Pre lit vs. Unlit: Compare & Contrast Artificial Trees

Comparing and Contrasting Two Basic Styles of Artificial Christmas Trees

There’s the baking of Christmas cookies, the wrapping of gifts, the playing of Christmas music — and at the center of all the holiday festivities is your Christmas tree. Your tree is the focal point around which all the other holiday traditions revolve. It’s like the sun in your holiday solar system. So, choosing the right tree for your home is certainly an important decision.

As you consider which artificial Christmas tree will be the perfect centerpiece to your holiday, consider the options of unlit vs. lit varieties. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider with each, which will appeal to each person differently. If you’re still deciding between the two, the following pros and cons list will provide you with some important information to consider before making your final selection.

Pros and Cons of Unlit Christmas Trees

Let’s start with the most basic of the two – unlit Christmas trees.

Pro: Decorating Versatility

Pre-lit Christmas trees come with their own set of lights, so there’s no need to think about lighting layouts or white vs. multicolored lights. But if you have a knack for decorating, you may not want the lights to be pre-arranged. For those who aren’t gifted interior decorators, the elimination of decorating decisions could be seen as a major plus.  But for those who like a little creative license, unlit trees may be on their holiday wish list.

Con: More Work

Although decorating the tree can be a fun creative project, it does add more work to your hectic holiday to-do list. It seems simple to string lights around the tree, but there’s the risk of tangling wires, improper string lengths and the possibility that a few bulbs need replacing.

Pro: Customizing Light String Lengths

Christmas trees are so varied in shape and size that buyers often have a variety of light string lengths to choose from when purchasing this basic decorative item. Some people prefer to wrap lights twice around certain areas or leave the bottom half of the tree unlit. An unlit tree would give you the opportunity to customize your lighting with your own strings.

Pros and Cons of Pre-Lit Christmas Trees

An alternative option to a standard unlit tree is a pre-lit Christmas tree, designed to make your life a little easier. Here are some pros and cons of a pre-lit tree to consider as you decide on your evergreen.

Pro: Ready Upon Arrival

Most of us are busy during the holidays: running around from place to place to try to get everyone gifts for Christmas and have the home looking perfect for holiday parties and guests. Whether you order your artificial Christmas tree online or purchase it at a store, a pre-lit design is ready for showing from the moment you bring it home. Just add a few ornaments and a star to top it off.

Con: Risk of Decor Clashing

Most pre-lit Christmas trees come with basic white lights. However, it may be difficult to find a style that perfectly matches less classic decor themes. For example, say you were aiming for a quirky, Dr. Seuss-esque Christmas theme in your child’s playroom. You might find that the lights pre-strung on your tree tend to clash with your decor.

Pro: Economically-Efficient

Buying Christmas lights separately costs a bit more than adding on a small fee to have them included in the tree. If you don’t know what to look for in terms of length, this can even result in wasted expenses for extra lights to try to accommodate the unique shape and size of your tree.

Your preferences may change throughout the years, so be sure to make a pro and con list each Christmas season to make sure you always make the right choice for your needs.

  • David Roehr

    I have had 2 prelit trees…don’t bother! They have a short life span and sooner or later the lights sections will go out then you’ll have to buy another tree! Yes, the unlit trees are more work, but if the light strand goes out…you just go out and buy another strand of lights instead of replacing the whole tree!

    • Sarah_Pulaski_TC

      Hi David! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. If the lights go out on a section of a pre-lit tree, you can still purchase a new string of lights and restring that section of the tree as if it were an unlit tree instead of purchasing a whole new tree. Tree Classics is committed to making Christmas decorating a breeze. Happy holidays!