I was in the same boat a few years ago with the store bought [ Home depot. Lowes, Walmart, Hobby Lobby,] C9 LED strings with not being bright enough and having to constantly fix them. I had about 10 strings that year fail. I got so sick of it that the following year I spent the extra money on pro grade light strings and retrofit bulbs. 4 years now and very happy, have not had one fail yet and they are plenty bright. I still use Walmart mini lights for some things only because the after Christmas sales are very cheap.