Prelit Christmas Trees

Lighting The Way For A Less Stressful Christmas

You can't get more ready-made than prelit Christmas trees! There's nothing to do... well, almost nothing. Just pull the tree out of the bag or box, set it up, add some ornaments and, presto, your tree is set to go.

But what's so fascinating is that people who see your gorgeous tree will think you worked all day to decorate it.

That's one reason why prelit Christmas trees have become wildly popular these days. So much so that it's all but impossible to buy a tree without lights pre-installed. Times have changed!

The prelit tree actually dates back to the early 1990's though their numbers have exploded in the last five years. And they're made possible by the technological advances of Christmas mini-lights, those familiar lights you see everywhere during the holidays.


Why get a prelit tree? In a word, convenience! Seriously, it's quite a time saver. As much as I like putting lights on a tree, it can be quite time consuming...even frustrating. Especially when you're trying to make them look evenly spaced.

If you've ever fussed with a Christmas tree with "unbalanced" lights you know what I mean. You have too many at the top...or at the bottom. Or to one side. And you have to keep backing away from the tree to check out each new arrangement.

Today's prelit trees have been professionally wired. Light strings have been carefully recessed into the tree so the wires are hidden. And lights are so well placed that even Martha Stewart would be impressed!

Not only do you have no lights to put up, you don't have to fool with untangling the light strings.

It gets better...

Did you know that some of the newer trees come with foot pedals that allow you to turn on your tree lights effortlessly? No more crawling over to that outlet hidden behind the tree to plug it in. In some cases the lights alternate between clear and colored.

Other trees come with remote control boxes (couch potatoes take note) that do the same thing.

Prelit Christmas trees come in more sizes and shapes than you could ever dream up. How about pencil trees (yep they exist!), half-trees or upside-down trees? And they come in pink, blue, silver, black, and every other color of the rainbow.

An Important Caveat

I know, you're sold already, asking "where do I buy". But I do have to mention an important piece of advice. For those who have never had prelit Christmas trees, you need to be aware that sometimes the lights may not all work properly.

This can be a problem, especially on trees five years or older. Because if a string goes out you have to manually unhitch the bad string from the tree and put a new one on. Also, a lot of the older style light strings have very touchy circuitry that will cause a string to go out if a bulb breaks or is just a tad loose from the socket.

I would strongly consider getting a tree with either of these two types of lights. They're more expensive but well worth it to avoid the headaches of lower-end strings.

  1. Lights known as "Stay Lit" or "Dyna Lit". These light strings have microchips in the socket that allow electricity to flow even if the bulb breaks or comes loose. So the chances are very good your lights will stay on even in the worst of times.
  2. LED light strings. These strings not only have sturdy, nearly unbreakable bulbs, but the new strings use about 80% less electricity and will last FOREVER, up to 100,000 hours and longer (compared with about 3,000 hours for the standard strings). So it's quite possible the lights will be working for the time you own your tree.

Where To Buy

Of course, you can buy good prelit Christmas trees at your local discount store or department store. Some good brands to look for include:

  • Barcana
  • Vickerman
  • GE "Just Cut"
  • GKI Bethlehem
  • Santa's Own

If you want to buy online and want to pay medium prices (say $200-$400 or so for a 7.5 foot tree), try these retailers:

  • Christmas Tree For Me
  • Christmas Trees Galore
  • Christmas Lights Etc.

If you have extra cash to invest in a higher-end tree (i.e. $700-$1200 and up), here are some good online retailers to consider:

  • Balsam Hill
  • Frontgate
  • Hammacher and Schlemmer

Be sure and check out my section on getting the best artificial Christmas tree for more information about the above companies and brands.

So there you have it! Take the plunge, go out and get a prelit Christmas tree this year. And watch Christmas "happen" before your very eyes!

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