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Home Depot 300-ct minis.. save your money

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My wife picked up 3 strands of HD 300 count clear minis for our indoor tree. She said they were $5/ea.

The lights are absolute garbage.

Night one: Take first string out of box, plug in, all works well. Put string on tree, plug in, one section (of 50 I think) is out. Test every bulb. Mumble to myself. Rip off of tree, throw across room, go to bed.

Night two: Break out the multimeter and start checking every unlit socket of strand 1. Problem turns out to be in the first socket (that has 3 wires in it); the metal tab was seated too far down in the socket. Remove tab (no easy feat), reinstall, insert bulb. Strand one works now. Install on tree.

Night three: Remove strand two from box, plug in, install. Everything ok.

Night three continued: Remove strand three from box, plug in, everything works. Start unbundling strand 3, place some tension on strand to get the kinks out of the strand (nb. I am not talking Herculean strength here). Wire from plug pulls out of first socket! Nice! My 3yo daughter would love to play with that. Break out soldering iron. solder wires together, working again. Continue installing lights.. same thing! wire comes out of socket in the middle of the string (again, a socket with 3 wires). Still two wires in socket, each attached to metal tab. Determine correct tab, solder wire to tab.

Also, some of the sections had little or no twist to them, other sections have a twist. When I say no twist, I MEAN no twist, nothing.. three wires just dangling.

I now have a fire extinguisher by my bedroom door.

My wife told me the first night we should just return them.. grumble.

I topped the tree off with 100-ct GE minis from kmart, they are brighter and the quality was much better.

Hope this helps some of you avoid this nightmare!


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Sorry I couldn't help but smile reading of your woes.

It's just that I'm happy knowing I'm not the only one with these problems.

Holiday Time brand minis. You can't kill them. I beat thedaylights out of a mess of them and every single bulb still worked.

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I think they have a different company making them for them now.

In prior years up until last year they always bad a long tag line to the male plug. Beginning with last years they are very short. The boxes changed last year too. From blue to orange. I still had enough boxes from two years ago to do my mega tree this year (80) as for the longest time they were very, very dependable. But with the shorter wire I will not use them for that next year.

Oh and I have had plenty of problems with Wal Mart lights and a lot of them are not twisted either. Especially their white wire lights.

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