~Need some sparkle in your life? Then don't by these~
Having spent quite some time unpacking our christmas decorations, fighting with the xmas tree and unravelling far too many xmas garlands it seemed only right to spend a while deciding which of the completely over the top festive items we have boxed away will be lucky enough to come out to play this year. Amongst the many badly matched, awful over sparkly and glitter encrusted baubles of yesteryear that I haven't displayed for at least 10 years, I found our set of Premier 80 clear toned sparkle xmas lights.
I would think that I am not alone in having far more xmas lights than I will ever need to set out on one rather bushy and gorgeous, fresh green leafy xmas tree and I put that down to the lure of xmas displays in the numerous shops that have enticed me into buying items I really don't need over a good number of years. As far as these particular festive lights go they are relegated to the box of items that will quite possibly never see the light of day again, due to them being both extremely naff with an odd sparkle pattern and wiring issues which makes them no longer fit for purpose.
When I came across our string of these lights today after sifting through our mini collection of lights that might rival the Blackpool illuminations, I must admit that my decision not to put them up again this year was somewhat effected by the fact that they don't work as they should and are about as relaxing and illuminating as a set of strobe lights. This set of lights have been hanging around for ages and were never anything special, although they were cheap to buy. I bought them for the very cheap price of £3.99 reduced in the 'no one loves any of this tat' section at a local store who had reduced all the xmas items on sale with the proviso of a 'no refund or return' policy.
The lights being a nice clear white set were just what I wanted, as I always feel that fresh toned bright white xmas lights look stunning on a well dressed xmas tree. Once out of the box my set of 80 lights looked just about enough to cover the top third of our tree and were in no way enough to make the whole thing sparkle with glowing white lights. The light set had more bare plastic coated wire than it did lights and as such it was a bad choice for the size of tree we were trying to decorate, 80 lights sounded like quite a few, yet in reality it was not enough.
~An illuminating experience~
Not wanting to leave the lights unused once out of the box we used them on one of a set of 2 smaller 3 ft xmas trees that we place in one of the window openings we have. The little xmas trees are about the right size for the 80 light string of clear white lights and once set up they looked like they would be ok when switched on. Once we plugged in the string of lights and flicked the power switch on, the lights flickered on looking fresh and white if a little lacking in twinkle-ability.
We noticed that the random sparkle effect the lights were meant to have was not very well regulated and at times it worked whilst at others it didn't. This made the lights look very static most of the time with the odd almost convulsive twitchy looking twinkle, that sometimes caused all the lights at the top of the string to go out for a few seconds then spring back to life. We tried looking at the plug that came with the lights to see if that was the problem, yet we found everything there in order and so tried to trace back the fault through the set of bulbs to see if a loose one was the problem.
We eventually found that the wiring between one light and another towards the top end of the string of lights seemed to be causing the problem and the lights only worked as they should if the green plastic coated wire was held at a certain angle. This was dealt with by trying to angle the cable so that it stayed in a position that made the lights function correctly without someone having to physically hold it in place. This would work for sometime but always ended up needing to be adjusted after a short time and was rather annoying.
Obviously the lights working in this way was inconvenient and may have been unsafe so we decided not to leave the lights switched on as they were not performing as they should. I find that if xmas lights are set to flash or sparkle too quickly or at odd times I am so distracted by them that I end up with a headache and in this case that is exactly what happened. Had I paid more for the lights I would have been very unhappy indeed and as it is they were a waste of almost £4 as they are no good except for bulb spares.
I feel that buying bargain basement xmas lights was a mistake for us that we won't be repeating and as the lights have been a let down I feel they only deserve a 1 star product rating. The only reason we have kept our string of defective lights is in case we need to replace any of the bulbs on our other sets of clear lights as they have the same fitting to them. At least that way we may get some real benefit from having bought these.
Suitable for Indoor and outdoor use. Overall cable length approx. 22 metres. Lights with random sparkling and twinkling effect.