Recommendations for a pre-lit artifical Christmas tree

We got rid of our pre-lit Christmas tree last January, so are in the market for a new one. I wasn’t happy with the last one, so I’d like our replacement to better. Our requirements:

  1. 7 ½ feet tall, or so.

  2. Multi-colored lights. It seems most of the world likes all-white lights; we don’t.

  3. Works reliably. If one light goes out, the rest in that grouping will stay lit. This was the main problem with the last tree – it seemed that every year another section of the tree went dark. The instructions said to determine which bulb was out and replace it, but despite hours trying to find the culprit, we rarely if ever could. Once we started using 6+ strings of lights, the advantage of having a pre-lit tree started to escape us.

  4. The cords between the lights don’t dangle too much. Another problem with our old tree (possibly related to the light outage problem).

  5. Easy to put up and take down.

  6. Ability to add a couple of strands of lights. We have a number of plug-in ornaments.

Oh, and no flocking or weird colors. No pine cones.

So, who has a recommendation on a tree to get? We don’t want to spend a fortune, but will spend – I dunno, $500? – for a good tree.

I’m guessing you did a search - pre-lit artificial Christmas tree

Lots of options, maybe go through the reviews for individual trees at the sellers sites. We have nothing that size (a couple 2/3 ft tall) so not much help. Tell us what you select.

How do you feel about the fiber optic trees? I like them and it solves the bulb problem.

I got a beautiful tree at Sears. It has 700 lights (mine is all white; it also comes in colors). I added four strings of 100 bulbs each, bringing it to a total of 1100 lights. The lights on the tree are steady-on, while the additional ones are random flashing. Everyone comments on how nice the tree looks.

These days, I suspect that Sears will have trees marked-down.

I’m not an artificial tree kinda guy. I like taking a wagon out into the woods or a field and cutting my own, but I did find a link to reviews for 7.5 foot trees if it’s helpful. They seem to know what they are talking about anyway.

We’ve had a few pre-lit trees and have given up on them. No more! They only seemed to last a year or two. I think the problem occurs when the tree is taken apart and put away that wires get pinched and broken. Like you, we ended up having to string lights on our pre-lit tree. One year my sister’s pre-lit tree bit the dust. She took every branch and unwound the lights! :eek: Her hands were scraped and scratched like she lost a fight with a dozen kittens. But I’m guessing they’re improving every year. Good luck!

Thanks! With so many options, I was hoping someone would say “We bought Brand X and it meets all your requirements.” I think maybe I was being too hopeful…

I’ll have to see one in person. The pics online make them look fine, but I’d want the tree to look pretty much like it is festooned with regular lights. Can the fiber optic ones have that look?

Great suggestion! I’ll pay a visit to my local Sears store.

I hope they have a better selection than what I saw on their website though. I really don’t want to pay $1000 for a tree.

Great link! Thanks!

I think you’ve gotten some good answers (although another suggestion is a mail-order company called “Balsam Hill” that seems to specialize in high-end artificial Christmas trees), but I was a little surprised that five hundred bucks wasn’t a lot to spend on one. Now perhaps I’m out of touch, given that I haven’t bothered with a Christmas tree in years, but I thought the fake ones were $100-200 or so.

Actually, something that would be useful but I’m not sure you can shop for is a tree that sets up quickly and easily and is quick to take down and packs away nicely in the storage box at the end of the season. The no doubt cheap one that my mother has never quite fits in the box quite right, so we have to use twine to hold the box shut when we store it in the basement.

We got a pretty nice one from Costco a few years ago. This might be it. Has a remote and lights can be white or multi-color. No problem with any lights going out so far. Pretty easy to set up. I’ve done it by myself but it would definitely be easier with two people. It’s in 3-4 different sections that simply stack one on top of the other, but it’s heavy and awkward. Haven’t noticed a problem with cords dangling, but that could be easily remedied with green zip-ties. I’m sure you could add additional light strings to it, but they might have to be plugged in separately so wouldn’t work with the remote. I think it looks fairly real and one year my Mom asked which tree farm we’d gotten it from :-). The storage box is huge.

I’m not sure that any artificial tree can pack away nicely in the box it came in. All the ones I’ve seen have branches that fan out at the end with little “sub-branches.” They are shipped with the sub-branches flat against the branch, and you need to pull them out into a realistic arrangement the first time you set it up. Thus, unless you flatten each branch again before storing (clearly a monumental PITA) the tree won’t fit in the box again.

Well, they could give you a box large enough to accomodate the tree with the smallest branches unfolded. But I doubt anyone other than me is going to buy a tree on that basis, so they’re not going to spend a lot of time and money on it.

Because they’re so hard to store, we had the “brilliant idea” of leaving the Christmas tree together and storing it in a corner of the basement. It wasn’t a pre-lit, so we even left the lights on it, imagining how easy it was going to set up the next year. It kind of worked the first time around. But then, because our basement stairs have a landing and a turn in them the tree had to be kind of forced around it. So after the third year of storing it like that, my husband brought it upstairs - the lights half undone, dragging behind him :dubious:, he stood it up and it looked like it had been in a hurricane! The branches were bent and the top section was permanently askew. I looked at him, and said, “you know what I’m thinking”. He said, “a new one?” And away I went.

I have a Balsam Hill pre-lit; still looks great after 5 years. That said, yes, they are really expensive.

Another vote for Balsam Hill. Outrageously expensive but we’ve had ours for 6 years now and it still looks brand new though we don’t have a pre-lit one.