Can I use your LED mini light bulbs to refill my LED light strings?

July 31, 2019

We hear this question a few times a month and every so often when folks order LED light strings with the plan to use bulbs from our LED strings in sets purchased from another vendor or big-box store.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work.

LED light strings aren’t fairly standard like incandescent Christmas tree lights that all have a fairly standard base with glass bulb assembly. Worst case, you sometimes have to pull the little glass bulb out it’s base and taking care not to crimp the two little wires when installing it into the base of a burned out bulb. (Note you have to properly match the voltage rating of the bulb in this scenario.)

LED light strings are not standardized.

Our light strings, by and large, have single-body constructed bulbs and bases that don’t allow you to remove or replace them.

The advantages to single-body construction include:

  • Greater resistance to moisture at the bulb
  • Lower risk of rusting at the bulb contacts
  • Lower current rating so more light strings can be run in series
  • Less (none actually) chance of having a bulb fly out and break the circuit when installing lights

So, what does this mean to you if your LED bulbs are replaceable?

This means that if you are seeing failures in your LED strings and have replaceable bulbs, these are your options for repairing them:

  1. Track down the little envelopes of replacement bulbs that came with your set.
  2. Use one of your sets – perhaps the one with the most failures as a donor set. Remove good bulbs and repair the other strings.
  3. Contact the manufacturer for replacement bulbs.
  4. Purchase a new identical set as a source of bulbs. Keep in mind that the color may no longer be an exact match after “burn-in” but it will be closer to correct than a burned out bulb.

As a final step, ask yourself, “Why are my bulbs burning out to begin with?”

LED bulbs are pretty durable so consider these points of consideration if you are seeing failures:

  1. Don’t mix styles and types of Christmas lights. Stick to one kind of light per series run – or just connect one type of light to others just like it and if you change light string, power them from a splitter or a new out let.
  2. Check the specifications for your light string and make sure your project doesn’t exceed the maximum number of light sets that can be run end to end.
  3. Plug your LED lights into a surge protector. Surges on the electrical line are the number one cause of failure in LED Christmas lights. A surge protector (in addition to your GFCI plugs) will help with this issue.

Store your Christmas lights in a hall closet or similar instead of an overheated attic or damp basement to extend their life. Extreme temperatures put stress on insulation and can create issues next Christmas season.

Let us know if you have any Christmas light questions and send them to us at our contact page.

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Shellie
Aside from throwing dinner parties that feature at least two kinds of cheese dip, Shellie's passions include travel, Mid-Century Modern furnishings and finding the perfect street taco. Has been known to snort laugh champagne.

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