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LED Christmas Lights Got Dim: 5 Reasons and Possible Solutions

Imagine preparing for your favorite festival. Suddenly, you see your Christmas lights fading out. Horrible to even imagine, huh?

What do you do when LED Christmas lights dim down?

Well, one reason could be that the voltage dropped. Another could be that lights are not adjusting with the weather. The light may not even be compatible with the timer or wattages. Corrosion in the LED holders also causes dimmer light. As you can see, there might be different reasons for dim light. Which all have their own solutions. 

Whatever the reason is, you don’t need to feel down. Because here, we’ll be showing you the solutions to these 5 problems. So, read on!

Why Have My LED Christmas Lights Become Dim? + Quick Fixes

Did seeing dim lights make you lose motivation for Christmas? Don’t worry, all you need to do is fix them. This task isn’t as complex as things like removing backstab wires. You just need to give some time and patience. 

Through some trial and error basis, you’ll find out the right answers in no time! Below, we’ve mentioned 5 possible reasons. Along with these, we’ve also explained the solutions in detail. So, let’s get right into it!

Reason 1 of 5: Wattages of Bulbs Do Not Match

Firstly, try to remember if you ever changed the bulbs. Because LED lights can only take a fixed wattage of bulbs.

You might’ve accidentally replaced some older bulbs with ones with different wattages. So, this might be a reason. 

In that case, check the package instructions for your Christmas lights. They will state the bulbs’ wattage. It’s usually around 2.5-6 watts. 

Then, change the bulb according to the wattage it needs. This might solve the issue. You see, 15 amp switches might work great on 20 amp circuits. Unfortunately, LED lights aren’t as flexible as switches on different amperes. So bulbs with different wattages don’t work in LED lights.

Reason 2 of 5: Timer Not Compatible

 If you have no timers plugged in with your Christmas lights, skip this step! In case you did that and the lights faded, it’s the timer’s fault.

This is because the connection with the timer often disrupts the current flow. This causes the lights to become dimmer. So, check the LED’s compatibility with the timer given in the instruction book. So, you can avoid this issue!

Reason 3 of 5: Voltage Dropped

The above two steps are not applicable to you? Then check the prongs of your LED lights’ plugs next. Why? Because the connection made by the plug determines the voltage.  Which in turn determines how bright they’ll be. 

So, if the LED lights don’t get enough voltage, they’ll get dimmer. Now, what causes a drop in voltage? It’s the resistance. So, where does it come from? The answer is corrosion. 

Now, there can be many causes of corrosion in electronic components. This is why you should check if the prongs are corroded or not. If they are, prongs will be somewhat dark brownish in color.

You can easily get rid of the rust by rubbing the prongs with steel wool. You’ll soon see your plug looking good as new! 

In fact, removing rust from your plug isn’t the only thing that steel wool does. Pretty sure you have other metallic items in your home, right? Some of these, if left unused, are bound to corrode. In these cases, steel wool will save your belongings!

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Reason 4 of 5: Not Adjusted with Weather

The prongs of the plug were fine? Then, consider where you’re keeping the LED lights. Because sometimes, they don’t adjust well to the weather. So, if you’re keeping them outside, they might get dimmer.

In this case, try bringing the lights inside for testing. If you see that they’re brighter, then the issue was with the weather. 

To solve this problem, you can keep your lights inside or get a new set to keep outside. 

Reason 5 of 5: Holders Got Corroded

Alright, now that we’ve told all the simpler reasons, you need to spare some time. For the final step, you need to take out each LED. Remember, this will take some time and patience.

You’ll have to unscrew the cover of each LED first. Then, check the holders of the LED after taking it out. You might find that some holders are corroded like plugs. 

First, separate the LED wires from the holder. Next, grab a toothpick and sandpaper. Scratch away the rust with them. Keep doing so until the holders are all bright and shiny. Then carefully put the LEDs back into the holders. 

There might be some cases where the sandpaper won’t work if used too many times.

For that, rubbing the sandpaper with a solid abrasive cleaner cleans it. So your sandpaper starts working again. 

Now that all problems are solved, your lights are finally bright, huh?


Question: What kind of LED Christmas lights are the most popular?

Answer: Professionals would encourage you to use LED lights with co-axial connectors. These connectors help to maintain the cable’s shielding. So these LED lights are highly durable. 

Question: Do LED lights fade over time?

Answer: Usually, it’s said that LEDs last 25 times longer than other lights. They use very low energy, so they don’t burn out. This is why LED lights slowly become dim with time.  

Question: Can you cut off extra string lights?

Answer: These lights receive the same voltage. They’re also connected to the same power source. Hence, they can easily be cut off to your desired length. Just make sure to turn off the power source before you start cutting the wires.

Bottom Line

That’s about it from us. These are the reasons why LED Christmas lights dim out and their solutions. We hope now your mood brightens just like your Christmas lights!

Just one extra tip: You might face issues locating the resistor. You’ll see a weatherproof cap along the light string. There, you’ll find the resistor. 

Hopefully, that fixes your issues with dull Christmas lights!