Repair strands of Christmas light with a Light Keeper Pro

I have no idea what’s going on in my attic between early January and mid-November, but whatever is going on up there is not Christmas light friendly. We use seven or eight strands of colored lights on the living (zombie?) Tree that we install in the den every year and I tend to add two or three more strands of white lights to the pre-lit artificial tree which go up to the den. salon, so that’s at least ten strands I need every year.

Yet without fail, despite all the lights working well late in the season, there is an attrition rate of around 25% at the start of next season. A strand will be totally dead. Another is half-lit. A third flashes. Yet another may look fine on initial testing, only to die if slightly jostled. (We always use incandescent lights for our holiday decor indoors, for the record. Outdoors it’s all about LEDs because once those things are in place, I will never be able to climb around any fastener strands. if any of them came out.)

So, every year, I am offered one of three options: buy more strands of lights, check each bulb on the faulty strands by hand, or sell the house and move into a motorhome constantly wandering around the blue highways forgotten western states.

Ah, but now there’s a fourth option: I can grab my Light Keeper Pro, connect it to a bad strand, pull the trigger, and have the problem illuminated for me, so to speak.

Holiday light strands usually fail because a bulb is damaged or broken, and current cannot flow past said bulb because the circuit is broken. The Light Keeper Pro forces an electric current through an entire strand, creating a shunt that bypasses the wrong bulb. The strand will light up, except for the problematic bulb, which can then be taken out and replaced.

Using this tool before hanging suspicious lights is a good idea; use it to diagnose the problem with a strand you’ve already laid, so not having to spend an hour unrolling all the threads on the tree and removing dozens of ornaments in the process? It’s a Christmas miracle.

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