It can be frustrating: you get all your holiday decorations up and all your lights seem to work, but after a little while, certain lights don’t work anymore. You want to be able to enjoy your lights but that is hard to do when you’re constantly faced with lights that go out without warning. Here are some possible reasons and solutions to fix why this may be happening to you?
The number one culprit when portions of a strand of Christmas lights go out is a single faulty bulb. If you isolate the location of the bulb, you can easily replace it and restore power to the entire strand. You can find the bad bulb easily by using a light tester. These inexpensive units are often included with larger light sets and can be found at most retail and hardware stores.
Too Many Strands
Are you chaining multiple strands together to form a longer one? This works if you are only chaining a few, but a common mistake people make when using holiday lights is connecting too many strands together at once.
The problem here is two fold. First, the wires themselves suffer from something called attenuation. Attenuation is the gradual loss of signal over a long length of wire. Is the offending strand at the end of a long chain? Chances are you strung together one strand too many. Disconnect the strand and plug it in to a different outlet.
The other problem could be that you are placing too much of a load on a single circuit. Are the lights dim? Do they go out and come back on? Are you finding that you are blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers? That is a clear sign that you are drawing too much power from a single outlet. Relocate your lights to a less used power source.
If only one strand at a time keeps going out, it could be surging and blowing the fuse within the strand. This happens quite a bit if you are using different types of strands in a single chain. Look at the wires and make note of the types of lights you are stringing together. If different strands in a chain run on different amp sizes, that can cause problems that include frequent blowouts.
Another less-considered cause for holiday light failure is moisture. Where do you store your lights? If they are exposed to humidity all summer there is a god chance that moisture has collected inside some of the sockets.
Even a few tiny particles of water can blow a socket and cause a light to stop working. Store your lights in a plastic storage container or bag and keep them free from moisture, rain and humidity.
Try also not to stretch the wires when rolling up long strands. Stretching the wires even a little bit can create problems that lead to failure of the entire strand.
Keeping these issues in mind will help ensure that your holiday lightsare always dependable and keep working properly for years.