Let's Make Robots!

Xmas Lights Tester

So, you accidentally stick a regular clear bulb in your Christmas lights (fairy lights [US] ?) instead of a fuse bulb. Next time there's a bit of a surge, there's no discernable weak point in your circuit and it takes out more than one bulb. Where do you start debugging that?

Sure, you could sit with a multimeter and probe all the bulbs to find the duff ones. Have you ever tried to attach multimeter probes to a fairy light bulb?!?! It's a nightmare. Specially when you only have 8 fingers and two thumbs.

My bulbs have these little skimpy connectors and I think they're enamelled, so you'd be really lucky to get a closed circuit even with a good bulb.


Knickers to that. Chop one of the bulb holders out of the set and attach it onto a pair of 4mm banana plugs. Test all 40 bulbs in about 2 minutes. Patch the bulbholder back in. As it happens, 11 of them were blown (not bad!) and I only had 5 spares. So the whole set went into file #13 (the garbage).


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I was trying to disambiguate for my American cousins across the pond. The strings of Christmas lights which come out once a year for those who celebrate Christmas.

No one in America says Fairy Lights unless maybe "their door swings the other way".