Why is half my light string flashing on and off?

November 20, 2019

There are a couple of reasons your Christmas light string is flashing on and off.

  1. You have a red-tipped flasher bulb installed in a socket. The flasher bulb will only cause the circuit it is a part of to flash on and off. If your light string has multiple circuits then that’s the reason only a portion is flashing.

    Solve this problem by either:

    Find and replace the red-tipped bulb that someone installed in your light string with a standard replacement bulb.

    Install another red-tipped flasher bulb in the circuits that are steady on and then the light sections will flash on and off. Since they won’t be synchronized and they flash rather than twinkle – the entire set goes on and off not individual bulbs – this type of configuration is best installed in a way that randomizes the flashing. (Like wound on a hedge or wrapped in a Christmas tree.)
  2. Your plug end is not making good contact in your outlet. Solve this problem by first gently squeezing the two prongs of the plug closer to one another.
  3. The wiring in your set is faulty. Time to replace the set of lights. These types of breaks in the wiring most commonly happen during installation and storage. Be kind to your lights and try not to pull or tug them.

Are you enjoying our blog series on customer questions we hear throughout the year?

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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.

2 thoughts on “Why is half my light string flashing on and off?”

  1. how to make 2 x separate circuits that alternate flashing light string speed led Christmas Lights.

    I want to make reindeer legs appear as if running.

    1. Hi Paul,

      To accomplish that, you’ll need to use a 2-channel controller that alternates between two outlets.

      These types of controllers are used for marquee signs so you might be able to use a controller meant for a sign.

      We used to carry this type of controller but unfortunately do not at this time.

      A scenario using the red-tipped flasher bulbs would create a random flashing but not the 1-2-1-2 pattern you are looking for. (My mind jumped to this first and then I realized it wouldn’t be the look you are going for.)

      Hope this helps. Merry Christmas.

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