HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Several years ago when my kids were little I was trying to hang Christmas lights on the tree and none of them would turn on. If you’ve ever put on Christmas lights or plugged in a pre-lit tree, you’ve been there before.
Either way, this Christmas in our house has become known as “Christmas Daddy Said a Bad Word”.
One bad bulb can prevent the entire strand from lighting, because each bulb sends electricity to the next bulb on the strand. When there is a problem with a bulb, usually a bad shunt, you should either replace each bulb with one that you know is working until you come across the wrong bulb and they all light up. .
Rather than doing that, for many years you just had to throw the whole strand and run to the store to buy more Christmas lights. A relatively new gadget called Light Keeper Pro was invented to fix lights without someone saying a bad word after an hour or two.
The folks at Light Keeper sent me a unit to test.
Here’s how it works: Once you’ve plugged in the beam of lights and nothing is lighting up, you remove one of the bulbs with a handy tool built into the device that is basically a plastic gun. Then take the empty plug and insert it into a socket of the Light Keeper Pro gadget.
You will then press the trigger of the device 7 to 20 times. The Light Keeper Pro sends a burst or pulse of electricity through the entire strand, even past the socket containing the wrong bulb so that they all light up. Except for the only defective bulb that you can now identify.
Take out that bad bulb and replace it with a new one and all the lights on the strand should come on.
It should work, but if it doesn’t, the Light Keeper Pro has an audible voltage tester. Using another trigger or button on the gadget, hold it down until one of the outlets does not beep. Then you have identified the wrong outlet where the voltage stops. Replace that bulb and everything should work.
So the Light Keeper Pro works and I have chatted with several friends who use it successfully every year. There are instructions on the Light Keeper Pro website as well as several videos to show how to use the product.
It worked, but I’ll be honest it’s not as easy as it looks in the videos and my friends have told me ahead of time that it takes practice.
I took several strands that did not light up at all and another strand that only part of it worked. Now these strands were old and I can’t say for sure that they have worked for years. There were probably several defective bulbs or something may have eaten away at the wires (although I checked this and saw nothing).
To get a better idea of if the gadget is working, I went to the store and bought a brand new box of lights for around $ 3 and plugged them in to make sure all the bulbs came on.
I took an old bulb and bent the shunt or wires that go into the socket to receive electricity and pass it on to the next bulb. I once put the wrong bulb in the right strand and tried the Light Keeper Pro.
The gadget turned on all the lights and the wrong bulb stayed dark. Following the instructions, I replaced the bad bulb with a good one and every bulb in the strand lit up.
If that doesn’t work for your strand, the Light Keeper Pro has an audible voltage tester where you run the gun along the light strand. Good bulbs will beep. When you come across a bulb that won’t beep, you’ll know it’s the socket that’s preventing the rest from getting electricity to complete the circuit.
Conclusion: it works. I must mention that it is not as easy as it looks in the video. As my friends who also use it told me, it takes a bit of practice to insert the bulb socket into the Light Keeper Pro to light up the entire strand.
It was true for me too. The Light Keeper Pro only works on the most common mini incandescent bulbs. For the LED light strands, you will need the LED version of the Light Keeper Pro.
I found the Light Keeper Pro and most retailers that sell Christmas lights, including Walmart, Target, and Home Depot for around $ 20.
Get more details on lightkeeperpro.com.
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