Pre-lit Christmas trees.... Bah! Humbug!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Thomas Veil, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #1
    If you've had one for a few years, you may already know where this is going.

    We've had one for five years now, and for three of them I put it up without any problem. Last year a couple of half-strings of lights went out. No problem. I replaced a fuse in one set, and for the other I got that tool that you're supposed to use to repair the lights. Worked, too. For a time.

    The day before we were supposed to pack the tree away, another half of a string went out. I noticed that all the lights that were out were burned out (blackened). I'd have to replace 50 bulbs, in addition to figuring out what blew them out. Since it was time to put the tree away, I opted to do that and fight another day.

    Wellsir, this year I pulled the tree out and not only is that section out, but another one is as well. There are two other sections which are overly bright, which means the current from a few burned-out lights is being shunted to the remainder, and that tells me I would need to hunt down those burned-out lights and replace them...not as easy a chore as it sounds, if you've ever tried to follow the strings of a pre-lit tree.

    Oh, and there's another section I found which is all blackened. If you're keeping score, that's seven out of 15 or so strings I've already had problems with.

    Watching this pattern unfold, I figure this ship is taking on water faster than I can bail. So I've opted to remove all the lights from the tree and replace them with completely new ones. It's either that, or continue to chase problems, which will be even more difficult to fix once all the ornaments are on the tree. Or chuck the tree and buy a new one.

    I worked on removing the lights for the better part of the day yesterday, but they're secured so tightly that my hands are getting raw from rubbing against the "needles" trying to undo them.

    So I guess the moral of the story is, beware how good those trees look in the store. I myself would never buy another one. I strung the lights on by hand for years, and let me tell you, doing that is much less of a pain than trying to remove them from a pre-lit tree.
     
  2. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #2
    My wife and I spent the better part of Friday tracking down unlit sections on about 6 different strands of lights. We also went through about five packs of replacement bulbs including the ones with the red tips because we wanted all the lights to blink, not just some sections. I think it's all part of the holiday cheer. :mad:
     
  3. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    We got a pre-lit tree about 5 years ago. Last christmas it completely died after two years of replacing fuses and light bulbs. In january of last year, it went to the curb on garbage night.

    :D:(
     
  4. mikeypizano macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Location:
    Pittston PA
    #4
    We have a small fiber optic one. So far no problems there! Sorry about yours.
     
  5. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    We have had a pre-lit tree for 3 years without any problems. I really like it.
     
  6. geekgirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #6
    My parents have 2 pre-lit trees. They will never buy another one, for exactly that reason. Pain when the lights go out. They still loved the look of the trees, so they did go through the trouble of removing the lights. They only got three years out of them.
     
  7. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #7
    We have a pre-lit tree. I like the look a whole lot better than if you put the lights on yourself. The lights go all inside the tree, not just wrapped around the outside.

    We've had ours for 3 years and no bad bulbs yet... knock on wood.
     
  8. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    This will be like our sixth or seventh year with the same pre-lit tree and it's never given us any problems. Do you plug yours into a surge protector? Maybe that could be the issue. I love the convenience of them personally and if the lights on mine ever went out before I would go through the hassle of taking them off and replacing them I would just buy a whole new tree.
     
  9. joepunk macrumors 68030

    joepunk

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    a profane existence
    #9
    My parents have had their tree for quite a few years now. All the lights still work including the fiber optic lights. Of course I probably jinxed it now :eek:
     
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
  11. woolyback macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #11
    I've never even heard of a "pre-lit" Christmas tree... assume from the above posts it comes with a load of lights already attached.

    Does it not break down into sections then when you put it away ?
     
  12. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601

    themoonisdown09

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #12
    Mine breaks down into 3 sections. You plug each section into each other and then plug one into the wall outlet.
     
  13. woolyback macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Ah, okay - thanks.

    And found this which shows what they look like.

    No way my missus would ever go for one - takes half the fun out of it :D
     
  14. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #14
    I agree, but my wife is terribly allergic, so...

    I really miss tree shopping each Christmas. When my kids were small, before my wife's allergies got really bad, we used to go to a tree farm each Christmas and cut down a live tree. That was really nice "quality time" with the kids. And just being there in the cold, choosing a tree, got you in the Christmas mood.
     
  15. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #15
    That's what I've been saying for years - what if the strand goes out?

    I've used the regular one I have now for over 10 years and got to put different lights on it.

    Why do people even want prelit - so they can go buy another one 2 or 3 years from now when it goes out? Not in today's economy.

    Can you even get a regular one? The ones I see at the store are ALL prelit... :eek:
     
  16. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #16
    I agree, but only to an extent. I am a fan of a real tree, and if I ever have Christmas at my own place, I will have a real tree. But I own a fake tree - because I always go somewhere else for Christmas. I set up the fake one at home, so my place looks relatively festive.

    Its just not worth having a real tree, when you are not even going to be there for Christmas day, and its all dried out when you get back in town because you haven't watered it for 1-2 weeks.

    As for the OP's post... I'm now worried. My fake tree is pre-lit. Luckily its small (apartment living..) so hopefully replacing the lights won't be too too horrible when the time comes!
     
  17. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #17
    So I googled "pre-lit christmas tree lights out" and of all places macrumors pops up! I frequent this place for mac stuff, so its funny its the 2nd google hit for something as off the wall as christmas trees is here. Anyway, may as well try give it a spin... To revive an old thread...

    I have a prelit tree I have had for about 4 years or so. Unboxing it and setting it up tonight, about a 1/3 of the top section (there are 3 sections) is not working. As an aside, this is the type of pre-lit tree that is supposed to keep working even if you loose one bulb (I guess the first generation of these pre strung trees were a nightmare). The top section just has one plug which is plugged in, and most of the lights on that strand work. The only way if one bulb goes that it takes out the whole section is if the bulb is no longer plugged in at all. But if its just burnt out just that one bulb doesn't work.

    Has anyone had an issue like this they fixed? I have managed to locate the first and last bulb that doesnt work on the strand, and tried jiggling the wire where it goes to the next working bulb, no dice. I also changed all the fuses with no luck.

    I think this is my last pre-lit tree. I loved it the first 4 working years, this year, not so much.
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #18
    Electric light bulbs on fake trees... What's wrong with candles on tinder dry, sap-dripping pine trees may I ask?


    PS LED bulbs.
     
  19. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #19
    This is the first time I've ever heard of a prelit tree, wtf?

    What ever happened to going out with the family to pick a real tree, bringing it home, and setting it up and having a nice pine scent in your house as you decorate it with the family?

    First it was fake trees, and now we are too lazy to spend 10 minutes wrapping a few strings of lights around it?
     
  20. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #20
    I never understood fake trees. Might as well do nothing.
     
  21. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #21
    Ditto. Four years for ours.
     
  22. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #22
    You should probably get out more. Besides, there are plenty of reasons to own a fake/pre-lit tree and none of them have to do with laziness. Do you have a computer and use it to write papers? Why not do it by hand? Lazy! Does your car have power windows? Why not get one with cranks and do that by hand? Lazy! Are you lazy or something?

    Besides the lights (of which, the pre-lit have the lights way more evenly distributed than you can do by yourself), real trees can cause allergy issues (of which my wife suffers from - she actually gets shots every week to keep them at bay), they can be fire hazards, its expensive to have to rebuy a tree every year, and not that this is a huge concern for me, but its probably a lot "greener" to own a fake tree vs cutting down/transporting/getting rid of a real tree every year.

    This was more or less a technical question about trees/lights. Lets not turn this into a discussion about the erosion of society as we know it.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    There's the cost factor. You only need to purchase the artificial tree once, and not continually with a "real" tree.

    There's also the risk of fire with a natural tree. You can put up a fake tree when ever you want without concern that it won't die off before Christmas, you don't have to worry about the incessant needles falling. Some people are allergic and so an artificial tree makes more sense.

    The wife prefers natural trees so we go that route, but I certainly can see the advantages of buying an artificial tree.
     
  24. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #24
    Agree on the LED lights...they will give you a 15 year warranty with trees that are prelit that way. I believe if you are lucky you might get a 2-3 year warranty on a incandesantly-prelit tree.
     
  25. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #25
    My previous Christmas tree was about 40 (older than myself) years old. I threw it out not because it was an electrical mess of fuses and burnt out lights, but because it was starting to look more like a wooden stick with metal branches than an actual tree. I kinda felt sad about it too, since this was the same tree my parents used to dress up when I was a kid and that I have been decorating myself every year for best part of the last half decade. There were many memories in that darn pile of wood/metal/plastic.

    My new tree, having had to shop for ages to find one that wasn't pre-lit, will last about the same length I hope. Screw the pre-lit trees, seriously, stringing lights around a tree takes like 5 minutes and is part of the experience, not to mention I get to switch lighting styles every few years without having to purchase a 200$ tree all over again. And I won't use a natural tree because then it gets expensive having to buy one each year, not to mention having to throw it out/burn it afterwards.
     

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