A frequently asked question we receive on a daily basis is, "With LED Christmas lights if one bulb goes out will the whole set go out?"

The answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem. It all depends on what kind of outage we're talking about. Since the one piece LED bulb and socket design is our most popular style of LED, we'll focus on that type of set for this blog posting.

When looking at an LED outage, there are two types of bulb related outages:

1) Bulb still intact, but fails to light up.
2) Bulb lens cracked or significantly damaged.

Let's take a closer look at each one of these.

Bulb still intact, but fails to light up

LED bulbs do last a long time, but from time to time one does fail to light up. As long as the bulb lens has not been cracked or broken, then the light set will continue to illuminate with the exception of any individual bulbs that are not working.

Bulb lens cracked or significantly damaged

When it comes to lens damage, the general rule is if the lens is cracked all the way through to the core of the LED, then either the entire set or on longer stringers, half the set will go completely out. However, fortunately, most LED lenses are very rigid and don't easily crack or break.

It is important to note that some sets are more prone to outages due to broken bulbs. M5 light sets have small diameter bulbs that break relatively easily and for this reason, M5s tend to have more problems due to outages caused by broken bulbs than other light sets.

5 mm Wide Angle Conicals have very rigid bulbs because of the low profile of the lens. C7 and C9 stringer sets also tend to be resistant to outages caused by bulb breakage. These larger lens sets have an outside lens and then inside this outer shell, they have a 5 mm conical lens. So these light sets have even more protection to prevent the actual LED from getting damaged.

So the bottom line is that if one bulb goes out, but it's still intact, then yes, the light set will stay lit. But if the LED lens is significantly cracked or damaged, then anywhere from half to the full set will go out.