Can you shorten a string of Christmas lights?

February 14, 2019

Short answer


Slightly longer short answer

Standard string lights cannot be shortened safely and effectively.

Hey, I think you are saying “No” but can’t the wires be cut and re-soldered?

Good question and your quote fingers just randomly reminded me of this….

So, yes you could cut and solder your lights, BUT, a string of incandescent lights contains bulbs that are rated for a specific length and number of bulbs. Change the number of bulbs or change the resistance of the light string and the lights won’t last as long as they should – or they might not come on at all. The lights will burn out faster – usually one at a time – then they’ll cascade.

If your light string is LED, they are ultra-low current and ANY kind of modification will either ruin them or significantly lower their lifespan. Don’t take this risk with your investment.

What’s the solution?

  • Choose a shorter light string.
  • Choose two much shorter strings.
  • Wind up the leftover lights and tuck them under an eave or physically hide them within your project.
  • Visually disguise extra bulbs with a little piece of electrical tape if there aren’t too many.

Hope this helps and saves you time and trouble as you light your home of business for Christmas or for a party this Friday.

Shellie Gardner
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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