LightKeeper Pro Review

By Dave on December 4, 2006


Well, I did it. Almost a year after first learning about the LightKeeper Pro and posting about it, I took the plunge and bought one. With my own money, I might add; no marketing campaign freebies here, no siree.

I’m not big on decorating for the holidays — not like my neighbor down the block with the lighted windmill, lighted life-size Santa, sleigh & reindeer, and phony luminaries made from 40 watt lightbulbs and milk jugs, etc… (it’s really horrid!) — but my wife likes the icicle lights hanging from the eaves on our house, so I go that far.

A few weeks back I dug out the lights we’d used outside for the last two years, and found that of the five strings we had, only one section still worked! I know there were more lights on than that when we last used them! But, being the cheapskate that I am, I balked at going out & spending a bunch of money on five new sets, especially when they cost 6 bucks apiece!

My first thought was the LightKeeper Pro, but I didn’t act on it right away. The next day I happened to be driving by Ace Hardware, and the marquee advertised the LKP at $15. That settled it. I bought one. And it is absolutely everything they say it is.

The thing is as simple as can be; you unplug a light bulb in a non-working segment, plug that socket into the LKP, click the trigger a few times (up to 20 times according to the instructions) and in most cases the string will light up. As one of our super sharp commenters pointed out, it works by forcing the shunts in non-working bulbs to make contact, thus allowing the rest of the string or segment to work. You then replace the unlit bulbs with good ones, and you’re back in action. Beware though; the icicle lights I was fixing had 300 bulbs in each, and in one string I found over half of them were bad.

The LKP also has a handy-dandy built-in bulb tester to check the bulbs you put in to make sure they work. There’s a continuity detector that helps determine the location of a problem spot in a string of lights. Press a button on the LKP and wave it over the wire; if there is current flowing through the wire, the LKP will beep. When the beeping stops, you’ve likely narrowed down the problem to within a two or three bulb area.

While the LKP isn’t perfect, and there are some things I’d definitely change — the built-in pry bar for getting stubborn bulbs loose just plain sucks, and the position of the bulb tester doesn’t lend itself to using the tool with your hands full of a string of lights — using it is far better than throwing out a set of lights that don’t want to work. And if you’ve got a pre-lit tree or lights already strung on a tree, it’s definitely better to fix what’s there than to replace it.

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Comments

  1. Ralph Wiggam says:

    I recently purchased the Light Keeper for the same reasons. It was half the price and the only difference I could see is that it didn't have that shunt zapper built in. I figured, how many bulbs can possible be burnt out on one string? At least two or three I found. It was easy enough to scan the entire string listening for beeps, but I don't know how one would ever do it on a prelit Christmas tree! Having known how well this gizmo works ahead of time, I propably would have splurged for the Pro version. Mind you the price of the pro would also get me a few extra strings of lights!

  2. Karla says:

    This post saved my sanity (Deane may beg to differ)!

    We purchased a 9.5 foot pre-lit tree last year and this year when we plugged it in we were unhappy to find that several of the strings had portions of lights that had mysteriously quit working. I was beginning to think that buying a pre-lit tree with metal clips securing the lights to all the gazillion branches was a terrible idea. It's not exactly easy to throw out the strand that quit working.

    We purchased the Light Keeper Pro for $19.95 at Target. It saved the day. We were able to locate a few of the faulty bulbs and kick-start the rest of the string using the trigger.

    I once again am on good terms with my Christmas tree, but I'll be watching closely, Light Keeper gun in hand.

  3. Lon says:

    Being a skeptic it was sheer frustration and some positive web reviews that drove me to get this. I had two strings out on a pre-lit tree and was contemplating my limited options. After buying this I had both strings repaired - two bulbs per string - in 15 minutes. THIS PRODUCT WORKS AS ADVERTISED! I plugged it in and had to give only one pulse on each string and all working bulbs lit up! I no longer stress about a string dying during the season after the ornaments are on. I highly recommend it!

  4. Richard says:

    I got one, and it worked pretty well for me. I did save several stringsof lights, although a few sets of icecicle lights had a HUGE number of bad bulbs. Very handy tool, especially for the prestrung stuff.

  5. Jack says:

    Well, to add to what others have said, Lightkeeper Pro really does work. Out of sheer frustration with the failing strings of lights and a growing environmental ethics sense that throwing yet another strand out was not OK, I looked for anything that could save the situation. And then a miracle. On the web I read about LKP. And then I found it on sale at Lowes. And then I tried it out and on the first click had my first string of lights fixed! Next three strings had problems that took longer to solve, but in each case the LKP lead me to the proper fix. Lights are all working! There really is a Santa Claus!

  6. Cathy says:

    I have had two years with the Lightkeeper Pro. It has located a problem in my pre-lit tree, saved my girlfriends icicle lights, helped with the location of a problem in a set of another friends lights (those we threw away as it detected a fault in the wiring after we did a number of other things) and this year saved my twinkling light set. This set had a bulb that had only one wire. When I inserted a bulb socket into the LPK I saw one bulb flicking blue light. When I pulled that one out of the set I found that the bulb had only one wire. Replaced that bulb and VOILA - my set was fixed. And those were and expensive set due to the twinkle feature. LPK has been worth every penny and I have gotten several friends to buy them too.

  7. Kristie says:

    What a lifesaver! It seems all that could go wrong with the lighting decorations at our house, have. Not an issue now that I picked up the LKP for my husband. When I made the impulse buy at Lowe's last week, I really thought it was yet another gimmick. Something else to remain in its packaging at the bottom of the lighting crate. I was so wrong yesterday when he was able to fix two strands of lights in under 10 minutes. This is a must for everyone that buys minature lights! The instructions may take a couple of re-reads to understand fully, but the end result is not having to deal with overcrowded stores and empty lighting displays, leaving one only to choose from the $8.00 replacement sets. Tis the season! Our house is once again happy because LKP saved the bad light strands!

  8. Jim says:

    Something that actually works. Got the pre-lit tree up and 2 out of 10 strings worked. After fiddling around for well over an hour I was ready to go buy new lights. I remembered seeing the LKP on QVC. I took a chance and went to Lowes and found one and bought it. All the lights are now working and I'm looking for more to fix.

  9. kerry quad cities illinois says:

    my mpther bought be a light keeper for my house! man that thing is kick ass. no gimmick here it works! when you have well over 10,00 lights like i have you want one of those around! :} what a great toy! who ever came up with that must be rich my now! now i can go back to being the griswalds!

  10. Ed Turner says:

    This is the best tool I've ever seen for fixing light strings. I just fixed my pre-light tree in a matter of minutes. I had 16 bad bulbs. This thing is amazing, you can trace the hot wire, check a bulb, or best of all you can plug into the string via an empty slot. You hit the button and the string will light up again so you can quickly locate the bad bulbs. Amazing, I wish I thought of it.

  11. OK.....THIS THING IS AMAZING!! Besides fixing about 6 strands of 1/2 dead lights, I have 4 strands of blue icicles that last year, I decided to leave up to see if they'd work. (lazy) The last strand of 15 feet of those, were under a broken gutter, and during the spring and summer I had torrential rainfall coming directly off my roof, like a waterfall, going right on and over my last string. I knew I'd be buying a new set to replace those, seeing the bath they took, many times. Just now ( I stopped to come in here and write this) I was turning on the icicle lights, they all came on but the last string, which when I looked at them closely , had to laugh and said there's NO WAY these will ever work again. I got the " gun: out, and clicked it about 20 times,>>>> they all came on!!!!! NOW I've SEEN EVERYTHING!!!!! BUY THIS ITEM ITS WORTH THE MONEY THE 1st DAY YOU OWN IT! Dave, Carmel NY

  12. The GSRedbaron says:

    A PA deer hunting buddy of mine told me about this troubleshooting tool last week while hunting in the woods of PA. This guy really goes all out, tastefullly decorating the outside of his home and covering his indoor Christmas tree with a ga-zillion tiny white lights. Well, today I started the job of putting up my outdoor lights, a job that I love almost as much as going a oral surgeon for a root canal. To no surprise I had sections of lights that although they tested A-OK ten minutes before, did not work when I put them on my outdoor shrubs. I drove to Lowe's and bought the last one of this little tools for $8.99 plus tax and couldn't wait to try it out. After opening the package and spending about 5 minutes reading the instructions I was out the door to make the neighborhood a little brighter. Folks, It works as advertised and could not be easier to use! This invention deserves a spot among one of the best little inventions to come along in a long time! I was so excited I called the company and told them how happy I was with the tool. Save the frustration, the nasty words and the cost of buying new strings of lights. If you can find it, BUY IT!

  13. Diane Warren says:

    I bought this dandy little tool a few years back and have been Thanking my lucky stars for it ever since.. I have a ton of lights I put up every year and each year I use my handy dandy lightkeeper Pro.. And again each year my lights are shinning bright. This year my pre-lighted tree came out of his box and a string was NOT working. I found my Lightkeeper pro and thought "OH this is not good" my batteries were dead.. But I plugged the string in to the PRO.. and in an instand there was light.. Even after being stored with last years batteries it WORKED!!! Thank you thank you for this great product...And this website... Diane Warren Santa Maria CA..

  14. Al says:

    Why me? I have a pre-lit Christmas tree that two tree rings went out after putting up the tree. So, I went to Lowes and bought the Light Keeper Pro. Well, what a disappointment. I couldn't get anything to work. The fuses test out okay. I get beeps along the strands, but every light I take out is burned out. Anyway, the light keeper pro has been a total waste of $20 for me. I should have bought two strands of 100 lights for $6 and wrapped them around the tree. I would have been money ahead and stress free.

  15. by Dave says:

    Nobody's expectations were lower than mine when I bought the Light Keeper Pro, but what the heck? Last Sunday I got all the lights out of the basement to decorate, and sure enough about five strands had 50% of the lights not working. I hooked the gun up to an unlit bulb socket, squeezed the trigger and POOF! The tool worked on all the dead strings, I even used it outside on the tree when one strand wouldn't light. It didn't work on one strand of my prelit tree, but that might mean an actual bulb fell out somewhere and I can't find it. It KILLS me that I threw out probably 9 strands of lights last year in disgust when they could have been easily fixed.

  16. jammer says:

    PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Never buy this product!So much pain when you use it on yourself and double the amount of pain in stress when you use it on lights. i highly recommend buying new strands of lights.it hurts so much i think police should carry these around instead of tasers.broke 5 strands of perfect lights using this thing.once again dont buy this product but if your stupid enough to buy it dont put your finger in the socket. THe horrible roll on the floor jump of the building pain.bah goes the sheep

  17. John D. Smith says:

    I tried the basic model and the Pro model on my permanent strung lite tree. Spent hours with no results. Every bulb I tested was good, same with fuses. I am just going to cut out the bad strings of lights and replace them; less time, money and frustration.

  18. Yvonne Garrett says:

    My pre-lit tree didn't light.

    After reading the comments on here and watching the video of how it works, I bought the Light Keeper Pro today. It was on sale for $16.99 at True Value.

    WORTH EVERY PENNY!

    Came home and tried the quick fix. Tried to use the built in light puller. Didn't work. Then, after looking at the directions, realized that I had it in backwards. Oops! But, nothing! Quick fix didn't work!

    So, I went to plan B and used the built in voltage tester and followed the wire to where the current was interrupted. Bingo! Bad bulb with just one wire. Replaced the bulb and...NOTHING! Argh!

    Followed the wire again and found a bulb that was loose. Put it back in and BINGO! All lit up!

    This all took me about 15 minutes! Wow! Wonderful! Great product!

  19. Sabrina R says:

    My father bought us the light keeper pro for our pre-light Christmas Tree... Short and simple it DID NOT WORK!!!! Not sure if our actual light keeper was defective but after MANY attempts to get this product to work with no luck we decided to go out a purchase a "REAL" Christmas Tree this year. As we are done with the pre-light trees...

  20. convincedskeptic says:

    it's worth every penny - actually, it's worth a lot more! how is it that I returned THREE 9.5 foot $300 trees to Lowe's before hearing about this product??? Why didn't the brain-trust that runs the holiday area of Lowe's let me know about this? Why, after I found out about it online, did this selfsame group of morons (I mean typical Lowe's employees) simply giggle and then say they were sold out of the product (but not before recommending I buy a $40 multi-tester instead)?

    I know I'm going back to the True Value where I found mine (after checking a dozen other chains) and getting all they have left. I am giving them as Christmas presents to selected in-laws (the ones I like).

  21. MWatson says:

    Put up a new pre-lit 9' tree on Friday and one section went out within 30 minutes. Checked the fuses and a few bulbs without success. Found this tool on the net and purchased it tonight. Had my lights fixed in less than 5 minutes. Highly recommend this tool if you have any mini-lights. Bought mine at Target for $19.

  22. Tracy K says:

    I finally found one to buy this year and was so excited to get my lights out because I knew it was going to be a cinch this year. Wrong. My light keeper pro did not work on any of 11 strands of lights. I don't know if I had one that did not work or if my light problem is unique. I took it back. I wanted to exchange it but they were all sold out so I am back to square one. :( I will try again next year!!!!

  23. NI Lady says:

    The same story as many: on every string of blue icycle lights, a section was out. Hubby doesn't get into the whole light thing & is always looking for any excuse to not put them up, and having no strings that worked was good enough for him. He swore he'd checked to make sure all bulbs were properly seated, but who knows, particularly with so many to check. I found the Lightkeeper Pro today,he read the instructions, and said it didn't solve any problem on any of the strings. I noticed on the package that there's a video on the Web site, so I went & watched the long one, which is definitely worth it for the tips & explanations. Anyway, 15 minutes later following the clear instructions in the longer video, all 11 strands are working :-)

    My only regret is that I didn't find this a couple of years ago when three or four of my yard art figures started having problems & hubby disposed of them.

  24. NI Lady says:

    The same story as many: on every string of blue icycle lights, a section was out. Hubby doesn't get into the whole light thing & is always looking for any excuse to not put them up, and having no strings that worked was good enough for him. He swore he'd checked to make sure all bulbs were properly seated, but who knows, particularly with so many to check. I found the Lightkeeper Pro today,he read the instructions, and said it didn't solve any problem on any of the strings. I noticed on the package that there's a video on the Web site, so I went & watched the long one, which is definitely worth it for the tips & explanations. Anyway, 15 minutes later following the clear instructions in the longer video, all 11 strands are working :-)

    My only regret is that I didn't find this a couple of years ago when three or four of my yard art figures started having problems & hubby disposed of them.

  25. Robert Oppelt, Park Ridge, NJ says:

    I have some neighbors that call me 'CLARK' ... like in the movies with C Chase. because of all the lights on my home This little Red Gun has saved me a ton of time checking each bulb on my house.. a few clicks and they come on... There is a saying that only God and an electrician can make 'light' Well, so can this little red gun.. Bob Oppelt

  26. bonnie says:

    I purchase the Lightkeeper Pro from Home Depot for $19.98. I was having problems with several different strings on my pre-lit Christmas tree. I tried it on four different strings with no results. I changed all the bulbs in one string and still no results. I tested the fuses and they were all good. This was a total waste of money from my experience.

  27. Adam says:

    The Light Keeper Pro is a good tool. It still takes time to fix the problem. I found a wonderful service called ChristmasTreeRepair.com that helps you fix your lighting problems! Highly recommend you check it out.

  28. Dae says:

    This is our second Christmas with the LKP, and we love it! Our former home was completely fenced in, so we had over forty strands of lights for the fencing alone. Add in the house, and we were looking at some seventy-five strands total. As always happens, a strand or two would quit working, and we'd buy new ones, keeping the old ones to pull bulbs from. (Hey, gotta be frugal somewhere.) When we bought the LKP, we pulled out ALL our lights, old and new. Wow, oh wow!!! Only two strands refused to work, (our cat decided they'd make a nice litter box substitute), and as we're now in a new place with much less fencing, we can do our house, the yard, and a neighbor's place. This thing is amazing!

  29. Kirk says:

    I used the LKP on a string of lights using the trigger to zap the string. It didn't work after about 30 tries. So I took the voltage detector and went bulb by bulb. It turned out that about half the bulbs of a 50 or so stand were burnt out. How could this happen? It seems like the LKP nocked them out, I really don't know, please tell me.

  30. Randy says:

    Sorry folks... I REALLY wanted this thing to work. But, it didn't. I tried it on several different strings of lights. I used all of its functions but to no avail Perhaps it has to be just the right situation for it to work, apparently it does for somebody as they were sold out of them at Lowes, but dang it, not me. The little LED flashlight worked, but I can't pay 20 bucks for one LED.

  31. Mararet -2011 says:

    This is the worst " Fast and Easy" gadget I have ever bought!Comes with batteries that lasted all of 5 mins.Should have read, includes DEAD batteries for a DEAD gadget.To replace batteries was $12 and it still doesn't work.Very frustrating to say the least!!! 8 hours later,with NO results!
    It simply doesn't work!!They even have a web page for "GREAT ONLINE VIDEO ASSISTANCE" which is a joke! Only wish I was given this magical gadget on April 1st ...... You would be FOOLISH to buy it, as it's a waste of time....and VERY FRUSTRATING...

  32. Jim Miller Kokomo, IN says:

    We have a 7ft pre lighted tree that had 3 strands of lights not working. We heard about the LightKeeper Pro at family Christmas gathering. We order one on line thinking we would repair the lights before storing the tree for next year. I'm sorry to say that after three and half hours and trying all three methods we still have 3 strands not working. The three and half hours would have been ample time to apply new lights and the $19.95 plus S&H would have purchased the lights. It appears LightKeeper is not the magic tool for all Christmas lighting problems,especially when weighed against time and money

  33. Cindy G says:

    This Works!!! I have a five year old pre lit tree and thought that it had outlived it's guarantee. As times are tough in this economy, I was going to use a few small light strands to re light the portions that were out. I saw this advertised and thought what the heck. You do need to click several times, even 20 to 30 times. Now all the lights are working. Saved my Christmas spirit!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    This tool is better than sex! I am amazed. You gotta get one if you decorate for Christmas!

  35. Damien says:

    I had absolutely no faith in this thing when i borrowed it from a friend. I looks and feels cheap and i was thinking that even at fifteen bucks this thing is a rip off. All that said, I couldn't have been more wrong. It doesn't work right away, so you need some patience, but everything about it works perfectly. The bulb and fuse testers work, the laser and beeping tells you exactly where the short or dead bulbs are, and given enough clicking it restored my completely dead strings of lights to working condition. I can't recomend this item enough, I will defiantly order one online right after I finish this review. Everybody should own one of these hidden gems.

  36. frank says:

    just repaired 13 light strings of different lengths.in each case the piezo trigger method was used to no avail?this method is hype as far as im concerned.it doesnt work!if it was not for the audible tracing method it would be in the garb age.if both methods worked the tester would be worth the cost.in my estima tion the unit is not worth the cost!

  37. Ron says:

    Anyone who can't fix a string of lights with this tool is an idiot! I had a 5 foot tree for my front lawn that was broken for two years! Spent hours trying to 'find' the problem. Bought the PRO on a 'what do I have to lose' basis and fixed the tree AND two other strings of lights in seconds with the 'high frequency' shunt welder! AMAZING!!!!

  38. Dave says:

    Used to work great...now everytime I zap a string of lights they get 20 times brighter than they should and they get very hot. I saw smoke tonight. This is very scary to say the least. This has happened to the last 6 strings I've tried to fix. Sorry folks...I'm not an idiot and this thing has taken a turn for the worse.

  39. Mark Belonera says:

    Must say the LKP DID work for me for about 4 of the 6 strings I've tested so far. Not sure why some are having NO luck at all unless truly not following instructions correctly OR they got a defective unit. It DOES work if it's not defective and there is nothing horribly wrong with the light set.

    First make sure the string does NOT light up AT ALL. (If there are some lights working then you simply have to replace the bad bulbs.) Remove one light from it's socket and do the zapping thing. One string took 20 zaps, another only 3, so don't stop til you reach 30 zaps.

    For the strings this doesn't work on, you must then proceed to the audible voltage detector method. This didn't work for me and left a question maybe someone can answer: For end-to-end light strings there is a hot wire running right along side the other 2 wires so unless you separate the wires it seems you will always get an audible signal, but there is no info on the site about this (and they're not easy to separate since they're wound around each other. The video demo is only for a loop-type arrangement and not an end-to-end arrangement. Any advice or info on this?

    Best of luck to all newcomers, and if it doesn't work on ANY strings, go to the store and exchange it for a new one before you give up.

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