The above picture is of over 40 boxes of brand new, unopened Christmas lights – all discovered in a garbage bin behind a major retailer here in Winnipeg. Isn’t that a little crazy? And to think I was kicking myself for missing out on $14.99 each sale price back in December….
The fact is, I took a closer look at these lights and they pretty much ARE garbage. The plastic bulb coverings come off with little pressure (which is annoying and doesn’t look good) but most importantly the LED itself can become loose and cause the ENTIRE strand to go out. This is an archaic design that I’m sure is cheap to produce but you don’t want to pay real money for. Can you imagine hanging these on an outdoor tree and the top strand goes out on a -25C? This happens. A lot.
In my years of experience installing Christmas lights professionally the trend I’ve witnessed from major retailers is toward poor quality. For example, Canadian Tire, which used to sell lights of respectable quality, began selling lights that in my opinion started bordering on garbage. The NOMA box remains the same but that’s about it. Wal-mart continues to supply some of the worst lights I’ve seen. I believe people go to stores like these and try and buy quality but are essentially taken in by lipstick on a pig, as my dad would say.
Yes, I am more than suspicious of the so-called 3 and 5-year warranties on the boxes of these lights but that is another blog post for another time…. like what good is it to have a 5-year warranty if you have to take down the lights after one year and hope you saved the receipt and, yes, even the box the lights came in.
On a positive note, LED technology is advancing every year and if you buy from suppliers that stand for quality you get your money’s worth and more. That’s what we have done and we’ve never been happier.
Besides, we love lights too much to help fill dumpsters with them.