How To Replace Bad Christmas Light Bulbs For Bright Lights All Season Long

Believe it or not, replacing bulbs on Christmas lights often proves to be an easier task than untangling them. If you follow these steps for troubleshooting and replacing, you'll have a shiny string of lights in no time at all.

After getting past the challenge of untangling the lights, plug them in to see if you find any that no longer work, according to Popular Mechanics. The best way to ensure you don't miss one is by going down the string and closely examining a few sections at a time. By doing so, you'll immediately notice any dead bulbs amongst the rest of the pack.

Prior to pulling out the bulb, check to see if it's properly constrained. During the process of storing lights and bringing them back out again for the holiday season, they sometimes get jiggled around and become loose. Thus, it's best to push the bulb into its socket to secure the connection. If it lights up immediately, then voilà — the problem is solved.

Replacing burnt-out bulbs

Have you tried pushing the bulb into its socket and nothing happens? If so, you most likely need a new bulb, notes Christmas Lights Etc. One important step to remember is to always unplug the lights before replacing any bulbs or fuses. Other time-saving tips include keeping the dead bulb in one hand while unplugging with the other or marking it with a piece of painter's tape. This may help if multiple bulbs need to be replaced.

However, for most types of holiday lights, you can usually pull the bulb out of the socket. If you experience any trouble, use a small, flathead screwdriver and place the edge of the head against the bulb's base and gently push up (hence the need to always unplug the lights first). From there, you can replace the bulb with a new one that's the same size, model, shape, and voltage.

Swapping out glass bulbs

Some varieties of Christmas lights have glass bulbs that fit into a plastic base (also referred to as the husk) and go into the socket itself. The two parts are actually separate from each other. After removing the base for the glass bulb from the socket, carefully straighten out the two metal leads that stick out from the bottom. This will allow you to slide the glass bulb out from its base.

Then, take the new bulb and gently straighten out its metal leads and feed them into the small holes at the bottom of its base. Next, carefully fold back the metal leads, making sure they line up straight against the side of the housing, as recommended by Popular Mechanics. From there, place the newly mounted bulb firmly into the socket. Once you plug your lights back in, the new bulb should work. Happy holiday decorating!