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joaniepoanie

Pre-lit Christmas tree......do you have?

8 years ago

I'm considering buying a pencil pre-lit tree. If one light goes do they all go? Also, where are good places to buy.....I don't want a cheapy but not top of the line either.

Comments (59)

  • 8 years ago

    Did I read that correctly, Kathy? A $700 Christmas tree? It must've been amazing. I hope you have a picture to show us. I love being wowed by things. Thanks.

  • 8 years ago

    DON'T DO IT!

    ;-)

    Sooner (most likely) than later, the lights will stop working and you'll be buying strands of light anyway.

    We have 2 pre-lit trees and at this point, we string well over half of them with filler strands of light.

    Never again!

    Plus, think about if you want to change things up, from year to year, with different lighting.

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  • 8 years ago

    Oh, and if you think those light repair guns work, they really don't. Ugh.

  • 8 years ago

    Thanks all. Now I'm really on the fence. It's just that DH has become Scrooge about the tree....he'd be thrilled to plunk a 2' tabletop tree on the coffee table and call it a day. Our fake tree is 20 years old and it shows. He thinks it's a real pain to erect and he carps about stringing the lights. Since its about the only thing in life he complains about I thought I'd look for something to make it easier for him. Our current tree is also too big since we redecorated. I need a slimmed down version.

    I looked at Michael's today but wasn't impressed with their selection of skinny trees. I'll take a look at HL but the closest one is about 45 min away. Thanks again!

  • 8 years ago

    I'm with mimi and KATHY; don't do it. Many hours were spent trying to get ours to have consistently working lights, including the light fixer pro. We even had the manager of the store we bought it from come over to help us and it took her forever to accomplish what should have been easy; and even then some light strands didn't work for very long. We ended up cutting off the prelit strands and replacing them. NEVER again.

  • 8 years ago

    The $700 tree was beautiful prelit and still is but I spent hours with those light fixer pro things and it just became a never ending job. I took all the lights off and it took hours because they are strung so well and I just put my own lights on it. I bought a small Martha Stewart tree, prelit, 3 years ago and that also has a strand out. Nothing like getting ready for your annual open house and you have a strand out. I will see what I can do about putting a pic on here.

  • 8 years ago

    This was the quickest pic I could pull up. It is a gorgeous full tree and weighs about a million pounds. 9 1/2 feet tall

  • 8 years ago

    We have a prelit that is pretty old and all the lights are out. I think they lasted three or four years. DH just strings lights on it every year. I am tempted to get one from Hammacher Schlemmer for their lifetime guarantee.

  • 8 years ago

    Has anyone ever come across LED Christmas tree lights that are actually a warm tone like incandescent bulbs?

  • 8 years ago

    We replaced the lights we had for years and used LEDs this time -- they look just like the ones we had exc ept DH was allowed to put more on since they drw less electricity.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We always get a real tree. My DH likes to pick it out and it's his job to string it with the lights. I decorate it.

    Joanie, here are my thoughts. Don't be concerned about how long it will last. There seems to be mixed reviews here. At this point your Dh is tired of it all and deserves a break to get back into the holiday spirit.

    Buy a mid range one. I like Frontgate, but there are so many different places where you can actually go and see them. I wouldn't wait to long though because you have certain specifications in mind.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We had a 9.5 foot pre lit tree that was great the first two years. Year three, the lights started going. We had some success with the light gun thing, but not complete success. By about year 7, I was adding strings of lights in the dark spots. We gave it up and bought a new one in 2013. Then we promptly moved across the country to a house with lower ceilings. On CL it went Last year we went to Kohl's on Black Friday specifically to get a 7.5' pre lit tree they had on sale for like $70. It worked great, and I'll put it up again this weekend. Let's hope it all lights up.

  • 8 years ago

    A few weeks ago I cut all the lights off of my pre-lit Hobby Lobby tree. I've had it I think 4-5 years and can't find replacement bulbs. Plus I really want to do different sizes lights, anyway! I say no pre lit!

  • 8 years ago

    When you put the lights on yourself, it' cheaper and easier to change them when you want to. There is no reason to tie them on -- well, at least the way DH wraps the branches anyway.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Pre-lit always. Got rid of our old 9ft library tree last year as 3/4 of lights were burned out. Ordered a tree prelit with LEDs from Costco early October, pre-season price about $340 incl. tax and delivery. Very happy with color of lights, very white but no hint of blue. The lights do not plug into each other, the various lengths of trunk plug into each other---all the electrical is contained within the trunk. Hope to have this one at least five years.

    edited to add that the tree we donated was only about four years old. Handy Guy and I started to cut the old lights off so we could put LEDs in this year, but after about 20 minutes with wire cutters---and you have to wear gloves---we agreed to get rid of it and start new. If LED lights are as unreliable as the old ones were I will be hoping the fiber optic lighted trees will be vastly improved by then. Even having to replace a tree every four or five years is not as expensive as a fresh tree, and after having to refinish floors one year from a leaky tree stand I will never have a real tree again.

  • 8 years ago

    Yea, we did away with that rite because he then insisted on having a say in how I decorated the dam* thing. :)

    My son is allergic to the tree, no matter what we buy. He knows when it has arrived in the house because there is a box of kleenex at the front door.

  • 8 years ago

    Our first Christmas together, I realized the secret to having more Christmases together was in letting DH wrap the branches with lights in his emi-frenzied, semi-spastic mode and that my gentle draping and tucking of lights was a thing of the past -- at elast for the forseeable future. My tradition is going ehind him and making adjutments.

  • 8 years ago

    Newer fake trees are lightyears easier to put up than the old ones.

    Ugh, those color-coded branches, one by one, are a thing of the past.

  • 8 years ago

    Mimi...thanks for the above info about the newer trees....yes we have the color-coded branches, one by one trees. I sit there and fluff each branch before he puts them on. One year he put the tree up without my "supervision" and I came home to a tree with all flat branches...that was fun to try and fluff them after the fact!

  • 8 years ago

    Yup, joaniepoanie, my DH isn't a "fluffer" either!

  • 8 years ago

    Our fake trees come in 3 pieces. Screw in, draw branches down, fluff and BOOM! Ready to decorate.

  • 8 years ago

    Ours has three sections that just fit together, but I've seen a new style that the top inverts into the base -- not sure how full that would look.

  • 8 years ago

    My pre-lighted trees are like mimi's........3 pieces that lock together, pull down the branches, fluff and you're done. I've had mine 4 years now and last year had to replace one string........no big deal.

    The best supplier I found for faux, lighted, narrow trees was my local garden nursery. Good selection, the prices very reasonable and the trees realistic in appearance. Mine are around 6-7' tall.

  • 8 years ago

    Thanks Annztoo.....I would have never thought to look at nuseries. We have two nice ones nearby so I will look.

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I have a large pre-lit tree from K-Mart of all places. Had no intentions on buying a Christmas tree that day, but walked out with the floor model for $75 after the season. It's a very nice
    looking tree, IMO. Three sections go together. The outer branches are very realistic and the inner
    ones are the bendable, not pretty, fillers for fluff. I just spent about
    fifteen minutes trying to find a close up pic of the branches and have been
    unsuccessful. I'll post one if I find it. It's bugging me now!

    I've had it I think seven years now and a few lights have gone
    out, but I've been able to replace them. I figure if anything goes really
    wackadoodle with it, I'm going to attempt to remove all the lights and string
    my own.

  • 8 years ago

    I always demanded a real tree with branches spaced appropriately for 1200-1500 fairy lights and my real Swiss candles. I don't light the candle but once every decade or so (when I get a super fresh tree), and then only to scare the pants off the grown-ups and bedazzle the kiddies for five minutes. The five gallon bucket of water and pruners are always at hand for emergency branchectomy, should it be needed. However, middle-age catches up with the best of us and DH came home with a pre-lit Costco tree two years ago. It was the middle of a December when we were traveling on and off all month. I allowed it. Dang thing is not horrible. Plus, at the flick of a switch, DH can have the colored lights he loves, and when he goes to bed, I get my beloved white lights. I would like more lights than it has, but for busy years, it's an acceptable compromise.

  • 8 years ago

    Funny. I think my mom traumatized me when we decorated my childhood trees. Hours and hours of getting things just right. Ugh! Since I've been an adult, I have never decorated a tree. Before kids, I kicked back with some kind of alcoholic refreshment and watched DH decorate it. When the kids came along, they joined DH while I stayed curled up on the couch Yeah, when they were still short people, all our ornaments were on the bottom of the tree. Fine with me, lol. All our ornaments are hand-made by my mom, my kids, and a few friends. The tree is full of good memories and laughs to see what the heck it looks like this year. They have fun decorating it, I have fun watching, and we all laugh at how funny our tree looks. It's all good.

  • 8 years ago

    I just drape lights around branches. No pre-lit. Besides I don't always want the tree to look the same year to year.

  • 8 years ago

    We bought one on sale several years ago at a higher-end garden center that had them on sale before Christmas. It was a bit spendy for the 8.5 footer but has been well worth the $$. It's still going strong. I've had to replace a few bulbs, and some I haven't but there are so many on the tree I just ignore them and you can't tell. It's in 4 pieces so you just start at the bottom, add the other 3 sections, plugging the light strings together as you go, fluff and then add ornaments. So much easier than the cat-fight of dragging in the live tree, set-up, dragging back out, sawing, straightening, etc. we did so many years prior. I do sometimes miss the smell but not the falling needles & mess.

  • 8 years ago

    I'm getting tempted to buy a pre-lit tree. I've been against them because both of our pre-lits have strands out and we need to add lights every year.

    However, I think an LED tree from Hammacher Schlemmer might be a good investment, because of their lifetime guarantee.

    They are just so pricey.


    Sigh.

  • 8 years ago

    We have a pre-lit .... it finally went dark this year. It had a good run, ten years of staying lit! My DD and I spent an hour removing the lights, it was brutal. Had to use pliars to snip where it was ziptied (every couple of inches). I strung my own lights on it. It's a nice looking tree, but I'm hoping to get a bigger one (pre-lit again) for next year.

  • 8 years ago

    10 years is a good run. We just put strings of lights on top of the tree's burned out lights. Too lazy to remove them!

  • 8 years ago

    I saw this pop up again and it inspired me to do a litle research. Just figured out that our tree is in year 14 and second set of self-strung lights. That makes me feel better about the fact that I am ready to be looking for a new one. It still looks good once fluffed and decorated. but I'm ready for a new one. And I have nearly a year to find one. Somebody remind me in September or October........ ;)

  • 8 years ago

    but they're on sale now lascatx! Stock up ;)

  • 8 years ago

    I have always had a real tree and done all the light stringing myself. Not my favorite part of Christmas. Most of my friends now have artificial pre-lit trees and I have to admit they look very real and I'm sorely tempted. But still having to string lights?

  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    i string the lights on a real tree every year myself too, but it's worth it to me! (even tho i am finding that i am dreading the task more each year, tho once i start it's never that bad!)

    but, i am sure that some year we will stop getting real trees and put up artificial... when the time comes, i will probably buy a nice one at the end of the season and plan to replace it every so often if there is a problem with the lights- i don't think i would want take off lights and restring a prelit tree!!

  • 8 years ago

    Assuming I do get an artificial tree when I move this coming year -- NO, I would not get one that is pre-lit. My moods change from year to year. Some years, I'd want all white lights. Other years, I may want multi-color. Or, the following year, I may have a fully blue (or green, or red) theme going. When I'm being festive, I hate those sorts of limitations!!! So, never.

  • 8 years ago

    I guess I'm more of a traditionalist than I thought. I never want to change the overall look of my tree. Always 1/2 white, 1/2 multi-colored lights, although I think I would be fine doing all white. Other than their height, all my trees look the same over the years. Same ornaments, same person stringing lights. I would never do a theme/color tree...but please know that I think they look great when other people do them. Same tree every year connects me to happy Christmases Past.

  • 8 years ago

    I'm ready for a realistic looking artificial, but not pre-lit. Some years I want colored lights, some white. I know a lot of the newer pre-lit trees offer both options on the same tree, but I don't care for the lights themselves. Love the current multi-color globe LED that we're using and would like to find a similar white option.

    I don't do themes either. Same ornaments through the years with the occasional new addition.

  • 8 years ago

    Still dithering on getting a nice artificial tree on sale post-Christmas.


    We have a 7.5 foot tree now, but are thinking about going to 9 ft.

    Anyone have huge reservations about going to 9 ft.? I am a bit concerned about having to get up on a step stool to string lights, garland and ornaments up top.

    Right now, DH only used the step stool for the topper.

  • 8 years ago

    Linelle, if you either buy prelit or string the lights so they can stay on the tree (DH is a branch wrapper and we make sure the strands end at the sections so they link together), you only put the lights on once. Or twice in the case of our 14 yr old tree -- and we might not have repalced the lights if we hadn't switched to LEDs.

    As for changing moods or colors, the one I really want now has LED lights that can be white or multi colored. No restringing and you can change from year to year, day to day, hour to hour if you really want. LOL Of course, they are only on the most expensive trees ad the one I was looking at befor Christmas appears to be sold out in the size I would need. So early bird sales might be my answer.

  • 8 years ago

    Well, I pulled the trigger and bought a Balsam Hill unlit tree 50% off. Free shipping + storage bag.

    Got the 9 ft. Stratford Spruce.

    http://www.balsamhill.com/Stratford-Spruce-by-Balsam-Hill-p/str-t.htm?1=1&CartID=0

  • 8 years ago

    lascatx, so you can buy unlit and then string your own? But what about when you take the tree down? Actually, I've never seen an artificial tree erected or taken down. What do you do with all the ends? I always have the hardest time with the first two strings of lights, figuring out where they will end and then where the plugs will go. I guess the appeal of a pre-lit tree is never having to do that again.

  • 8 years ago

    mimi - I like the tree you picked. Will you plug it in to make sure everything works? It would be so disappointing to wait until next year only to find out that there's a problem.

  • 8 years ago

    maire_cate

    mimi - I like the tree you picked. Will you plug it in to make sure everything works? It would be so disappointing to wait until next year only to find out that there's a problem.

    ******

    Thanks! I bought an unlit tree because I never want the disappointment of plugging in my tree and seeing strands out. I know LED lights last much longer, but those pre-lit trees are more $$ and I'm happy stringing my own lights with the option to change them to my liking and mood.

    We will be fully assembling it when we receive the tree in a week or so, before storing it away for next year.

  • 8 years ago

    that would be neat to have a prelit tree which could be all white or multicolored!

    i don't think putting lights on a 9' tree will be too tough for you- but then again, i spend a lot of time on step stools and ladders it seems! we chose a 12 1/2' tree this year and having to string the upper lights on a 6' step ladder is a pain tho- i try to do as much as i can with the ladder in one place rather than constantly going up and down to move the ladder around the tree. it's always worth the effort in the end!

  • 8 years ago

    12 1/2 foot- whoa!

    DH and I will string lights together, with him on the step stool, I'm sure.

  • 8 years ago

    This is the last year for our 8' pre-lit tree. We got it probably 10 years ago at Lowe's. I loved it because it had 1,100 white lights that stay on, don't blink. It was a beautiful tree, but after all those years of being squished down into the box, it is looking worn and shedding needles like crazy. We had the top section of lights go out after the first year but it was still under warranty and they sent us a whole new top section. Until this year, we had no other light issues. When hubs set it up this year, three sections of the four had 2-3 branches that would not light. We used strands of 50, which is about what were out, for 2 of the 3 sections. The last section went out after I had put on the ornaments and it was only 2 branches, go figure. Since it was in the back of the tree, I didn't bother replacing the strand. I don't know why 2-3 branches would go out but anyway, its going out on the curb this weekend. Usually someone comes along and takes things like that so maybe they will fix it. We haven't been able to find another one with that many lights on it. Now the 8' ones have alot fewer lights, maybe LEDs but still not enough for me.

    We live in hot Florida, so real trees don't last until Christmas. Most places get shipments from just before Thanksgiving until the first weekend in Dec. After that its slim pickings. We haven't had but 2 days out of the 80's the entire month. Too hot for a real tree.


  • 8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    LInelle, yes, you can putt the lights on an unlit tree. In our case that allowed us to get the tree that fit our space best and get it on sale -- then we saved by putting regular lights on ourselves. From what I've read, it was also easier to take them off when we decided to replace with LEDS (DH wanted more lights). Plus, out of 14 years, we only strung lights two of them.

    To add the lights yourself, you just make sure the ends are inthe right place for each section to connect (receptacle at the top of the section, plug end at the bottom). If you want more lights than they say to connect in one string, have a section that drops down to the bottom from a midpoint. We plug into a power strip under the tree skirt and use a remote to turn them on and ff. When you put the tree up, you plug in each section, then unplug and disassemble to take them apart. Just a little planning, but it's really preetty easy.

    Oh, DH is a branch wrapper, and that definitely gives more lights and probably helps them stay on year after year. Have you put lights on that way?