When a string is recycled, the bulbs can be placed in small bags against the (faint) possibility of being useful someday. The wire can be placed in bags to be used for speaker leads or other connections.
Simply getting the bulb out of the socket can be a problem. Modern hum-tracers (and the LIGHTkeeper PRO) have little tin cutouts which are supposed to help lever the bulb out of the socket. But those seem awkward and may cause dropped bulbs.
One possibility is to go down the string light-by-light and remove a bulb, test it, then put it back if it tests good. But not only is that a heck of a lot of work, it has the potential to make things much worse: When the string does not light up we cannot know that we have seated a bulb properly.
Hi, I have recently bought 2 sets of outdoor led net lights as part of my christmas display, after about a week 1 line of leds stopped working then eventually only a couple of lines of lights are working, the rest are either out completely or very dull. The sets are 6mx2m and multi-coloured, any advice or help would be greatly appreciated, thanks
I measure the current in the light string half that was not faulty and it was 9mA. Measuring the current in the light string half with the one light removed the current was 12mA. The general upper limit for LED’s is 20mA so the current level is still reasonable even with the one light removed.
I am disappointed in LED lights–they seem not ready for outdoor, unsheltered, winter use. You’re presenting a problem that’s over my head. I’m not an electrical engineer–I’m just someone who is sharing what they noticed (the lack of a faint blue glow on bad LEDs.)
The diode puts the string at half intensity, and we now lose about a bulb a month. I did the same thing with other strings, with similar results. Somewhat surprisingly, in no case was the dimmer light a problem.
The lights that I have are somewhat more complicated. They have a little plastic box with an IC and some transistors etc and a push button switch. They can flash with different sequences. There are 4 circuits of 4 different colour leds. My Multimeter doesn’t register ac or dc voltage coming out on the 4 lines. Maybe there is high speed switching. I have an oscilloscope, but didn’t want to have to get it out!
The fundamental problem is that these lights have gotten cheaper and lower quality as the years have passed, so working on them only gets more frustrating. If you ever find an older strand at a second-hand store, one with more space between the lights, you’ll find it’s much easier to use and is much more durable.
The kit comes with a plastic bulb replacement POD. I just cut off the bad LED bulb, and clipped the POD over the wires to rejoin them. The POD has a 22 ohm resistor inside. Now my light string works just like new except for 1 missing light bulb.
Step 8: Reinstall the tail light assembly. Once you are satisfied with your repair, insert the bulb socket back into the tail light assembly and twist it clockwise until it clicks into place. If the tail light assembly was removed, place it back in its cavity and secure it with the nuts. Snug it down ¼ to ½ turn past snug with the appropriate size socket and ratchet.
Yes, I agree. I tried to give a rough estimate. If we go by voltage drop then on each LED we will have only 110×1.4/36= 4.28. May be a little less because of resistors. If we have 35 LED then we will have 4.4 V. I do not think this will increase the current that much, especially with ballast resistors.
I just fixed a 70 bulb LED light string using roughly the approach described here. However, I used a really handy gadget that I purchased on clearance for about $20 at a store called Canadian Tire. The gadget is called LEDKeeper and it works like this.
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Another factor to consider is the current limit of an LED. LED’s do not like a lot of current so besides the LED there is also a current limiting resistor in each light. For this repair we are actually going to bypass the faulty light. This will increase the current that goes through the remaining lights because we have eliminated part of the resistance. However, taking one light out should not increase the current enough to damage the remaining LED’s in same circuit. There is of course a limit. Bypassing any more that two lights in the same series circuit will likely increase the current enough to put the remaining LED lights in jeopardy which will definitely destroy the entire half of the light string.
There are several ways to illuminate the pool and pool area. There can be exterior floodlights, landscaping lighting, pole lights, underwater lights and pool house lighting. What we will be reviewing in this article is common underwater lighting in concrete swimming pools. We recommend that someone experienced with these types of lights conduct any investigation and repair.
Pull out the tail light fuse and look for cracks as well as the state of the metal filament inside. If it looks burnt or if it is not connected, or if you question the fuse at all, replace it with the correct size fuse.
The pool light should have been installed with enough extra supply wire wrapped around the fixture to allow the removal and disassembly of the unit on the pool deck without disconnecting the wires from the supply. First make sure the power is of OFF at the breaker panel. If you are not sure how to do this part, it may be time to call for help, a handy pool guy or an electrician. When the pool is full of water, the best way to get the light out of the niche in the pool wall is to use goggles or a underwater mask. Then lay down on your stomach with your arms and head extended into the pool. Your arms should be long enough to reach the attachment screw at the top of the fixture this is usually a Phillips head screw. The goggles will help you see it. Unscrew the top of the fixture and remove it from the niche while unraveling the extra cord and placing the fixture on the pool deck.
Double-pole switches have four terminals instead of two, so they’re used for outlets and appliances that require 240-volt circuits. They also come in rockers. Each double-pole switch will cost $7-$15.
This is my first attempt with fixing LED light strings. I have 3 matched strings with icicle covers over the light, and one string stopped working, and I need all three, but can’t find a replacement. Using your idea to plug in the string in a dark room, I can see 13 out of 30 LEDs that faintly glow. The other 2 strings don’t have a single LED not working. Does it sound possible that this one could have 17 out of 30 go bad all of a sudden, I removed 2 LEDs that did not glow, and replaced them with the 2 spares that came with the set, and one of those glows. Are all the ones not working really bad or can something else be wrong. The ones that don’t work are not all together…separated by working LEDs. Is this string unfixable, short of finding a bunch of replacement LED to fit this set,
That’s not the way LEDs work. An LED has a “forward voltage” that is about 4 for blue/green, and 1.5 for red. This voltage changes little with current. Built into the light string are resistors, which in total are way smaller than the formula you give (typically at least 4 times smaller. If this were not true, the string would be inefficient, as the LED voltage is the one that absorbs energy from the line, and makes light). The energy absorbed by the resistors only ends up as heat, but the resistors are needed to “ballast” (control) the current.
Before touching the metal of any wiring, be sure the power is off. You may bet your life that the power really is off when you actually just think it is. Pull the plug! The fuses are there to protect the wires, not people. Even a small current can be dangerous if it goes through a human chest.
That’s pretty rude to call someone stupid. Personally I am grateful to the author that he took his time to post this. Also by making the repair it doesn’t “push the voltage up to each lamp.” if anything the current goes up to a very negligible amount since there is one less bulb in the series.
Then pry up the fuse from the end, like you’re using a crowbar. Never apply pressure to the glass part of a fuse. To insert, push the fuse into the metal clips as far as you can by hand, then apply pressure with the flathead screwdriver to seat the fuse. ALWAYS push on the metal caps, and never push on the glass.
It should be smooth rather than textured, but it looks better than tape. The crack on our tail light was diagonal – in this case I’d recommend doing what we did: keep the patch level and trim accordingly, as opposed to applying it diagonally. It will just look better that way. The adhesive seems to stick just fine, but we’ll see how it holds after a few days.
This past year we bought a very cheap string with a “snowball” diffusing coating that started blowing 4 or 5 bulbs a week. Even our usual full replacement string would have been consumed in 5 or 6 months. Eventually, I took the plug and socket from a replacement string, and put a silicon power diode in the circuit. Any diode over, say, 200V (peak-inverse-voltage) and 1A current should work (and if it fails, the lights just go back to full brightness). The diode can be oriented in either direction and placed in either line. In my versions, clear heat-shrink tubing covers the connections and the diode itself.
Turn off the power to the fixture and use a non-contact voltage tester to make sure the power is off. Then reach into the bulb socket with a flat-blade screwdriver and gently pry up on the tab that’s centered at the bottom to restore good contact with the bulb.
Hum-tracing devices work because the AC line has a “hot” side and a “cold” side. The cold side is connected to ground. The hot side has 120VAC on it, and so has a “hum” which some instruments can detect at a short distance, even through insulation. But it is important to realize that typically three similar-looking wires are wrapped together between sockets. Of these, only one is the bulb wire we want. Both of the others will be going to the far end AC socket and one will be hot and one will be cold all the time. So if we want to follow the hum through the bulbs, we need to test the bulb wire alone. We can find a bulb wire from the base of a bulb and pull it away from other wires. Then we can check that wire for hum. At the bad bulb, one side will have 120VAC and hum, while the other side will be at ground with no hum. When we find that condition, we can replace the bulb, or re-seat it, or possibly replace the socket.
Judging by our mail, it seems that most of us have experienced the frustration of uncooperative holiday lights. There’s a simple way to solve the problem. First, slide back the plastic covering on the plug to check the fuse (Photo 1). Some strings have more than one fuse, in which case they’ll be next to each other. Replace any blown fuses. New ones are available where holiday lights are sold and at some electronics stores.
Incandescent bulb life is a statistical thing: We cannot predict how long any particular bulb will last, but we can keep records to help predict how many bulbs will burn out per unit time. New bulbs are not necessarily an advantage: Sometimes old, used bulbs are likely to last just as far into the future as new bulbs.
In the picture when you cut the wire it was the last part of the lights. My lights are faulty in the middle and I don’t know where to cut. Also mine are multicolored so they have 3 wires so which wires would I cut, I can’t just throw out half of my lights because I cut the strand in half