How Do You Change the Fuse in Christmas Lights?

Christmas lights bring festive cheer, but a string that won’t light up can dampen the holiday spirit. Often, the problem is a blown fuse. Changing Christmas light fuse is straightforward.

Unplug the lights and locate the fuse holder, usually in the plug or on the cord. Remove the old fuse and replace it with a new one of the correct size and amperage. Close the holder, plug in the lights, and test them.

Changing the fuse is a simple way to get your holiday decorations shining again.

The small fuses in Christmas lights play a crucial role in protecting your home from electrical hazards by preventing power surges from damaging the lights.

First of All – Inspect the Fuse

Man holding a fuse from christmas lights

The tradition of using lights to decorate during Christmas dates back to the 17th century in Germany, where small candles were used to illuminate Christmas trees.

The excitement of holiday decorating often hits a snag when Christmas lights fail to illuminate. Before you spend hours checking individual bulbs, inspect the fuse. Fuses are small but crucial components that protect against power surges and short circuits.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have used Christmas lights to decorate the station, bringing a touch of holiday cheer to space.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Hold each fuse up to a light source. A blown fuse will often appear dark or have a broken filament inside. If you’re uncertain, a light tester can confirm the fuse’s condition.
  2. If the fuse is blown, you’ll need to replace it. It’s advisable to replace both fuses even if only one appears faulty to ensure consistent performance.

How to Locate It?

Edward H. Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison, created the first string of electric Christmas lights in 1882. His invention replaced the dangerous practice of using candles.

Fuses are usually located in the male plug of the light strand. You’ll see a small door or compartment labeled “Open.” Using a small screwdriver or utility knife, gently open this door to access the fuses.

Typically, there are two fuses inside. These fuses are small glass capsules and can be hard to spot, so proceed with care.

Removing the Fuse

Once the compartment is open, carefully remove the fuses. If they don’t fall out easily, gently tap the plug against your hand or use a small screwdriver to pry them out. It’s important to be gentle to avoid breaking the fuses or damaging the plug.

If you’re unsure whether a fuse is blown, use a holiday light tester. Insert the fuse into the tester; if it works, the tester will light up.

How to Replace It?

Some modern Christmas light strands feature advanced technology that allows the colors of the lights to change via remote control or smartphone app.

  1. Obtain replacement fuses that match the specifications of your light strand.
  2. Insert the new fuses into the compartment, ensuring they fit snugly.
  3. Close the compartment door carefully, avoiding any pressure that could damage the new fuses.
  4. Once the fuses are securely in place, plug in the light strand to test if it works.

Specifics for LED Lights

LED Christmas lights are known for their long lifespan. They can last up to 50,000 hours, significantly longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

LED Christmas lights also have fuses that can blow. The process for replacing these fuses is similar to traditional lights. The fuse compartment is located in the male plug.

Using a flat screwdriver, press down and slide the compartment open. Remove and inspect the fuses, then replace them if necessary. Close the compartment and test the lights.

Troubleshooting Tips

If replacing the fuses does not solve the problem, here are additional steps to ensure your Christmas lights are working properly:

  • Check for Broken or Missing Bulbs: Inspect each bulb in the strand for any signs of damage or absence. A single faulty bulb can disrupt the entire circuit.
  • Secure All Connections: Ensure that all plugs and connections are firmly in place. Loose connections can prevent the lights from functioning correctly.
  • Examine the Light Strand for Damage: Look for any visible signs of wear or damage to the wires. Frayed wires or exposed conductors can lead to a malfunction.
  • Inspect Individual Bulb Sockets: Sometimes, the sockets themselves may be damaged or corroded. Carefully check each socket for any signs of deterioration.
  • Use a Light Tester: A holiday light tester can help identify specific bulbs or sections of the strand that are not working. This tool can save time by pinpointing the exact location of the problem.
  • Replace Missing or Broken Bulbs: Make sure to use the correct type and wattage of replacement bulbs to avoid overloading the strand.
  • Test the Strand in Sections: If possible, plug in smaller sections of the strand separately to isolate the problem area. This method can help you identify which part of the strand is causing the issue.

For more tips on handling and hanging your Christmas lights, check out this guide on hanging Christmas lights without gutters.

Changing Christmas Light Fuse – Safety Considerations

Changing Christmas Light Fuse - Safety Considerations - stay safe and happy for holidays

Modern Christmas light strands include built-in fuses as a safety measure to prevent electrical overloads and potential fires.

Always unplug your Christmas lights before attempting to change the fuse. Use tools carefully to avoid injury or damaging the lights. Ensure replacement fuses match the voltage and amperage of your light strand to prevent fire risks.

Never attempt to replace the plug itself, as this poses significant safety hazards.


How do I know if a fuse is blown?
Hold the fuse up to a light; a blown fuse appears dark or has a broken filament.
Can I use any fuse to replace a blown one?
No, use fuses that match the specifications of your light strand.
What if still don't work after Changing Christmas Light Fuse?
Check for broken or missing bulbs and ensure all connections are secure.


Changing the fuse in Christmas lights is a quick and easy way to fix common lighting issues. By following these simple steps, you can get your lights back up and running, making your holiday decorations sparkle once again. Always put safety first by handling electrical components with care. Once your lights are glowing perfectly, you can focus on enjoying the festive season.

Imagine the joy of seeing your home beautifully lit up, the smiles on your family’s faces, and the warmth of a cozy, festive atmosphere. With your lights shining brightly, you can truly embrace the holiday spirit and create lasting memories with loved ones.