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What are the Different Types of Pre-Lit Christmas Trees?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are several different types of pre-lit Christmas trees on the market. These vary in the type and color of the lights used, as well as the size and shape of the tree. These Christmas trees use a variety of mini-incandescent bulbs, halogen lights and LED lights in a nearly endless variety of styles.

Lights are typically attached to the branches of pre-lit Christmas trees with plastic clips. Many times, the wires are also wound around and through the branches. Like regular strands of lights, these can sometimes be set, using a switch attached to the cord, either to stay on all the time or blink. Some pre-lit trees include a feature that changes the color of lights.

Pre-lit Christmas trees come in several colors. Some trees have bulbs that are all clear, while others have multi-colored bulbs, usually red, green, yellow, and blue. Although these are the most common Christmas tree light colors, with a little research, a consumer can usually find other colors of lights such as pink, purple, green, blue, or even orange.

A variety of types of lights are used for lighting Christmas trees. Mini-incandescent bulbs are the most common type of Christmas lights found on these types of trees. They can be found in a wide range of colors, and they are usually the least expensive option. They use more electricity, however, than other types of lights.

Artificial trees with LED lights attached to them are a relatively new type of pre-lit Christmas tree. Like trees lit with mini-incandescent bulbs, they can also be purchased in a variety of colors, but they are typically a little more expensive. They use less electricity and last longer, though, so most people save money in the long run. Many people also consider them to be safer than incandescent bulbs because they don't get as hot.

A fiber-optic Christmas tree is another relatively new option. These types of Christmas trees have a unique look. Optical fibers are usually threaded into the branches of the tree and lit by a halogen or LED light source in the base of the tree. A spinning wheel in front of the light source allows the ends of the optical fibers to glow different colors. Many smaller fake Christmas trees have fiber-optics in them.

Along with the standard 6- to 8-foot (1.8- to 2.4-meter) trees, smaller pre-lit trees are also available. These often fit on a table or desk in an office or small apartment. On the opposite end of the spectrum, very tall pre-lit trees can also be purchased. For people who would rather not have a traditional green holiday tree, there are also several colors of pre-lit Christmas trees available. Artificial trees can be just about any color, including white, pink, red, purple, or even black.

Unique and unusual pre-lit Christmas trees can also be found. For example, in recent years, some companies have begun to offer upside down Christmas trees. Although this seems like a rather outrageous new idea, it has historic roots in Europe. Around the 12th century, it was common for families to hang their Christmas trees by the trunk from their ceilings.

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Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On Dec 01, 2014

@Melonlity -- The problem with that it is sometimes difficult to find an unlit tree because pre-lit ones are very popular. I am afraid that the unlit ones may be going out of fashion and that means that finding them will be more difficult in the future.

By Melonlity — On Nov 30, 2014

@Logicfest -- If you really want to save some cash, grab an unlit tree and supply your own lights. Because of the popularity of pre-lit trees, the prices have dropped to next to nothing on unlit trees.

And there are still plenty of lights available in individual packages, so you can switch out light sets regularly if you want. And that is a drawback of pre-lit trees. You are pretty much stuck with the lights that come on them and can't change a thing. You can change trees, but not lights. That can be a real problem.

By Logicfest — On Nov 29, 2014

Do not ever get one of these without doing some research first. And, yes, there is plenty of research available on these trees for free on the Internet.

Here's the thing. You do not want one of those pre-lit trees with strands of lights that go out when one bulb burns out. There are few more things frustrating than trying to figure out which light is out so half the tree won't be dark.

What I'm getting to, ultimately, is that you want something will last. Cheap trees might look good on the showroom floor, but how long will they last before you have to replace them? The worst ones out there have all sorts of nasty surprises, such as strands of lights that go out when one bulb does. I thought that was a thing of the past until that happened to a tree of mine a couple of years ago. It was cheap and we learned why.

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