Last year one strand didn't work, and I had really good luck with the Light Keeper Pro. I clicked once or twice and the entire tree was illuminated. I had anticipated the lights dying again later in the season, but I am happy to report they lasted throughout the holidays. Completely expecting I would have the same success this year, I pulled out my trusty light remedy gun and started clicking away, testing lights, attempting to reset the interrupted circuits. Fairly quickly, all of the lights were twinkling back at me with the exception of a singular pesky strand.
I started working on the section that was not cooperating......what a nightmare. I clicked and clicked and clicked some more, the entire house was annoyed with the constant beeping. Frustrated, I still sucked it up and started pulling out burnt bulbs, replacing bulbs, clicking, beeping, blah blah blah. I will never have those four hours of my life back, and I miss them terribly. I was left with the an entire lower strand......DOA. Most people probably wouldn't have noticed the twenty dim lights, but I would know they were there. Not acceptable. If that weren't tragic enough, I had also killed my fingernails, my thumbs, poked my hands everywhere, and all for nothing. If I had to make a list of things I hate in this world, unhooking bulbs from pre-lit trees would definitely make my Top 20. White flag. Towel officially thrown in.
For a minute I got cocky and decided to go out and shop for a replacement tree. I looked in at least ten stores and found nothing that met my expectations. Where were all of the trees with low-falling branches? And besides, we are in a recession right? I know they say it's over, whoever "they" are but, $350.00 for a new plastic evergreen? In the words of Dana Carvey as George Bush on Saturday Night Live, "NA-GA-DA!" At this point my worst nightmare became a reality.....I would have to mix in a strand of lights. GASP! Unheard of! Unthinkable. All of the neighbors would point at me, kids would get off the school bus and whisper about 'the lady with the ghetto tree' or worse!
I resolved to temporarily lose my perfectionistic attitude and spend the weekend decorating trees. I wish I had a Polaroid of my face as I plugged in the green nemesis to see that two-thirds of the lights had gone dark again. Maddening! I didn't panic, I pulled out the red savior gun and began clicking. Nothing. I spent an hour going back and forth from YouTube tutorials on fixing pre-lit trees, all the while wondering if there were any stores that had amazing deals on trees. Still no holiday glow. The dream had died.
Epiphany! I wouldn't have to give up my low lying branches, I would just remove all of the existing light strands and restring with new LED's. Simple. It wasn't the worst idea I've ever had, but the old lights were twisted in so tightly, it took me a good four hours for the entire removal. After a while, I was able to notice a pattern, and the unwrapping of lights did seem to go more quickly. It was tedious, but oddly rewarding because at least the lights would totally match. I'm really terrified to open my twelve-foot tree and see what horrors that may bring, but for the moment, one crisis averted. I spent $12.00 on new lights, much less expensive than a new fake. Bah Humbug!