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Dec 26, 2010

Why Do All the Christmas Lights Go Out When Only One Bulb Blows?

If you've dabbled in Christmas decorations with traditional Christmas lights, you'll know that when one bulb blows, the entire line goes out with it. Why is that? Because of how the manufacturers wire them.

That image above shows how the lights and power supply are typically wired (not the new LED varieties, though) in traditional Christmas lights. If the filaments of all the bulbs are intact, then the circuit is complete and all the lights work. But if one bulb so happens to break then the entire circuit is broken, thus making all the lights go out. It's basically much cheaper for manufacturers to build lights like this because it allows them to use this cheaper series wiring with inexpensive bulbs.

19 comments:

level85nerd said...

I hate it when they blow!

Sv3ntevith said...

They could be done better.. but I think it's done with premeditation. They easily brokes and you buy new ones.. and so on. Pure consumerism.

NooG said...

christmas lights... my greatest nemesis

Mister Sharaf said...

great info...:)

BökChöd said...

Wired in series, of course... rather than in parallel. Dumb manufacturers... although... maybe they did that b/c 1 bulb might have overheated and caused the rest to blow :-/

Zombie said...

Ugh!!! I hate it when that happens!

stm said...

magic?

invagrantly said...

it's easier to wire in series than in parallel and cheaper too.

dmayne said...

you learn something new everyday lol thanks for the info supportan yuh

Das Auto! said...

and the manufacturers know that most people will be like "fuckit, i'm not gonna diagnose which bulb it is" and go buy a whole new thing of lights

Kingmush said...

Guess it's cheaper and easier but it's so much of a pain...glad that the new varieties have gotten rid of this problem mostly it seems.

Drackar said...

It's the lazy cheep way, sure...

worse, though. Friend of mine bought a set of LED lights a few months back. Lasted three weeks. had "warning, intended only for short term use" printed on the box. LED lights DESIGNED to fail after a few weeks, instead of the years they should run.

Bargain Hunter said...

Wow never knew that!

Tango Anglo said...

The worst is when your Dad's too cheap to buy a full replacement and you haveto check everyone.

SpringyB said...

@Das Auto

That's exactly what it is.

kkazzamm said...

bought a prelit tree and had 2 branches that were out right out of the box. I had to search for that 1 bulb and come to find out the bulb was good the wire had just shifted when the bulb was installed but I agree VERY frustrating!!!

Teutorix said...

Good post. I always wondered why they all go off

anon408 said...

Jew here. I don't know what you're talking about ;P

http://anon408.blogspot.com

Suciô Sanchez said...

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