I typically use two socket to outlet adaptors with a light bulb socket to put the bulb back in to the fixture to light two holiday wreaths with a small strand of lights each. They have always worked but this year when I plug in the light strand neither the bulb or the strand goes on. I replaced the adaptors and still have the same issue, not sure why all the sudden they do not work.

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    Do regular lightbulbs work in the socket(s) in question? Dec 3, 2020 at 4:51
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    Holiday lights, especially older ones, are often wired in series where if one light goes out - they all go out. Did you check the bulbs?
    – HoneyDo
    Dec 3, 2020 at 5:20
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    Bad switch in the adapter (if it has one, many have pull-chain switches prone to failure)? bad contacts/broken innards? Did you check the root socket for power, with a tester? Check the fuse/breaker? Dec 3, 2020 at 5:20
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    Are the lights you are screwing into the same as last year? some light fixtures are not as standard as you'd expect, and they may not be screwing in all the way and making contact. Try the string directly in a plug, test the bulb and try the adapters in another (as simple as it can be) fixture.
    – noybman
    Dec 3, 2020 at 5:29
  • Plug the light strand into a regular outlet and screw a light bulb into the light socket. That will identify where your problem is quickly and easily.
    – Duston
    Dec 3, 2020 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


I find this with cfl lamps quite often and think your adapters have the same issue.

The problem in most cases the center conductor is not touching.

But they worked last year the same fixture and adapter. The center tab quite often gets folded down sometimes because of a extra tight light bulb sometimes because of heat.

The fix: With the power off! pulling the tab away from the fixture or lifting it a little bit has always fixed this issue for me, 150w incandescent lamps were really hard on fixtures and this method worked on them even with the “high current draw / heat”. Don’t get crazy it usually won’t take much just a 1/10 of an inch or possibly up to 1/4 but that will usually fix this problem, give it a try.

Again with the power off raise the center tab it is usually a brass colored metal tab that is bent, just straighten so it contacts the adapter.

  • That worked - thanks for the advice! Dec 4, 2020 at 14:36
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    – Ed Beal
    Dec 4, 2020 at 14:57

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