Last year, I bnought some cases of Wal-Mart Christmas lights on sale.
This year, when I went to use them,I found that some were really good lights.
I also found that some were REALLY bad.
Loose bulbs, inconsistant lighting etc.
I even had one melt the socket off of the string!
As I researched, I found that all of the bad ones had a certain type of socket, while all of the good ones had a different type socket.
Further reasearch into this showed that all of the bad strings had plastic cord tied to keep them together in the box.
The GOOD bulbs had wire "Bread ties" holding the strings together in the box.
Knowing what I know now, I intend to help my fellow lighting engineers avoid the bad one by showing you what I have found.
* You can't tell the good and the bad apart without opening the box.Here are pics of the boxes. IDENTICAL!
* When you open the box, you'll see 2 things to identify the bad ones.
1: The good lights have a "bread tie" with a metal band binding them together.
The bad lights have a plastic string tied around them.
GOOD is on the left, BAD is on the right.
2:You can also see in the pic above that the good bulbs have a smaller rounded
while the bad ones have a thicker , flatter base cap.
3: if you remove a bulb, you will find:
Notice again the top cap of the base is thicker on the bad one, but more obviously,
the bad ones have a hole where you can see the glass through the base,
while the good ones are solid with "ribs"