How to Fix Christmas Lights By Replacing a Bad Fuse

by Michael on December 4, 2010 · 4 comments

Not long ago, a burned out bulb was the bane of the Christmas decorator’s existence. While a single bad bulb can’t take out an entire string of modern Christmas lights, there are still things that can go wrong with your lights.

A somewhat common problem, especially if you daisy chain your lights, with one string plugged into another, is a blown fuse. What’s that? You didn’t know that Christmas lights have fuses? Well, they do.

The fuses (there are usually two) are typically located in the male AC plug – i.e., the end that you plug into the wall. Replacing them is fairly simple once you know what you’re doing, though it’s not always obvious how to access them.

I’ve pictured below a typical plug from the end of one of our strings of lights.

christmas light plug

To access the fuses, simple insert a small flathead screwdriver or the edge of a key in the slot just above the word “OPEN” and slide it in the direction of the arrow.

Once open, your plug will look something like this.

christmas light fuses

You can see the two little fuses inside – basically glass tubes with silver ends. You can easily pop them out with a small screwdriver and replace them if they’re shot.

As far as replacement fuses go, you’ll want to use the equivalent of what’s already in there. In most cases, that’ll be a 3 amp fuse. If you’re lazy like me, you can click through to buy fuses from Amazon.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi December 10, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Michael, thank you so much for showing me how to change a fuse in Christmas lights!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE THE BEST! Happy Holidays to you and yours.


Felipe December 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Do you know by any chance where can I buy replacement plugs (with fuses) for christmas tree lights. Like the ones you show on the picture ?


Pam October 13, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Felipe, did you get an answer as to where to buy replacement plugs? I need one as well. Thank you


DANIELLE BIGGS October 20, 2018 at 9:45 am

I’m looking for one of the new plugs with the 2 male prongs that you push in and then tighten up by twisting the round threaded piece? Any clue where to buy those?


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