How to Shorten LED Christmas Lights (Complete Guide)

With the holiday seasons nearing, it’s almost time to put up those festive Christmas lights in your shop or at home and go beyond just the bulbs. However, some may find that the Christmas lights they recently bought are far too long for their intended use.

How to Shorten LED Christmas Lights (Complete Guide)

Christmas festivities aren’t complete without the presence of Christmas lights.

Sometimes, a section of the lights has already burnt out with a large part still working. Maybe you purposely bought longer lights because you can’t find the right length and wanted to shorten them yourself. Sounds familiar?

If you want to fix these problems yourself but don’t know how to shorten LED Christmas lights, then we have the right tips for you.

How to Shorten LED Christmas Lights (Complete Guide)

LED Christmas lights are a safer option for festive holiday decorations.

What You Need

  • Wire nut connectors – you can buy this in any hardware or electrical supply stores near you. These will be used to secure the ends of your shortened LED Christmas lights.
  • Wire cutters – again, a pair can be purchased in any hardware or electrical supply store. They’re also available online. They will be used to cut and shorten your LED Christmas lights.
  • Electrical tape – this is optional, but if you want to make sure that your wire nuts are secured, then it’s best to purchase a roll as well.

Although LED Christmas lights consume less energy and are generally safe for use, they still deal with electricity, so shortening your LED Christmas lights is still a risk. Make sure to follow all the steps and remember to be careful.

Step-by-Step Guide

Before we start, you first need to find out whether your LED Christmas lights are wired as parallel or as a series. Most LED Christmas lights are wired as a series, and this tutorial deals with those wired as such.

Moreover, you need to decide how long you want your new string of Christmas lights to be. This will help you find out which method will work best for your needs.

There are two ways you can do so: by removing an entire section or by removing a few bulbs. The first one is the safer and easier option as it would only require you to cut away a part of the entire string of lights.

The latter, however, is trickier as removing only a few bulbs may end up burning out the remaining lights because of the uneven distribution of electricity. Nevertheless, it is still possible.

Removing an Entire Section

LED Christmas lights wired as a series will consist of 3 wires then slowly taper off to 2 wires then back to 3 as it starts a new section. Here’s how you can remove an entire section:

  1. Make sure your Christmas lights are unplugged and spread out.
  2. Measure how long you want your new string of lights to be and check where it ends.
  3. Look for the part of your lights where it tapers off into 2 wires. This will be where the previous section of lights end.
  4. Cut that part with your wire cutters.
  5. Once you’ve cut it, cover each loose end with a wire nut and secure it firmly with electrical tape.
  6. Enjoy your new shortened LED Christmas lights.

How to Shorten LED Christmas Lights (Complete Guide)

Shortening LED Christmas lights can be done safely with the right tools and steps.

Removing Only a Few Bulbs in A Series

Although this is fairly easy to do, the risk lies in the possibility of overloading the remaining bulbs in the section. Each section is wired so that the current is evenly distributed among all the bulbs that by removing one or two bulbs, the others end up receiving more electricity.

The more bulbs you remove from each section, the more chances of burning out the remaining bulbs. Here are the tips you should follow:

  1. Again, make sure your Christmas lights are unplugged and spread out.
  2. Measure how long you want your new string of lights to be.
  3. Since you will be removing bulbs from a series, you will be cutting from the 3-wire part of the series.
  4. Look for the 2 wires entering the last bulb where you want the strand to end.
  5. Cut those wires and strip off the ends with your wire cutter.
  6. Twist the exposed wires together.
  7. Cover the newly joined wires with a wire nut connector and secure it with electrical tape.
  8. Cut the remaining wire the same length as the other two.
  9. Lastly, cover the wire with a wire nut connector and secure with electrical tape so it doesn’t fall off.
  10. Enjoy your new shortened LED Christmas lights.

Final Thoughts

The holiday season doesn’t feel complete without the presence of Christmas lights. They are one of the easiest and most fun ways to showcase your holiday spirit. They both figuratively and literally brighten one’s home and makes one feel more cheerful during those dreary winter months.

By learning how to shorten LED Christmas lights, you can ensure that your light decorations are exactly how you want them to be. Learn more tips at KRM Light+.



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