How to Fix Mini-Christmas Lights

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Pry mini-Christmas lights out of their sockets.

Christmas lights come in countless colors and sizes, and the miniature ones are at the core of many holiday tree decorating schemes. These lights can be finicky, though, and if one or more lights stop working, knowing how to fix mini Christmas lights can save the day. Some basic troubleshooting tips and a few extra bulbs can get your mini Christmas lights back up and shining well before Christmas.

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Troubleshooting Mini Christmas Light Problems

Many experts recommend checking your mini Christmas light strands before hanging them. Otherwise, you may end up taking them down again because they are not working after being stored for a year.

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To get started, plug the light strands into an outlet and check all the bulbs. If none are working, unplug the lights. Then, slide back the plastic covering over the plug part of the cord to reveal the fuse. If the metal filament inside the fuse's glass cylinder is cracked, open the small sliding door and remove the fuse.

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Get a replacement fuse that is the same size and rating and replace it inside the compartment. If there are several fuses, you may have to try replacing one at a time to see which is the culprit. Are the fuses working with the lights still out? It could be just one bad bulb causing the entire strand not to work.

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Using a Christmas Tree Light Tester

It is pretty much impossible to know which bulb out of hundreds is the bad one, so have a Christmas tree light tester on hand. These inexpensive tools can be absolute lifesavers when you need to find faulty bulbs. Some of these handheld tools have small holes into which you slide the end of the bulb. To use them, you will need to have the strand plugged in.

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There are also Christmas tree light testers that identify and fix problem bulbs. To do this, they send electric charges through the bulb's circuit to fix internal failures. You operate these testers by pulling their triggers.

Not every bulb can be fixed, though. If a particular bulb is beyond repair, hold down the tester's top button and move the tip down the string to make it beep. When the beeping stops, unscrew and replace the bad bulb. It's easy to find replacement bulbs for sale that meet the specifications of your string of lights.

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More Tips for Replacing Bulbs

Are you trying to troubleshoot mini Christmas light bulbs on your tree itself? Artificial Christmas trees come in separate sections, and if it is an illuminated tree, each section has its own set of plugs. You need to locate these before fixing your bulbs, ensuring that everything is plugged in before checking the lights. Keep a tree light tester on hand when you put your tree together just in case.

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When using a tester, remove the dark bulb from the strand and insert its small socket into the tool's opening. Pull the trigger twice to repair the inside shunt and then screw the light back in. Repeat this process and replace all the light bulbs that still don't work. If too many bulbs don't light up after fixing the sockets, it may be time to buy a new strand of mini Christmas lights.

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