With the holidays coming up, we’re sure you’re excited to get the pre-lit artificial Christmas tree you ordered or pull your old reliable out of storage. We also know how big of a letdown it is to discover that the tree lights don’t work.
Don’t let this get you down just yet! The experts at Treetopia put together a guide on how to fix Christmas tree lights. It addresses common lighting issues and their basic fixes.
Try these first and if they don’t solve your problem, check the warranty coverage and file a claim, if applicable.
Disclaimer: Handle your pre-lit tree with care to prevent accidents. Note that some repairs void the warranty. When in doubt, call the manufacturer’s hotline for guidance on how to fix pre-lit Christmas tree lights.
1. Know the technical terms.
First things first, familiarize yourself with the terms related to troubleshooting pre-lit Christmas tree lights:
- Bulb – LED or incandescent encased in a glass or plastic cap to protect it from elements
- Socket – the exterior of the bulb seat
- Holder – the piece that holds the LED bulb
These are safety devices designed to interrupt the power to a circuit when the current flow exceeds safe levels. Instead of the light bulbs blowing up, the fuses go first.
There are 3, 5, and 7 amp fuses available. The plug will indicate which fuse to use.
This is the end part of an electrical appliance that connects it to a power supply. Plugs with insulated casing and metal pins (sometimes called male plugs or ends) fit into holes of power outlets. They also form the link with connector sockets (sometimes called female plugs or female sockets).
With lighted trees, simply connect the plugs into their respective electrical sockets. These are usually identified by a color-coded or numbered sticker. Refer to the lighting diagram supplied with the tree for proper instructions.
2. Identify your Christmas tree light type.
It’s important to know what light type you’re dealing with before attempting to troubleshoot the issue. There are two general types of Christmas tree lights: traditional incandescent and energy-saving LED. The latter comes with a higher price tag but lasts longer. Treetopia’s traditional green artificial trees and colorful ones come with clear and multicolor lights. Colorful trees also feature an option where lights match the foliage.
Other light types include LED Color Changing Options. They let you switch from clear to another hue or several colors at the touch of a button. Also, consider the Color Blast technology with pre-set and customizable light show settings.
Tip: Read more about Christmas tree lights in our Guide to Christmas Tree Light Bulb Types.
3. Troubleshoot to identify the issue and apply basic fixes.
Now that you know the basic terms, let’s move on to the actual issues. Keep in mind that that troubleshooting steps for Christmas tree lights differ, depending on the type of lighting and the extent of the problem.
Check if any of the common lighting issues below apply. Then, follow the basic steps for how to fix a Christmas tree with lights:
The Problem: All the Christmas tree lights aren’t working
In this case, the lights of the tree are not getting electricity. This is caused by different factors.
- First, ensure that the power cord is plugged into a working electrical outlet.
- Ensure that all power cords from the sections are properly plugged into the main section.
- Check the fuse in the main power cord. It’s located at the end (nearest the male plug) and can be accessed by sliding the cover towards the metal prongs.
- Replace the fuse with the spare one in the fuse box.
The Problem: Tree lights in one section aren’t working
- Inspect the tree to identify which sections have faulty lights. Typically, artificial Christmas trees have three sections: the top, middle, and bottom though taller trees may have more.
- Ensure that the bulbs are securely fastened into bases.
- Make sure there are no broken bulbs.
- Check that all wires are intact.
- Check all the fuses. The fuses are found in fuse boxes near the center pole or in the main power plug. Simply slide the cover open to inspect fuses. Burned-out fuses are blackened—they look similar to burned-out bulbs.
- Replace the burned-out fuse with one of the extra ones that come with the tree.
The Problem: Certain light strands aren’t working
- Identify the light strand that is not working.
- Check if the light strand is plugged into the outlet located in the tree trunk (usually at the bottom of the section).
- If it doesn’t light up, try plugging the strand directly into a functioning outlet.
- Check the light strand for damage.
- Make sure that the cord isn’t pinched by branches or their hinges.
- Check for cuts on the light strand.
Tip: Take care when dropping the fully-hinged branches of a Treetopia tree to avoid snagging the light strands.
- Check for loose or broken bulbs. While a burned-out bulb won’t cause an entire strand of lights to go out, a broken or loose one can.
- Loose bulbs should be re-seated into the socket by gently nudging them back into place.
- Remove and dispose of any broken bulbs. Put in a new bulb from the replacement parts kit.
- We highly recommend you replace a burned-out Christmas tree light bulb as soon as possible. A burned-out bulb can put electrical stress on the light string and cause others to burn out as well.
- If all the bulbs pass your inspection, check the fuse located inside the male plug.
- Unplug the affected light strand from all power sources. If plugged, the new bulbs will burn out very quickly after installing due to a current overload.
The Problem: An individual bulb isn’t working
- Check if the bulb is loose. Bulbs may not light up if they aren’t connected properly to the bulb socket. If the connection is loose, gently nudge the bulb back in place.
- Remove and dispose of the bulb if it’s broken or burned-out. Put a new bulb from the replacement parts kit in its place.
The Problem: A blown fuse indicated by a dark or cloudy case
- Locate the male end of the main plug (plugs into the trunk) and unplug the tree.
- Use a pen or a pointy object to slide open the lid.
- Check the fuses. There are two: one active (within the metal casing) and a spare.
- Replace the active fuse in the main plug.
The Problem: Replacement bulbs aren’t a perfect fit
Replacement bulbs usually come with pre-lit Christmas trees, depending on your manufacturer. Note that there are rare cases of bulbs not being a perfect fit for the light strand sockets. However, these can be used temporarily so long as you can still seat them. They are usually rated about the same, and shouldn’t cause any problems. When the replacement bulbs come, make sure to switch them soonest.
- Remove the bulbs from the original holder on the defective string.
- Remove the replacement bulbs from their holders.
- Insert good bulbs into the defective bulb’s holder.
4. Check your lighting warranty and determine if a replacement is needed.
Are you still encountering issues after following the basic troubleshooting steps? Reach out to your tree manufacturer’s customer service hotlines for further assistance on how to fix Christmas tree lights.
Disclaimer: Warranties, product coverage, and required documentation vary per manufacturer. The information provided here is according to Treetopia’s terms. Read up on the Warranty Information.
In some cases, a replacement strand, section, or full tree might be ideal. Here are some of the issues that may be covered by your lighting warranty:
1. Faded, dim, or uneven light color
Dim bulbs are manufacturing defects. First, determine the scope of the issue first by checking how many lights are affected. If there are just a few, replace them with the spare bulbs in the replacement kit. But, if it’s an entire strand, ask the manufacturer if you can get a strand replacement. If there are too many faulty strands, try and ask for a section replacement.
2. Bulbs stay lit when the tree lights are turned off
It’s common for LED bulbs to emit a faint glow more noticeable in the dark. This is caused by residual current in the wires even if the foot pedal or remote indicates it is on the “OFF” position. Unplug the tree from the socket and ask for a replacement of the affected strand, section, or tree.
3. Broken connectors
Connectors are unrepairable. We don’t suggest fixing them as it will void the warranty. Some plugs connect directly to the center trunk. Others have short wires from the trunk to female plugs. In some instances, strands are plugged into splitter cables. These are also labeled as female plugs.
To confirm if connectors are broken, check first if the unlit strand or section is fully plugged into other strands and extension cords. Writing on the plug indicates what fuse voltage to use. Once you’re done checking the plugs, test the unlit strand or section by plugging it directly into a wall outlet. If it lights up, then the connectors are the problem. If not, it might be a different issue.
How to Fix Christmas Tree Lights of Treetopia’s Innovative Trees
Treetopia offers pre-lit artificial trees with advanced lighting technologies. Check out how to troubleshoot Christmas tree lights for these:
Quick Set Trees
Quick Set trees light up with just one plug and feature connector plates instead of splitter cables. Here’s how to troubleshoot the lights of Quick Set Trees:
- Inspect each connector plate. During shipping or storage, improper handling can inadvertently damage section ends. Any cracks to the plates can result in serious injury if you plug in the tree. In short, never use Quick Set connectors that show visible damage.
- If there’s no connector piece damage, check the contact between the plates by gently rotating the sections.
- Identify which section has a faulty connection. You’ll need to indicate this faulty section when you’re filing a warranty claim.
- Remove the faulty tree section. Unplug it from the center pole and plug directly into the wall. If the section lights up when plugged into the wall, the issue likely lies in the connection of the section below it.
Here’s a specific example for Quick Set trees with three sections: Place Section 3 of the tree into Section 1. If Section 3 doesn’t light up, the Section 1 connection is faulty. If Section 3 lights up, then the connection of Section 2 is faulty.
Color Blast Artificial Christmas Trees
Color Blast artificial Christmas trees feature presets for an unforgettable light show. You can also customize settings using a remote control. To troubleshoot the lights, follow these steps:
- Determine if you have globes or traditional round bulbs.
- Check to make sure that the strands are plugged in.
- If the lighting issue persists, replacements are available under the following conditions:
• Color Blast Globe lights are not replaceable on a bulb level, only on a strand level.
• Color Blast non-globe lights are replaceable on a bulb and strand level.
Aside from the tree lights, it might be an issue with the Color Blast remote.
Follow these steps to troubleshoot:
- Is the light on the remote not illuminating? Replace the battery.
- If the light is still not illuminating, the remote can be replaced.
- Then, if the tree lights are still not working even if the light illuminates on the remote, it may be an issue with the receiver. Contact the tree manufacturer if that’s the case.
A rule of thumb is to consult your manufacturer if you have any doubts. If you own a Treetopia prelit artificial Christmas tree, email our Customer Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-SO-TREETOPIA (877-768-7338).
If this guide taught you how to fix pre-lit Christmas tree lights, share it with friends and family who need a hand. Got any troubleshooting tips you want to share? Leave a comment below.
Have a merry and bright Christmas!