TSBC License # LEL0205347
OKV Electric
Okanagan Valey Electric Services

Troubleshooting Broken Christmas Lights

December 28th 2020

Christmas comes but once a year, and with it all the love, joy, and happiness one would expect, but that is not all. It also comes with the frustration and stress that descends on you when decorating goes awry. At Okanagan Valley Electrical Services (OKV),located in Kelowna, BC, we hear a common tale of hard work and energy going into putting up Christmas lights only to discover they are not working properly.

We would like to take some of the frustration out of the moment and give you a few tips on why your lights might not be working properly and how to troubleshoot your Christmas tree lights when they’re on the fritz.

My lights are not working. Why?

·Perhaps you are running too many lights on your household breaker.

If you are not willing to run fewer lights, consider switching to LED, which uses a far lower wattage than traditional lights.

·Maybe one of the bulbs is unseated or missing.

In most strings of lights, one burned-out bulb will not affect the rest, but if a bulb is unseated or missing, the entire string on that circuit will go out.

·It could be a problem with your wiring.

This could be caused by ageing lights or improper storage. Always make sure to put your Christmas lights away neatly to extend their life. You should always carefully wrap your lights in their original or similar containers, making sure the bulbs do not bang together.

I know why. Now, what do I do?

·If burned out bulbs or frayed internal wiring are the problems, visit your local Canadian Tire store, or anywhere else that sells Christmas lights, and they should be able to help you. To make next year’s decorating a breeze, pick up a bulb tester while you are there. Here is an example: Incandescent Light Keeper.

·If a faulty fuse is causing the issue, visit a Canadian Tire or any other hardware store and they should have the replacement fuse you’re looking for. If you want to be sure you get the right product, bring along a sample to compare.


If you do not know where to look for the fuse on your lights, look for a little door in the male plug that can be slid back to access the fuse. Use a small screwdriver to slide the door open, pry out the fuse and check if it is damaged. If it is, the little wire in the middle of the glass cylinder will be broken.

·One more tip: Always use a surge protector when plugging in your lights, especially if they are LED.

Hopefully, these tips help you to avoid extra holiday stress this season and help you to be even more prepared next year as Christmas approaches. Enjoy every moment of the twinkling holiday season and visit OKV Electric for all your electrical needs.

Check out our blog for more tips about electrical issues in your home. If you need the help of an electrician, contact us below or give us a call at 250-540-6894!