There’s nothing worse than realizing your Christmas lights are a bust. It’s that moment when you ceremoniously plug the string of lights into the wall, ready to add the finishing touch to your tinseled work of art, only to realize there’s a bad bulb. Talk about a letdown. Disappointment like that doesn’t belong in your holiday. Next time you experience a bad bulb, be prepared by following these few simple tips.
1. Purchase a Bulb Replacement Kit
Sometimes light strings come with a bag of three to five extra bulbs precisely for the situation where one of your bulbs burns out before the rest. Although this might seem like plenty, you’d be surprised how quickly these replacements run out. A bulb replacement kit not only provides a more extensive supply of replacement bulbs, but also includes new fuses to prevent the problem from occurring again. Many kits also come with helpful instruction manuals to make the process easier for beginners.
2. Always Plug Lights in Before Stringing
It’s important to take the precaution of plugging in and examining your lights before you string them on the tree. Even new lights can come with defective bulbs, and it’s a major pain to discover these defective bulbs after you’ve put in all the work to string them on the tree. It’s also much easier to spot defective bulbs when you’re looking at a long string of untangled lights laid out neatly on the floor, as opposed to strung around the tree.
3. Check the Fuse First
If several light bulbs have unexpectedly gone out or you have just been using your lights more excessively than normal, the problem might be with the fuse and not the bulbs. Unplug the lights and check inside the plug to see if the fuse is the root of your problem first. It’s important to always check the fuse before checking the bulb, since a defective fuse could be a fire hazard.
4. Use a Bulb Tester
A bulb tester is a very handy device that lets you know whether the bulb is the problem or a bigger issue is at work. These testers can be found at any local hardware store and are often very simple and compact. A simple quick insertion of the bulb will have immediate results. If this method reveals that neither the bulb nor the fuse is the problem, it might be best to invest in a new light string.
Always be extremely cautious when working with any kind of electric devices. Fires, electrocution and other accidents are especially common during the holiday season. Although it’s economically reasonable to keep old Christmas lights around for several years, it may not be the safest option to reuse overworked fuses and dated wires. As a general rule, replace your light strings after three seasons. However, the above tricks will help you keep your lights looking great throughout the season.