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Holiday Time 70-Count LED Twinspot (Concave) Icicle Style Christmas Lights, White
Furniture, Furnishings & Decorations
Seasonal Decorations
Electric Christmas Decorations (Excl. Tree Lights) (1736)
Walmart Stores Inc.    
Holiday Time
Holiday Time 70-Count LED Twinspot (Concave) Icicle Style Ch
On 12/3/2011, I was replacing unlit LED bulbs on my icicle lights. Each set of 70-count LED strand has two in-line short cigar-shaped devices (perhaps ballasts?). These ballasts were hard but I noticed some were hot and softer to the touch, distorted, and split exposing a green plastic. At one point I squeezed-bent one and the unlit lights (half the strand) flickered. On another in which I was replacing a few random bulbs that went out, I smelled plastic burning and looked and saw the ballast smoking and then split open exposing green plastic. I then watched it for the next 20 minutes as it kept smoking and some of the lights kept working. The board underneath the ballast was scorched black. Although it was still smoking, I finally unplugged it. It never caught fire, thankfully - and perhaps by design, but I was (and still am) a little scared that I had planned to attach that to my house. I also noticed that the fuse never blew out. In all, 9 of the 12 strands showed this damage to the ballasts. The three that were undamaged were plugged in the middle of the series of strands in the garage (package says you can connect 43 sets to a single outlet).

On 12/4/2010, I purchased 12 boxes of Holiday Time 70-count LED icicle lights from Wal-Mart and they worked well after being hung from the roof and gutters by plastic hangers made for this purpose. They were set by timer to turn on at dusk for 6 hours. The weekend after Christmas I took them down and wrapped them loosely around wood pieces (poles) and stored them in the garage rafters. The garage temperature is not controlled and this past year has ranged from (approximately) 0-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Until 12/3/2011, I turned on the lights 3-4 times for no longer than 3-4 hours and do not recall that any lights had gone out until the weather began to cool.

I took the lights back to Wal-Mart and got a refund but despite expressing my fear I saw no concern about the issue except to know whether to press Y or N on her screen for 'Product Defective?' That led me to be concerned that there was no process to identify or investigate this hazard. The normal procedure would have been to mail the lights back to the manufacturer but that seems like mailing criminal evidence back to the criminal (I do not mean to suggest Holiday Time are criminal). Also, given that the consumer is expected to pay to ship the lights back, there is a pretty fair guarantee that most people will not go through the trouble, which means the main indicator of a problem will be houses burning down. After seeing the lack of concern, I wish I had taken them to the fire marshal first or at least taken pictures. Thank you for your service.
Incident, No Injury
Comment from Walmart Stores Inc. 12/12/2011
Please contact the Walmart Customer Service hotline at 1.800.925.6278.

CPSC does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of the Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database on, particularly with respect to information submitted by people outside of CPSC.