How to fix Christmas lights: What to do when you’re met with that inevitable unlit section this week

Unpacked your Christmas tree to find that all your lights have gone? Find out how to fix Christmas lights without too much hassle

christmas lights
(Image credit: Getty)

We’re going into December this week, which means one thing - it’s time to put the Christmas tree up.

And with this being the last weekend before December kicks off, most of us can probably admit that we’ve taken advantage of the extra time to put the Christmas decorations in our houses up a couple of days early - even if we've had to buy a Christmas tree online.

But when unpacking our festive decorations and getting them all up around the house, it is done while holding our breath over one issue in particular - our Christmas lights.

Hardly a December can go by without many of us being met with at least one section of dud lights in our Christmas set - meaning we’re left having to splurge out on new ones or go through the hassle of getting them fixed lest we leave a section of our perfectly-curated tree unlit.

So learn here how to fix Christmas lights so that you can try and do it yourself for a cheaper and smoother first week of December.

How to fix Christmas lights: Four causes to look out for and how to solve them

Disconnected light bulbs

The first thing to look out for is any loose light bulbs on your string of Christmas lights. The problem with any lights that aren’t could be as simple as the light not being pushed into the power source properly.

Check for loose connections and if you can see any, try and push them down onto the power connection properly to see if that fixes the problem. No need for anymore hassle!

Blown and tired Fuses

Next check your fuse. In the plug of your lights there will live one or multiple small fuses and if one overheats and blows, it can cause one section or even the while string of lights to stop working.

You may have been provided with an extra fuse on buying your lights, but if you weren’t (or they’ve ended up rolling around somewhere in the random stuff drawer in the kitchen) you should be able to get one from a hardware store. You can even purchase them online if you know which type you’re looking for.

How to replace the fuse:

  • Open the plug’s latch with a small screwdriver (any that you’ve collected from last year’s Christmas crackers would work perfectly!)
  • Use a fuse tester to figure out which is the one causing the problem
  • Carefully take out the faulty fuse and replace it with the new one
  • Screw the latch back onto the plug and you should be good to go!

Shop Amazon fuses here

Broken lightbulbs

If all of your lightbulbs are connected properly and the fuses are all working/have been replaced for new ones, then chances are the issue could be that your lightbulbs themselves are broken.

And while you may have thought that this means you need to splash out on a whole new set of lights, replacement bulbs are actually super easy to get hold of - again either from your local hardware store or online.

The best way to go around this fix is to first check with bulb it is that’s causing the problem, as just one can cause a large section to go dark, or even affect the whole string of lights.

Use an electrical tester to identify which bulb is the broken one. Then simply pick out your broken bulb and clip in one of the new one. We’d recommend grabbing a bag each year in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales so that you’re well prepared for any issues that crop up on December 1st!

Shop Amazon bulb replacements here

Chewed and mangled wires

Most of us can probably admit to storing our Christmas decorations in tattered old boxes that we keep in our cold attics or garages or outdoor sheds. So chances are that are precious Christmas lights are actually left subject to whichever animals want to get them - namely rats.

This can lead to finding chewed wires when you open up your Christmas decor box, which, in all honesty, can be quite dangerous. In this case, it’s probably better to abandon ship and invest in some new lights - save any Home Alone-style electric situations!

Black Friday Christmas light deals

Best Black Friday Christmas light deals

If you've done everything you can buy your lights are truly beyond repair (or if, admittedly like us, you'd just rather avoid all the hassle) use the Black Friday weekend offers to bag yourself a deal on a new set of lights.

Argos Home 720 Warm White Multi-Function LED Lights - 58.14m: £45 £33.75 | Argos

These classic Christmas lights will blend into the background of your tree with its green wire, with the soft yellow glow will give your room that traditional festive look.View Deal

Premier Decorations 2000 TreeBrights with Timer - White: £90 £63 (save £27) | Argos

A less traditional and slightly more striking option, these cooler lights will add a twinkle to your tree with their sparkly effect - perfect for those who prefer a cold and snowy look.View Deal

 400 Fairy Multi-Functional LED Lights - Warm White: £47.99 £31.99 (save £16) | Robert Dyas

This pack of 400 lights can be used inside or outside with a lead wire of 10m, meaning you can place them wherever you want without having to worry about looking for a plug nearby. They even have a timer that ranges from six to 16 hours!View Deal

20pc String Lights Candy Cane: £2.50 | Dunelm

If you're looking for something different or just want to add a bit of fun to your living room, give your house an adorable Whoville look with these red candy cane lights. And they're so affordable they don't even need to be on sale for you to grab a bargain! View Deal

1000 Compact LED Lightchain: £24.99 | The Range

These string lights may not be on sale but they're very reasonably-priced nevertheless. The bulbs are close together giving a more rounded twinkly look and they can even be used both indoors and outdoors.View Deal

Pearl Cluster String Lights: £34.50 | Oliver Bonas

We may not be able to make any savings on this Oliver Bonas offering but we kind of don't mind because this one was love at first sight. The gold string and pearly finish will add a touch of elegance to any room of the house, but save for the Christmas tree if you want to be lavish.View Deal

66ft 200 LED String Fairy Lights Plug in: £14.99 £11.99 (save £3) | Amazon

Create a snowy, Narnia-esque winter wonderland with these tiny white string lights that will leave your tree with a gorgeous frosty look. There are also eight different lighting settings so that you can customise the kind of effect that you would prefer.View Deal

1500 Megabrights Fairy Light - Copper Glow: £51.99 £38.99 (save £13) | Wayfair

If you want something a bit more unique compared to the usual white or yellow glow lights, this copper option is a lovely more modern choice to opt for. It has a 10m lead wire for flexibility and has different light settings including, static, twinkle, fade, chasing, glow, sequential, waves and combination.View Deal

 30 Globe String Lights: £28.99 £23.19 (save £5.80)| Amazon

With 30 globe lights that are weather-resistant so can be used indoors or outdoors, this will give you a lovely modern and unique option to give your house a cool New York loft look. One for if you want to divert from tradition this year!View Deal