Christmas Lights Dilemma: an update.

Since I posted my question about bypassing the multi-function controller on my Christmas Lights the other week, I can see that it’s regularly being found by people Googling things like “bypassing multi-function controller” or “christmas lights on constant” and other such related search terms. It seems I am not alone.

So I thought it was about time I posted an update so you know exactly what I’ve done about it.

Answer: Nothing. 

Having got good and useful advice in the comments last time, and also over on Facebook, I had a closer look with a friend and we came across another problem. The transformer drops the voltage to a safe level, but does not appear to convert the current from AC to DC. That must happen in the multi-function controller. As I have very little concept what that actually means, I admitted defeat and left them as they are.

Let’s face it, I clearly don’t know what I’m doing and the last thing I’d want would be to cause a fire.

Oh, and to confuse things even further, some days they do come on still set to “steady on” and some days they don’t.

My only advice: don’t buy multi-function ones in future.

UPDATE December 2018: Wrote this seven years ago. Damn things still frustrate me, but never been brave enough to try to sort them out. Other sets I have I see mention a “memory function” which seems to mean they remember the setting you chose. That shouldn’t be a ‘function’ – that should be the default. Ho hum.
Update 2018: A friend has pointed out these instructions to me, which even I might manage to follow. If I’m brave enough to have a try, I’ll let you know how it goes.


6 thoughts on “Christmas Lights Dilemma: an update.

    1. Ben

      I’ve got a set of lights with exactly the same controller – problem is I’ve lost the adaptor/transformer…
      Any idea where I might be able to get another one from?

      1. Trevor Post author

        Nope. I guess you could try Maplin or other general electronics store. Take the lights and they may have a generic one that fits and pumps out the right voltage etc.

    2. David Aldridge

      I’ve had a similar problem with the Control Box of my 150 lights set from Homebase that I bought quite a few years ago now. On opening up the Control Box by means of the 4 screws on the underside, I noticed there is a 100uF 16v electrolytic capacitor on the pcb and knowing how these are usually the device to most likely fail in time, I replaced this and had the lights on test for 4 nights, and each time following me replacing this capacitor, they came on with my preferred flashing sequence, IN WAVES like they used to do up until last year.

      Just thought I’d share this info with you and others finding themselves with a similar problem of the Control Box not remembering the lighting sequence you set initially.

      Best wishes,
      David. (long-term unemployed Electrician turned self-employed Mechanical Music Arranger)

  1. Eddie

    Dear sir,
    I write this letter is because i need your help.sir, i have this kind of controller but, now is complety damages all parts. I need to change this same as this but i dont no were i can this unit. Can you help me sir?


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