Artificial Prelit Christmas Tree Quality: 7 Questions You Must Ask Before You Buy

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When you go to buy a new vehicle there are certain things you check before buying, right? Well buying an artificial or pre-lit Christmas tree is no different.

You may be tempted to just make sure it’s the right size and style, but by knowing a few extra tips you can actually save yourself money as well as time when setting up the tree.

Here are 7 questions you should ask before you buy an artificial or pre-lit Christmas tree.

Quality Christmas Tree1) What’s the Quality of the Pine Needles?

Ideally, you want your tree to look as real as possible. Higher quality Christmas trees have long pine needles with a tip that’s been rounded off.This creates a more natural, realistic look.

Low quality artificial Christmas trees have shorter needles and a chopped tip – not very realistic.

2) How Are the Branches Attached?

On high quality artificial Christmas trees the branches are attached to the trunk by permanent metal hinges. Some lower quality trees use plastic hinges, which can break fairly easily.

Other trees don’t even use hinges at all. With these trees each branch must be inserted into the tree’s center pole one at a time. This is usually a slow and tedious process. If you want to save time when setting up your Christmas tree try to avoid buying this type of tree.

3) What’s the Center Pole Made of?

The Christmas tree’s center pole is usually either steel, plastic or a natural trunk. The one you want to avoid is the plastic trunk.

It may be cheaper, but ultimately it’s life span is going to be short since the plastic can crack quite easily.

4) How Bright are the Christmas Lights?

Many pre-lit Christmas trees use lights with 100 to 120 milliamps. The problem with these is that they tend to be a little dimmer and they can burn out quicker.

Look for higher quality trees with 170 to 200 milliamps. Brighter lights are much more impressive.

5) How are the Christmas Lights Attached?

On some pre-lit Christmas trees the string of lights are simply wrapped around the limbs. Unfortunately the light strings don’t stay very secure over time.

On higher quality trees the light strings are attached to the branches with clips, which provides far more security.

This can save you from a big decorating headache.

6) How Many Christmas Lights are there Per Foot?

Some pre-lit Christmas tree manufacturers skimp on the number of lights. High quality Christmas trees usually have between 80 and 100 lights per foot. A six-footer should have about 480 to 600 lights.

7) How Long is the Warranty?

It may seem like an obvious question to ask, but how often do you actually ask it? The warranty for the Christmas tree itself ought to be for 10 years.

If it’s a pre-lit tree, the lights should be guaranteed for 3 years or 3,000 hours – whichever comes first.

By using these 7 questions as a guide when buying your artificial or pre-lit tree you’ll be sure to find a beautiful, long-lasting, easy to set up Christmas tree.

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There are currently 5 responses to “Artificial Prelit Christmas Tree Quality: 7 Questions You Must Ask Before You Buy .” Why not let us know what you think by adding your own comment! Your opinion is as valid as anyone elses, so come on... let us know what you think.

  1. 1


    December 4th, 2007 at 1:36 am

    i like christmas trees, and i likee to hang candy canes on them and tie small bows, some times to decorate the house i put a vase of baubles.
    i have a fake tree, because in australia it is hard to buy the real ones, and i bought an average priced realistic looking one which has lasted me a whilee.

  2. 2

    Christina Miller

    December 29th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Just found this info and it’s wonderful. Thank you.

  3. 3

    Phyllis Workman

    September 25th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Where can I buy the clips for a pre-lit christmas tree? I have looked everywhere and all I can find are the string light clips that go on the outside of the house. The clips I am looking for are the ones that hold the light on to the branch of the tree.

  4. 4


    October 15th, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Phyllis - Canadian Tire carries them, Walmart should start stocking them in a month or so too.

  5. 5


    December 2nd, 2010 at 1:37 am

    This is a big help as I am tree shopping this year. I have noticed that thel quality prelit trees are tighter, It looks like it may be harder to hang the hundreds of ornies I have. My old ‘hook in’ branches tree, I had 1500 lights and many many ornies, some lighted and a rotating star on top. Hope the new trees can handle this.I wish they had more lites. If buying LED, look for warm glow. If buying prelit, buy and extra string of lights, as the bulb sizes change so often, and no matter what they say, some bulbs will eventually burn out.

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