How to find bad christmas tree light
How To Fix Christmas Lights
The joyous holiday season is nearly upon us, but there’s one tradition I hope to avoid this year: dealing with burned-out Christmas lights.
Each holiday season I unpack, untangle, and plug in the previous year’s mini lights, only to discover they don’t work. Sometimes individual lights are burned out, and other times the entire string seems dead. Are these lights worth saving, or should I just toss them out and buy new ones?
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I admit that diagnosing and fixing Christmas lights can be frustrating, but with a little determination and a few specialty tools, you can repair most faulty light strings.
How to Fix Christmas Lights
filo//Getty Images1. Diagnose the problem.
Carefully inspect each string of lights before plugging it into an electrical outlet. If you see cracked or slit insulation, frayed or bare wires, or damaged plugs, discard the string.
Now, determine if it’s actually a bad bulb causing the malfunction or something else. If it’s a smaller light set, it’s likely wired in series: the electrical current passes through each individual bulb in order to complete the circuit and illuminate the set.
The More You Know
- A Brief History of Christmas Lights
Larger light sets often have two or more circuits wired in parallel, which explains why sometimes just a section of the string goes dark. In most cases, simply replacing one bad bulb will fix the entire set or one darkened section of it.2. Find the bad bulb, and swap it out.
Locating the one faulty bulb that’s causing the problem can be tricky. The best option is to use either an electrician’s multimeter or a tool specifically designed for repairing Christmas lights, such as the Lightkeeper Pro. It combines a voltage detector, bulb remover, bulb and fuse testers, and shunt repairer in one compact tool.
You may be able to reveal the bad bulb by simply plugging the lights into an electrical outlet. If you’re lucky, the “bad” bulb isn’t actually bad at all. It may just be loose and needs to be pressed down more firmly into its socket.
Also, remove the bulb and look closely at the two tiny wires protruding from its base. They should be firmly attached and not touching each other. Plus, each wire should be laid flat against the outside of the bulb. When you push the bulb back into its socket, the wires complete the electrical connection.
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You can also test the bulb using the LightKeeper Pro, or a multimeter. If you discover the bulb is burned out or damaged, replace it with a new bulb. Just be sure it has the proper voltage rating or you risk damaging the whole light set.3. Fix the faulty filament or shunt.
If all or part of a string of lights is dark, the problem may be a broken filament or a faulty shunt. (A shunt is a device that allows current to continue flowing through a circuit by creating a path of lower resistance than the original path. In incandescent holiday lights, shunts are small wires wrapped beneath the filament.)
If a bulb’s filament breaks, the shunt redirects current through the base of the bulb, maintaining the electrical circuit. A faulty shunt may sound like a catastrophic failure, but you can often fix it with the LightKeeper Pro.
Simply plug in the light strand and remove a bulb that’s in or near the dark section. Next, insert the tool into the bulb’s socket and squeeze the trigger to activate a piezo circuit. A high-energy pulse will shoot through the set and after about 20 pulses any faulty shunt should be re-activated. Pretty cool, right?
Gear Up for the Holidays
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If you’re still having trouble locating the broken circuit, try using a voltage detector. You can buy one for about $10 or so, but there’s also one built into the LightKeeper Pro.4. Replace the fried fuse.
If the voltage detector doesn’t find anything wrong, there’s one more thing to try: Check the tiny fuse located behind a small sliding door on the male end of the plug. If the fuse is fried (you can check it with the LightKeeper Pro), replace it with a new one of the same amperage, which should be indicated on the plug. If after all the testing the light string still doesn’t illuminate, it’s time to get some new lights.5. Upgrade your lights.
- The 9 Best Christmas Lights, Tested by Real People
If you’re buying new lights, consider upgrading to LED Christmas lights. There are many benefits to LEDs that make them a great choice over incandescents. They’re more energy efficient, last much longer, and can be programmed to display different colors and patterns. Plus, LED lights are more durable and less likely to break than traditional bulbs. Here are some of our favorite string Christmas lights for indoors and out.
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Joe is a former carpenter and cabinetmaker who writes extensively about remodeling, woodworking, and tool techniques. He has written eight books and is a contributing editor to Popular Mechanics. He also appears on the Today’s Homeowner TV show, and co-hosts the weekly Today’s Homeowner Radio Show. Joe writes from his home in Roxbury, Connecticut.
Locating the Bad Bulb in a Christmas Light Strand
It’s one of the most common holiday time problems: an entire section or strand of holiday lights is out. The problem often lies with just one bulb. The problem is, it can be difficult to isolate that bulb, especially if it is part of a particularly long strand.
If you want to spend more time enjoying your holiday display than you do setting it up, you will need to figure out a way to find that bulb and replace it quickly.
Using a Light Tester
The easiest and fastest way to find a bad bulb in a holiday light strand is through the use of a light tester. Many light sets come with one, but they can also be purchased inexpensively from many sources including hardware and department stores. Many stores keep them in the seasonal section along with the holiday lights. They are also easy to find from numerous online vendors.
Some light testers have green and red LED Christmas lights and a pointed tip. The device interprets whether a light is operating properly or if it is receiving current but halting the flow of electricity through the rest of the strand. A red light indicates a bad bulb. A green light indicates a bulb that is functioning properly.
If there is no light, it means that there is no current reaching the bulb. You can find the bad bulb with either a red light or no light. The red light is the obvious one since that bulb is clearly not working. No light means that the bulb directly preceding it is the culprit and needs to be replaced.
How to Use the Tester
The best way to test the bulbs is to lay the strand flat and test each light in succession. If you are working with a pre-lit holiday tree, try to determine where the strands begin and end and test them one at a time (most pre-lit trees consist of several strands).
Insert the tip of the tester between the two wires that come out of the socket. Make sure that no other wires are touching the tester. Only the two wires that are attached to the socket should be touching it.
Now, press the test button. If you get a red light, you have found the bad bulb. Replace it and test the strand. If the lights all come on, you’re done. If not, there is another bad light somewhere on the strand. Continue testing to find it.
If the tester fails to reveal the offending light or lights in the strand, additional troubleshooting will be necessary.
First, unplug the strand from its power source. If possible, rotate the plug by a half turn and plug it bak in. Doing so will reverse the polarity and aid in revealing a red light when the current reaches the first bad bulb.
If you find that multiple strings refuse to light, disconnect them if they are chained together and test each individually. If the string has a fuse in its power plug, the fuse could be blown. If that is the case, simply replace it and all the lights should work properly.
Published on December 19, 2014
Categories: Christmas Light Installation Denver CO Christmas Lights
New Year's photo shoot: how to make gorgeous shots at home and in the studio
The modern reality is this: if there are no photos from the holiday, we can assume that it never happened. Therefore, now you will learn how to get pictures that your friends like. And all you need for this is nothing: a little knowledge and a stylish light decor Luazon Lighting.
For a home photo shoot
At first glance, it seems that shooting at home is a bad idea. Not everyone can boast of good lighting and an ideal instagrammable interior. But they will not be needed if you organize an evening photo shoot with garlands. All you need is threads with lights that will transform even a boring interior and a good mood. The photos will turn out to be atmospheric, and the shooting budget will be minimal, because you will be able to save on the studio and the services of the photographer.
What decor to choose
Ordinary thread garlands are suitable for decorating a home photo zone. It is preferable to choose not multi-colored, but light bulbs with a warm yellow glow. They will best convey the cozy atmosphere of the holiday. And they will also be beautifully blurred with gold in the background.
What additional props to take
Depends on the idea of shooting. For a pajama party, you will need appropriate clothes and pillows, for a photo shoot with a Christmas tree, the tree itself and toys. For pictures with a pet, prepare a funny outfit for the animal. Connect your imagination and be creative!
How to pose
It's better not to think about it at all. The house is a recreation area, so the prepared poses will look feigned. Just have fun, dance, eat, chat. The camera will capture live emotions.
For a studio photo shoot
In a photo studio, the interior is carefully selected, and the lighting is perfect, so the task of lighting decor is different: not to mask the shortcomings, but to enhance the advantages. Shooting can take place in bright sunlight, so it is very important that the equipment looks aesthetically pleasing even when turned off.
Which decoration to choose
Opt for light figures and garlands with unusual attachments - they will look beautiful at any time of the day.
What and how to decorate
The main element of any New Year's composition is a Christmas tree. It is convenient to place a large figure under it: a festive deer, a white bear or a snowman. You can interact with them in the frame, so the pictures near the Christmas tree will turn out more interesting. Inanimate objects - gift boxes or stars - can also become participants in the shooting. Tree branches can be supplemented with luminous toys.
The table and shelves are decorated with small figures, as well as lanterns and LED candles. They are safer than ordinary ones, as they do not require open fire.
Thin thread-like garlands are suitable for decorating a mirror or decorating holiday wreaths. If there are coniferous branches in the interior, they can be wrapped in a garland - it will turn out unobtrusively and elegantly. To fill an empty wall or fireplace opening, use a curtain or fringe.
How to pose
Before shooting, examine the space from the photo to understand what props you will work with. Usually this is easy to do on the studio website. In the same place, sometimes you can see examples of work and choose successful shots that you like.
If there are no pictures on the site, look for examples on the Internet. This will give you ideas on how to interact with different props. Save several poses in different positions. For example, standing by the Christmas tree, sitting by the fireplace, lying on a blanket. And then try to repeat them in front of the mirror. If the photo session is family, you need to rehearse together. This will give you the confidence to shoot.
Mood is important for a photo session. Therefore, do not think much about the flawlessness of the photo: the photographer will tell you how to correct the composition and find a good angle. You are required to relax and enjoy the process. Then the frames will be sincere, and this is much more important than ideality.
Now you know that you don't need much for a magical New Year's photo session. Choose Luazon Lighting lighting decor and get shots that everyone will envy!
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How to fix an LED garland - 5 reasons why it doesn't work, diagram, do-it-yourself repair
We are all familiar with Christmas tree garlands, consisting of multi-colored light bulbs. However, in recent years, products based on led light-emitting diodes have become very popular.
How they are arranged, what connection scheme they have and what to do if the garland stops glowing, we will consider in detail in this article.
What does a Christmas tree garland consist of
What is a garland of LEDs?
Outwardly, it is almost the same product as before - wires, light bulbs (LED), control unit.
The most important element is of course the control unit. A small plastic box on which all kinds of backlight operation modes are indicated.
They change with a simple push of a button. The block itself can be with a fairly well protected level of moisture and dust protection IP44.
What does he have inside? To open it, use the sharp tip of a knife or a thin screwdriver to pry the latches from the bottom and take off the protective cover.
By the way, sometimes it is glued, and not just sitting on snaps.
First of all, inside you will see the wires soldered to the board. A thicker wire is usually a mains wire that supplies 220V.
Soldered on the board:
- controller, which creates all the lighting effects
- thyristors, each of them goes to a separate channel of the garland
- and diode bridges
The number of board elements depends primarily on the number of light channels of the garland. More expensive models may have a fuse.
LED garland circuit
Mains alternating voltage through resistors and a diode bridge, already rectified and smoothed through a capacitor, is fed to the supply controller.
In this case, this voltage is supplied through the button, which is open in the normal state. When you close it, the controller modes switch.
The controller in turn controls the thyristors. Their number depends on the number of backlight channels. And after the thyristors, the output power goes directly to the LEDs in the garland.
The more such exits, the more diverse the color patterns the product can have. If there are only two of them, this means that only two parts (or halves) of the garland will work in different modes - some bulbs will go out, others will light up, etc.
In fact, these two strings of diodes will be connected on two channels in series. They will be connected to each other at the end point - the last LED.
If for some reason you are annoyed by the flashing of the garland and you want it to glow evenly with only one color, it is enough on the reverse side of the board to short-circuit the cathode and anode of the thyristor by soldering.
The more expensive garland you have, the more outgoing channels and wires will leave the control board.
At the same time, if you follow the tracks of the board, one of the mains voltage outputs is always supplied directly to the final LED of the garland, bypassing all elements of the circuit.
Causes of malfunction
Situations with malfunctions of the garland are very diverse.
At the same time, remember that the most important element - the microcircuit on the board, "burns" very, very rarely.
Approximately 5-10% of all cases.
You can even make a conditional rating of failures of the LED garland (in order and frequency of damage):
- Poor contact on the wires
- LED in one of the bulbs
- One of the diodes
- One of the thyristors
- Controller IC
If your backlight suddenly stops working, always check the soldering of the supply and outgoing wires first. It is possible that the entire contact was held only by hot melt adhesive.
It's worth moving the wires and contacts anyway.
The most common problem with Chinese garlands is the use of very thin wires that simply break off at the solder points on the board.
To prevent this from happening, all contacts after soldering must be filled with a thick layer of hot melt adhesive.
And when stripping such veins, it is advised to use not a knife, but a lighter. Instead of chipping away the insulation with a blade, heat it up a bit and melt it with a lighter fire.
After that, simply peel off the outer layer with your nails without damaging the strands themselves.
Damage to the LED
If the wire contacts are in order and you sin on one of the diodes, how can you check its malfunction? And most importantly, how to find it among the whole series of light bulbs?
First of all, unplug the garland from the socket. Start with the last diode. A power cable comes to it directly from the control unit.
Outgoing conductor soldered to the same leg. It goes to the next branch of the light channel. You need to test the diode between its two power wires (input-output).
You will need a multimeter and its slightly modified probes.
To the tips of the probes of the tester, tightly wind thin needles with a thread so that their tip protrudes by a maximum of 5-8 mm.
From above, wrap everything with a dense layer of electrical tape.
Since the LEDs are soldered, simply pulling them out of the light bulb as in ordinary garlands will not work here.
Therefore, you will have to pierce the core insulation to get to the copper cores of the wiring. Switch the multimeter to the diode continuity mode.
And you begin to sequentially pierce the supply wires near each suspicious diode.
If your garland is not 220V, but 12V or 24V, which is connected from such a power supply:
then the working LED from the multimeter battery should light up.
If this is a 220V backlight, then check the multimeter readings.
On the working elements, they will be approximately the same, but the faulty one will show a break.
The method is certainly barbaric and damaging to the insulation, but it is quite working. True, street garlands after such punctures are better not to be used outdoors.
There is a situation when you turn on a garland and it starts blinking randomly, sometimes brighter, sometimes dimmer. Changes channels by itself.
In general, one gets the impression that this is not some kind of factory effect, but as if the garland "has gone crazy."
The most common problem here is the electrolytic capacitor. It may swell a little, swell, and this will be clearly visible even to the naked eye.
Everything is solved by replacing it. The denomination is indicated on the case, so you can easily purchase and pick up a similar one in radio parts stores.
If you changed the capacitor, but this did not give an effect, where to look next? Most likely one of the resistors burned out (broken). Breakdown visually determine quite problematic. You will need a tester.
Do measurements of resistance, having previously recognized its nominal (normal) value by marking. If it doesn't match, change it.
Part of the garland does not light
When any of the channels on the garland does not work completely, there can be two reasons.
For example, a breakdown on one of the thyristors or diodes responsible for it.
To be sure of this, just unsolder the wires of this channel on the board from your place and connect the adjacent channel there, which is obviously working.
And if at the same time another channel also stops working, then the problem is not in the garland itself, but in the components of its board - a thyristor or diode.
Check them with a multimeter, find suitable parameters and change them.