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I fixed it!! Although I don't know exactly how :)

I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what might have been wrong, how it might have happened, and a last safety question.

I used the multimeter and detected voltage at the socket on an earlier lamp, so I moved to the first broken one and, unsurprisingly, didn't detect any there. So I untaped and pulled apart the pinch connector at that light, stuck the meter in the holes the pinch connector had made and, surprisingly, got a reading!

I thought it was weird that I would get voltage on the line there but yet all the following ones weren't... Wait a minute, now they're all on! I then plugged the pinch connector back in and now they're all on. So something about the way that connector was plugged in was shorting out the remainder of the line.

Next, I did do one thing recently that was different then ever before and I'm wondering if its related. That is, I used my new (first) leaf blower. I had used it once before actually but only for 5 to 10 minutes. Last weekend I used it for a while to clear the whole front lawn. Is there any chance that amount of power could have harmed the bulbs? The evidence against it is that it's actually a different set of outlets, which is on a different switch inside the house, on a different bank of switches in different rooms. So they may not even be on the same breaker.

Is it worth connection the bulbs/timer to an outdoor surge protector? Or is this highly unlikely?

Lastly, the bulb I pulled out when I went to pick up new ones definitely said 18W, so that's what I bought to replace it. Many of the others were rubbed out/faded, and they're all gone now anyway. However, looking at it today I noticed that the timer box says its rated for 120W, but I now have 9 18W buls or 160W on it. Is this a danger? Or just less than optimal? If its just un-optimal I'll probably leave it be because it looks fine to me. But if its a safety issue or I risk damaging the system, I'll obviously go get lower wattage ones.
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