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Thread: Help with pre-lit tree and bad string o' lights

  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Help with pre-lit tree and bad string o' lights

    image.jpg

    Trying to fix section of lights on pre lit tree. LightKeeperPro tells me this bulb is bad (voltage detector doesn't chirp), but I can't remove it unless I dig it out. Seems to be permanently embedded.

    This string runs across 6 branches. The last half lights up, the first half does not. There is one of these white based bulbs at each end of the string. The bulb is not visibly burned out. When I test with LKP, it chirps at each bulb in the string except for this white based one.

    I figure if I can determine what's different about this bulb, I can fix the string.

    Any help is appreciated! Been driving myself crazy trying to get the lights working!

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with pre-lit tree and bad string o' lights

    I have one of those on every level of my 9.5' tree in the living room. Don't know what is does that's different from the rest and why it was designed to not be removable.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help with pre-lit tree and bad string o' lights

    Now, that is just silly - why in the heck would they do that?!? You could splice another one in its place or jumper around it to make sure it is indeed the issue.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help with pre-lit tree and bad string o' lights

    Quote Originally Posted by macebobo View Post
    Now, that is just silly - why in the heck would they do that?!? You could splice another one in its place or jumper around it to make sure it is indeed the issue.
    So the average consumer can't fix it so they have to go out and buy another one. But yeah, I would try to jump around it somehow.
    Last edited by crazy_carpenter; 12-02-2012 at 05:20 AM.
    The Wife: You are going to put how many lights on this house ????
    Me: It's OK...Calm down...We have a family friend who is the Captain of our Fire Dept Precinct... He told me he can have a fire truck here in 5 mins if things go badly.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with pre-lit tree and bad string o' lights

    I just went thought the same thing with our tree this year. What you have is GE "Constant On" lights. Each bulb socket on the string has a spring loaded set of contacts inside so if a bulb falls out of the socket the contacts will close and keep the rest of the string lit. In addition to the normal fuses in the plug end GE decided it would be a good idea to add a "current limiting bulb". These bulbs have the white socket adapters. I guess the thinking was that this bulb would blow out if the string got too hot. The real problem is that the bulb does not have a shunt in it and on older strings was not designed to be user replaceable. Another thing of note is that the bulbs are a larger diameter than standard 5mm incandescent bulbs - these GE's are 6mm or so.

    What I did to repair our bad string was to pull out the glass bulb breaking the bulb wires off leaving the white socket adapter behind in the socket. I used a small hook tool (like a dental pick tool) to carefully remove the white socket adapter from the socket. Once I got the adapter out I installed a regular bulb with a shunt and the string was back in business. At the time I did not have any of the larger diameter GE bulbs so I substituted a standard 5mm bulb. The 5mm bulb worked fine but because the diameter was smaller then the adapter it was really loose. I was able to find new a new set of 100 GE Constant On lights at Lowes for $12.00 (ouch!). The socket adapters on the new string were a perfect fit on the old tree stings.

    Here is a link to the website I found that was helpful while looking for a solution to the GE Constant On "special" bulb solution:

    http://www.gatwood.net/odds_and_ends/ge_lights.html

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