5 Reasons Rope Lights Burn Out | How to Prevent it

Why do rope lights burn out

Rope lights are well known for not only their visual ability but for their versatility as well. LED rope lights are also highly energy-efficient and can save you a significant amount of money in the long term while catering to all of your decorative lighting needs.

They can be used for both personal and commercial uses and come at affordable rates too. However, like everything else, they too will get damaged over time either due to faulty connections inside or if you don’t take care of them properly.

Rope lights will burn out for a few different reasons, these include; faulty product, improper use, and poor installation. To make sure your rope lights do not burn out prematurely; check for improper cuts, incorrect power source, wiring issues, and possible overheating.

We will be looking at why rope lights burn out in more detail, and also look at some ways you can troubleshoot, and hopefully avoid having your lights burn out earlier than they should.

Why do Rope Lights Burn Out?

There are three main reasons as to why rope lights might burn out and they are

Faulty Product

Some rope lights may be faulty well before you buy them and even though they may work in the beginning, over time they might completely stop working. No manufacturer can ever state with a hundred percent surety that all of their products will always work properly.

Sometimes mistakes are bad or an issue could have happened en route to delivery. This is why it is extremely important to only buy products that either have a warranty or at least offer a valid returns/refund policy.

Using Them Improperly

LED rope lights are very popular throughout the world for their versatility and their ability to work under different climatic conditions. Based on where you live, you can buy rope lights with the appropriate IP rating to ensure that your rope lights can withstand summer, winter, and even rain.

However, no amount of durability can protect it against misuse or bad handling. If you bend the light a lot quite often, there is a very good chance for the wiring inside to get snapped. Always handle these lights with care if you want them to last for a long time.

Improper Installation Always Secure the End Caps

This one is also a common problem seen by many people all over the world. When you are installing rope lights, it is very important to secure the end caps properly. If they are kept loose, then there is a good chance of the lights overheating and melting the rope.

You should also never buy low-quality lights even if they cost only a fraction of what the good quality ones cost. Not only will you end up wasting your hard-earned money, but they might also lead to dangerous consequences such as a home fire.

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All Lights Burn out Eventually

Apart from the above reasons, rope lights will also burn out over time similar to any light fixture. Sometimes, only a few bulbs may burn out whereas other times an entire segment of bulbs can get burned out.

The only thing you can do to try and make them last as long as possible is to make sure you handle them properly. Never wind them around objects too tightly and don’t bend them regularly.

How to Troubleshoot Rope Lights?

Based on what the issue is, you can always do a little troubleshooting to see if you can solve it. However, if you aren’t experienced with electrical items, do contact an electrician to prevent yourself from getting electrocuted.

Check Pin Connections if Light are Not Turning On

If you find out that the lights are not getting turned on, you should check out the pin connections. The pin may either not be inserted properly or there might be an issue with it. Sometimes, they might be inserted in a crooked way causing the lights to not get turned on.

Make Sure to Cut Rope Lights Correctly

Some rope lights can be cut so if you do cut them, do make sure that they are cut along the marked section only. If you don’t, then the circuit will get disrupted and that particular section might not get turned on. So if you see a specific section not getting turned on, ask yourself if you ever cut it at the wrong place.

Make Sure they are Compatible with the Power Source

Depending on the type of bulb used in your rope light, connect them to a power source they are compatible with. LEDs and Incandescent lights usually come with either 12V, 24V, or 120V compatibility. So if you have a 24V rope light and connect it to a 120V transformer or driver, it won’t work properly. The output voltage must always be the same as the input voltage.

Double Check for Wiring Issues

If you hear a crackling sound coming from your ropes, then the culprit might be faulty wiring. This happens often if you bend the light frequently as it ends up damaging the internal components of the rope light.

They might be flexible but never abuse them thinking that they can take it. Rope lights also get more rigid in cold weather, so make sure you don’t bend them too much if it’s very cold.

Turn Lights Off if They Start Overheating

Rope lights are known for their ability to withstand weather but too much sun or constant exposure to very high temperatures can be bad for them. Even if you are installing them outside, try to keep them away from direct sunlight to prolong its life. If you only need them for the holiday season, take them down after and store them in a cool and dry place.

Apart from the above issues, there are plenty of other problems that you may face with rope lights such as a blown fuse or a failed rectifier. If troubleshooting the issues doesn’t help, then you can contact an electrician to see if they can find and fix the problem.

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Rope lights burning out is always a hassle as entire sections stop working depending on the number of sections that got compromised. While there isn’t much you can do after the fact (if the rope light cannot be cut), you can take preventive measures to try and stop these issues from happening.

Some rope lights can be cut at marked sections and if you have them, then you can just cut the damaged segments and connect the working ones. All in all, as long as you handle them with care, they should last for a very long time.

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