Troubleshooting and Fixing Common Christmas Lights Problems
Tips & Tricks

Troubleshooting and Fixing Common Christmas Lights Problems

One of the most exciting things about the Christmas holidays is light decoration. Many people start putting up their Christmas lights as early as November. However, taking out your lights from storage can be met with a lot of disappointment.

You may come across problems such as partly light strands, wholly burnt-out strands, loose or missing bulbs, and abnormal lighting. Diagnosing and fixing Christmas lights can be frustrating, especially if you own many light strands. But with some patience, a few specialty tools, and our guide, you will be able to repair most Christmas light problems.

How to hang Christmas lights on a tree

The guide below will help you hand your Christmas tree lights like a pro.

First of all, the number of light strands to use on your Christmas tree typically depends on how much light you want on your tree. However, most decorators recommend 100-150 mini lights per foot.

  • Test each strand by plugging it in and checking for any dark spots.
  • After testing the lights, connect multiple light strings to get a continuous strand.
  • Hold the end of your Christmas light set, and starting from the top, wind the string of lights around the tree to the bottom. Be careful not to cross the cord over itself.
  • Set back from the tree, look at it, and make necessary adjustments. Avoid tangling the lights by working them in reverse.
  • Once you’re satisfied with your design, you can tuck and hide any extra light strands behind the branches at the bottom of the tree.

What causes a section of Christmas lights to go out?

It’s important to know that shorter Christmas lights consist of a single long circuit. But longer Christmas lights consist of several different circuits connected. These lights are called incandescent lights. Therefore, if a section of the light is not working, there is a problem affecting one individual circuit that powers the affected bulbs. One of the three issues could explain why the lights are partially out:

A disconnected bulb

If one of the bulbs on the light string has come out of its socket or is loose, it can’t complete the circuit. Light strings with 50 or more bulbs consist of two or more continuous circuits. So if a bulb in a circuit is loose or disconnected, only the bulbs in that series will go off.

The solution: Visually inspect all the wires in the burnt-out section. Gently check if any bulbs are loose or out of their socket without pulling them out completely. The problem is usually with the first bulb closest to the power outlet, and this is where the circuit transitions to the next circuit. If you find a wonky bulb, a missing bulb, or a partially unseated one from the socket, replace the bulb. Alternatively, use a bulb tester to locate the defective bulb. A disconnected bulb will not light up the tester indicator light.

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Excess light string voltage rating

If you exceed the rating of the light string, the current will blow out the shunt wire at the base of each bulb. This shunts wire conducts electricity through the string. When this wire burns, the rest of the bulbs in that series do not light up.

The solution: Check the rating on your Christmas lights and do not add more lights than recommended. Inspect the bulbs on the burnt-out section, and the damaged bulbs will have a smoked appearance on the inside and require replacing.

Defective wiring or filament

If all the bulbs are correctly seated and none has burnt out, there could be a problem with the wiring in a specific circuit in the Christmas light string. You will notice a break or tear on the Christmas lights insulation, preventing power conductivity. If the filaments break, the shunt wire redirects the current through the bulb’s base to maintain electric current. But if the shunt wire.

The solution: Buy new Christmas lights.

How do you know which bulb is out on Christmas lights?

There are two ways to find a bad bulb on Christmas lights: You can manually check each bulb for signs of shorting or using a light tester.

Manual testing

If you do not have a tester, you can tell which bulb is faulty by observing the tiny filaments in the light bulbs. For example, a bulb with a burnt-out filament will not work. The bulb will also be blackened or sooty inside. Usually, if it’s just the filaments burned out, the other bulbs will still be working. But if the shunt wire has also disconnected, the rest of the bulbs on that circuit won’t work. The shunt wire is at the bulb’s base that conducts electricity to the rest of the bulbs on the string.

Using a light tester

Incandescent string lights

These lights commonly come in a series. That means the current passes through each bulb to complete the circuit. Therefore one bad bulb can make the while string go out. The best way to find a bad bulb on incandescent lights is using a light tester:

  • Identify the affected area. Start from the first bulb closest to the plug if the entire strand is off. If only part of the strand is out, start from the first blown-out bulb in the darkened section.
  • Place the tester close to each bulb, and the tester’s indicator will illuminate when the bulb is functioning.
  • If the indicator on the tester doesn’t light up, then that bulb is defective.
  • If you have a non-contact voltage detector, hold the detector close to the wire between each bulb to test for current.
  • No current reading on the detector means the bad bulb that’s not passing current.

LED Christmas lights.

Most LED Christmas lights do not have removable bulbs, so the circuit won’t cut off if one bulb goes out. The non-removable bulbs in LED light strands prevent burning out, but loose bulbs are still a problem. Here’s how to identify the bad bulb on an LED Christmas light strand:

  • Start from one end or in the burnt-out section of the string and use a bulb tester to find the faulty bulb.
  • Place the tester on each bulb, check if they are passing current. If there is no reading, the bulb is loose in the socket.
  • Ensure all the bulbs are tight into their socket. Then, re-seat the bulb and test again. If there is still no current, then it means the filament has burnt out, and you may need to get a new LED Christmas light strand.

How to use a Christmas lights tester

Typically, Christmas lights come in series. This means that every bulb must be functioning for the entire string to illuminate. Therefore when you have bad bulbs on your strand set, it’s crucial to identify the defective bulbs, remove them and replace them.

You can manually check each bulb by replacing it with a functional bulb, but that method is time-consuming and not always efficient. So instead, you can use light testers. These devices can identify a defective bulb by detecting the electromagnetic vibration generated by the current. Below is a guide on how to use a Christmas light tester.

  • Press the red or black button on the tester and move it over the tip of each bulb.
  • The red indicator on the tester will light up when near a functioning bulb but will go off when near a faulty bulb.
  • Most tester also includes a bulb remover at the opposite end of the sensor.
  • Slide the remover out and position the middle nook of the tool.
  • Gently pry the tool to loosen and remove the bulb from its socket.
  • To test individual bulbs, remove the bulb from the light strand and insert it into the light tester slot.  A bad bulb will not light, but a functional bulb will.
  • Another type of Christmas light tester, such as the LightPro Keeper, forces AC into the defective shunts, fixes the shunt, and gets your bulbs working again.

How to test Christmas lights with a multimeter

Most people test Christmas lights using the non-contact voltage tester, which is also relatively easy to use. But most people don’t know you can also use a multimeter for the same job. A multimeter is slightly more challenging to operate because the probes have to be in direct contact with the wires to get a continuity reading.

When testing burnt-out Christmas lights with a multimeter, there are three parts you need to try:

  1. The bulbs
  2. The wires for damages
  3. The outlet or fuses

All these parts are responsible for passing the current that lights up the string of Christmas lights. If any of these parts are damaged, there will be a complete or sectional burn. Below is the procedure for testing Christmas lights using a multimeter.

Testing fuses and circuitry

  • Make sure the string is unplugged.
  • Set up the multimeter by adjusting the dial until the arrow points to ohms of resistance. Plug the black lead into the socket and the red lead into the volts-ohms (VΩ) socket. Touch the leads together. Since there is no wire between them, the resistance reading should be zero.
  • Fix one of the probes in the neutral slot of the female socket. The neutral slot is the larger prong.
  • Then attach the remaining multimeter probe to the larger prong of the male plug.
  • Observe the reading on the multimeter. If the two polarized prongs are the same size, test them both. If both prongs do not give a zero reading, switch the probe to the other smaller slot on the lights female plug and try both prongs again.  If the reading is on any of the four combinations is zero, it indicates low resistance; the wiring is good and has continuity.  If the reading is on the infinite ohms, there is no connectivity, meaning the wire is damaged.
  • If you do not have a zero reading, check the fuse in the male plug.
  • Locate the fuse nestled between the prongs and then pull the prongs out of the housing.
  • Observe the fuse and if it has blackened or the filament inside has broken. If the fuse has short, replace it and test the string for continuity. If you’re still not getting a zero reading, buy new Christmas lights.

Testing for bad bulbs

  • Make sure the lights are unplugged.
  • Start on one end of the blackened string and test each bulb in sequence.
  • Hold the socket on the one hand and the bulb in the other and sharply pull the bulb out.
  • You will notice two wires coming out of the socket from the bottom and curled up along the side of the bulb.
  • Separate these two wires far apart.
  • Position one multimeter probe on one of the wires on the bulb and the other probe on the other bulb wire and check the meter.
  • If the reading is zero, the bulb is good.
  • If there is a high resistance reading, the bulb is faulty and requires replacing.
  • Move to the socket that follows and repeat the same steps on all the blackened bulbs.

How to fix Christmas lights when the whole string is out

If the entire strand of Christmas lights is out, the lights are likely on a single circuit. This series involves electricity passing through each bulb to complete the circuit and light up the Christmas set.

Several reasons can cause the entire Christmas light string to go out, such as a bad bulb, damaged wire, blown fuse, or corroded outlet. Here is how you can repair the issue with a few tools.

1. Diagnose the issue

Carefully inspect each string of lights and look for any damage to the wire. If the wiring insulation is damaged, frayed, or broken, discard the string and buy another one. Make sure the Christmas lights are unplugged from an electrical outlet before starting the repair.

2. Find the bad bulb

If your Christmas lights are in a single series and the wiring is intact, there is a faulty bulb. You can locate the bad bulb using a bulb tester or multimeter. The bulb that doesn’t give a zero reading on the multimeter or doesn’t light up the tester’s indicator is the faulty one. First, check if it is loose or seated partially into its socket. If it is loose, just press it down firmly into its socket.

You can also remove the bulb and inspect the two small wires extending from its base. Ensure they are firmly attached but also not touching each other. Also, each wire should lay flat against the outside of the bulb. If the wires are disconnected, you have to reinstall a new bulb.

Another easy way to find a bad bulb is by using a bulb tester or multimeter. If the bulb is faulty, remove it and replace it with one with the proper voltage rating, or you risk damaging the entire light string.

3. Fix the faulty filament or shunt wire

A faulty shunt wire is another reason your Christmas light set is not lighting up. As earlier stated, if the filament burns out, the shunt wire redirects current through the bulb’s base to the rest of the string. If the shunt wire breaks too, the entire set of lights won’t work.

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The best way to fix a faulty shunt is by plugging the Christmas light set to identify the bad bulb that breaks the current. Then insert the LightKeeper Pro tool into the bulb’s socket and press the trigger to activate a piezo circuit. This tool will shoot a high-energy pulse through the light string. Press the trigger about 20 times, and any faulty shunt should be re-activated.

4. Fix the burnt fuse

If the voltage tester doesn’t detect anything wrong with the wire or bulb, you could be dealing with a fried fuse. First, check the fuse behind a small sliding cover on the male end of the plug. Then, use the LightKeeper Pro to test if the fuse is working and replace it with a new one of the same amperage indicated on the plug.

If after all the repairs and the Christmas lights don’t work, consider buying a new light set. Try using LED Christmas lights as they are much more energy-efficient and are programmable to display different colors and patterns. LED lights are also more durable and rarely burn out than incandescent lights.

How much power do my Christmas draw?

How much electricity your Christmas lights use depends on the size and type of bulbs, whether incandescent or LED. Incandescent lights wattage is 80-90% more than LED lights wattage; therefore, the cost for incandescent lights will be about 90 times more than LED lights. However, LED lights that twinkle and flash will use nearly twice as much electricity as those with steady lighting.

Incandescent Christmas lights use about 5 watts of electricity per bulb. C7 bulbs use about 5 to 7 watts, and C9 bulbs use approximately 7 to 10 watts of power. It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t exceed 1000 watts on a single household breaker.

The table below compares the power consumption of LED and incandescent Christmas lights in watts.

Type of bulbNumber of bulbsIncandescent wattsLED watts
Mini lights1000408 watts69 watts
C-Bulb3002,100 watts29 watts

How do I know if my Christmas light fuse has blown?

Fuses protect the entire Christmas light set from burning by opening the circuit(Blowing) when the electric current exceeds a safe level. If you’ve tested the bulbs and wires on the string, and they are fine, but the string still won’t light up, then a blown fuse is the most probable culprit. That is because one or two fuse bulbs power the lights. To confirm if you’re dealing with a blown fuse:

  • Unplug the Christmas lights from power.
  • Remove the fuse from its holder in the male plug.
  • You can tell the fuse is blown by sight. The metal filament inside the glass cylinder has broken, or the glass cylinder will have darkened.
  • Use a multimeter if you cannot see if the fuse has blown.
  • Set the multimeter to the resistance or Ohms (Ω) setting.
  • Place one of the multimeter probes on one end of the fuse and the other probe on the other end of the fuse.
  • If the reading is 0 to 5 ohms, the fuse is good. However, if the reading is OL(Over Limit), then the fuse is blown.

How to find and replace Christmas light fuse

Once you have confirmed your Christmas light fuse has blown, replace it with one with the same amperage and voltage rating. Here is how to correctly replace the fuse:

  • First, disconnect the Christmas lights from power.
  • Locate it in the male plug of your Christmas lights. Find a small sliding door on one side of the plug with an arrow. Slide-out this door to find the fuse or fuses inside.
  • Pry out the fuse using a flathead screwdriver or a similar tool.
  • After confirming the fuse or fuses are blown, check for the rating inscribed on the metal cap at one end, usually three to five amps.
  • Find a fuse with a similar rating. Some strings come with spare fuses inside the male plug.
  • Install the new fuse or fuses into the fuse socket inside the male plug carefully not to damage them.
  • Make sure they are secure and undamaged, then close the plug door.
  • Plug the Christmas lights back to power and test if they work.

How to fix a cut wire on Christmas lights

Christmas light wires are fragile and can easily tear from pulling or constant curling. However, if you notice a break on the wire, there is a way you can fix it using the guide below.

Thing you need

  1. Electrical tape
  2. Pliers
  3. Scissors or craft knife
  4. Soldering iron
  5. Solder


  • Unplug the Christmas lights from power.
  • Assess the extent of the cut. Is the wire inside the insulating coating torn, or is it just the insulation? If it is only the insulation, wrap the damaged part securely with electrical tape and skip the rest of the steps.
  • Strip the insulation a few inches down from the cut if the wire is completely cut. Next, cut a slit down the insulation with the craft knife and then peel it back to expose more wire.
  • Twist about an inch or two of the wires together.
  • Solder hot wire over the light wiring to make a solid connection.
  • Wrap all the exposed wiring in electrical tape, ensuring it is completely and securely covered.
  • Plug the Christmas lights to test the repair.

Christmas lights suddenly got brighter.

If your Christmas lights suddenly become brighter than usual, it’s a sign that the voltage is too high and runs the risk of burning out. This problem, however, is not common with LED lights as they use less electricity and last much longer. So when the Christmas light gets brighter, you probably have a few seconds before the string goes out. Then, you can unplug the Christmas lights, inspect them for loose or burnt-out bulbs and replace them.

Another reason your Christmas lights would get brighter is if you’re experiencing electrical problems in your home. Other bulbs will also flicker or become more glowing if this is the case. You should switch off the power at the breaker to avoid burning out the bulbs and other appliances and call in an electrician to diagnose and fix the problem.

Why are half of my Christmas lights blinking?

There are many reasons why half of your Christmas lights are flashing. They include:

You have a blinking bulb

If your Christmas light string has multiple circuits, the blinking bulb will cause only the bulbs on its circuit to also flash.  The solution is to unplug the lights and locate the blinking bulb. Blinking bulbs have either a red or silvertip on them.

  • Disconnect the blinking bulb and replace it with a non-blinking bulb; if your Christmas lights are colored, install a solid-colored bulb. If your lights are white, use a non-blinking clear bulb.
  • Connect the Christmas lights and see if they are still blinking. If the blinking continues, there much be another blinking bulb on that circuit.
  • Inspect the strand of lights again, remove the blinking bulb and replace it with a non-blinking one.

Loose plug

If the plug end of your Christmas lights is not firmly seated into the outlet, part of the bulbs will flash because the strand is not receiving enough current. Get your Christmas lights working properly by gently pressing the two prongs on the plug closer to one another and make sure the plug fits properly into the power outlet.

Faulty wiring

Christmas lights have fragile wires that are prone to damage, especially during installation and storage. Visually inspect the strand, and if the wire has broken, it is best to replace it with a new set of Christmas lights.

Outdoor Christmas lights keep turning off.

Outdoor Christmas lights are special lights that can withstand the elements. Therefore, rain, snow, and ice should not be a reason why your outdoor lights are turning off. The most probable causes for this issue could be either a tripped circuit breaker or too many strands on one power outlet. Follow our tips below to prevent your outdoor Christmas lights from turning off.

Overloaded Christmas lights strand

A common mistake most people make with outdoor Christmas lights is chaining too many light strings together. This could cause two problems. First, the wiring would experience attenuation, which is the gradual loss of signal over an extended length of wire. Then, disconnect one or two strands and plug them into a separate outlet. Most brands advise against connecting more than three strands of lights to avoid blowing fuses or straining the circuitry, and blowing the shunt wire.

Overloaded circuit

The other problem could be that you have overloaded a single circuit. For example, if the bulbs are dim, they keep going off and on, and the fuses keep blowing is a clear sign that the lights are drawing too much power from one outlet.

The electrical rule of thumb is not to load a circuit with more than 80% of its rating. For instance, standard household electrical outlets are on at least 15-amp and 20-amp circuits. Therefore, a 15-amp circuit can safely support a 16-amp Christmas lights strand, while a 15-amp circuit can handle 12 amps of lights.

By summing up the amperage draw of your lights, you’ll know how many you can put on a single circuit. First, check the rating on the plug. If the rating is in wattage, divide the wattage by 120 to get the amperage. The solution is to distribute the power draw across a variety of outlets.

Different strands on a single chain

If only a single strand keeps going out at a time, there could be a power surge and a blowing fuse within that strand. This problem is likely if you connect different strands in a single chain. Inspect your lights and take note of the types of lights you have. Other types of light strands run on different wattages, which can cause a frequent blowout.

Incandescent lights are also prone to heating up, while LEDs thrive in cooler conditions. Therefore, using both lights on the same strand will cause heat to accumulate around the fixture, and the LEDs will start malfunctioning. Using these two technologies together will cause incompatibilities.

You have to separate the different strands and plug them into separate outlets.

Tripped circuit breaker

If the circuitry is not overloaded, but the outdoor Christmas lights continue turning, it probably means there is a short somewhere in the line. In addition, there are open wires likely touching but not connecting, meaning electricity is flowing through both circuits instead of one. As a result, the Christmas lights shut off.

Also, when the Christmas lights stay in storage for too long, rodents can chew off the insulation, or it can break from the tugging during installation. Frayed wiring then leads to short-circuiting.

The best way to fix this is to examine the wires for any damage and cover the raw wires with electrical tape. If the issue persists, you may have to get a new set of strands.

Bad grounding systems

Electrical grounding systems are safety devices that prevent power surges that increase the risk of fires and injury. They work by cutting off power from an outlet if there is a leak in the power cord. If they fail, they allow excess current to pass through and risk surging. If you do not have grounding systems, invest in ground-fault circuit interrupters(GFCIs) for your outdoor lights.

The most common reason for a failing GFCI is a loose electrical connection or the outlet itself. Check the cords for loose connections and make sure they are tight. The male blades should not be visible. If the plug is loose, you can replace it with a heavy-duty three-pronged extension cord for outdoor use.

Water damage

Although outdoor Christmas lights are resistant to cold and wet conditions, moisture can collect inside the sockets and cords when in storage. The moisture will corrode the sockets and make them prone to tripping.

Also, several inches of rain can be too much for the outdoor Christmas lights. If you notice them going off, check the ceiling, floors, and walls around the outlets to ensure they are not leaking or pooling water. Keep the plugs and cords dry by wrapping them with electrical tape or plastic wrap to prevent them from soaking in moisture.

The C9 LED Christmas lights troubleshooting.

C9 Christmas lights are the largest strawberry-shaped lights which measure 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/2 inches long with permanently fixed bulbs. These lights are energy-efficient, super-bright, and long-lasting as they can shine for 50,000 hours. However, C9 LED lights are not without fault. Here is how you can quickly troubleshoot them when necessary.

  • Remove the bad LED bulbs from the strand. Connect Your Christmas lights to power and identify any malfunctioning lights- they flicker, are dimly lit, or are not lit at all-and then mark them. Then unplug your light strands and remove all the defective bulbs.
  • Replace all the removed bulbs with new bulbs. If this doesn’t solve the issue, continue with troubleshooting.
  • Check if the fuse has blown. Locate the fuse behind an access door on the strand’s male plug. If the glass cylinder has darkened, then it has blown out. Replace the fuse with a new one of the same rating and test if the C9 LED Christmas lights are working.
  • If replacing a fuse doesn’t work, there could be a broken or corroded wire. Although you can fix a broken wire, it is still a fire hazard if the electrical tape comes off without your knowledge. Therefore, it is best to replace the entire strand with a new one.

Troubleshooting NOMA LED Christmas lights.

NOMA lights are a pretty popular brand, but reports say that their Christmas lights quality has significantly reduced over time.

Like other LED light brands, NOMA lights always fail as a short circuit in the shunts. The best way to troubleshoot this issue is to identify the bulb with a burnt-out shunt. This repair can be very time as you will have to go through all the bulbs on the string. It is easier if only part of the LED lights have gone out, as you will only look for the faulty bulb on the burnt-out section. It is more time-consuming if the entire strand has gone off.

Check this too: Upgrading Your Garage Lights to LEDs: The Definitive Guide

Another common LED Christmas lights problem is when wires break or fuses blow. Again, it is pretty rare as LED lights take up very little power. But sometimes, the wires break from poor storage or by roughly tugging the wires during installation. In other instances,  excess external heat can soften the plastic coating and allow the external lead to shift and break. The best solution for a broken circuit due to damaged wires is to replace the entire LED strand.

Troubleshooting icicle Christmas lights

Icicle lights typically hang along your house’s roofline, but they are several decorative applications. Most people connect several strands and plug them into an outdoor extension cord. They are for indoor and outdoor use, resistant to wind and rain, but not submerged in water or mud.

Like standard Christmas lights, icicle lights are prone to flickering or the strand failing to work. Below is how you can diagnose and troubleshoot your icicle Christmas lights.

  • Before attempting to troubleshoot your icicle lights, verify the outlet that you’re using is working correctly. Remove the extension cord and plug in another device like a lamp. If this device works, then the extension cord is okay, and you can continue with repairs. If it’s not working, replace the extension cord.
  • Locate the icicle light strand farthest from the power outlet and unplug it from the circuit. Check to see if the rest of the strands light up or stop flickering. Most times, too many strands can cause the rest of the line to go out or to glow dimly. Removing an extra strand ensures the bulbs have enough current to share and illuminate as intended.
  • If removing an extra strand doesn’t fix the issue, move to the next farthest strand from the outlet and disconnect it. Then, check if the rest of the strands light up.
  • If the issue persists, check the other strands for bad bulbs. Look for blown bulbs or loosely-connected bulbs. Gently press each bulb into the socket to ensure the filaments connect securely with the socket components. If you stop any blown bulbs, replace them with similar ones. Next, plug the strand and see if it lights up. If not, continue with the next step.
  • Check the fuse and make sure it has not blown out. Then remove the fuse from the access door on the male plug and check for darkening. If the fuse is in good condition and the lights are not working, there must be a problem with a shunt wire.
  • To find out which strand has the short shunt wire, you will have to disconnect every icicle light strand from the circuitry. Then check if the rest are working. If you remove a strand and the icicle lights start working, the issue is on the removed strand.

Troubleshooting 3-wire Christmas lights

Three-wire Christmas lights are light wires in a series. One wire connects all the bulbs in a series, and the other two wires connect to each side of the circuit, thus- series, hot and neutral wires. Basic mini Christmas lights and LED light strings have three wires.

If your three-wire Christmas lights start presenting problems, such as the entire strand going off or a section of the strand stops working, you can use the guide below to troubleshoot the issue.

  • Gently unravel your strand of light without tugging them or tangling to avoid breaking the wires.
  • Plug the light into an outlet.
  • Unscrew the first bulb from the outlet if the entire strand is off. If only a section of the strand is dark, remove the first bulb in the dark area.
  • Then install the new bulb into the socket and if the light strand doesn’t light up, reinstall the older bulb and continue with troubleshooting.
  • Unplug the lights and find the two fuses inside the AC plug. Open the access door and pry out the fuses with a butter knife or flathead screwdriver.
  • If the fuses are dark, that means they have blown out and need replacing.
  • Reconnect the lights to power and see if the lights turn on.
  • If the lights do not come on, check each bulb and ensure it is secure in its hole. Loose bulbs will cut off current from passing through. Then carefully screw in any loose bulbs and ensure they sit straight into the socket.

Troubleshooting GE LED Christmas lights.

General Electric(GE) is also another popular brand that manufactures a variety of holiday and traditional lighting. Like all LED models, the GE LED Christmas lights are more durable and longer-lasting than traditional incandescent lights, and they barely draw any electricity at all. However, sometimes these lights may refuse to turn on or glow dimly. Follow the guide below to get your GE LED Christmas lights working again.

Some of the possible reasons for your LED lights going off include:

  1. Wall outlet without power ( 120V )
  2. Foot Pedal did not switch ON
  3. Defective Adapter
  4. Defective Foot Pedal Switch
  • Check if the 120V wall outlet is working by plugging in other household appliances like electric lamp shades to confirm.
  • Plug the fully assembled tree into the wall outlet after confirming the
  • outlet is working.
  • Step on the footswitch to a different function several times to make sure
  • the tree has not turned off.
  • If the above troubleshooting doesn’t work, check the adaptor:
    • Disconnect adapter from the foot pedal switch cord.
    • Disconnect the foot pedal switch cord from the tree.
    • Then directly connect the adapter to the tree’s pole male connector.
    • Plug the tree adapter into a 120V outlet or an extension cord if necessary. If the whole tree or any sections light up, the foot pedal cord is defective needs replacement.
  • If the tree doesn’t light up, continue with troubleshooting.
    • Unplug the adapter from the wall outlet and disconnect from the tree’s male connector.
    • Disconnect a light string set from the tree.
    • Directly connect the adapter to the tree light string.
    • Plug the tree adapter into a 120V outlet or use and an extension cord if necessary.
  • If the tree light string does not light up, the broken adapter needs a replacement.
  • If the tree light string lights up, the connection between the bottom section and the tree’s upper section is defective and needs a replacement.

Troubleshooting parallel Christmas lights

The main difference between lights wired in series and parallel is that each bulb is on its circuit to the power source in parallel. Therefore, if a bulb blows out in a parallel connection, it doesn’t affect the remaining lights. You can also mix LED and incandescent bulbs in parallel without compromising the bulbs. You can also shorten the light strands into desired shorter lengths. Here’s how you can repair parallel Christmas lights:

  • Check the fuse and replace it if it has blown out. If you want to use the lights without replacing the blown fuse, you have to either reduce the number of bulbs or shorten the length of the light string before plugging it into power.
  • If replacing the fuse doesn’t work, there may be a break in the wiring.
  • Check the wiring harness for damage. If you notice any damage to the wire, you can fix the issue by splicing and reconnecting the wires with some gilbert plugs.
  • If the damage to the wiring is too extensive, pull out the bulbs and replace them with a new cord.


There are several things that can cause Christmas problems. While some are preventable, others may be just beyond your control, and you may have to replace your entire Christmas light set. However, one thing is for sure, if you’re looking for durable and energy-efficient Christmas lights, you should consider changing to LEDs. Either way, we hope our article will help you understand some easy ways to fix the most common Christmas lights problems.