[VIDEO] Unlit vs Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Trees: A Comparison

A Christmas tree plays a role in many holiday traditions, so it’s important that you find the right one for you. When deciding on your tree, there are many factors to consider–real or artificial, PE or PVC, and more. In this article, we help you choose between unlit and pre-lit artificial Christmas trees. Watch brand spokesperson Jen Lutz as she shares the key differences between the two.

4 Differences Between Unlit vs Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Trees
1. Versatility
2. Convenience
3. Variety
4. Cost Efficiency

1. Versatility

unlit Christmas tree An unlit Christmas tree caters to those who prefer a more natural look and want to have total control over their tree lights. Display your tree without lights and simply add ornaments, or choose everything from the light type, color, and number of bulbs—the choice is yours. Purchasing a tree without lights gives you a blank canvas to express your creativity.

On the other hand, a pre-lit artificial Christmas tree comes with pre-strung lights, so you won’t be able to customize them every year. However, some trees have color-changing lights that switch between clear, multicolored, alternating clear and multi, or no lights on. This gives you the chance to change the look of your lights while saving you the trouble of putting them up and taking them down each season.

2. Convenience

pre-lit Christmas treeUnlit trees generally take more time to set up and store, and they run the risk of tangled wires and broken bulbs. You also need more technical knowledge when deciding on the type of Christmas lights and how many strings to use. If you plan to do it yourself, watch our video for tips on how to put lights on your Christmas tree.

Unlike unlit trees, a pre-lit tree is almost completely ready to go from the moment it comes out of the box. This saves you the time and effort of stringing lights yourself. All you need to do is plug in your tree and fluff its branches to achieve a full look. Then complete your display with your favorite ornaments, trim, and tree topper.

3. Variety

Tree Classics' Fraser Fir Tree in Unlit, Clear, and Multicolor
Tree Classics’ Frasier Fir Tree in Unlit, Clear, and Multicolor

Both unlit and pre-lit Christmas trees are available in a wide range of options. Choose the tree size, shape, and needle type that best suits your home—be it a 10-foot tree with a full profile or a 7.5-foot space saver. When it comes to pre-lit trees, you also have your pick of light types and colors, whether you prefer classic clear lights, festive multicolor, or even a combination of both in one tree.

4. Cost Efficiency

Pre-lit Christmas treeIn terms of initial investment, unlit trees are the budget-friendly choice, but the cost goes up as you add lights. If you aren’t familiar with light counts, types, and lengths, buying Christmas lights in addition to your unlit tree may turn out to be more expensive than purchasing a pre-lit one. Keeping multiple light strands plugged in at the same time also consumes more electricity compared to a pre-lit tree with a single plug.

Pre-lit trees may cost more outright, but these allow you to save time and energy. To get the most value for your money, opt for an LED tree that consumes less electricity and will last you many seasons. Some pre-lit trees also feature technology that allows the rest of the bulbs to stay lit even if one burns out. In case of defective or broken lights, pre-lit trees come with warranties that cover repairs or replacements when needed.

Jen Lutz with Tree Classics trees
Jen with the 7.5-foot pre-lit Majestic Blue Spruce (left) and 7.5-foot unlit Kennedy Fir (right)

Whether you like to keep it simple or love to play around with creative decorations, knowing the pros and cons of different Christmas tree types can help you choose that perfect centerpiece. Head on over to Tree Classics and find the best deals on our unlit and pre-lit artificial Christmas trees.

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