Pre-lit Christmas Tree Lights Not Working

You plug the tree in but not all the lights are shining. This can be a frustrating situation, especially if the tree is only 2-3 years old. Often, a Christmas light tester is the easiest way to locate the problem area. This guide is about pre-lit Christmas tree lights not working.
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Solutions

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9 found this helpful
December 24, 2013 Flag

Here is your solution. Find the non-removable bulb with the white socket. It is the last one on the strand, I believe the "non-replacable" white bulb exists only so that you have to buy a new tree ever four years. :(

You will find that it's blackened or burned and causing your problem.

Wiggle out the bulb, then dig out the socket with a pair of pliers. Be careful not to destroy the socket. Take your time, wiggle it loose. Stick any replacement bulb into that socket and, BAM, your tree will be perfect again!

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December 13, 20140 found this helpful
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The GE "constant on" feature is suppose to keep the series of lights working if one or two burn out, however; if the white socket light burns out you can't fix it without voiding their warranty. Who cares! I have lived a couple of years with a section out on my tree and now 3 more sections went out. I bought the lightkeeper pro and found that entire sections had no electrical current but the lights worked when I tested them. So when I pulled the special white socket out and replaced the burnt bulb the section works great.

Just take care not to ruin the white socket when you pull it out. I suggest to gently pull on the bulb, the whole thing may come out easily; if not then pull out the bulb anyways, then unplug the tree and use needle nose pliers to remove the white socket doing as little damage as possible to the white socket itself. Replace with a new bulb and your tree's light section should work just like new!

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January 31, 20152 found this helpful
Top Comment

We have a GE prelit tree from Costco. We tried to figure out why so many branch lights went out. We found the 'unremovable' white rimmed bulbs and pulled them out. Some came out whole, others bulbs wire broke and the white interior was removed with a needle nose pilar, with tree unplugged.

When we plugged tree back in most of the strands were working. The problem plug that didn't bring the lights back on was not making the connection inside the plug like the other removed plugs did, so with a small screw driver and the lights power off, we carefully pushed the connectors inside so they touched and voila' our tree had all the lights back on.

On a 9 ft tree there are about 7 of these 'special' bulbs. Baa Humbug to GE. We don't have to buy another tree. Hope this helps you.

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Questions

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November 25, 2014 Flag

I need some electrical help! I am trying to replace burnt out bulbs on my tree. However with one row of branches, every time I replace a bulb, the whole branch turns off. I have even tried putting the old burnt bulb back in, the one that still kept the whole strand on the branch working originally, and it still won't turn the rest of the strand on that particular branch back on :(

I gave up on the one branch and found another burnt out bulb on the branch beside it. Guess what happened when I replaced it? Yup, you guess it, I broke the whole strand on that branch too. I thought it was just a fluke and said I'll just throw that end of the tree up against the wall, but I still didn't learn. I found one more burnt out bulb on the next branch over... and yup, I broke that strand too.

Now I'm stuck with 3 dark branches and it stands out, badly. Can anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? Please help! This tree is for a unit I work on at the hospital. My good deed is driving me crazy :p

By SincerelyReallyFrustrated

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December 1, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not an expert, but I was having a similar issue and finally broke down and bought a Light Keeper Pro from Home Depot for $20. Problem solved! Very easy to use, and paid for itself within 5 minutes. Now I'm going back to all my old decorations that use mini lights and fixing them, too.

Hope it helps. Good luck!

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December 22, 2014 Flag

We bought a pre-lit xmas tree about ten tears ago. We set it up this year and all was well until a week later. We plugged it in and all the lights were out. Any first aid suggestions other than to get another tree?

By Theresa from Chicopee, MA

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Anonymous Flag
January 4, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

My prelit tree is 12 years old. I use the light keeper pro and patiently worked from the plug end to the other end of each line of lights on each section. It took me most of a day to replace all the burned out bulbs - I had to replace more than 100 bulbs, but the tree is working. Patience. Patience. I also used a clothes pin to mark the spot where I stopped to replace the bulb.

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January 2, 2012 Flag

My pre-lit tree is 2 years old; one section is out and it seems like almost every bulb has blown at once. What causes that?

By Carmine

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful
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It may be a fuse in the light set. They have a fuse in the line. Check what kind and most drugstores and walmart sale them. Sometimes you can get one out of another old set of lights.

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November 29, 2016 Flag

So I have a GE 7.5ft pre lit Christmas tree. It has a foot pedal to control three different settings. What is the foot pedal connector part called? The tree is not lighting up at all. I have replaced all the bulbs and even replaced the connector that the lights plug into. But when I hit the foot pedal to turn it on/off I'm not hearing a click. So needless to say I believe the foot pedal portion needs to be replaced, but can not find anything online. I really don't want to cut them off and replace them if I don't have to.

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December 3, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

Shake the little power supply that plugs into the wall. I heard a rattle in mine, so I took it apart and found the wires that go to the prongs that plug into the wall socket are not securely attached. They are just wedged in between the plastic and the prong. That alone is frightening. So I put I just wedged it back in place, and it is working again.

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December 4, 2016 Flag

Why are all the bulbs in one section of my pre-lit Christmas tree burnt out? We tried the bulbs in a working section and none of them lit up. We tried around 10 bulbs and not one of them light up. We looked at and replaced the fuses (2 times) in the bad section and they do not seem to be blown.

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December 5, 20160 found this helpful
Best Answer

There may be a break in the wire on that section. Insert new bulbs. Maybe that is the problem. Make sure all the bulbs are firmly inserted.

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December 29, 2016 Flag

This year I bought a Lightkeeper Pro, which did a wonderful job repairing several strands of lights on my pre-lit Christmas tree. We were watching TV last night and suddenly one strand (and I think it was one that had been repaired) suddenly blazed significantly brighter. The bulbs were very hot. I turned it off for a bit, and when I turned it back on, that strand of lights was out. I'm hoping someone has a bit more knowledge of electrical circuits and explain this. I'm hesitant to try the repair again - and the heat put out by those bulbs makes me a little nervous about fire.

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January 13, 20170 found this helpful

I have a 7-foot GE EZ light Douglas fir, that had a dark strand. I replaced burned out bulbs, and I followed the repair of taking out the fuse bulb, removing the white socket, replacing the bulb with another one back in the white socket and returning the white socket with the new bulb to the strand. I plugged in the tree; the previously dark strand (where I had replaced burned out bulbs) burned brightly white for a few seconds (much brighter than the regular lights) and then burned out, wrecking the new bulbs. I wouldn't recommend this type of repair as it could be a fire hazard. I'm back where I started.

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December 28, 2016 Flag

I believe the culprit is the male/plug at the bottom of tree. If I wiggle this the lights come back on. The plug has fuses. Can the plug itself be replaced safely?

thx

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December 29, 20160 found this helpful

It sounds like a loose wire, and the plug can be safely replaced. Judy's instructions are as clear as you can get. I wouldn't advise on rewiring simply because our British system is different - we have a third, earth wire for safety.

There seem to be many complaints about these pre-lit trees; but at least it is fairly inexpensive to replace the strings of lights.

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October 18, 2016 Flag

What if there is no white socket light?

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January 14, 20170 found this helpful

The bulb with the white socket has no shunt. If your artificial tree doesn't have this special bulb, your tree will catch fire. The bulb is a fuse bulb that blows when to many normal bulbs blow out.

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November 15, 2010 Flag

The clear lights on the top part of my pre-lit tree are dim. What can I do?

By Anthony from RI

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January 31, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I was just told that the 'non-replaceable' bulb has a built in fuse. When the fuse blows, they purposely don't want you to be able to remove the bulb and white base for safety reasons. That's apparently why they say replace the whole string.

That said, it seems to me that the bulb could blow without the fuse blowing. I'm assuming that the bulb in the white socket is the same as all the others. (True?). But you can't replace that bulb if you can't get the white base out of socket! Some folks have talked about forcing the base out and replacing the bulb that way, but I think you're asking for safety issues.... 'you're playing with fire'... maybe literally! :) Any time you try to bypass or play with a designed safety mechanism you're asking for trouble. You're in an unknown area where you are using something in a way which it was not designed to be used.

Bottom line, to me at least, is that all these light sets on prelit trees (and loose strings too) are not meant to last forever. Some, maybe all, of these light strings have labels that say they are only to be used for 90 days! So putting an unremoveable fused base in a light string serves the purpose of making sure that these lights are not used 'forever' and are taken out of service after a while: Either when the fuse blows or when the bulb in that base burns out.

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December 23, 2016 Flag

I have a new Christmas tree with lights already on the tree. Every few minutes all the lights go out for a few seconds and then come back on. What is the problem?

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December 31, 20160 found this helpful

Sorry that no one tried to answer your question before Christmas.

We must have missed it but I hope you found a solution or an answer on your own.

Since the tree is new it would be better to return it but if that is not possible perhaps you could make sure the outlet is not overloaded (being used by too many items for that particular area) as I have done that and mysterious things seem to happen other than just blowing a fuse.

I hope you and your family have a safe and happy new year.

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November 28, 2016 Flag

How do I get my prelit Christmas tree lights in sync?

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December 7, 20160 found this helpful

all lights need power and ground, if you show that you have current flowing but no illumination then you have a bulb out at or near the end preventing the circuit to be complete. try unplugging that string and turn the plug around to reverse the current. you should now see there is no current. now go spend $20.00 on a light keeper pro. you can follow the current to the point it ends, thats the problem bulb.

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December 7, 2016 Flag

I have a Holiday Living pre lit Christmas tree #0013693 that is a year old. It worked fine last year. It was stored standing up, covered, and out of harms way. When we set it up today, the top of the tree lights started blinking. That was the only place they are blinking. It did not do this last year. How do I fix this? We have tried removing bulbs. There is not a short in the wiring. We can't find a bulb that is usually clear with a red end for a flashing bulb.

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December 11, 20160 found this helpful

Did you figure this out? Having same problem with same brand of tree.

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November 30, 2016 Flag

I have a 4 section Sylvania LED tree. The top section, even though it is firmly plugged in, comes on and off. It's only three years old and well taken care of (no kids). I realize the contact is wanky, but how do I fix it? The contacts are inline in the pole, similar to rca plugs. Each section just slides into the next automatically plugging in. Thanks!

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December 3, 20160 found this helpful

Did you get your tree working. I have the same problem and the tree is only 3 years old. The first 2 sections worked and then when I plugged in the top piece it sounded like it popped and the other 2 sections went out. When I remove the top piece it worked again. But it is very frustrating this type of power in the pole.

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November 30, 2016 Flag

I have a small mini pre-lit tree that has only one strand of lights on it. Half the section has blown out (bulbs had black parts surrounding the inside). I tried the Light Keeper Pro and it didn't work. I ended up replacing every bulb and the lights came back on. A few days later they stopped working again and I noticed all the bulbs had black on the inside again. What could be causing all the bulbs to blow at once? Any suggestions (besides stripping all the lights off and adding a new strand (which would be a brutal step).

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Anonymous Flag
December 11, 20160 found this helpful

Different micro amp on bulbs you replaced. They should have looked brighter than original bulb.

Too much amp for bulb so it burnt out.

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December 11, 2015 Flag

Our pre-lit "Barcana" artificial Xmas tree is 10 years old, and has functioned very well until this year. I just noticed that a section of the lower part of the tree doesn't light, although the rest of the tree does. I also saw that almost all the mini-bulbs in that section are burned out. I replaced maybe 30 of the bulbs, using the correct 2.5 volt bulbs. On the last one, the section lit up, but it was abnormally bright, lasted maybe 3 seconds, then went out. Most of the new replacement bulbs were burned out. What seems to be happening is, that section of lights is drawing too much current for the bulbs, but not enough to burn the fuse; i.e., the bulbs are acting like fuses. Anyone know what is happening here, and what I can do to fix it?

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December 12, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

It occurred to me that maybe each section of lights begins with a fuse-bulb, a bulb that is also a fuse. I have had this with older light sets I used to use. If that bulb blew and wasn't replaced with a fuse-bulb (it has a thicker filament inside it), then maybe too much electricity goes through to the rest of the bulbs in the section. If you can find fuse-bulbs to buy, maybe that will solve your problem. Also check the wiring to see if there's a damaged or shorted-out section somewhere.

If you can't find the reason, you could add a short string of lights in that section to replace the ones that won't light, and at least the tree lights will look full again. From what I've heard, you were very lucky the lights lasted without problems for as long as they did.

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December 6, 2015 Flag

My dog chewed the wire on the bottom strand of lights on our prelit tree. Can we unplug this strand from the one it's connected to and replace it with a new strand?

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December 8, 20150 found this helpful
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Yes you can. My dog didn't eat the lights but the middle section of our prelit tree did not light this year. I bought a matching color bulbs string of lights at the drug store. I unplugged the broken lights at both ends and put the new string in its place. I left the old broken string on the tree. I was afraid I would ruin the tree if I tried to cut it off. When the tree is lit, you don't see the old string.

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December 7, 2009 Flag

No one seemed to understand the problem with my pre-lit Christmas tree. Anyway my tree has a main hot wire that runs up the center of the tree. The tree also has lots of plug-in ones that will connect to the main wire on each section, then the other plug-ins that will connect to each other so each section will burn.

My problem is getting the main one plugged in the right socket so I can work my way up the tree. All fuses and lights are OK. Will someone give me some idea how to get all these plugged in? Or tell me which one plugs to the main hot wire on each section? There are no color codes on the plug-in. Thanks

By Reba from Bristol

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December 7, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

When I assemble my tree, I always plug in the bottom section, that way as I put each additional tier on it, I can plug it in making sure that each section is plugged into the right place. I hope this is what I understood your problem to be.

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