Christmas lights are a staple of the holiday season. Whether you’re decorating your home or office, they can add that special sparkle and charm for which we all love so dearly. However, it’s important to realize that not all Christmas lights are created equal. This article will discuss some of the common problems with LED Christmas lights and how to avoid them.
Here are some of the most common problems with led Christmas lights;
- Dimly Lit Led Christmas Lights
- Burnt Led Christmas Bulbs
- Area of Spotty Brightness
- Loose Connection
- Wires Melting Inside The Sockets
- Some LED Christmas Lights Can Be Too Bright
- Bulbs Not Evenly Spaced Apart
- Wired To A Single Power Source
- Wires That Are Too Thin For Their Length
- No Spare Bulbs Included In The Set
- Cords Don’t Reach As Far As Advertised
- Bulbs Flicker or Blink Randomly
- Poor Packaging Causing Loose Bulbs To Break During Shipment
Let’s take a look at the details of the most common problems with led Christmas lights and some of the best hacks for resolving them.
Why Use LED Christmas Lights?
LED Christmas lights are generally superior to their incandescent or halogen counterparts. They’re energy-efficient, shock-resistant, and last longer than traditional light strings of the same length.
What I love about these lights in particular is that they often look more natural than their older counterparts. The light beams are generally uniform, without any harsh hotspots or dark spots.
Whether you’re putting up your own Christmas display this year or attending someone else’s house for the holidays, LED lights will add a refined charm to your decorations. Plus, they can save you a lot of money on your energy bill.
Good LED Christmas lights will be highly directional with evenly distributed light beams, and they’ll last for years to come without burning out or dimming over time.
Avoid sets that have too much variance in their beam angles, as this can cause spots of bright light while other areas are left completely dark.
Common Problems With Led Christmas Lights – Details
1. Dimly Lit Led Christmas Lights
One of the main common problems with led Christmas lights is dimly lit bulbs. This can occur when lights are not properly connected, if they’re wired in series rather than parallel, or if the insulation on each wire is damaged for some reason.
One of the most effective ways to avoid this problem is by reading reviews from previous customers before you purchase new strings of LED Christmas lights. Many companies will post photos of their lights in action, so you can see how they react to different types of insulation or simulated weather conditions.
If the reviews are not available in a photo format, it’s best to look for lights that have been given several positive ratings by satisfied buyers.
In addition, it’s always a good idea to look for lights with UL certification. This will ensure that they have been tested by an independent agency and are safe to use.
2. Burnt Led Christmas Bulbs
Another problem with led Christmas lights is that they can burn out completely if their maximum wattage rating has been exceeded. If your light strings are receiving more voltage than recommended, they will begin to generate excessive heat. This can cause the bulb’s filament to burn out and result in a string of darkened lights instead of a full string.
This is why it’s important to measure the voltage and wattage for your entire set of lights before you plug them in or turn on the power.
Simply measure the voltage across each bulb’s two wires, one on either side of the light string. Then multiply this number by 0.02 to determine the wattage.
If your lights are rated for 12 volts and they’re producing more than 0.24 watts, you need to reduce the voltage going to your lights.
If you have a multimeter, it’s simple to measure and adjust this value as needed before plugging in your lights.
3. Area of Spotty Brightness
I also find that some LED Christmas light sets have an area of bright lights near the center, while other areas are completely dark. This is a result of poor beam angles or improperly connected wires.
If you find that your lights are having this problem, it’s important to check the beam angles on each bulb.
If they’re too narrow, it can create dark spots that are difficult to cover with decorations. If the beams are extremely wide, there could be a lot of wasted light at the outer edges.
In addition, you may need to adjust how your lights are wired in order to get them to work.
If you’re using the series method, make sure that each bulb is properly connected to a common ground wire before it gets wired into the positive line. If you’re using the parallel method, ensure that each bulb has its own ground wire before it gets wired into the negative line.
If your lights are wired in parallel, it’s also a good idea to look at the insulation on each wire. This will give you an indication of which bulbs are receiving more voltage than others, and you can adjust accordingly.
4. Loose Connection
Led Christmas lights can also have problems with loose connections. This is usually caused when the wire insulation has been damaged in some way, exposing bare wires that should not be touching.
If you notice that your lights are flickering or turning off for no apparent reason, it’s a good idea to check for loose connections.
You can do this by going through your light string one bulb at a time and tightening the screws on each connection point. Make sure that no bare wire is exposed and then give your string a test run to see if the problem has been solved.
If you’re still having problems with loose connections, you may need to replace a few bulbs or even the entire string of lights.
If your light set is new and has never worked properly, it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer and ask for customer service.
You’ll want to be sure that you’ve covered all your bases before you request a replacement.
If it turns out that the lights are defective, then you should be able to get them replaced or returned for a full refund.
5. Wires Melting Inside The Sockets
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when the insulation on one or more wires melts inside their sockets. This can create a short circuit that causes the string of lights to stop working.
If you notice that your entire light set is not lit up evenly, it’s a good idea to check the wire insulation for any signs of melting.
If you find that one or more wires are melted, then it’s important to remove them from the sockets.
You can do this by using needle-nose pliers to pull out the melted portion of each wire, followed by cutting off any remaining exposed wires with a utility knife.
Once you have removed the damaged portion of each wire, use electrical tape to cover any exposed copper in order to prevent it from causing problems during the next test run.
Then you can insert a replacement bulb into each socket and check to see if your light set is working properly.
If you see that your lights are still not lit evenly or if they continue to flicker, it’s a good idea to check the insulation on all your other wires. If you find that they’re melted too, then it’s a good idea to replace them as well.
6. Some LED Christmas Lights Can Be Too Bright
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when they are too bright. This can be caused by either poor beam angles or improperly connected wires. You would often want your led Christmas lights to be as bright as possible.
However, there are instances when they can be too bright for a particular space or location. For example, you may not want your Christmas lights to be too bright if they are being placed in a children’s bedroom.
If you find that your LED Christmas lights are too bright, you can solve this by either adjusting the beam angles or adding a few layers of gaff tape over them.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re covering the portion of each bulb’s LED board that is responsible for projecting light towards the outside.
If your lights are still too bright after adding gaff tape, then you can also try using a paintable overglaze that will diffuse the light.
You should be able to find this type of paint in the lighting section at any home improvement store.
Once your lights have been painted, you should be able to find a comfortable balance between their brightness and the ambiance that you’re trying to create.
7. Bulbs Not Evenly Spaced Apart
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when the bulbs are not evenly spaced apart from one another. This can cause your string of lights to look uneven.
If you’ve already given your string of lights a test run and are still noticing this problem, it’s a good idea to reposition each bulb by twisting it slightly.
Sometimes, the problem can be solved just by rotating each LED light a few degrees to make sure that they are aligned with one another.
If you find that this doesn’t solve the problem, then it’s a good idea to check your wiring and make sure that the bulbs are all connected correctly.
You’ll want to make sure that each bulb is receiving power by checking if it’s lit up when you flip the power switch for your entire string of lights.
If you find that one or more bulbs are not receiving any power, it’s a good idea to check the insulation on all your wires.
You should also make sure that you’re not exceeding amperage for each of your LED lights.
For example, if you have 60 lights on your string of Christmas lights and each one requires 0.02 amps (two-tenths of an amp), then you’ve reached your maximum amperage.
8. Wired To A Single Power Source
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when they are wired to a single power source. This can cause them to appear dimmer than the rest.
This is why most of the best led Christmas light brands recommend that you connect multiple strings together. If this is not an option for your home, then there are a few ways to solve the problem.
For example, you can try using a dimmer power switch. This will allow you to adjust the brightness of your string of Christmas lights when they are connected to a single power source.
Another option is to use an inline dimmer that can be connected in between your two strings of lights.
This will allow you to adjust the brightness of each string independently.
If neither of these options is a viable solution for your home, then there is also the option of purchasing a new set of lights.
You can try using low-voltage LED Christmas lights to ensure that they’re compatible with your power supply.
9. Wires That Are Too Thin For Their Length
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when the wires are not thick enough for their length. This can cause your string of Christmas lights to short circuit.
One way to solve this problem is by using electrical tape to cover the insulation on each of your LED strings. This will help ensure that the wires are thick enough for their length.
If you don’t want to use electrical tape, there is also the option of using a sealant. This will cover up any exposed wires and prevent them from short-circuiting.
Another option is to use thicker insulated wiring that can support your LED lights.
You may also need to add more insulation if the wires on your current lights are too thin or poorly insulated.
10. No Spare Bulbs Included In The Set
Another problem that people often run into with LED Christmas lights is when they do not come with spare bulbs.
For example, if you’re using a 50-light string of Christmas lights and one burns out, then you’ll need to replace the entire strand.
It’s a good idea to look for a string of Christmas lights that comes with spare bulbs in order to avoid this problem.
Another option is to purchase an additional set so you can always have some spare bulbs on hand.
If neither of these options is viable for your holiday decorating needs, then you’ll need to replace each bulb one at a time.
You’ll want to start by removing the burnt-out light and replacing it with a new one.
11. Cords Don’t Reach As Far As Advertised
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when the cords are not long enough to reach as far as advertised.
For example, if you want to hang your lights on a tree that is taller than the advertised length of the cords, then you’ll need to purchase an extra strand.
You can also try to find a set of lights that includes an extension cord. This will allow you to connect two sets together in order to create one long strand.
Another option is to use a power strip so your LED lights will not be limited by the length of their cords.
With a power strip, you can plug in as many sets of lights as you need in order to create a long strand.
12. Bulbs Flicker or Blink Randomly
Another common problem with LED Christmas lights is when they flicker or blink randomly.
This can be a result of one light going out, which causes the rest of them to flicker or blink.
It’s a good idea to check each bulb when you notice your string of Christmas lights flickering or blinking.
If one of the lights is out, then you can turn it back on and replace it with a new bulb.
You may also need to check the bulbs on your string of Christmas lights periodically throughout the holiday season.
If one light goes out, it could cause all of the others to flicker or blink.
If you notice any lights flickering or blinking, then you should replace them with new bulbs immediately in order to prevent your lights from short-circuiting.
13. Poor Packaging Causing Loose Bulbs To Break During Shipment
Another problem with LED Christmas lights is when the bulbs are not attached securely to their wires. This can cause them to break during shipment, which may cause you to need replacement lights.
If this happens, then you can use a clear adhesive such as super glue or hot-melt glue to secure the bulbs to their holders.
Another option is to use electrical tape or clear thread around each of your LED lights so they are securely attached to their wires and retainers.
How To Avoid These Problems When Using Led Christmas Lights
These are some of the common problems that people run into when using LED Christmas lights. Some of these include;
- Fixing burned bulbs immediately
- Ensuring that cords are long enough to reach your desired location
- Replacing a light when it flickers or blinks randomly
- Making sure each light is securely attached to its cord and holder.
- Purchasing an additional set of lights or adding on to the strand with an extension cord.
- Using a power strip if the length of your cords is not long enough to reach your desired location.
- Checking each light for a burnt-out bulb and replacing it with a new one.
- You will also want to inspect your lights periodically throughout the holiday season to ensure that none go out.
By avoiding these problems, you can ensure that your LED Christmas lights will work the way you want them to.