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Help with repairing led strings


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I always use led keeper to help me diagnose and repair my lights.  Never had any trouble 

I started testing this weekend, and I have 8 sets of led lights, all of which the exact same problem. Exactly half of each strand doesn’t work at all. Using Led Keeper, all lights test fine. 

The common thing in each strand is the lights are out just beyond the “rectifier”. At least that’s what I think that thing is called. Any solutions?

Lastly, as I’ve experienced before, all of these lights worked fine when I took them down and stored them for summer.

Thanks guys


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The "rectifier" is more than likely a resistor that's used to absorb the leftover voltage in the string.  It's very rare that they fail, but I have it happen (one time).  It's more likely that a lead from one of the LED bulbs has rusted and/or broken while they were in storage.  Unfortunately it can be a PITA to track it down.  I mostly use my volt-ohm meter and check for current about every 5 bulbs or so until I find a spot with no voltage, then work backwards until the current reappears again (thus finding the bad bulb).  It's a lot like testing regular incans but you need to remember that current on an LED only flows in one direction.



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The Rectifier is just needed to be somewhere within a string segment. It does not have to be at the beginning (yes, I did the proverbial head slap when I found some of my AC strings did not have them before the first bulb)

Look for only 2 wires between sections. That is the true Start of a section. (look at your Red bulb. It looks like it has only 2 wires going in)

Rusted leads have killed more of my LEDS than ever happened in decades of Incan C9 use.  I always had brought the strings into the Living area and powered them up for many hours to dry out

Even Mini light seem to last better (their leads are copper) than these steel leaded LEDs. Go cheap: bin the string if more than 2 are rusted out. the pain will just get worse (and you will run out of spares)



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  • 3 weeks later...

On the LED Keeper, plug in the power plug into the keeper are specified. Next go to just past the first led that doesn't work. Using the small pin injectors on the tool, you'll sort of crimp into the wires and then squeeze the trigger...if I remember correctly. Its been a year since I used mine. That first LED should now light but dimly. Now go to the middle of the area that doesn't light and do the same thing again. If the whole area now doesn't light up, the problem is farther downstream. If it does not light up, then you have a problem between there and upstream to that first led that hopefully lit up. Basically, you have cut your problem in half or hopefully. Keep working either upstream or downstream as needed till you identify the problem child. As mentioned already, its probably a lead that rusted and broke off. Yes, you can replace it from just about any old and dead led string but you MUST pay attention to the lead lengths. One side of each led is slightly longer. When you extract the dead one, pay close attention to which lead is shorter and which is longer. Insert the replacement led in the exact same direction as the one that came out, using the lead length as the guide. Plug it back in and remove the LED Keeper, plug in the string and hopefully you'll see light. If not, there may be another led in the string with a similar problem. I've found that strings I've bought from Sam'sClub seem to have issues with leads breaking off. Good for one year but failures the next.

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