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GE Constant On Lights Only Half a Set Working

23 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Hello I have a prelit tree with GE Constant on Lights on it and there are three sections where only half the section is working. The part of the section that is not working contains the fuse bulb the one that has the white ring around the socket and I can tell that the filament has burnt out in that bulb. I called customer service and they say the string has to be replaced. I know there is a way around this but dont know what to do. I have searched on here and found a little bit of info about the shunts etc but no answer. I was wondering if it was possible to cut that bulb out of the sytem and rewire the light set and the lights still work. I tried this and I could get a current to run through the complete set and get the half that lights up to still light up but not the other half. Thanks to anyone who can help. My wife will be greatful so we can decorate the tree.

Thanks,

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Posted · Report post

phajlw wrote:

Hello I have a prelit tree with GE Constant on Lights on it and there are three sections where only half the section is working.  The part of the section that is not working contains the fuse bulb the one that has the white ring around the socket and I can tell that the filament has burnt out in that bulb.  I called customer service and they say the string has to be replaced.  I know there is a way around this but dont know what to do.   I have searched on here and found a little bit of info about the shunts etc but no answer.  I was wondering if it was possible to cut that bulb out of the sytem and rewire the light set and the lights still work.  I  tried this and I could get a current to run through the complete set and get the half that lights up to still light up but not the other half.   Thanks to anyone who can help.  My wife will be greatful so we can decorate the tree.

Thanks,

Ok, assuming a section is 100ct bulbs, then half out is 50. I haven't seen these "fuse bulbs" before, does this mean the fuse is in-line and NOT on the plug like standard sets? You don't want to remove the fuse protection, you will need to get a spare fuse if you think the fuse is blown.

As for the sections half-out, a bulb is missing or loose, so you will need to check them all for placement and see if they are all still there.

--Daniel L

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Posted · Report post

There is a fuse in the plug as well actually two small ones but this one is inline with the string of lights it looks exactly like the others except the bulb cant be removed from the socket to replace it. Go to santas best website and check it out. They say it has to be replaced when this bulb goes out. I thought maybe I could remove the socket completely and patch the wiring back and get it to work. I tried this and I couldnt get the section of the set that was out to come back on although the section that was previously lighting was still on and I could get a current to pass through the whole section to light the next section.

Daniel I have done as you suggested already and all the bulbs are there on the section that is not lit. The idea of these sets is that one bulb can be missing or burnt out and the rest continue to stay lit. I know it has something to due with that fuse bulb but dont know what. Hope that helps some more.

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Posted · Report post

lightkeeper-pro.jpg

Sounds like a job for the LightKeeper pro!

Colin

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Posted · Report post

The whole point of these constant-on sets is supposed to be that you don't have to muck with stuff like this...

-Tim

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Posted · Report post

Cdshakes wrote:

lightkeeper-pro.jpg

Sounds like a job for the LightKeeper pro!

Colin

Bought one of these at LOWES yesterday! What a FANTASTIC tool. Saved 2 strings of lights (one was a string of icecle lights) both were in a box as junk just to salvage bulbs from. The tool works great! It impressed me!

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for all the advise but I believe the light keeper pro only works for light sets in series. I believe these are in parellel thats why they are constant on lights so any more help would be appreciated.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for all the advise but I believe the light keeper pro only works for light sets in series. I believe these are in parellel thats why they are constant on lights so any more help would be appreciated.

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Posted · Report post

The constant-on are still in series. They have a special resistor in the base to keep the series intact when a bulb is loose or removed.

-Tim

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Posted · Report post

They are junk I have lost almost a third of the constant on strings that I bought last year. I will not buy anymore.

Ken

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Posted · Report post

I have already told as many people not to buy these. They are junk. AI

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Posted · Report post

OP you PM'ed me sorry for not getting back to you but I have not had the time to take apart the special currant limiting bulb.

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Posted · Report post

As I have said before they are not any thing special. As you have found out once the current limit bulb blows you are done.

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Posted · Report post

Actually 'Constant On' lights do not have a device in the sockets like

Stay Lit ones do (Stay Lit lights are awesome, and worth the extra cost when

put in hard to reach places

I did a little mini-review of 'Constant On' lights and how they work on my webpage... http://lights.hotusa.org/z_prod03.htm

As for your set with the 'bad' non-replaceable bulb... just cut it out and replace

with a normal socket/bulb (why GE did that is beyond me - its just stupid)

edit: there is a minor safty issue of simply removing it alltogether, thats why i say

to put a normal one in its place

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XmasLightGuy wrote:

Actually 'Constant On' lights do not have a device in the sockets like

Stay Lit ones do (Stay Lit lights are awesome, and worth the extra cost when

put in hadr to reach places

I did a little mini-review of 'Constant On' lights and how they work on my webpage... http://lights.hotusa.org/z_prod03.htm

As for your set with the 'bad' non-replaceable bulb... just cut it out and replace

with a normal socket/bulb (why GE did that is beyond me - its just stupid)

dosnt work

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Posted · Report post

XmasLightGuy wrote:

Actually 'Constant On' lights do not have a device in the sockets like

Stay Lit ones do (Stay Lit lights are awesome, and worth the extra cost when

put in hadr to reach places

I did a little mini-review of 'Constant On' lights and how they work on my webpage... http://lights.hotusa.org/z_prod03.htm

As for your set with the 'bad' non-replaceable bulb... just cut it out and replace

with a normal socket/bulb (why GE did that is beyond me - its just stupid)

put in hadr to reach places

?

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Posted · Report post

AI wrote:

XmasLightGuy wrote:?

oops that should read

"put in hard to reach places"

its been corrected now

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Posted · Report post

So as far as I know they can not be fixed. has any one had any success? AI

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AI wrote:

XmasLightGuy wrote:

dosnt work

Removing/replacing that bulb still doesn't fix it?

It should...

That means there is something else wrong (probably a bad-shunt bulb.

If you have one try the lightkeeper. If not or it doesn't work just remove and test

all the bulbs in a good set (don't remove more than 10 at a time or you'll risk

blowing the what remains in the 'bad' section should it turn on)

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AI wrote:

XmasLightGuy wrote:

dosnt work

I meant the link did not work. But I got it now. Thanks for the review. I did one all so but have not dissected the non replaceable bulb yet. It is my thought that they had to put those bulbs in to get past UL. So that if all the other lights are out you will not have a dead short. It is listed as a current limiting bulb in the paper that came with mine but there is no mention of it in the patent.

I other thing it has been reported that some times the contact's don't make in the sockets and the string will go out. It looks like they may corrode easily. AI

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AI wrote:

I meant the link did not work. But I got it now. Thanks for the review. I did one all so but have not dissected the non replaceable bulb yet. It is my thought that they had to put those bulbs in to get past UL. So that if all the other lights are out you will not have a dead short. It is listed as a current limiting bulb in the paper that came with mine but there is no mention of it in the patent.

Weird...i don't know why it didn't work for you last night (maybe my page exceeded

its bandwidth limit...is a free site after all)

Did you put your review online? i'd like to see it!:)

The 'current limiting' bulbs probably are a UL thing now that you mention it...

By looking at them they are nothing more than a regular bulb without a shunt

(looked one over closely to figure that out - i haven't taken it apart on anything)

Really the only case where you'd have a direct short would be is all bulbs were

actually removed from their sockets - not just dead (of course there is still the

plug-fuse which would giee a nice little explosion)

but thats why i say to put a standard bulb in its place - say a bunch of bulbs were

to be removed... the rest would of course get brighter (just like dead bulbs would

cause) ...and we all know what happens with too many 'deads' (either the rest die

and/or a shunt in one or more blows since the shunts can only handle a limited

current as well)

The idea i had of putting a normal bulb is just to use its shunt to somewhat limit

current (not as much as their bulb, but enough that there shouldn't be a problem

with normal use/care of the set)

AI wrote:

I other thing it has been reported that some times the contact's don't make in the sockets and the string will go out. It looks like they may corrode easily. AI

Looking at the way these are made it would make sense that the contacts might

not always connect when bulbs are removed. Corrosion really wouldn't really surprise

me...especially if missing bulbs were left that way and it got rained on a few times.

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Posted · Report post

Hello,

I was wondering whether you solved the problem with your "GE constant on" lights.

I'm in the same boat and i don't know what to do.

r.

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Posted · Report post

Did you put your review online? i'd like to see it

No I have not had a chance yet to finish it. The last to do wastake apart the current limit bulb and socket but it looks like I will not have to go that far. AI

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