Common Questions

What should I do if I have a problem or question?

See possible solutions below under “Common Problems”

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We will respond to any issues/problems quicker by email
If you do not have email, call 512-872-5937 or 512-522-XMAS (9627)

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Frequently Asked Questions

When will you be coming back to take down my lights?

Unless requested otherwise, we will be back to take down your lights and décor sometime between January 2nd and January 15th. We cannot guarantee a timeframe because of the potential for weather delays, but we will do our best to have everything taken down, packed away, and cleaned up for you by the 15th. If you’d like to request a specific date for takedown, we require a $50 reservation fee. Please see below for further explanation.

In order to take lights down in the most efficient manner, we will be following a schedule arranged geographically and will do as many takedowns as possible each day. So it is quite likely that you will come home one day and your lights will have been removed without you contacting us. Feel free to call 512-872- 5937 if you need a specific time for us to come

Common Problems Problem

1: All lights go out or aren’t coming on

Solution 1: The GFCI likely has been tripped. Need to find GFCI outlet and press the button, likely inside the garage or an exterior outlet. If the lights are wet, let them dry for a few hours, push the button to make the outlet work again. See below for more information on GFCI’s.

Solution 2: Breaker might have flipped. Check in the garage or wherever the Breaker is to see if any switches have flipped. If this happens more than twice, we need to examine what the problem might be.

Solution 3: Electrical might have gone out earlier (GFCI, Breaker, whole house lost electricity or something else). If this is the case, the timer likely needs to be reset.

Solution 4: Fuse in the light string might have blown. Use the replacement fuse in the male end of the light string to replace the blown fuse.

Solution 5: Timer may not be activating, either because it is defective or because it is receiving too much light and not registering that the sun has set (this happens under porch lights or near flood lights usually). See Problem 4 for more possibilities.

Problem 2: A long series of lights have gone out

Solution 1: Fuse in the light string might have blown. Use the replacement fuse in the male end of the light string to replace the blown fuse. You can find both fuses by sliding open the little “door” in the male end of the fuse.

Solution 2: If using mini lights or icicle lights, the problem could be a fuse, as above, or a single bulb in the string is not working well. Look for a broken bulb, or wiggle each individual bulb to try to find the loose one. If this doesn’t identify the problem, then we may need to use a special tester and/or replace the string.

Solution 3: Lights may be plugged into separate outlets, in which case one of the solutions from Problem 1 would apply.

Problem 3: Individual lights have gone out

Solution 1: Tighten bulb in socket

Solution 2: Replace bulbs

Problem 4: Lights coming on at wrong time

Solution 1: Timer may need to be reset (it may have lost power for a short time, so it lost track of the correct time of day)

Solution 2: Timer may not be getting any light, so it can’t tell when it gets dark and when it is light (maybe it is sitting in a darkly shaded area or garage)

Solution 3: If it is still early evening, the sun may not have set far enough to get it dark enough to trigger the solar timer.

GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral. If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. It is able to sense a mismatch as small as 4 or 5 milliamps, and it can react as quickly as one- thirtieth of a second. This applies to Christmas lights often because, often, when a light string gets wet, either through the plugs or even the sockets themselves, some current will be lost through the moisture to the ground, and will trip the GFCI. In the case of Christmas lights, this does not usually indicate a short, but rather just a small leakage of current. Unfortunately, even the smallest leakage will still cause outages. If you have a true short, your circuit breaker will trip, so just because the GFCI is flipping, it doesn’t mean that’s an indication that something is wired incorrectly. It’s just the safety feature of the GFCI doing what it’s supposed to do. The GFCI is in place to prevent electrocutions for people touching electricity in contact with water, so it is a good thing to have, but it is very difficult to work around. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many dependable solutions.

1) Just wait for the strings to dry out. This is probably your best bet, and may be the only solution no matter how many of the other options you try.

2) Spend a lot of time drying, double-taping, bagging, and trying to track down where the “leak” might be coming from. Most of the time, even if you spend all of that time, the GFCI will still flip, despite your best efforts. In fact, more often than not, the electrical tape and baggies keep the water in as much as it keeps it out.

3) GFCI tripping most often occurs on displays that have lights and cords on the ground, so the best chance for preventing this is to get every cord and light off the ground, which can be pretty time-consuming. You might use stakes to raise all plugs and connections between extension cords and light plugs above the ground. Use drip loops to keep water from running down a cord into an outlet connection.

4) Divide the lighting on to separate outlets. Sometimes the cumulative effect of each bulb’s miniscule leakage causes a big enough leakage to flip the GFCI.

5) Broken bulbs are guaranteed GFCI poppers. One drop of rain in the broken glass will trip the GFCI and you can’t get your lights back on until the water dries out of the broken bulb.

6) If you’re desperate to get your lights on and don’t mind risking an electric shock, you can plug the lights into an outlet inside the house that is not a GFCI outlet. Moving the plug indoors itself won’t give you a shock, but the lights, cords, and display in general will no longer be protected by the GFCI outlet.

You can find a pretty good message board discussing GFCI’s on the web:

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