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Can You Cut Fairy Lights? [How To Cut With Precautions]

Fairy lights are a form of string lights. It is a decorative item that can add a magical feel to any corner of your house. Their main purpose is to add warmth to different parts of your home.

They come in different lengths, which range from 3 feet to 10 feet. Since these lights are flexible, you can use them for wrapping around objects. They are usually made of long-lasting LED lights, meaning their light can last thousands of hours. To know more just keep on reading.

Can You Cut Fairy Lights?

how to shorten fairy lights
Can you cut wire fairy lights?

Before you cut fairy lights, you should ensure they are safe to use outside. It is not considered safe if you use or cut indoor lights and use them as outdoor lights. This is why it is important always to ensure that the lights you have purchased are suitable for the outdoors too.

Apart from safety, indoor lights should not be used as outdoor lights as they don’t last for longer durations of time and can get damaged if they get wet. 

Let us look at some things to be seen before purchasing lights to ensure they are of good quality and can be used outside.

Step 1: 

It’s important to look at the safety ratings of the lights you want to purchase to ensure they are suitable for outside use.

Most of the lights, which have a label of patio lights and Christmas lights, are considered to be safe for outside use. This is because these lights are made up of durable and long-lasting materials. You should keep in mind that some Christmas lights can be used only indoors. Hence it’s better to look at the lights’ ratings.

Step 2: 

If you are looking for extension cords, you should go for safe ones outside. The safety ratings of the cords are stamped on them, so you can always take a look at them. They can hold out against different weather conditions since they have thicker insulation.

Is It Okay To Shorten Fairy Lights?

Yes, it’s fine to cut fairy lights short if they are too long. As we have seen above, this cannot be done with any fairy lights, it should be done with a fairy light that is designed in such a way that it can be used outdoors.

Some companies sell lights that can be cut as per the size desired, but they are usually more expensive compared to normal lights. If you cannot purchase them, you can simply buy a light suitable for outdoor use and cut it, but make sure you do it safely. 

What Happens If You Cut Fairy Lights?

If you cut fairy lights that are suitable for outdoors and safe to be cut, you can use them in other places. But if you cut a light unsuitable for cutting, it may lead to damage or other risks. 

How Can You Cut Fairy Lights?

Cutting fairy lights is a complicated process. Until you do everything properly and neatly with the help of the right tools, you can hang these lights outside without causing any problems. Let us see the steps that can be taken to cut fairy lights.

Step 1 

In the first step, you must gather the materials you will need for this process: fairy lights, wire cutters, waterproof electrical tape, and waterproof wire connectors.

Step 2

You must be very cautious since you have to work with exposed wires. You need to ensure that none of the wires is plugged in when cutting the lights. You don’t have to plug the wires in till the time you are certain that the danger is minimal and the wires are covered properly.

Step 3

You have to locate every side and section of your strand. You must already know that if you replace any Christmas light bulb and one of them goes out, then the entire section goes out.

This is why it is important to identify every section, which can be done by removing the bulb and marking the starting and the end of the part where the light goes out. When you have to cut a standard light that is hung outdoors, then you should remove the entire section at once. 

How Can You Fix Cut Fairy Lights?

Fixing a fairy light that has already been cut is not easy. Different situations may arise if you cut a fairy light. Let’s see each of them and their solutions in detail below.

When one of your light bulbs is out, but the remaining string is working, then you just have to swap out the bulb for a new one. This is one of the simplest and easiest fixes.

If you have one or two burned-out bulbs, then you should not ignore them as it can lead to less lifespan of the remaining bulbs if you have a broken bulb or loose bulb. If one half of the strand is working properly, the other half is not. You can check it for looseness by wiggling them.

If the bulb flickers, you know you must replace them. If this doesn’t work, you will have to check each bulb by swapping them to see which bulb is not working.

If the entire strand is not working, you can try putting the plug into a different electrical outlet. It could also be a broken or loose bulb. In that case, you can look for steps to follow in the last point.

What To Do If Your Fairy Lights Are Too Long?

Sometimes the fairy lights you purchase to decorate your house are too long. In this case, you can cut the extra length of the fairy lights. This will allow you to remove and use the excess in another corner of your house.

But some rules must be kept in mind before deciding to cut it, which we have already discussed above.


Several safety tips need to be followed while using fairy lights. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Keep away from using old lights
  2. Ensure that the lights are not plugged in while you are working with it
  3. Make sure to keep them away from the reach of kids
  4. Make sure to switch them off before going to sleep or outdoors.
  5. Use only those lights outside which are specially designed for that purpose.


How do you shorten battery-operated fairy lights?

Fairy lights can be shortened since they are not wired in series but parallel. If you want to shorten battery-operated or USB- powered lights, then you need to cut the length you need, join the end and insulate it. The voltage does not change because they are in parallel, and the amperage does not depend on the push of the components but on the draw.

How much can I cut fairy lights?

Fairy lights are designed in such a way that each bulb receives 120 volts, and every bulb has a direct route to the power. This means that you can cut these lights to any length without causing any burnout or overpowering bulbs. 

How long should fairy lights be?

The length of the fairy lights depends on your needs. If you need fairy lights for decorating a Christmas tree, then there is a basic thumb rule, an average person has a 6-feet tall Christmas tree, and every foot would need a single strand of lights with 150 bulbs each, which means that in total they would need six strands of 900 bulbs.

This way, you can determine your need for fairy lights per your requirement and place. It is suggested to purchase a fairy light with more length as you can shorten the length as per your need.

Do fairy lights still work if you cut them?

Yes, fairy lights can be cut if a battery or USB powers them. As you have already seen, fairy lights are not wired in series but parallel. This means you can cut them at any length and then join and insulate the end. You will find that it will still work perfectly. 

Can you cut and shorten fairy lights?

Fairy lights can be cut and shortened per your needs and requirements. 

How do you shorten the length of fairy light?

The best way to shorten the length of fairy lights is by removing the complete series section of the light bulbs. This can be done by cutting the lights away from each other so that you see only two wires. This has to be done when the lights are unplugged. You can then cap each of the wire cuts with the help of a wire connector.


Fairy lights add beauty and warmth to your home; they can be used for various reasons. Regardless of how they are used, it’s important to know the steps used to cut them and the necessary precautions you should take before you plan to shorten a fairy light.

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