How to fix a string of lights on prelit tree

Top Part of Pre-lit Tree Not Working?

Top Part of Pre-lit Tree Not Working? | My Frugal Christmas

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Question: Top Part of Pre-lit Tree Not Working?


January 21, 2018

I have a three part Christmas tree. All the bulbs on the top portion have a black shadow in them and do not light up. I replaced a couple of bulbs, but nothing happened.


They are all not lighting. What do I do to have the whole tree lit. I bought it in December 2015.


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January 21, 20180 found this helpful

Best Answer

Contact the manufacturer. There may be a specific type of bulb you must use.

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Question: Half Section of Pre-lit Tree Lights Out?


February 15, 2021

The bottom part of the top piece of my pre-lit tree went out. These lights are wired in parallel, so if one goes out, the others stay lit. The whole top section is on the same strand and I've checked every single bulb in the bottom part that is out and they are all securely in the socket. I've even checked the fuses, although the top of the strand is still lit.

If I remove one bulb, the whole strand goes out. If I replace a bulb in the section that is out with one I've already tested, the section still stays dark. It doesn't make sense. I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions?



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February 15, 20210 found this helpful

Best Answer

You say that you have checked the fuses but sometimes these are difficult to judge whether they are working correctly.
Be sure you are checking all of the fuses - check your instructions.


I have read lots of this type question and it seems to get more confusing and not much solving.

I would say to find your instructions/tag on tree/register receipt and contact the manufacturer as they can tell you more about your lighting than anyone. Companies are usually very helpful and may even replace the lights for free.
If you cannot find the manufacturer name then try to remember the store where purchased. If you have only had it for less than 2-3 years the store will probably help you.

You can also ask your questions on some of the forums but I could not find very many listed. ../Troubleshooting-Prelit-Christmas...

Sorry, this is all that I can suggest but usually someone on the forums can help.

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Question: Top Part of Pre-lit Tree Not Lighting Up?


November 19, 2018

The top section of my pre lit Christmas tree will not light up. When I take the top section off the tree and plug it in by itself all the lights light up.

I do not know why the top part will not come on when the rest of the tree works perfectly?


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November 19, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds like something is gumming up the connection. Did you check the connection to make sure it looks OK?

I wouldn't monkey with it, but if you see something like a piece of tinsel stuck, that would be OK to remove.


Who made it? Call the company and ask for their guidance. Sometimes they have great tips that only they would know about to fix.

Also ask if it is under warranty!! Never know!! Wishing you an easy fix!!!

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November 19, 20180 found this helpful

Make sure the wires arent getting twisted when you put them back on the tree.

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November 24, 20180 found this helpful

You may want to check the manual to see if there are any troubleshooting for the issue you're experiencing.



Or, contact the manufacture.
If this is a new tree, you can also exchange or return to deal with less of a hassle too.

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December 18, 20210 found this helpful

A late reply, but someone searching for the same problem will get a correct answer anyways.
There is a plug on the pole, the lights' plug got disconnected from pole with handing. The plug is very discrete and blends into the pole. Look for it and re-plug the lights into the pole.

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Question: Middle and Top of Pre-lit Tree Not Working?


December 9, 2018

I have a 3 part 7.5' pre lit LED Christmas tree. It is 2 yrs old. The bottom piece lights up and switches perfectly fine between the white and multi colored lights, however the entire middle section and top sections will not light up at all.

They attach to one another with the power pole that runs thru the middle of the tree. The power pole is in 3 parts, you set one section of tree/power pole combo on top of the other to build the tree.


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December 9, 20180 found this helpful

You might have a burnt out fuse. The problem with pre-lit trees is they dont last long. People give them away on Freecycle all the time.


It might be a good fix to just strong some lights over the ones that dont work.

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Pre-lit Christmas Tree Lights Repair/Replace • Queen Bee of Honey Dos

Home » Renovate & Repair » Pre-lit Christmas Tree Lights Repair/Replace


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istmas tree ornamnetsSeven years ago, I purchase a beautiful 9′, Vienna Pine. You know, the kind with the pre-lit Christmas tree lights? Well, it was wonderful for the first five years. Then, a few years ago the lights began to gradually twinkle out. So, last year after putting the thing together, wouldn’t you know it! Several rows wouldn’t light up.

(This post may contain affiliate links (*). That means that I make a small commission from sales that result through these links, at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.)

So, after spending hours trying to find and replace the burnt out bulbs, and after checking all the fuses, I was about to give up. Then, I decided to try one of those light repair guns*. Luckily, that got me through the Christmas season, but it was still a struggle. With me having to constantly get the gun out and click multiple lights every day, only to have to do it all over again the next day, I decided no more. The lights had to be replaced.

Pre-lit Christmas Tree Lights Repair/Replace…

When I unpacked the tree this year, I knew that I had a project ahead of me. My tree was still in very good shape, but the 1300 plus lights were shot. I guess I could have just bought a new pre-lit tree, but mine cost a pretty penny. Even with replacing the old lights with all LEDs, I would still be spending less than half the cost to replace the tree. Plus, LEDs will be perfect for when I get around to flocking my tree, and eventually, I will.

So, LED lights it is! I looked long and hard before deciding on a GE brand in soft white. Of course, a LEDs soft light is nowhere near as soft as the old incandescent bulbs. But, at least they do not have that bluish tint that the regular LEDs have. I bought my lights at Lowe’s, but if you can’t find those, Amazon sells these warm LED lights*.

I have also noticed that Walmart has some GE lights* available on their website. To be precise, the lights that I used were the GE warm white in the green packaging.  However, regardless of the brand that you choose, the most important is to be consistent.

If you need five strands, make sure all five are the same brand, style, and color temp. Otherwise, your tree will look funky. Also, if your tree comes in sections like mine, you will likely need a brand that comes in both 100 lights and 50 or 150 lights per strand. You’ll see why when you look at how I determined my light distribution in step 2.


Where to begin? Oh, yeah. First, let’s lay out all the sections of the tree. (Mine has five sections).

Now, remove all of the old lights. Since I felt that mine were pretty much useless, I am using wire snips to cut through the jumble of crisscrossed wires that make up my trees old lighting system. Be prepared to spend an entire afternoon just taking all the old lights off. It’s not hard, just a bit tedious.


Then, to determine how many lights that I was going to need, I decided on about 5-6 bulbs would be dispersed on the top sections of each branch. So, I counted the branches (the very top doesn’t have individual branches. So, I just allotted 40 bulbs).

The bottom of the top section had 12 branches. That makes 12 x 5 = 30 + 40 more for the top tips. In other words, the top section gets a strand of 100. From there, I increased the bulbs per branch as I moved down the sections. (as the branches get longer, it will take more lights). This is how I worked out the lights on my tree. (click any image to enlarge).

To make things easier, I used the tree stand to hold each individual section as I wrapped the lights. On most sections, the lights needed to go from the interior towards the tip. Then, back along the length and cross over to the next branch. However, on a few sections, the branches were staggered. So, it made more sense to jump from branch to branch, in an up-and-down direction.

Try to make it so that male and female ends will connect at the interior of the tree. If that is not possible, use an orange colored zip-tie to mark the location of the plugs. You will be glad that you did next year when you have forgotten where you ended each strand.

When starting each section make sure that you begin with the female end on the top branches of the section and keep the male end on the bottom branches of the sections. That way you will finish with the plug (male) at the bottom of the tree. Doing this makes it easy to connect your 1st stand to an outlet and leaves a female hook-up at the top of each section.

Tip – to help keep things in place, use zip ties. You especially will want to zip tie the light connections that are made within a section. (i.e. anyplace where you plug the next strand into the previous one). That way the connections that are made within a section are easier to locate should they come unplugged in later years.


As you work your way along the branches, separate the needles so that the wires can be wrapped right up against the metal branch. This will help to hide the wires. Then when you reach the outer tips, just intertwine the lights loosely and to your liking. This will also be beneficial if you ever decide to flock your tree.

Reverse the process and go back down the length of the branch before crossing over to the next branch. (FYI – a few strategically placed band-aids will protect your fingers from becoming cut and raw.) :-) Make sure you leave enough slack at the end of each strand to reach the plug on the next tree section.

Continue stringing the lights, one tree section at a time. Once you finish with one section, set it aside and start on the next section, using the allocated strand length.


Assemble the tree sections and plug in each male to the corresponding female jack. I ended up using exactly 1000 lights to get this result. However, the number of lights will depend on your tree size and your personal taste.

When you disassemble your tree this year, just unplug the strands between each section. (The same way that you did with the old lights). Good luck!

UPDATE: Three years later and my lights are still working perfectly. You can check it out on my 2018 Southern Home Christmas Tour. You will also notice that I have flocked my tree, as well. I just did that this year, and will post those instructions next week.

– PIN IT –

– PIN IT –



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, by Rachel Lynn 3 Comments

About Rachel Lynn

Rachel is a home improvement expert with more than 20 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, and interior design and has more than 10 years experience in graphic and web design. She used the combination of her experience and knowledge to start her own digital media publishing company where she shares her knowledge across three different websites.

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How to fix a garland - Lifehacker

December 28, 2018LikbezDo it yourself

Do not rush to throw away old lights and run to the store for new ones.



As a rule, garlands have a rather simple design and typical faults that are easy to fix even without special skills and tools. But in some cases, you may need a soldering iron and a multimeter. Therefore, you may still have to turn to a familiar radio amateur.

The cause of a garland malfunction, like any electrical engineering, is the failure of one or more circuit elements. Everything is usually repaired by replacing a faulty part, which can be found in another garland or some kind of broken equipment.

Careless handling of the electric garland can result in electric shock or damage to the device. You perform all actions at your own peril and risk. Lifehacker does not bear any responsibility.

How a garland is arranged

All electric garlands are arranged in the same way. In older samples, these are light bulbs connected in one circuit that light up or flash when connected to the network. In modern ones, a controller is added to glow in different modes and the bulbs can be replaced by LEDs.

Usually, old or decorative garlands have two wires, or to be more precise, one, which is connected in the form of a ring and twisted. Modern models have five wires. Four LEDs are located - these are branches. The fifth - general - remains empty.

At the far end, they all connect together, and their other ends go into a small box with a button and a plug.

Inside the box is a controller - a small board that contains a chip for creating effects and a few parts. A diode bridge, a capacitor, a pair of resistors and four (or two) thyristors that control the glow of each of the branches with lights of the same color.

In the photo on the left, the four black parts are thyristors. The blue one next to it is a capacitor, small light-colored edges are resistors, behind the scarves with a microcircuit are a diode and a button.

In the photo on the right is the reverse side of the board, two wires from the bottom - mains power, a row of wires from the top - lines of branches of each color and a common one.

How to fix a garland if it does not turn on

Cause 1. Broken power wire

Thin wires are often damaged by breaking at the plug or coming off the board inside the control box.

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How to fix

Move the wire at the plug and next to the box. If the garland works, then the problem has been found and all that remains is to replace the cable by disassembling the controller unit.

If not, troubleshooting should start with the power cable. Open the cover, unsolder the two wires going to the board and replace them with a working wire with a plug.

If there is no visible damage to the board, this should help and the garland will work. Otherwise, the problem must be sought in the power diodes.

Cause 2. Burnt diode bridge

Power surges can destroy one or more diodes of the diode bridge. As a result, the board will not be powered and the garland will not turn on.

How to fix

Check all diodes with a multimeter and replace the non-working ones with good ones. Details can be taken from another garland or found suitable at the denomination indicated on the body.

How to fix a garland if one of the colors does not work

Cause 1. An open circuit in one of the branches

Due to poor quality, the wires can break off either at the board itself or somewhere between the LEDs. In both cases, the circuit opens and the LEDs stop glowing.

How to fix

Separate the dead branch from the rest and carefully inspect the wire to check its integrity. If it has moved away from the board, strip it, re-solder it and fix it with hot glue for reliability.

If there is damage on the cable between the LEDs, strip the ends of the wire and solder or twist them together, then insulate with heat shrink or electrical tape.

Cause 2. Burnt LED

Low-quality LEDs often light up. With a serial connection, this means the same open circuit as in the previous case.

How to fix

Finding a broken LED or light bulb in a series circuit is more difficult. One option is to ring each element with a multimeter.

You can also make a jumper of two needles connected by a wire, and alternately close the incoming and outgoing wires on each LED with them. The garland must be turned on. The LED, when closed, all the lights of the branch will light up, and will be defective.

To restore the circuit, a non-working LED can either be replaced, or simply removed and connected the ends of the wires to each other, insulating them. Without consequences, you can throw away up to five LEDs in one branch.

Cause 3. Thyristor failure

If the control thyristor of one of the lines fails, all LEDs of the same color stop working.

How to fix

You can fix the breakdown only by replacing the thyristor with a working one from another garland or a suitable one at face value. To check, you need to use a multimeter or resort to the following method.

Identify the wire of the non-working branch and swap with one of the good ones by unsoldering or cutting and connecting with a twist. If the defective line then works, then the problem is in the thyristor.

The wires that go to the thyristors are usually arranged in a row at one of the edges of the board. On the opposite there will be only two wires - this is power. It's hard to confuse them.

How to fix a garland if one of the colors is dimly lit

Cause 1. Branch wire tear

Due to a break in the wire inside the wire, contact is broken in the circuit of one of the branches. The current still passes, but it is no longer enough to light all the LEDs.

How to fix

Carefully inspect the entire branch. Move the wires at the board and each of the LEDs of the switched on garland to determine the damaged place. As soon as you find it, all the LEDs will light up in full force. Next, it remains to restore normal contact by soldering the wire or stripping and connecting it.

Cause 2. Broken thyristor

Due to a faulty thyristor, one of the lines may not have enough current for the normal operation of all LEDs.

How to fix

This breakdown is treated only by replacing the thyristor with another one. You can check the performance with a multimeter, or by transferring the wire to one of the working lines.

How to fix the garland if it flashes randomly in any mode

Cause 1. Failure of the capacitor

Drying, leaking or swelling of the electrolytic capacitor causes malfunctions of the controller.

How to fix

Carefully inspect the capacitor. If it is swollen, darkened, or electrolyte streaks are visible on it, then a replacement is necessary. Examine the case to find out the rating and voltage, and then find an analogue with parameters no less than the original ones. Carefully unsolder the old capacitor and install a new one, observing the polarity.

Cause 2. Broken resistor

Burnt resistors also cause controller malfunction and unstable lighting modes.

How to fix

Check the resistance of the resistors with a multimeter and replace the faulty ones with working ones of the same rating. If visually the parts are intact, it is still better to replace them to rule out a malfunction.

How to fix the garland if all LEDs are on at the same time and do not blink

Cause 1. Chip failure

Damage to the controller chip causes all LEDs to light simultaneously and without blinking. The modes stop working, and when you press the button, the lights turn on and go out when you release it.

How to fix

Unfortunately, garlands with this problem cannot be repaired. A working controller from another garland will not work. It is designed for a different number of LEDs and resistance, thyristor current. Therefore, at best it will not work, and at worst it will cause a short circuit.

Read also ⚡️🧐

  • 18 unusual Christmas garlands from AliExpress
  • How to make DIY Christmas garlands: 11 cool ideas
  • 10 DIY Christmas decorations to make
  • What to give for the New Year - 2023: only the best ideas


Throwing away the broken one is the easiest. And you take it, and repair it, give a second life to the illumination. Most models have a similar design. Faults are easy to fix yourself. Let's figure out how to fix a garland of an old and a new model with your own hands, so that it will please you for more than one year.

How to repair a garland: safety rules

Often the cause of the failure is a wire, a light bulb or a controller. You will have to cut, strip or solder the wires. Therefore, you need to turn off the illumination from the network, otherwise you risk getting an electric shock.

The only time you can keep a garland connected is when checking it. And then, during this it is better to use "electrician's protective gloves." They are made of a dielectric material that does not conduct current. Even if a short circuit occurs, a person will not be shaken.

After self-repair of a street garland, it must not be hung outside - only indoors. At home, it is impossible to make perfect soldering of wires and insulation from dust and moisture, so such illumination can be short-circuited from accidentally getting water. She can't stand the rain.

For those who do not know how to work with a soldering iron and wires, it is recommended to give the garland for repair to professionals. They will definitely deal with the problem, thyristors, resistors, capacitors and microcircuits, fixing the garland in the shortest possible time.

Likbez: How to hang a garland: 5 popular places to decorate

"Building" garlands

Despite the difference in design, all garlands are identical. In older models (until 2005-2010) these are light bulbs in the same circuit that glow when connected to the network. In modern garlands, a controller (control unit) has been added - it allows you to change the glow modes.

Hidden inside the old backlight is one branch wire connected to one board at two ends. There are 5 wires in modern illumination: 4 lead to different "groups" of light bulbs, and the fifth is common to all. On the opposite side there is one rather thick wire that goes into a small box with a button and a plug. If it breaks, the whole garland will go out. If one of the 4 wires leading to different blocks breaks, only the group of lights will go out.

Inside the box itself is a controller - a small board on which different light bulbs are programmed. Under the pressure of the control button, the board sends different commands to the garland, which change the lighting.

The most common breakdowns

The structure of the device is simple, only one of the four elements can break: a light bulb, a power wire, a controller (diode bridge) and a plug (plug). What to do if there was an opportunity, below in the text.

May be useful: How to flush a heating radiator - 4 steps to improve energy efficiency

How to repair a garland if it does not turn on

If all the illumination does not turn on, most likely, its power supply is damaged or the diode bridge burned out. You can solve the problem in one of the following ways, indicated in the table:

One color in the garland does not work: how to fix it

Two problems are possible: You will have to open the controller and check the reliability of all contacts on the board.

  • Bulbs burned out
    All light bulbs of the same shade are connected in a single circuit. If one stops working, the circuit is not closed, but all the bulbs of the desired color are turned off. You will have to measure each bulb with a multimeter (like Stanley (STHT0-77364)) or an "electric screwdriver" to see if there is current flowing there. Where it does not go, it is broken there. We'll have to change the desired LED.
  • Festive mood: How to make garlands for the New Year: 12 chic options

    How to replace a light bulb in a garland: looking for a breakdown

    is there tension. Next, you should “ring” each light bulb to figure out which one is defective. The light bulb is removed and the contacts are connected to the contacts of the tester. If it lights up green, then everything is ok. However, this method is only suitable for collapsible systems and takes a lot of time.

    For systems with soldered LEDs, it is better to use a field detector, since it will not be possible to find a blown bulb in a garland by enumeration. It is necessary to turn on the illumination in the network and gently draw a screwdriver-detector along the length. Near the cliff, it will light up. This method is not effective if the device has more than one break.

    Next, you need to find out the parameters of the garland. It is easier to do this by looking at the instructions or at the tag with specifications. All device parameters are listed there. If it is not possible to find out the parameters, you need to calculate them yourself.

    • Remove the working bulb.
    • Take an adjustable (laboratory) power supply and a current tester.
    • Turn on the voltage on the PSU and increase it until the light starts to glow brightly.

    At this point, you need to fix the voltage and current. Then look for a lamp with the closest possible values. If the screen shows 2.7 V and 0.23 A, they take a lamp for 3 V and 0.25 A. This will be the best option. It remains only to find a lamp with a suitable base and screw it in.

    Note: How to increase the sound on a laptop: 3 options and 5 actual programs

    How to fix a garland without a block: check for integrity

    Backlight without a block has a sequential connection scheme - one lamp burns out, all turn off. First of all, you need to check the lighting for integrity: if the lamps are intact, look at how they are screwed into the cartridges. If only part of the lighting goes out in the illumination with the block when the light bulb is not connected, in the “old-style” devices, the entire backlight may go out.

    Next, check the lamps with an indicator screwdriver or carefully pierce the wire with a tester. If everything is in order with the cord, check the cartridges. Sometimes they are the problem.

    In those cases when the problem turned out to be in a broken contact, you need to take a soldering iron and solder the wire, restoring its integrity. How to solder a garland is indicated in the video below. And although they suggest how to do it for illumination with a block, however, the basic rules of “safe soldering” will also apply to the current case.

    Learn more