How to replace Christmas light bulbs

Written by april sanders
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How to replace Christmas light bulbs
Replacing Christmas lights -- stress free! (Getty Thinkstock)

How frustrating to spend time carefully weaving your Christmas lights through your tree, only to step back and see several dark areas where light bulbs have burnt out. The same goes for balancing precariously on a ladder to outline your home in lights, only to climb down and see that several of your bulbs have gone dark. But you don't have to discard the entire string because of a few "duds." Instead, you can replace the burnt-out bulbs, and your strand of Christmas lights will work as good as new.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Masking tape
  • Electrical wire cutters
  • Spare Christmas light bulbs

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  1. 1

    Mark the burnt-out bulbs. While the strand is still lit, use a small pieces of masking tape to mark the affected areas.

  2. 2

    Unplug the strand of lights. While you can switch off the power, detaching the cord from the wall socket is much safer.

  3. 3

    Remove the light bulb. Large outdoor Christmas light bulbs easily unscrew out. To remove tiny lights on indoor strands, use diagonal cutters (the kind used to cut electrical wires). Carefully wedge the blades of the cutter between the bulb housing and the socket. and pull up to remove it.

  4. 4

    Slide the new bulb into the socket, or screw the new bulb into the housing. For best results, make sure the new light bulb is the same wattage as the old one. Ideally, use the extra bulbs that come with the strand of lights. Bulbs of too-high wattage blow out in a fraction of a second, which may mistakenly lead you to discarding the entire string.

  5. 5

    Plug the strand of lights back in and see if the new bulbs are functioning properly.

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