FAQs To Fix Lights
Are batteries included with the LightKeeper Pro?
Yes. 3 Alkaline, 1.5 Volt Button Cell Batteries are included. The batteries are only necessary to power the Voltage Detector and the Bulb Tester. The Quick Fix Trigger operates with the use of a Piezo Ceramic (built-in) and does not require a battery to function.
Where can I purchase replacement batteries for my LightKeeper Pro?
The least expensive batteries will operate the LightKeeper Pro for years. Replacement batteries are available at most Drug Stores or Retail Outlets selling watch or camera batteries. It is recommended to use AG-13, LR1154, L-1154, LR-44, A-76, Energizer #357 or comparable 1.5 Volt Button Cell Batteries.
My LightKeeper Pro is new and the batteries appear to be weak or dead, any suggestions?
There are two possible solutions to your problem.
- Batteries may acquire a film on the surface when unused affecting performance. Cleaning with alcohol and a paper Towel will often correct the problem. When replacing the batteries, hold the rounded sides between your fingers and insert in the battery holder. Make sure that the batteries make a firm contact with the metal contacts within the battery compartment.
- Check to see if your batteries are installed correctly. All 3 batteries should face the same way inside the Battery holder. The positive sign (+) engraved on the batteries that identifies the positive side (+) should match the positive sign (+) molded on the Battery Compartment Holder. If improperly aligned, the batteries will not function.
Why is a bulb that I saw working in a light set not illuminating in the bulb tester when I test it?
There’s a necessary oxide coating on the copper wires of incandescent light bulbs. That coating is why we have to put pressure and sometimes gently rock the bulb back and forth while testing to get the bulb tester to function properly.
I’m trying to fix my lights, but why do I hear the beeping from the Voltage Detector along the entire string of lights when I am scanning?
You are probably holding the tip of the LightKeeper Pro too close to the wires. Refer to the instructions to establish a scanning distance of approx. 1/2″. A 100 light set consists of two 50 Light sections. If the first section is unlit and you hold the tip of the LightKeeper too close to the wires, you may detect the current traveling to the next lit section.
What do I do if, after setting a scanning distance for the Voltage Detector on my LightKeeper, I can’t identify where the interruption of current is occurring?
If you scan the entire length of the unlit section and find continuous beeping throughout, try changing the polarity (reverse the plug 180 degrees at the power source) of the light set. If you now find there is no beeping throughout this same unlit section, it may be the first or last bulb of the unlit section causing the problem. The Voltage Detector searches for the point where the voltage changes between a good bulb (current flowing) and a problem area (minimal current). If no change is noticed, check the first and last bulb with the Bulb Tester. Additionally, be sure to visually inspect the socket for a loose contact or socket issue. If the problem is at the first or last bulb, there is no point of comparison to detect a change in the beeping.
If the problem was not the first or last bulb or either socket, another possibility could mean one blown fuse within the male plug of the light set. Use the Fuse Tester at the top of the LightKeeper Pro to test both fuses. Blown fuses are typically a result of too many light sets being plugged into one another end-to-end or some greater issue.
Is there a more accurate LightKeeper Pro scanning method other than using the wires of the Light set to find a problem?
Yes. A more precise way to identify a problem is to use the LightKeeper Pro Voltage Detector and scan the individual bulb sockets for a current interruption. Each miniature bulb socket has a wire entering and exiting carrying the current. The Voltage Detector can indicate the problem area by changes in the beeping tone. The current enters the problem socket giving a steady beeping when checked with the Voltage Detector but does not emit a steady beeping when exiting on the opposite side.
To Test: First, establish you have power at the first bulb closest to the outlet, by holding the tip of the LightKeeper Pro to the first bulb, while activating the Voltage Detector. You should hear a constant beeping sound. If not, reverse the plug in the outlet to set the direction of the current to be traced. Continue testing each bulb socket by holding the tip of the LightKeeper Pro to the middle side of the bulb socket where the wire enters listening for a steady tone as you hold down the black button on top of the tool. Now check the opposite side of the bulb socket with the tip of the LightKeeper Pro. If you hear a constant beeping sound on both sides of the socket when using the Voltage Detector, this is not the problem area. The bulb socket where you hear a steady tone on one side (Current) and absence of steady tone on the opposite side (No Current) is the source of your problem.
Once I have identified a problem socket with the LightKeeper Pro Voltage Detector, what is the next step to fix my lights?
First, remove the bulb from the socket. Inspect the socket to see if the two metal contacts of the socket are visible and lined up horizontally. If the contacts are not even, with the light set unplugged, align the contacts. Now insert a new bulb being sure the metal wire of the bulb lines up with the metal of the bulb socket. Metal to metal contact is critical for the light set circuit to be complete and illuminate in a miniature light set in series construction.
Will the LightKeeper Pro Quick Fix Trigger work to fix lights on all light sets?
NO. The LightKeeper Pro’s Quick Fix Trigger will only work in series Miniature Light sets with shunted bulbs. The LightKeeper Pro would not be appropriate for the larger lamped C7, C9 sets, tube/rope lights or LED Lights. In addition, light sets with control boxes produce dancing, twinkling, or chasing lights (sometimes along with music as well) and would not be a candidate for the Quick Fix Trigger. The control box will block the pulse before it reaches the defective bulbs.
Will the LightKeeper Pro harm a light set?
NO. The LightKeeper Pro will not harm a miniature light set. The Continuity Detector scans the outside of the light set. The Quick Fix Piezo sends a targeted pulse looking for resistance at the point of interruption of current caused by an inactive bulb “Shunt”.
I can’t get the LightKeeper Pro Quick Fix Trigger to repair my light set.
- Is there a bulb in each socket of the non-performing section of the Light set?
If Yes, continue to 2.
If No, be sure there is a bulb firmly secured in each base prior to attempting to use the Socket Connector. One loose or missing bulb will prevent the Socket Connector pulse from completing the repair.
- Are all the lights in the problem section unlit?
If Yes, continue to 3.
If not, and only a few bulbs are unlit, remove and replace the burned out bulbs.
- Have you plugged one of the unlit bulb sockets firmly into the LightKeeper Pro Socket Connector?
If yes, continue to 4.
- It is important that the metal contacts of the bulb socket line up and touch the metal contacts of the Socket Connector.
- Have you firmly pulled the trigger of the LightKeeper Pro up to 20 times?
If Yes, continue to 6.
If No, firmly pull the trigger of the LightKeeper Pro up to 20 times, hearing an audible click from the trigger each time. When a defective bulb with a non-performing bulb shunt is repaired, the section will light up with the exception of the non-working bulb. When the section illuminates, remove the LightKeeper Pro, and replace the removed bulb, along with any unlit bulbs.
- Are you still having a problem fixing lights?
If Yes, use the Continuity Detector to trace problems related to issues other than the bulb shunt problem. The Continuity Detector can help find loose, missing or non-performing bulbs.
Why are the bulbs flashing and not repairing the light set as I perform the Quick Fix Method?
Occasionally, some of the bulbs will flash or flicker internally as the Quick Fix Trigger is being pulled. Those are the bulbs the LightKeeper Pro is attempting to repair, but cannot. Therefore, the flashing bulbs need to be replaced in order to complete the repair. A helpful tip is to take the light set into a dark room to better see the flashing within the bulbs. Marking them with tape or some other indicator can be helpful to remind you which bulbs need to be replaced.
Can the LightKeeper Pro’s Voltage Detector be used to scan and repair Icicle lights?
Yes. First set the polarity of the Light set so you can hear a beeping at the first bulb closest to the current. Scan the horizontal wire that each Icicle strand is attached to . Listen for a break in the audible beeping as you scan past each connected strand. Inspect the strand where the audible tone stops, bulb by bulb with the individual Bulb Tester.
After fixing a defective bulb, do I need to use the LightKeeper Pro each time to re-energize the bad bulb?
No. Once the Quick Fix Trigger fixes the bulb with a bad shunt it is not necessary to repeat the procedure each time you use the light set. It is recommended to replace the bad bulbs when noticed, to prolong the life of the light set.
Does the LightKeeper Pro repair bulb Filaments (Lighting Elements)?
No. The LightKeeper Pro’s Quick Fix Trigger addresses the repair of bulb “shunts” to complete the electrical circuit. The LightKeeper Pro does not bring a bad bulb back to life. When the LightKeeper Pro has repaired a defective shunt, all the lights in the previous non-performing sections will light with the exception of the problem bulb.
Is it necessary to replace burned out bulbs in order to fix my lights?
Yes. Failing to replace burned out bulbs increases the voltage to the balance of the set each time a bulb burns out. The increased voltages to the other bulbs accelerates the burn out of the remaining bulbs
Any recommendations on fixing lights on Outdoor Wire decorations?
Yes. There are two common problems with Outdoor Wire decorations. First, a loose or twisted bulb at the base where the decoration contacts the ground or secondly a burned out bulb where the bulb shunt did not activate. Any interruption of the circuitry will impact the light set and render it inoperable until repaired. To repair, first attempt to use the LightKeeper Pro’s Socket Connector to repair any defective bulbs. This is easily done and eliminates one cause. If unsuccessful with the Quick Fix Trigger it is most likely a loose bulb. Loose bulbs can be identified with the Voltage Detector. Before beginning to use the Voltage Detector, unplug the working sets and concentrate on the non-performing set. This will help reduce the amount of electrical interference that may be caused by the wire in the frame. Secondly, when scanning, scan from the outside of the decoration not the center as in the case of an outdoor deer. Finally, hold one hand on the frame to help reduce the electrical interference. You will act as a ground and reduce unwanted electrical interference.
I am having trouble with the Quick Fix Trigger Plug Connector, any suggestions?
The following would apply when the Plug-In adapter is used instead of the Socket Connector.
- Are you attempting to repair one light set only?
If Yes, continue to 2.
If No, disconnect the problem light set from all other light sets before plugging it into the LightKeeper Pro.
- Is there a bulb in each socket of the non-performing section?
If Yes, continue to 3.
If No, be sure that there is a bulb firmly secured in each base. Just one bulb not making a metal to metal contact in the base will cause an entire section not to light.
- Are all the lights in the problem set unlit?
If yes, continue to 4.
If No, note all the lights in the set should be unlit prior to using the Plug-In feature of the LightKeeper Pro. If you are dealing with a partially lighted set, remove one bulb from each lighted section. With no bulbs lit you can proceed to repair with the Quick Fix feature by plugging the light set into the LightKeeper Pro.
- Have you plugged the light set plug into the LightKeeper Pro?
If Yes, continue to 5.
If No, plug the non-performing light set plug into the front of the LightKeeper Pro.
- Have you firmly clicked the trigger at least 10 times?
If Yes, continue to 6.
If No, firmly Click 10 times with the non-performing light set plugged into the LightKeeper Pro, listening for an audible Click from the trigger each time. Each pull of the Quick Fix Trigger sends a pulse through the set to repair any defective bulbs.
- Plug the light set into an outlet and the defective section of the light set should now light. If it does not, unplug the light set from the power source and Click 10 additional times. Additional Clicks will not harm the light set.
- With the initial problem section of the light set now working, have you replaced any removed or missing bulbs from the remaining unlit section? If Yes, continue to 8.
- Are you still having a problem? Verify you do not have a problem with a blown fuse. The easiest way to check would be to connect a working light set to the end of the problem light set. If a known good light set does not work after being connected to the problem set, it is most likely a blown fuse. If you are still encountering a problem, use the Continuity Detector to trace the problems related to issues other than the bulb shunt problem. If you have additional questions call 1-888-ULTALIT
Why does my light set have blackened bulbs?
The LightKeeper Pro can fix about 95% of all light sets. One of the light sets that a LightKeeper Pro cannot fix are those with blackened bulbs. When blackened bulbs are present on a set, this means that a Cascade Failure occurred. This occurs when one or two bulbs go out originally, but since they went unnoticed and unchanged, those few burnt out bulbs added more voltage to the functioning bulbs in that section. The fact that these couple of burnt out bulbs are not actually accepting voltage means that they are causing the functional bulbs on the set to burn brighter/work twice as hard. Eventually, the bulbs that were burning brighter get tired and literally burn into the glass causing the darkened rings on the glass. This is something that occurs over time.
Once you notice that your set has blackened bulbs, you must replace ALL of the bulbs in that section in order to get your set functional again. You do not want to simply change only the blackened ones as that is a waste of time and bulbs.
To begin the repair process, with the light sets unplugged, remove all the bulbs in that section, save the plastic bases as we know those fit nicely in those sockets on the set we are trying to repair, and place new bulbs into those bases we saved– then place all 50 bulbs back into their sockets at once. We suggest not plugging the light set into a power source until all new bulbs are in their sockets.
Typically, we recommend purchasing a light set of similar length with the same requirements and simply using it for spare bulbs. This way you are getting more for your money. You can be sure of your light set’s bulb requirements by double-checking the white tag near the male plug of the light set. The tag should state something similar to the following “Use only 2.5V replacement lamps” and lower on the tag usually it will mention 0.34A or a similarly formatted number with “A” (representing Amperage) next to it. It is the amperage or miliamperage that control the brightness of the bulb. Voltage and amperage are essential to take into consideration as you search for replacement bulbs.
An additional resource would be to purchase online from a merchant that specializes in bulbs and sell them in bulk.
It is important to keep the bases from the set you are trying to fix. So we are really just replacing the glass. This will take more time, but it will ensure a good fit within the socket and avoid creating further issues.
When replacing large amount of bulbs, always be sure to have the set unplugged until all replacements have occurred.
Once you have all of your replacement bulbs ready (remove the base off of them), remove all of the bulbs you will need to replace at once. Remove the bases to be used with the new glass bulbs and toss the old, blackened bulbs. Now, you’ll be able to tell if you have an empty socket somewhere based on how many replacement bulbs you have left.
Unfortunately, the only repair for a light set that experiences a Cascade Failure is replacement of ALL of the bulbs. This is why it is essential to always replace any unlit bulbs within lit sections right away.