How to fix Christmas lights with a Multimeter – Meterreviews

Every festive is incomplete without the presence of charming Christmas lights. Beautiful, glowing fairy lights are the most important things in the decoration of a home’s outside area, trees, or even within homes like walls, backyard gardens or room corners.

how to fix christmas lights with multimeter

What if you found on the evening of an eve that many of the lights in the string aren’t working or the whole light string isn’t glowing on. Now you have no time to call electrician or buy a new one and also you can’t ruin the day in this way. Don’t worry at all we’ll teach you “how to fix Christmas lights ” with help of a standard home use multimeter in some easy steps.

Multimeters or volt testers are the most common handy tools which are available in almost every home. If you don’t have one, you may borrow it from a friend or neighborhood. Christmas led lights could be fixed with a little effort and knowledge so one should not feel incomplete and give it a try to repair lights with help of a quality meter.

Common issues of Christmas lights

Knowing the actual problem is vital for sorting out any issue speedily. Before start checking Christmas lights it’s better to know what’s the issue with them. Below is a list of common issues of Christmas lights through which you may identify the real problem.

  • A torn or partially damaged wire can discontinue power flow in the light string.
  • Loss of power supply.
  • Malfunctioning power plugs.
  • Faulty or damaged sockets.
  • Any type of breakage in light bulbs.
  • Dead or blown fuses.
  • faulty light switch.

How to fix Christmas lights with Multimeter

After analyzing led lights deeply now the next step is to fix the issue. For sorting out problems one has to know a little bit about how to use multi meters efficiently for basic electric faults. It’s not as difficult as one might think about it. Follow the steps mentioned below to repair led lights.

You’ll probably need a quality multimeter, tester, solution tape, wire cutter, fuse, and a solder gun. It’s not compulsory that you should first have these tools to start troubleshooting, only a good multimeter, a cutter and tape are enough for sorting out basic issues.

Stage 1: If lights/wires/bulbs are physically damaged

  • First step is to check Christmas lights strings one by one and separate the strings that are not illuminating or have some dead lights.
  • Now examine the faulty lights one by one physically first to check out what’s actual problem, physical examination means checking wires, fuses and bulbs thoroughly that they should not have a torn or damaged parts.
  • Remember that, do all this while Christmas light isn’t attached to any type of power source to avoid electric shocks.
  • Once you found a broken wire or bulb mark it to repair them afterwards.
  • If only a wire insulation is damaged , you may wrap it with some electrical tape it will work as its insulation.
  • Replace broken or fused bulbs with new ones, if you don’t have new bulbs cut them off from the string and joint the wire properly. Don’t forget to wrap the joint through electrical tape to ensure safety.

Stage 2 : Testing faulty sockets and power plugs

If led fairy lights are physically fine and you have found no visible damage then there are maybe some supply, socket, light switch or power plug issues with them. In order to identify them follow the steps below,

  • Firstly, test voltage presence in socket on which you’ll have to power Christmas lights. Check voltage supply with help of a multimeter.
  • You have to connect multimeter probes with socket and check either a legit voltage supply e.g 120v/220v is present or not.
  • Voltage presence could also be checked through a non contact voltage tester. It’s a more safer method to check for electrical power availability.
  • You may also do a continuity test to verify if socket is working correctly or not.
  • To check continuity of socket, set your meter to continuity checking mode on buzz sound and connect it with socket points. You should hear a buzz sound if socket is fine, otherwise, replace it.
  • If you have powered the lights through some light switches then don’t forget to test light switch with multimeter first.
how to fix christmas lights with multimeter

Stage 3: How to test Christmas lights fuse

Till now we made sure that our light strings are physically fine, sockets and power plugs are working accurately and voltage level is also up to the mark. Now is the time to go for fuse, it may be blown due to extra loads and over voltage conditions.

You may test fuse while power is on, set multimeter on AC voltage range, and connect probes with fuse points. If the fuse is in working condition meter will show voltage reading on screen, otherwise change that fuse.

how to fix christmas lights with multimeter

Another method is to check the continuity of the fuse, for this take it out of its slot. Set multimeter on continuity range and connect two probes with fuse points respectively. The meter should make a buzz sound or show resistance if fuse is fine otherwise there must be a short circuit or broken connection within the fuse body.


These are the simplest steps to test and fix common issues of Christmas lights that everyone can do without difficulty. If the problem is still there even after Diy checking of your Christmas lights, call an electrician urgently to save time. Because there may be a more technical fault that could be solved with help of an expert electrician only.

Every homeowner should have a kit of tools and some extra equipment like fuses, led bulbs, and wire pieces so in case of emergency one can utilize them.