Monday, November 30, 2009

What I Learned About Christmas Tree Lights

For the holidays, we have two small trees with white mini lights on our front porch. I like them because they brighten up the dark winter nights. We decided to put them out the weekend after Thanksgiving. When I plugged them in, only half the lights were lighting up. As you know, if there is one bad bulb, the whole string is out. We had no replacement bulbs, so we had to go searching for some.

The mini lights look like the ones shown below. See how the glass bulbs fit into green bases, which then fit into the green sockets on the wire? I thought we could find the bulbs attached to the green bases. We looked at three stores, then realized these were not to be found.

As it turns out, we could find only the glass bulbs with wires sticking out of the bottom, like the photo below. It turns out you have to pull the glass bulb out of the green base, then put the new glass bulb in. There are two little holes in the green base, where you insert the two little wires coming out of the bulb.

But how do you know which bulbs need to be replaced? That's where the handy little gadget below comes in. I bought it when I bought the new bulbs. You just take the bulb out of the socket and place it between the two metal prongs in the center. If the bulb lights up, it's good and you put it back into the socket. If the bulb doesn't light up, you take it out of the base and put a new one in, lining up the two little wires and bending them around the bottom of the base. Then you put the whole thing back into the socket on the wire.

Easy, huh? Well, it was a bit tedious but I patiently sat out on the porch and put each bulb to the test. It was a bit cold out there and my fingers fumbled a little with all of those tiny wires. Finally, I had replaced all the bad bulbs and the trees lit up entirely! Maybe you already know how to solve this problem. But I didn't... I had to figure it out a step at a time. I have to admit I was kind of proud of myself!


rachel said...

How patient you are, Judy! Good that it all worked out in the end.

Reading this reminded me painfully of the time back when I was a girl and all things electrical seemed to be extra-dangerous, that I received an electric shock from our tree lights. I can still feel that horrid sensation up my forearm and into my elbow!

Bearette24 said...

This has nothing to do with Christmas lights, but I'm curious...have you been back to Philly lately?

judy in ky said...

Rachel... ouch!

Bearette, I was supposed to go back for a visit in October, but then had two kidney stones and couldn't go!

Bearette24 said...

I am toying with the idea of going there the w/e of Dec 11th, if you were there, we could meet up for lunch or something. I suppose it's an outlandish idea... :)

judy in ky said...

No, not outlandish at all! I wish we could. It's too short notice to get a reasonably priced flight, but some time in the future with more notice... would be great!

Susan said...

Hey ! It's never too late to go to art school - how about an evening or weekend class ?? xo S & les Gang