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Holiday Lights

Holiday lights not lighting?

If your holiday lights are giving trouble, it can stress anyone, whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or an other celebration.  Here are some ideas:

  • Check if the outlet where they plug in is working.  Outside outlets are often protected by a GFCI outlet somewhere.  Read this section here.  

  • If you can't reset the GFCI outlet, unplug the lights and see if the outlet can be reset.  If so, try the lights, one set at at time.  A problem light set could have water in the plug or lights, and cause the GFCI outlet to trip.   

  • If the outlet works but only part of the lights, check to see if you have too many light sets plugged in end to end.  Typically, you can only plug 3 strings of lights end to end.  There's a fuse in the plug of each set that will blow if you have too many.  

  • If the beginning part of some lights works, but not subsequent sets of lights, check the fuse in the plug of the first set of non-working lights (and make sure you don't have too many plugged in end to end).

  • You can use extension cords to separate sets of lights.  One trick is to put the plugs in zip-lock plastic bags to help keep rain, snow or just dew from getting to the connection.

  • If you're using a lot of lights, you could even overload the circuit and cause the breaker to trip.  Read about breakers here.   (Often outside outlets are on the same circuits as bathroom outlets.  If you use a hair dryer when the lights are on, you could cause the breaker to trip.