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circus4u

Lawn Lights Problems

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I purchased a set of Lawn Lights at www.lawnlights.com this past spring. I put them out in my yard for the first time and they did not light. I used my lightkeeper pro to zap the string, did the voltage detection test, removed each bulb and tested it in a good string of lights, replaced the plug on the set and nothing gets the lights working. I e-mailed lawn lights, but my e-mail server (hotmail) has been down off and on for almost a week now. I am at witts end over this string of lawn lights! Any troubleshooting help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Denny

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This is where a "high voltage" light tester comes in real handy, because you'd just listen for the arc...

How many bulbs are in the string? If there are more than 50, and the entire string is out, there's a good chance the string isn't getting power at all. Did you check the fuses in the plug? Sometimes they get dislodged, or maybe one blew somehow.

Barring that, you might just have some bulb issues. Does the lightkeeper detect voltage anywhere on the string?

EDIT: I'm also assuming you tested these before setting them up?

-Tim

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Tim,

They are a string of fifty lights spaced at 10 foot intervals. They come with metal brackets that are pushed in the ground to elevate the bulbs about 6 inches above ground level. They looked really nice on their website, so I ordered one set back in April to see how the would look ($47, I believe was the cost). I never opened the box until I was ready to put them out. They come on a reel, so I did not test them before spreading them out on the ground when I was going to put them up. Never made it to setting them up. After 1 1/2 days of trying to figure out why they wouldn't light, I just put them back on the reel and back in my storeage shed. I did all the tests recommended on the sheet that came with them, right down to cutting off the plug and replacing it with a new one. I tested all the bulbs a second time today and noticed that the wire inside about 90% of the sockets is long enough to reach across the socket and touch the opposite contacts. I tried pushing the wire back across to the appropriate side with a jeweler's screwdriver, but it didn't seem to help. I just decided no string of lights is worth 1 1/2 days of troubleshooting and chalked it up as a learning experience.

Denny

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Contact the owner and see what he says. He helped us out a lot at the park display and we used a lot of those lights. One thing you may want to do is replace the plug. He did mention faulty plugs and was looking at another vendor for the plugs.

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If these are like standard mini lights, you could try zappinging themwith your LightKeeper in the dark while they are plugged in and look for a blue spark inside a bulb. The darkness makes the spark easier to spot.Sparking indicates the LightKeeper's electricity jumpingacross abroken filiment or other wire in the bulb. If you find a sparking bulb, it is dead. I have had great success with this method even though it isnt how the LightKeeper is advertised to work.

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Brad Caudill wrote:

Contact the owner and see what he says. He helped us out a lot at the park display and we used a lot of those lights. One thing you may want to do is replace the plug. He did mention faulty plugs and was looking at another vendor for the plugs.

Hmm, I had this same conversation with Mark in June 2005! Apparently the search isn't going well! I had to cut off the plug on two lawn light strands last year and that solved my problem there. I also had some sockets shorting out as the original post described. Once I got them going, they looked fantastic and have stayed on my slope ever since. We love them, but yes it took a lot of blood sweat and tears to finally get them working right.

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There is just too much going on right now for me to mess with them anymore. I may pull them out of the shed next summer when it is 120+ degrees here and I hibernate in the house. Then, I will work with them and try to figure out what is wrong -- maybe it will make me think of cooler weather then?

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Too bad about the lawnlights. I was just going to order some but now maybe thats not a good idea. They seem rather expensive for something that requires repair the second you get them. Also I e-mailed lawnlights about a month ago about a question I had concerning their color caps. I never got a response.

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I ordered lawn lights last year and I loved them. They worked perfectly and created a neat affect to my display. Thats until neighbors trampled through my yard crushing them. If I have time I will try and fix them and get them out in the display this year.

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Denny:

I sent you an email on Wednesday 11/22. If you have not yet read it, I ask you to check your email again soon. Once you read your email, I would appreciate it if you would post here again concerning the contents of that email. Thank you.

Just to let the rest of you know, Denny (William?) did in fact contact me through the website. I'mprovidingassistance as best I can. Denny initiallyused an ohm meter to diagnose the lights. That's fine, but I still contend that the proximity tester procedure I describe in the user's manual is the fastest way to findthe problem.

The delimma with my product is that the quality in ALL mini light sets is very low. Manufacturers simply throw bad sets away because they are so cheap. Retailers mark up the sets to cover the cost of the sets that ultimately will be returned to them and tossed. In this industry, about 25% of all mini-light sets immediately hit the dumpster, and nobody cares much because it is only a couple bucks. Now,my product costs much more because it uses a lot more wire. But the Quality in manufacturing remains the same. Therefore, when I receive a semi-load of these, I have to 'screen' out any sets that do not meet my standards. My staff and I do the best we can. After literally selling several tons of these, I can honestly say I have had less than a dozen people complain when they receive them. Quite honestly, I thought it would be higher, but we do a good job of screening.

When a set does arrive to the customer and they have problems, sometimes it is damage caused during shipment. UPS can sometimes treat packages very rough. Unfortunately, it reflects bad on my product when this happens.

I do not blame Denny one bit for being frustrated. I would betoo. I remember the early days before I developed the prox tester procedure. Denny is right - no decoration is worth a great deal of time diagnosing. However, I try to minimize everyone's frustration by providing the best troubleshooting procedure there is for these Lawn Lights. Although it is annoying to have to find a problem, at least I show how to find the problem in well under 10 minutes. The key is the prox tester.

I am not really impressed with the lightkeeper pro. I have one as well. I have never gotten the peizo to fix a problem yet. The sensor part is probably most helpful, but a regular prox tester is smaller and easier to handle.

Just today, I helped a fellow from NY fix his set which was 3 years old.He did the same thing - tested every lamp and all worked. I called him up and while he was on the cell phone, I coached him with the prox tester. He found the problem in about 7 minutes. It ended up that one of the leads from the lamp was not in the proper position. Found it, fixed it.

Regarding plugs - yes, I am not at all pleased with this manufacturer's plugs. The crazy thing is, I will go thru like 50 boxes that look beautiful, then hit a patch of like 20boxes that look aweful. These are the ones that my staff screens out. They must subcontract the work out or something, because some look great, others bad.

Denny, you mention your email has not been working lately. Please let me know how else to contact you. Again, please check your email because I sent you something on Wednesday.

If anyone has problems with their Lawn Lights, do not hesitate to contact me at http://www.LawnLights.com . I will assist you as much as possible.

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Jeff, I reply to all inquiries made to me thru http://www.LawnLights.com . I am glad you mention this, because I do recall getting an inquiry about color caps a few weeks ago.Here is what the original email said:

Name:

City and State:

Email:

Do you sell yellow/gold color caps? I can find yellow color caps on another site but the shipping is ridiculous. Your shipping seems very reasonable.

I could not reply to this emailbecause the sender didnot provide me with their email address. I don't know if it was yours or not, but please contact me again thru the website and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Thanks, Mark

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