Pre-lit Christmas Tree Lights Not Working

You plug the tree in but not all the lights are shining. This guide is about pre-lit Christmas tree lights not working.

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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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    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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    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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    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...

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    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?

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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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      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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        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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        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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        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?

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        I have a pre-lit tree that is about 3 or 4 years old. I put it together and plugged it in. None of the lights work? How do I fix it?

        By Liz

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        I'm still searching for a solution to the same problem you are facing. From what I found so far, there can be 3 causes for this issue:

        1. Plugs in each section of the tree are not connected in the correct sequence.

        2. Each plug in the tree has a small fuse compartment which you may have never noticed before. If fuse is black or looks burned, it needs to be replaced.

        3. It could be a bad light bulb in a section of the tree. One bad light bulb can cause a whole section to not light up. To detect the bad bulb, you need something like Lightkeeper Pro which also comes with spare light bulbs. Sold on Amazon, Target or Home Depot.

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        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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        I, too, purchased a LightKeeper Pro, but it doesn't take care of burnt out bulbs! And does anyone know why an entire string burns out? I have a pre-lit tree with multiple strings where all of the bulbs look burnt out. I did not plug in anything extra that would draw current. Does anyone have a solution other than stringing new lights?! Please help!

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        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.

        By Laury

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        10 Pack 2.5v Slotted Base Clear Replacement Christmas Light Bulbs.....key word is "slotted". You can buy from Amazon.

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        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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        I would be interesting in finding out if anyone actually gets the lights lit on their pre lit trees when theyhave problems like yours. Please post the solution if you find one. From reading this forum, though, I think 10 years for a pre-lit tree is pretty good!

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        Christmas tree light manufacturers claim that if one light goes out the rest stay lit, this is not true. I have at least 20 sets with this claim that don't work including 2 prelit trees, why?

        By scw

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        Buy the "Light Keeper Pro!" I thought it first it was a gimmick, but it works fantastically. It's like a little gun and you shoot it into the socket of light strand - it actually clears the current. It is a must especially with these pre-lit Christmas trees. We found ours at English gardens. But check online just Google and you'll be able to find other retailers that sell it ... sometimes drugstores have it too I would not have pre-lit trees or Christmas lights without it. My husband thought it was a joke, until it cleared out areas of lights not working on our pre-lit tree.

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        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.

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        While it is common to hear the term 'short' in the wiring, it is often used incorrectly by laymen and when they mean exactly the opposite of a short; a short would be a connection in a place it is not intended, and would probably blow out fuses, circuit breakers before it causes a fire. While it may help pass over the problem quickly with afternoon tea and biscuits, in a technical or troubleshooting discussion, it should not be used incorrectly. In this instance, nothing said indicates a short. Rather, it sounds like an opening in the wiring or a poor connection at a junction. Wiggling the wires should help you find the area with the poor or open connection.

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        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

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        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.

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        I have a 3 year old pre-lit Christmas tree and about half of the lights are completely out. When I took it back to the store, I was told that you must replace any defective bulb, otherwise, more power will be sent to all the other bulbs on the string and they, too, will burn out.

        The store is saying that this caused a short in the wiring, and it cannot be fixed. I don't find this explanation credible. Does anyone have any insight on this?

        By Tom

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        Here is my insight: You are most probably hitting a wall on this one. Most of these billions of electric trees are mass produced somewhere in China or thereabouts, with the lowest cost workers and materials, etc. You can be sure that no one here really knows (or cares about) anything about a particular tree's wiring, etc., as even the trees in one store may be from many different producers somewhere.

        However, if you bought an expensive tree from an expensive source, you may have some say in a disagreement.

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        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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        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.

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        I just got a pre-lit artificial tree that was a display from Walmart. (Winchester Spruce) There was no box or instructions. When I plug the tree in, the lights are extremely dim. Is there a dimmer switch I'm not finding or is something else causing this?

        By Melissa B.

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        There are many manufacturers of holiday trees and who knows how many design differences. You can have an electrician check the tree and provide an estimate to fix it. However, this may be more than your tree is worth.

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        I have a 10 ft. 700 clear, 500 multi light pre-lit tree. It has 4 sections that connect with 4 prong connectors and screw tight. It has a function box before the cord that allowed it to turn on, on with clear lights (steady), on with colored lights (steady), all lights on steady, or on with all lights strobe. I think that the box is defective. It is permanently attached. The company is no longer in business. I have replaced the fuse in the plug, even though it was still good. The box does not work at all. Sometimes, if I plug it in the clear lights go on. I have had it on for a week, afraid to unplug it. Can I have an electrician cut the box off and reconnect the cord? Or would that completely ruin the tree?


        By Sandy A.

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        An electrician can check the tree's electric set up and provide a recommendation for repair. You then must decide if it is cheaper to have the electrician fix the problem or buy a new tree.

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        I have a pre-lit white Christmas tree. One row went out. I bought a 50 green wire strand ($2.28), changed all the bulbs and fuses, still nothing. I transferred all the bulbs back to the new green wire strand to put that where the lights were out. Since I have a white tree the green wire really stands out.

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