacing, shortening, enlarging these pieces of CHINA CRAP thatpromise great hours per dollar and savings...... well here is the real fix friends. > When ALL of the above fails, REPLACE the transistor (or capacitor?) inside the plastic "tubes" by cutting such encasing.

FIRST RE SOLDER those> Bad Chinese materials> (even if your tester says it works fine> TRY IT ON THE ACTUAL light strands the way it was installed. New ones are cheap, specially online. Re-solder or replace, then RE ENCASE the whole thing. You can use a hose like the ones used for small water lines in landscaping. Put A LOT of tape (duct, electrical?) INSERT THE LITTLE HOSE FIRST in one end of your wire, so you don't have to splice it lengthwise again to insert the repaired/or replaced transistor.

On my C7 (70 lights) is a grey or light blue with 2 red lines (I think)

Do this AFTER trying the bulb AND fuse repairs first> VOILA!!!! your lights shine again my friends.

Merry Christmas to y'all from sunny Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula, California. 2015

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Happy (?) 2015 LED Strugglers

Well, here we all are here again . While putting up my 'C-7 & Mini' LED's yesterday, my stored inside for 11 months, strings once again, did not fail to dis-appoint . Had 2 cardboard 'apple boxes' of light strings to put up, and, after trying to put them up , ended up with 1 apple box full of '1/2 string out' strings as usual . Have 'smartened up' tho' , NOW I only buy the 35 light strings , on sale , nearer Christmas (less to throw away, annual tradition !) . I also bought a LED 'Tester' gun from Home Depot , so will head to garage with my box of 1/2 'workers' and 'have at it' yet again until fingers bleed from pulling asst'd. sockets styles that CAN be pulled as some can't.

Sure would be nice if UL or CSA would force the producers to at least 'standardize' the bulb sockets like the old screw in ones !

A quarter of those 'infected' MAY be repairable, another quarter will probably be cut at outage point and re-'ended', and, as usual 1/2 will go to Recycle Depot .

One 'good' thing , living on the 'Wet Coast' of Canada , and only using these 'repaired' strings outside, ain't nothing gonna' 'burn out there ! Wet 'Evergreens' and all .

Merry Christmas to all, and to all some GOOD lights !

Drew

P.S. Will report back if Home Depot 'Magic' Tester gun much help .

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I'm working on 150 led light set right now . So far found the string is broken up into 5 sets of 30 each. Two fuses are in the plug going to the outlet. No mater which way arange them, if both are not in,none of them work, so I would say the whole string is dependent on both. The led bulbs are polarized, so they will work in one direction. There are two leads. The long one is positive. On my string I ave to insert the new bulb with the long lead towards the tab or latch, and this will have to g in the right direction. Still haven't figured out the problem with a middle section yet.using a voltage detector to find a pattern. There is a small tube device for each set of 30. Anyone know what this.

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I don't know if LED makes a difference but, YES! do try replacing the fuse! I stumbled onto that last year. Some decorations are so inexpensive it may not seem worth fussing with, although it's SO easy to check, and keeping them out of the landfill is important to me. But others, as my Front-Gate wreath that honestly isn't worth what I paid, are worth an attempted rescue. In that case, 1/4 of the wreath wasn't lighted. I replaced the fuse in that plug (there are 4 in the wreath) and it's good as new. Makes me wonder how many 'good finds' there are to be had at the little thrift store down the road! Merry Christmas!!

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Not 'advertising' here, just informing . I have discovered 'Industrial Quality' Christmas lights of ALL kinds at 'Novelty Lights' http://www.noveltylights.com/led_christm... . They are 'Commercial quality' lights and wiring , and even have C-7 and C-9 'screw in base' bulb replacements for those smart enough to have KEPT their old incandescent light strings ! They ARE available on Amazon.ca and other sites in limited styles , but if you want to go to the 'Mother load', go to their U.S. .com site !

Yes, a little more expensive perhaps, but FAR less 'frustrating' so far . I'M going to ordering 100 C-7's for sure , my C-9's have lasted for 8 years so far with '0' problems (except for the 2 I broke off their bases by standing on them , and those I just unscrewed and replaced , no struggle !

Any further strings I buy will be from them ! NO 'Box' stores .

Cheers,

Drew

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bac will be eternally grateful.

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