Save some money by re-using your existing strings of light this Christmas—even if they’re currently acting all wonky. Here are some handy guides on how to repair dark strings of Christmas lights, whether they’re LED or the classic incandescent type. They’re fairly detailed, with a sort of techy “how things work” vibe, but contain a lot of useful information. For example, just because a string of incandescents has an AC outlet at the end, that doesn’t make it an extension cord—the more power you pull through the cord, the greater the current and the higher the risk of shorting out bulbs.
The author also talks about the LightKeeper, a $15-35 device (depending on whether it’s the “pro” version) that helps quickly locate burned out bulbs in instances when the entire string is dark. If you’ve ever spent a half hour methodically removing and replacing each bulb in turn, you can probably understand why this excites us—even though by buying it you’ve sort of ruined the whole “saving money” aspect of this endeavor. But hey, you still get to be a handyman.