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Did anyone buy LEDs from Costco or Home Depot last year?


thebaronn
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was just wondering is anyone purchased LEDs from stores other than some of the uber-LED light stores online? If you did, where did you buy them, how much were they per strand and lastly what did you think of them?

Costco:

I purchased 100 boxes of 100 White LED strands M5 style for $12.99 each. I was happy with the quantity for the price, that was pretty much it. The white color of each set varied quite a bit to some of them really looking yellow. I have not lost a set yet (except for my own stupidity) and I have had these on my house since Nov 20th. They were perfect for the mini trees. I have used them in a valentine's display and st patricks day display and they work great, they dim well (as long as you aren't connecting too many together).

I purchased 32 boxes of 100 Multi LED strands M5 style for $10.99each. These fade great and have had no problems. But I did realize that the multi colored strands are only so useful and after a while become boring.

I purchased 51 boxes of 100 multi LED strands C6 style for $9.89 each. Same as above. I have waaaaaaay too many multi lights.

Only one interesting problem with the costco lights. When it rains, the light light up???? I posed this question in an earlier post and there were many possible reasons. But I just used these in my St patricks day display and they were just fine until the rain on friday night and then the are faintly lit again.

Home Depot:

I purchased 125 boxes of 50ct home depot brand M5 style LEDs (red, white, blue and green) for $6.99 to $7.99 (some were on sale). These are good. I would buy these again just for the quantity and I have hooked up 24 50lights strands together with no problems. The only problem is that the light POPS of??? and you are just left with a nub. It is still the same color without the cap and when I find them i just crazy glue them back on. I only had one bad strand and that may have been because of the way I unwrapped them but oh well.

Creative displays: I purchased one case of purple M5 50ct LED from here. OMG!!! it was $170 for a case of 12!! and like $20 shipping???? no tax (i think) but woppidy doo!!!! They work great but they have this resister in the line that is huge!

As for pure looks, I love the way the Home Depot LEDs look at night. It may not be fair to the creative LEDs because i don't have same color side by side comparison. But that is my opinion. When the come into home depot this year I will be buying them out.

That is my spiel. What are your opinions?

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As for the Creative Display items:

1. It's not a resistor. It's the rectifier and they are full wave LEDs.

2. I think there are 16 per case from CD, not 12. (But I could be wrong. It's been a while.)

I have had hit or miss luck with Home Depot. I bought a bunch 2 years ago and had 5 or 6 failures (completely dead strings) last year. But I had the ones that worked out with the ones from CD and they looked pretty similar.

Edit: I did not mix the HD and CD LED's on the same elements since there WAS some color difference but it was so minor that it wasn't noticeable if they weren'tadjacent to each other.

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Most of the LED's I am working with are from HD. I have the same issue with the lenses popping off from a little harsh handling.

I have had 2 strings stop working. I found this when I wanted to show my mother in law the arch lit up. I had the arch in my storage building and it had fell down some how.. What I found was 1 light on each string, evdidently had cold solder joints on the connections to the LEDS. It was an easy fix once i unwraped the string from the arch, I gave it a shot of hot glue in the end of the socket, then heat shrinked it back again... All is working well again..

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lol! I knew it was an "R" word!

I wish I got 16 in a case! At the time it was only 12.

I read that on most of the wesites the prices of LEDs are going up??? I'm no genius economist, but doesnt it seem that usually what an "new" item becomes more prevailant in the market and widely used the prices usually goes down?? I mean computers didnt go up in price the more people bought them?? I know gas is so expensive, yada yada. But I just get the feeling that us light enthusiasts are getting taken advantage of because the LED companies know we will pay whatever they charge because we are sick in the head when it comes to decorating our house.

I dont know. I am rethinking using 100% LEDs in my display this year Last year i spent +$5K on LEDs and yeah it was sweet running my whole display off one outlet but there is no way that LEDs come out to be cheaper than using minis with the huge price difference. At peak xmas prices you can get 100ct minis from walmart for $2??? Same amount of LEDs might cost from $16 to $30 depending on where you purchase them. The LEDs do have that whole "green" thing going for them; less energy, less coal burning etc.... But we will probably find out that producing LEDs is more harmful to the environment than any number of mini used to drink the power.

Eric

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thebaronn wrote:

lol! I knew it was an "R" word!

I wish I got 16 in a case! At the time it was only 12.

I read that on most of the wesites the prices of LEDs are going up??? I'm no genius economist, but doesnt it seem that usually what an "new" item becomes more prevailant in the market and widely used the prices usually goes down?? I mean computers didnt go up in price the more people bought them?? I know gas is so expensive, yada yada. But I just get the feeling that us light enthusiasts are getting taken advantage of because the LED companies know we will pay whatever they charge because we are sick in the head when it comes to decorating our house.

I dont know. I am rethinking using 100% LEDs in my display this year Last year i spent +$5K on LEDs and yeah it was sweet running my whole display off one outlet but there is no way that LEDs come out to be cheaper than using minis with the huge price difference. At peak xmas prices you can get 100ct minis from walmart for $2??? Same amount of LEDs might cost from $16 to $30 depending on where you purchase them. The LEDs do have that whole "green" thing going for them; less energy, less coal burning etc.... But we will probably find out that producing LEDs is more harmful to the environment than any number of mini used to drink the power.

Eric

Unfortunately, for some reason the dollar isn't as mighty as it used to be ($3-Trillion war debt and bank failures can do that to a currency), oil is double what it was last year, other countries are using copper faster than we are, etc. etc.

Hence, prices are not falling. (Fortunately, they are not rising as fast as they could be.)

I will continue to use LEDs just so I can run them off 2-3 circuits and brag about it.

(And not have to throw half of them away each year or waste time fixing them.)

Minis are horrid. ;)

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Well, let's just say MY luck with Costco LEDs has been less than stellar. Of the C7 multi's I had way too many failures on a strings to be comfortable after only 1 season. I found many strings of the multi minis the same. Matter a fact, I had 4 mini trees with 300 lights on each, and took them back still on the trees. They were some of the first mini's I made and had TONS of zip ties. I would have spent hours cutting them. The manager thought nothing of it and took em gladly.

The last of my Costco lights will also go back this summer as I pull those trees out and restring them to be 4 colors and not multi. The only lights that seemed OK were the Red C7's. At least there were no immediate failures eveident when I pulled them out last year, although I just decided not to outline my beds as I did in 2006.

I think Costco uses the Forever Bright, if I remember correctly. The best part about the Costco LEDs as I casually joked about it, is the "rental policy, with the money back gaurantee".

When I started converting in 2006, I split between Costco, and CDI. I now use CDI almost exclusively because of the qualit product, but also use Seasonal Impressions, and Reinders. Reinders bailed me out when my Costco multi C7's went back, and I needed replacements for my bushes. Laurie was outstanding and could have taken advantage of me but didn't.

I think one of the reasons we have not seen a drop in prices is what copper is doing. We saw a fair jump in price for the 2008's due to this.

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I was only able to get 1 set from HD as they ran out very early. But they were put up next to the ones I purchased from Creative Displays and the color was a perfect match.

The only ones I have had problems with yet are the sunbeams I got from Menards.

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I got 7 boxes of white LEDs at Costco's in 2006. Used 4 sets that year, and 1 of them had a yellow glow to it. In 2007, only used 2 sets (due to a change in display design). Unfortuanately, after I spent the time putting them up, one of the sets I chose was that darn yellowed strand!

One would think I would mark that so I won't choose it again. Nahhh...too much work! :P

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I bought led stringers from home depot, Big lots, rite aid, value city wegmans and target. 14000 bulbs worth. Most strings were 50 bulbs or more. I didnt pay anymore than 5-6 bucks for any of em. I also blew a couple grand on Creative displays LED. Awaiting for arrival! All the LEDS I bought elsewhere have all been sealed from the environment. I live in Central New York State where the weather is very very wintery, so I took a string that I sealed and have let it sit outside on a timer since christmas. Still no breakdown or sign of corrosion. Thompsons water seal seems to be non conductive, so I poured some in a large pan and pulled all the stringers through slowly. Hung em end to end to dry. They dried great. All the access that was on the wire cracks and flakes off. but other than that its working so far. Its crazy, I know. But its working. It doesnt take too much extra effort to remove a bad bulb either. I just need to come up with a way to limit it getting on the cool white bulb lenses. I think a channel (like a zipper ) to keep the lights upright might do the trick.

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  • 4 months later...

When I do install demos/quotes, I take a couple sets of HD LED's with me to compare them side by side with our Diogen/Holiday Creations full wave sets. I get the sale every time! There is no comparison to our full wave sets vs. big box sets. The lights are brighter, the color is better, and they don't flicker. (which really stands out when you compare side by side)

Our sets have a heavier wire which means they can take more sets hooked together, and they will last longer.

In the long run LED's are cheaper. You spend 90% less on eletricity and your set last for 20 years. So you would buy 5-8 sets of incandescent in that time which would be $10-16. Plus you put 5-8 sets less in the trash!

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I have tons of Home Depot and Lowes Brand LED lights. I would not recommend the white, but Blue, Red and Green are fabulous. And when you are getting them 75% off, it is a bargain for sure. I use the mini's and the next size up (C-7's).

They work well with long fades using LOR without flicker.

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I have tons of Home Depot and Lowes Brand LED lights. I would not recommend the white, but Blue, Red and Green are fabulous. And when you are getting them 75% off, it is a bargain for sure. I use the mini's and the next size up (C-7's).

They work well with long fades using LOR without flicker.

Have you had the chance to compare them side by side? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the big box lights, I'm just saying holiday creations are far better.

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I got some LED sets from various stores last year (most of em at after-xmas

sales).

Home Depot

Walgreens

King Soopers

Sears

JC Penny

Michaels

Target

I'm not impressed with the quality of the home depot ones...

* As others have mentioned the covers sometimes fall off leaving a bare LED

* There is a fair amount of color variance between white-bulb strings

* Had one set with a section that went out within a week...returned as defective

* Another set, half has gone out (well 2 bulbs still sorta light) ... its too late to return so i'm gonna remove the bad half & use the rest til it dies

---

Most of these brands/stores are half-wave ... a few are full wave

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HOTROD i was at hobby lobby yesterday and they have their lights out already. 2008 holiday creations/forever bright/ diogen. 50 count strings. any color .. 9.99 .. i would venture to say they are half wave. the case number on them is 00227. but as far as the look of the bulb cover and the wire size (large wires) they look like the full wave diogen??

last year i had lights from sears/kmart (different name same lights) .. and some strange ones from sams with screw on covers and removable bulbs (big no no on removable bulbs!!) but the sams lights are still kicking! i guess its due to the protection they get from moisture with the screw on cover!! they are C7 size. i see a lot of sterlings and diogen in the high end christmas shops. along with GKI bethlehem. they must be pretty good lights because folks buy them at an alarming rate lol (even in july) what brand are the lights paul sells at CDI?? and i do read one diff in all of the descripions. some say water resistant. others say water PROOF.

Jim

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oh pauls LED's are innovative lighting .. would LOVE to see all of the high ends in one place!!

Next time you are around let me know. I have the Diogen commercial sets, the holliday creations sets, some GKI full wave sets and some sets like paul sells.

They are all pretty similar as far as quality and what the light looks like.

I can also get the half wave lights as well if you are interested. They come in sets of 70 lights. Here are the case of 12 pricing for the C6's half wave holiday creations. Not sure if these are good prices or not since I usually dont use these.

20602 Red strand $9.99

20604 Gold strand $10.50

20611 Blue strand $11.99

20612-LED Purple strand $16.99

20613 White strand $14.25

20614 Green strand $12.99

20617 5-Multi (RBGYO) strand $10.25

20661 Pink strand $18.99

20693 Warm White strand $15.25

I can get the G12, 5mm and M5 in half wave too.

Also can get some C7 and C9 half wave strands on close out as well if anyone was interested.

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HOTROD i plan on coming up labor day weekend, have to pick up some 30 blowmolds so i might be able to swing by..

what do you think of the hobby lobby 50 count sets?? im not really interested in the half wave stuff. but ive been fooling with those weird C7's from sams club and they are pretty bright!! wish they were sealed. they will probably las another season and thats it..

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HOTROD i plan on coming up labor day weekend, have to pick up some 30 blowmolds so i might be able to swing by..

what do you think of the hobby lobby 50 count sets?? im not really interested in the half wave stuff. but ive been fooling with those weird C7's from sams club and they are pretty bright!! wish they were sealed. they will probably las another season and thats it..

The hobby lobby sets are sealed, holiday creations half wave. They will last for 20 years just like any other holiday creations product.. as long as you take care of them. They are only 50 light count, so in most cases the 70 count half wave stuff I can get is a better deal per bulb.

For animation, I bet the half wave will be fine. I'm building some mini trees with half wave now to hook to a 16ch AL box...

If you want some C7 half wave, I think I can get you sets for under $10 on clearance. Depends on how much is left!

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keith are you refering to the half wave diogen?? i maytake a run over to hobby lobby and get a set just to fool with. i think they would be fine for filler or something.. those would be a bargain at 50 to 75 percent off!!! i like the C6 diogen full wave lights so far but havent had them on the roofline yet.. i may do that tonight if it cools down some!! almost 100 here today..

hotrod you wouldnt believe the trips that display set of bright whites that you gave me have made.. showing them to people! christmas castle said they ordered some .. i dont know where she ordered from though. but it had to be you or travis!

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Have you had the chance to compare them side by side? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the big box lights, I'm just saying holiday creations are far better.

I purchased a set of Gold LED's from Paul last year. These are the only non-Home Depot/Lowes brand that I own except for some multi-colored LEDs I got from AL the first year they were out.

Except for the white lights (I can not say I am crazy about the white LEDs), they are pretty good lights, can fade up and down using LOR and look very good.

I like the red, greens, and blues. And not taking anything from the premium light guys, the C-7, C-3 and Minis are pretty good from Home Depot.

I participate in a few customer appreciation programs where I can opt for Home Depot gift cards. I have to admit, this is the primary source of my income for the Home Depot lights that I own (more than 80% of my LEDs are Home Depot brand.

So for me, the price is right on Home Depot brand LEDs. That being said, I am still very pleased with the quality of the lights. In two years, I have only lost 2 strands of lights.

Evaluation: Regarding the C-3's (strawberry bulbs) - The covers sometimes fall off when you are dropping them on concrete. Even though they fall off, the LED still maintains it bright color. When they do fall off if you can find the cover, it can be glued back on with ease.

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The new GKI full wave sets have a removable bulb. I've been trying to get these to rust out for a couple weeks now and have yet to get any rust on them at all. They have a sealer on the components to prevent them from rusting. SO if you wanted replacable bulbs on a full wave set, this would be the way to go. They even come with a couple spare bulbs.

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keith are you refering to the half wave diogen?? i maytake a run over to hobby lobby and get a set just to fool with. i think they would be fine for filler or something.. those would be a bargain at 50 to 75 percent off!!! i like the C6 diogen full wave lights so far but havent had them on the roofline yet.. i may do that tonight if it cools down some!! almost 100 here today..

hotrod you wouldnt believe the trips that display set of bright whites that you gave me have made.. showing them to people! christmas castle said they ordered some .. i dont know where she ordered from though. but it had to be you or travis!

Yes they were Holiday Creations brand. I took them home to try them out and they weren't as bright as my GE brand (M5) from Lowes. I have bought a couple of 5MM wide angle to try out and they seem much brighter being full wave. So I am hoping full wave Holiday Creations c6's will look brighter.

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