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What to Check When the Christmas Lights Go Out

Don't be a Grinch at Christmas, keep your Christmas lights shining!


Christmas is a time of presents, snowy yards and roofs, Christmas trees, and of course, Christmas lights. Now you don't have to decorate like the Grizwalds, but let's face it, it is really nice to look at Christmas decorations as they sparkle in the darkness of the night.

This time of year is definitely the time to decorate the tree with garland and Christmas lights. The glow of colored lights glistening throughout the house while waiting on old St. Nick. But what happens when the lights suddenly go out? Is Rudolf stealing the power to light his nose? Is there a power outage? Well don't get too excited yet. Let's examine what some of the probable causes are and how to remedy the problems.

  1. Check the Circuit Breaker or Fuse Feeding the Circuit

    Go to the electrical panel and check to see if any circuit breakers are tripped or fuses blown. Use a circuit tester to see if the outlet that the lights are plugged into is hot. If not and the circuit is on, turn the circuit off, remove the outlet, and check the connections to the outlet.

  2. Check the Fuses in the Christmas Lights

    If the Christmas lights go out, it may be as simple as a fuse blowing within the light set itself. Located within the plug-in plug is a couple of fuse. They are hidden behind a sliding door that is clearly marked. Simply unplug the lights and slide the cover to expose the fuses. Remove the fuses and check them with an ohm meter. If there is no resistance, they are good, but if there is infinite resistance, they are bad and should be replaced.

  3. Check the Individual Light Bulbs

    Sometimes the Christmas light bulbs themselves are the troublemakers. They could be loose in the sockets and that can cause them not to light. A bulb could have fallen completely out of a socket or have a bulb wire bent to the side that isn't making contact with the socket contacts. Usually you'll have some replacement bulbs that come with the lights for just such an emergency. Replace the bulbs if needed.

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