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Repair and disassembly guides for Christmas lights.

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Why does an entire string of lights that worked last year not work?

Three sets of lights were working just fine last year. I plugged them in this year, and all three strings were dead. Why?

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Are you storing them correctly (spooled) and checking that they work after wrapping them for storage? Only 3 reasons string lights stop working completely: the copper wiring is compromised (physically cut or corroded), the fuse is blown or there is a loose or broken bulb. If only part of the strand isn’t working it’s a bulb problem. Each bulb has a bypass wire so if a bulb burns out it’s just one bulb. If a bulb is loose or missing it breaks the current bc they are series wired. If the whole strand is out inspect the twisted wiring, replace the fuse. Next check all the bulbs. The materials are durable and the design is both weather proof and fire proof but they are assembled cheaply so they fail when jostled. The waste they produce out of sheer frustration and lack of insight into how they work is breathtaking. Invest in a handheld light tester and wrap the lights around something wide like cardboard or invest in light storage boxes that come with spools. Otherwise, if they’re dead and you can’t deal, recycle them to benefit charity here:

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I have these also. One does not work. How do you change the bulbs or open the it, to fix the wires?


I know that typically if one or two bulbs in a series fail the whole set continues to work, but if more that this fail the fuse blows. This makes it harder to find the dead bulbs. Yesterday evening all of the bulbs in a series blew at the same time. I know this is the case because I have tested each bulb with a bulb tester (each of which was working yesterday morning) and none of them now work. I replaced each bulb in the series with a new bulb including the fuse and the entire set now works so there is no issue with the cabling. I am very puzzled as to how this could have happened.


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The circuit is not powered. A fuse blew out. A cascading outage resulted from a burned-out bulb. Don't forget that your property's specific electrical service may have an impact on how many strings of lights you can connect together. Always examine the capability of your electrical service first!

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Thanks, I should have been clearer in my question. What happened was a string of fairy lights was left connected to the mains without a fuse bulb in place and at some point in time later (probably when a bulb failed) all 39 other standard bulbs also failed at the same time. I tested each bulb individually afterwards and none of them lit. I expect this is because there was nothing to stop the surge current from the initial bulb failure from continuing all the way along the string of lights.


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