JOHNS CREEK -- After putting your holiday lights up you may have noticed that some of the strings of lights have burned out. Most of us dread the time consuming task of finding out which bulbs are bad and often will end up replacing the whole string.
A couple of products claim to help find and fix your problem. The Light Keeper Pro and the Brite Star Mini Light Tester With Bulb Remover.
Christmas decorating is big at the Johnson home, Kyle and Tyler enjoy decorating the front yard with mini-lights but can't stand having to trouble shoot problems when part of the string won't light up.
"Some of the lights aren't working, some of them are," said Kyle. "It's just kinda' frustrating."
They brought all of the problem lights into the house and started checking them out.
The Brite Star Mini Light Tester lets you scan the string and beeps where everything is working but stops when you find a broken or loose bulb that is causing part or all of the string not to work. There is also an individual bulb tester to let you know if it needs to be tossed or saved.
The bulb remover is also handy for getting bad bulbs out of the socket without breaking a fingernail.
Kyle said the $5 device helped find some problems but not all.
We also checked out the Light Keeper Pro that sells for about $20. It includes all of the features of the Brite Star device but also includes a quick fix trigger that sends an electric pulse through the line that is supposed to activate a defective shunt. The directions say most light set failures are caused by defective bulb shunts.
Kyle found a section of his string where the bulbs did not light. He removed one of the bulbs and connected the socket to the Light Keeper Pro. After pulling the trigger most of the dark light bulbs lit up.
"Some of them came on," said Kyle.
The Light Keeper Pro helped with some but not all of the bad lights. After working about 20 minutes Kyle and Tyler were able to return some of their decorations outside. Some strings ended up in the thrash.
Their ratings? "For the Brite Star tester we give it one thumb up, one thumb down," Kyle said. "And for the Light Keeper Pro we give it one thumb up, one thumb down."