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Littlebit

How Can I Tell Which Light is the Problem?

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At the end of the 2006 season, I bought a set of 2 palm trees from Michael's Arts & Crafts - one is 6' tall and one is about 3' tall. I tried to find a picture of them on the net, but no dice. However the 2nd picture in my YouTube video shows them pretty well:

At the beginning of the 2007 season, a wind blew down the taller tree because I didn't have it tied down well enough. Several bulbs broke but as far as I know, all of them were replaced. However a good half of the tree still wouldn't light. My MIL has the patience of a saint and went through every strand over the course of a few weeks, replaced whatever else had to be replaced and gave us the tree back, 100% lit, in the autumn. We kept it in our garage, untouched, and took it out of "hiding' on Friday. Problem is, suddenly a bunch of lights don't work again. Hubby has been using his Light Keeper Pro to figure out which light(s) the problem is/are but to no avail. He thinks there are more than 1 bulb that are out. He's willing to start trying to replace each "out" light but we need to have replacement to do that (I don't want to salvage the smaller tree for "parts").

So my question is, where/how does one find replacement bulbs? So many of the "little" bulb bottoms look so similar but then it turns out they don't fit properly. To make things even worse, the bulbs aren't a normal Christmasy color - they're lime green. Any suggestions? I REALLY like this set of trees.

Thanks!

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So my question is, where/how does one find replacement bulbs? So many of the "little" bulb bottoms look so similar but then it turns out they don't fit properly. To make things even worse, the bulbs aren't a normal Christmasy color - they're lime green. Any suggestions? I REALLY like this set of trees.

Target, Wal-Mart, OSH, Home Depot, Lowes and many ACE hardware stores (and lots of other places) all carry spare mini-light bulbs. These are almost always "bare bulbs" - i.e. with no base. You simply bend the wires of a bad bulb down, pull the bulb out of the base, carefully insert a new bulb, making sure that the wires aren't twisted, and bend the wires down the side.

Make sure that you know whether you need 2.5V ES, 2.5V SB, 3.5V, 6V or 12V bulbs - putting the wrong bulb in will either make the bulb appear to not work or will cause the new bulb to fail almost instantly (depending on which incorrect combination of light and string you end up with).

If you don't know what kind of bulbs, you can figure it out.

10 lights/string - 12V

20 lights/string - 6V

35/70/105/... lights/string - 3.5V

50/100/150/... lights/string - 2.5V

You can differentiate between 2.5V ES and 2.5V SB lights by measuring (or reading, if you have the box for the set) the wattage of the string. A 100 light string of SB minis will use about 40W of power, while a 100 light string of ES minis will use about 24W of power. If you can't measure the wattage and you don't have the package, try an SB light. If it glows very dimly, try an ES light.

The lime green is going to be tough to match, I suspect, but you might try getting clear bulbs and coloring them with an appropriately colored Sharpie permanent pen.

Edited by CarlD

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Thank-you so much! However my husband Joe has a question:

"We have a Light Keeper Pro (or an equivalent thereof). When I have the plug in the wall in one way, half of the lights that are out are marked as having power. When I flip the plug 180 degrees, the other half that are out are marked as having power. Is this correct? (I know the Light Keeper Pro works on polarity). And then how do I check to see which one is out? The lights are VERY twisted within the structure of the tree and I don't know how to check to see where the broken connection is, since half of the lights are always out, depending on which way the plug is plugged into the wall."

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Thank-you so much! However my husband Joe has a question:

"We have a Light Keeper Pro (or an equivalent thereof). When I have the plug in the wall in one way, half of the lights that are out are marked as having power. When I flip the plug 180 degrees, the other half that are out are marked as having power. Is this correct? (I know the Light Keeper Pro works on polarity). And then how do I check to see which one is out? The lights are VERY twisted within the structure of the tree and I don't know how to check to see where the broken connection is, since half of the lights are always out, depending on which way the plug is plugged into the wall."

With a figure like a tree, I can imagine that it could be difficult to follow the lights in order, but unfortunately, that's exactly what you need to do. It's also important that you only have one basic string at a time energized - e.g. if you're working on a 100 light string, pull a bulb from the "good" half of the string while you diagnose the other half. If both halves are bad, pull a bulb from one end of the string and then start using the LKP from the other end.

There are a number of how-to's on the net for using the LKP. Here's the manufacturer's page:

http://lightkeeperpro.com/continuity_detect_instr.asp?step=1

At least one PC member has written an excellent LKP tutorial as well (with way more detail than the manufacturer's page) - hopefully someone else will post here with a link - with a quick Google search I only turned up several different versions of basically the same poor instructions that the manufacturer provides.

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Joe says thank-you, as do I. At least he has a few leads this way. I told him that as long as the tree is lit by our holiday party on the 19th, I won't be disappointed. Sure wish they still sold them...

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At least one PC member has written an excellent LKP tutorial as well (with way more detail than the manufacturer's page) - hopefully someone else will post here with a link - with a quick Google search I only turned up several different versions of basically the same poor instructions that the manufacturer provides.

Methinks you mean Mike's most excellent how-to:

http://www.landolights.com/main/content/view/91/39/

\dmc

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