NEVER buy a pre-lit tree. Or anything pre-lit for that matter! Pre-lit may sound like less stress, time, and money, but that is not the case in the long run.
There is nothing more frustrating to a decorator than having to become an electrician! With traditional lights, you can toss the strand and open a new box and TAADA–it’s fixed! When the lights are attached to a tree it complicates things a bit. Fixing pre-lit tree lighting is VERY time-consuming. And, I don’t know of too many people who have been successful at it!
Based on our experiences, pre-lit trees will last a couple of years depending on how much you run them. When the lights burn out, the only way to remedy the problem is to wrap new strands of lights on top of the blown ones. If this isn’t a mess I don’t know what is!
Pre-lit trees are expensive. Unless you have the extra cash to replace a tree every couple of years, stick with a traditional tree and traditional lights. The most you will have to do from year-to-year is buy a couple new strands of inexpensive lights.
From someone who has experienced plenty of both, the pain of stringing lights every year is certainly easier than dealing with a section of a tree that does not work!
Kim Martin — Floral Design Specialist — Columbia, MO