You plug the tree in but not all the lights are shining. This guide is about pre-lit Christmas tree lights not working.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
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!
Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!
Here are questions related to Pre-lit Christmas Tree Lights Not Working.
The top section of my newly bought tree keeps going on and off. It seems when they are on and I try to adjust the branches the lights go off. Then when they go on again they stay on indefinitely as long as I don't touch the branches. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
By Celeste O.
By Henrietta B. 11/18/2012
Sounds as if your tree has a short in the wires. I would return it or call electrician or someone you may know to take a look at it. Don't want your house to catch fire.
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
By Melinda Oandasan12/04/2010
I did what redhatterb suggested, but then I made a diagram showing which branch numbers get plugged into the tree plug and which get plugged into the previous branch's plug. I keep this diagram in my tree storage container in a plastic sleeve. It's made putting the tree up each year much easier.
Can you replace clear bulbs with colored bulbs on a pre-lit tree?
By Abigail A. 11/21/2014
As far as I know, you can use any replacement bulbs that fit.
I have a four section pre-lit LED Xmas tree. After five years, the top two sections remain fully lit. On the bottom two, some branches light up and some don't. If a bulb is removed from a branch that lights up, the rest of the lights stay on. Each plug for each section lights up some branches. I have changed out the fuses in each plug and still some branches don't light up. I have checked the wires and can't find any damage. Any suggestions?
By Lisa Stewart01/12/2014
When we've had that problem in the past, it has been a burned out bulb or a bulb that was not pushed in all the way somewhere in the unlit part.
Our tree is three years old and pre-lit. One round of lights will suddenly get extremely bright and burn out. I have replaced several rounds and this works for awhile. Today however one round got really bright and boom whole round went out.
By Chris S. from Ashland, OH
Chris S. Did you ever figure the problem out? I have had a 7.5 ft pre lit tree for 2 or 3 years that alot of the middle section got really bright making all the other lights look almost dim, so I had it plugged into outlet that I can turn it off n on by light switch and I turned it off and right back on, now alot of that section is out and most of those bulbs look burned. Please let me know.
Where can I buy replacement bulbs for my Kirkland Signature 9ft tree?
By Sari B.
I have a female plug at the bottom with no male to plug into it. The tree is 3 sections; the middle has all the outlets.
By Mary D
By redhatterb 12/15/2013
Have you used the tree before and has it worked. Someplace on the bottom tier there has to be a male plug. When I put my tree together, I always plug in the bottom layer, then when I do the next layer, I know when I get the next layer plugged in just right, etc. Putting these trees together and getting them working, can be a real pain, and there are times I feel like I almost stick my head into the branches to find the right connections, but by plugging in the first tier and then each successive tier after that, it is easier than not plugging it in layer by layer.
I have a 3 section tree with the dual LED lights, all 3 sections are lit up, however the top and bottom sections are half as bright as the middle section. I have checked the connections to make sure they are tight, if the cord gets moved the lights can flicker. It is a beautiful tree, but just looks silly dim, bright, dim. Any help?
By Kerri E
I bought a new Quick Set Christmas tree this year and last night all the lights went out. I unplugged it and plugged it back in and nothing. It has a timer so I took the timer off and plugged it straight into the wall and still nothing. I even tried a different outlet. How do I get the lights to come back on?
I have a Holiday Living pre-lit Christmas tree model# W14L0136 and can't find a replacement adapter cord for it. I can't find website for parts and I lost the paperwork.
I have a pre-lit Christmas tree and the top of the tree keeps blowing the fuse. The tree has three parts. The bottom and the middle are both working. I have changed the fuse four times now and the minute I plug it in the fuse blows instantly. I have plugged it into the tree and straight into the wall and it blows. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
My Christmas tree lights are separated into 3 sections. Two of my sections work, but the one on top still won't light up. Please help me.
By Kali F
Where can I find replacement bulbs that have a tapered end so they will slide all the way into the socket and fit the string of lights on my Xmas tree? It is a Noble fir purchased from Frontgate.
Many of the lights on our 4 year old prelit "constant on" tree do not light. We called customer service and we learned about the white-based fuse bulbs. Where can we buy them?
By Kathy G
I have two skinny pre-lit trees, five feet each. One is only lit at the top and the bottom is out. The other is lit at the bottom and top is out. GRRRRRR! I have tried to check each light to make sure none are loose. They are only 2 years old and I hate it. Merry Christmas!
I have a Cosco/Kirkland pre-lit 1500 Constant on Christmas tree and two of the branches will not light up. I went through the lights, all are plugged-in and no wires are broken. When I was going through the bulbs I came a cross a bulb that was in a white plastic holder all. The other bulbs are in green holders. I can't get the white one out to check it. Is this a fuse bulb? If so can this be why my lights don't come on the two branches? Help me please.
I have had the same issue and I'm getting ready to take mine back to Costco. The first year I had the tree it was perfect. The issue you are having started for me the second year where those white encased bulbs started burning out. Why did they make an irremovable bulb that burns out easier than the others? I have no idea.
If you twist and pull on the bulb it will come out and leave the white casing in. This will likely break the copper wiring from the bulb which will stay stuck in there. Get a pair of needle nose pliers and stick one side into the socket (unplug your lights first :)). Try gently pulling or scraping up to remove the white casing. If it doesn't come out easily, apply more pressure. If it comes up a little bit but is still stuck, just try getting a grip on the white casing and pull it out. It will likely tear slightly, but that's okay.
Get a replacement bulb from the little bag that came with your tree. Remove a bulb from the green casing. Make sure any broken wire has been removed from the white casing. Place the replacement bulb into the white casing so that the two wires go through the two holes in the bottom then fold the two wires up and then stick the whole thing back into the tree.
The good news is I think I have replaced nearly all of my white encased bulbs over the last 2 years and the ones I have replaced seem to not burn out.
I also recommend plugging your tree into a surge protector.
We bought a pair of pre-lit Christmas trees last year. We had them both set up in our living room. At nearly the same time, all lights on the upper half of both trees went out. They didn't last 2 months. It appears that all bulbs are burned out. What would cause that?
By Andy S.
If the lights on a pre-lit tree are black, are they bad?
By Maryeileen 11/23/2013
Yes, it means that they have burned out.
My Christmas tree has three layers. The top is the one giving problems, only half of the top section works and the bottom half doesn't (on the top or third layer). I changed all the bulbs that didn't light up with new ones, 50 in total, and they still won't turn on. Every other section of the tree works including the top of the section I have problems with. Anyone have any ideas? something I might be missing looking at?
All bulbs are tight and new! I checked for fuses, but only the wall plug has a fuse; the others inside the tree don't or I am not sure where to look.
I have a Holiday Living 7.5 ft aspen pre-lit pine tree from Lowe's with 600 lights.
I have an expensive and beautiful artificial tree (9 feet tall). The lights worked great for three years. Now some strands are burning out. I always replaced burnt out bulbs as soon as I saw them, but with an extensively decorated, very full tree, obviously I did not catch them until it was too late and the entire strand or half the strand burnt out. I was trying to search online, but cannot find if anyone or any place that offers a service to take off the old strings and restring an artificial tree. I live in the west suburbs of Chicago. Does anyone offer a service to restring artificial Christmas tree lights?
Not sure where this place is but here is the website ChristmasTreeRepair.com
My mama left me her pre-lit Christmas tree and her lifetime collection of antique ornaments. So, needless to say, I'm willing to do whatever it takes (short of setting my house on fire!), to fix this tree.
Anyway, last year when I plugged in the tree only 3, yes 3 sections of lights lit up. Please understand, 3 limbs "did not" light. Only 3 small sections out of about 500 limbs! At that point I went searching and found what I consider to be one of the hidden wonders of the world, "the Christmas Light Fixer Gun". And it was wonderful! It fixed "every" light on the tree with the exception of one portion of the very last limb on the bottom of the tree.
So, this year I was ready "to do battle" with my trusty fix-it gun. What a disaster! Part of the lights on limb sections would burn, half wouldn't. Various lights on various sections of limbs got "really" bright then burned out completely, some of the bulbs themselves were fine when I tested them, others were black in the center and completely blown to kingdom come. You should also know this tree has 16 strands of lights that all meet at the bottom of the tree. They don't plug in to separate outlets on the "trunk" of the tree. All strands of lights provide converge at the base of the tree.
I'm already facing one problem, the replacement bulbs I have, don't have wires long enough to fit in the green husk. Any information anybody can give me will be incredibly welcome. I do have one more question. Is there any such thing as a complete replacement light kit to replace the lights throughout the entire tree? Thank you for your time and hopefully your suggestions!
By Molly C-N
By Louise B. 07/23/2013
I would toss the tree (or donate it) and get a new one. The antique ornaments are worth cherishing; this tree sounds like more trouble than is worth to you.
I have lost the electrical base connection to my pre-lit Xmas tree. Can I buy replacement parts somewhere?
I have one of the pre-lit trees with the white fuse bulbs. After destroying the white base and replacing it with a regular bulb in a green base it didn't work. I cut out that socket and wired the two strands together. The strand does not work. Anyone that can tell me why? There was a third cord, but it does not have wire only a fiber like filling.
By Gayle G
I have had the pre-lit tree for 5 or 6 years now. It has 9 different light settings eg: flashing, fading etc., but I have always used the "steady on" mode so that the lights are on all the time. However this year that mode seems not to be working, so is there anything that I can buy to correct it? The tree is in 3 sections which plug into one another and all the lights seem to be working it's just the mode "steady on" that doesn' work.
By Anne S from Wilmington, Kent, UK
I have a 7ft. clear light, pre-lit tree. Every year it seems there is a problem. Last year it was the top, this year the top and bottom do not light. It has 800 lights on it. Anyone have any quick fix to find the culprit bulb(s)? If I have to check every bulb I will miss Christmas and a good part of 2013.
By Moe C
By Linda 12/05/2012
You can buy a 'bulb and string light checker' at any hardware type store. It has 'saved' several strings of lights we have. It's called a Light Keeper. Works pretty good - you'll at least get your money's worth.
I have a pre lit tree, about 6 yrs old. I absolutely adored this tree because it had globe lights on it as well. However, last year the mini lights gave me trouble, so I thought I would salvage the globe lights and remove them. Only problem, the mini lights were put on "after" so I had to remove all of them. I planned to check the mini lights and reuse the tree by stringing it myself. Well, the mini lights won't burn when I plug them into the outlet. None will work (about 6 strings). Any suggestions?
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 Pat Phillips 01/09/2012
It is very important to make certain that none of the bulbs are loose. That is usually the problem. They can become loosened in shipment or just getting them out of the box and putting them up. If you have ONE bad bulb and it's still in tight, the others will remain lit, and of course check the fuses in the plug, if all else fails...
By HAPPYINHARNED 01/05/2012
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.
I have a pre-lit tree and noticed that some of the lights are out and have turned black. Does that mean that I need to replace that strand? Can you do that on these?
By Marjorie 12/20/2011
I have a pre lite tree that I have had for about 4 years. This year the middle section would not lite up. I just added a small string of lights to the middle and left the non working ones on the tree. You cannot even notice them once the other decorations are put on the tree.
Is there a certain way to plug pre-lit Christmas trees in.
By liz from Idaho
By Linda Lou Whitfield F. 12/08/2011
I'm beginning to hate my pre-lit tree 8). But this year we bought one of those 'guns' that you can use to 'restart' the lights. They have helped with about half of the un-lit strands. It's called a "Light Keeper Pro". Can't remember the cost, but well worth it! Found it at the big box store.
On the top portion of my pre-lit tree, a small strand of lights went out. I took out the white fuse light. Did I do anything bad to my tree?
By Sarah R.
The problem is in the fuse bulb. It is a very bad design because it is not replaceable and when it blows the entire string goes out and this is a real problem on a pre-lit tree. Why there is a fuse bulb on top off the fuses in the plug itself is beyond me. On my tree, only one year old, five of the fuse bulbs had failed!
GE sent under warranty three new strands but I really didn't want to thread them all in on top of the dead bulbs and wires, so I did this: (1) unplugged the tree (2) pulled on the fuse bulb until it came out (3) carefully, with an ice pick, levered out the white fuse bulb socket enough to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to fully remove it (4) with those pliers, molded it back into shape (5) from the spare bulbs, removed one from its green base and threaded it into the white base (6) put the bulb and white base back into the socket (7) with the needle-nose pliers, pushed it back down fully.
Result: A beautiful tree, fully lit again. Yes, this supposedly violates the warranty, but I already have three free new strands I'm now not going to use, but will keep just in case.
GE really needs to make that fusible bulb replaceable (and provide spares); otherwise, get rid of it entirely.
I need to know how to plug all the tiers in, in sequence, so the whole tree lights. I have every other tier lit, but I think it's because of the connections being plugged in wrong.
It is a 7.5 foot Jersey pine by GE.
By Brad S.
By Sue Charlton M.09/17/2013
You may want to make sure all the fuses in the plugs are good. I change mine every year to be sure I have all new fuses.
I have a pre-lit Christmas tree with LED lights. One small section of the lights will light up but then go off for a few minutes. They will then come back on for a short period of time and go off again. Any clues as to what is causing this and how it can be fixed?
By Lee from NC
By Jan Yofee 12/05/2010
When lights get too hot that trips the fuse until it cools off again. That's all I know about it. I'd contact the manufacturer if you can find them. If they are made in China, that's a good reason to buy American.
My pre-lit tree has one section of lights that goes on, then off for about 5 minutes, then back on for about 3 minutes. Any suggestions?
The clear lights on the top part of my pre-lit tree are dim. What can I do?
By Anthony from RI
I have the Trim-A-Tree9 with GE bulbs. Same problem described, except that I had three of the white-base bulbs appeared to be burned. I pulled one apart and confirmed the bulb was dead with a multimeter. I went to Ace Hardware to find a replacement. Problem is there was no data on the bulb, so I used a regular replacement bulb without a base and something interesting happened. The lights came on, but that new bulb blew out immediately.
I found two more white-base bulbs that appeared burned and did the same procedure. Same results. But, the rest of the tree lights up. I am worried that those white-base bulbs may be surge protection, but what a crappy design. The fuses in the plug are supposed to provide that protection. If this tree fails again, I'll replace it with a regular tree and then buy LED lights. Note to GE: Is this really the best you can do?
We have a pre-lit Christmas tree that has worked for years beautifully, but this year the whole tree has been going out on us. The first time it happened we figured it was the main 5 amp fuse. We bought another and we were right, it lit again beautifully, but only for 1 day.
We again put in a new fuse and have found that the tree will light for a few hours and then everything goes off. As soon as I change the main fuse it goes on again. Obviously we must have some sort of short somewhere but how do I find it?
By Sara from NJ
By Gail McNamara Romano 01/09/2010
We had the same problem with our prelit Christmas tree. I spent hours trying to find the problem. Finally my Irish temper got the better of me and I removed the light sets (time consuming). I bought individual light sets and just placed them on the tree. The newer sets have a v in the wire that just sit on the branches. I put the tree away with the light sets still on them and they were fine the next year!
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I bought a pre-lit Christmas tree from Elder Beerman's after-Christmas sale. The tree was a display tree, and for some reason when it was taken down all the light sets were unplugged. It has been a total nightmare in getting the lights to work. The tree was put in a different box with the wrong instructions. I have no idea how to even plug the lights up without the schematic diagram.
This is the only site that has mentioned the white bulb base. We removed them and did not replace that socket with anything and the light is still light. My problem is the correct way to connect the sets of lights. I hope I have given enough info. I have had my tree up since Thanksgiving and still not decorated, because of the light thing. Please, any help will be useful. The plug ends do have a letter and number Ex: D35. Thanks in advance.
Tammy from Charleston, IL
By A guest
A better approach could be to cut out the safety fuse lamp and replace it with a splice-in fuse holder for AG type fuses. A small amp fuse, 1 - 5 amps, rated for use on a 120VAC circuit (assuming USA here) should work fine. Just so there is something in there to open the circuit in case of a fault. That's better than having the wires heat up and catch on fire. (01/14/2009)
If the tree lights are completely dead, I wouldn't bother cutting the old lights out, I would just string other lights on the tree and proceed with the decorating. I usually add some LED lights to my tree anyway. (06/13/2009)
When I plug in my pre-lit Christmas tree it only lights up one half of each section. What is wrong?
By Michelle from Riverside, CA
If you can't get the white bulb bases out, you could just cut the socket out of the circuit and splice the wires together. The only result will be slightly brighter lights since you've removed a little resistance from the series circuit (12/09/2007)
By Dish (12/11/2009)