Christmas tree lights bring a magical touch to holiday celebrations. A tree without sparkle and shine seems bare, don’t you think? Do you prefer the steady glow of lights or an animated display? Either way, a pre-lit Christmas tree is your best bet. Before you jump into buying and setting one up, read this guide on the different types of Christmas tree lights.

What are the Different Christmas Tree Light Bulb Types?

Here’s the lowdown on LED versus incandescent Christmas lights, and the pros and cons of each.

Traditional Incandescent Christmas Tree Lights

Picture of incandescent bulb with a pink background

Incandescent Christmas tree lights have a warm glow. To produce light, the wire filament in the bulb heats up to a certain temperature. This filament is encased in a translucent glass with a vacuum or inert gas to protect it.

However, they’ve lost popularity in recent years. Due to inefficiency, the Department of Energy banned 40- and 60-watt types. Improvements are being made but here’s food for thought: DOE sees that by 2035, 84% of light installations will use LEDs.

Below is a table detailing the pros and cons of incandescent lights.

Emit a soft, warm glowShorter lifespan compared to other light types: approximately 1,200 hours
Cheaper initial costsHigher long-term costs as they’re less energy-efficient than LEDs
Heat up easily
Some types are banned in states like Washington, California, and Nevada

LED Christmas Tree Lights

Picture of LED lights on a white Christmas tree
Treetopia’s Mont Blanc Christmas Tree with LED lights

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are durable and energy-efficient. Unlike incandescent ones, they don’t have filaments, so they produce less heat. Moreover, LED lights are encased in sturdier lenses as opposed to fragile glass. This makes them a safer choice that’s less prone to damage. They also produce a specific hue, which eliminates the need for colored glass as a cover.

Here’s the quick breakdown of LED light’s pros and cons:

Use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lightsSometimes appear bluish
Long lifespan of approximately 50,000 to 100,000 hoursCost higher initially than incandescent lights
Fewer lights needed per tree as they glow brighter than incandescent ones
Bulbs can change colors

What types of LED Christmas light do you want for your tree?

LEDs are some of the best Christmas lights because they offer a variety of settings. They can be clear or multicolored and steady or animated. Below, we list the latest LED lighting technology on Treetopia’s pre-lit Christmas trees. Choose one that fits your needs:

Clear Lights

Treetopia's Balsam Spruce
Balsam Spruce Christmas Tree

Similar to incandescent lights, their candle-like glow never goes out of style. For a classic display, use a green Christmas tree pre-lit with clear LED lights. Combined with natural-looking foliage, it makes for an elegant and traditional holiday display.

Picture of purple Christmas tree
Treetopia Essentials – Purple Groove Tree

Another option is a colorful tree with warm white LED lights, like this purple tree. They balance out the unconventional hue of your centerpiece.

Color-matched Lights

Red Christmas tree with red lights
Lipstick Red Christmas Tree

For a unique look, go monochromatic with lights in the same color as your tree’s foliage. This red tree, for example, comes with crimson foliage and matching lights for a striking display.

Color-changing Lights

Warm White and Multi-LED lights on a green tree
Portland Pine Christmas Tree

Get the best of both worlds with lights that switch from warm white to multicolored. Some of Treetopia’s green Christmas trees let you create a traditional or colorful display at the touch of a button.

Color Blast Lights

Picture of a White Christmas Tree with Color Blast lights
Winter White Tree with Color Blast Lights

Enjoy a spectacular Christmas light show with Treetopia’s Color Blast technology. Have fun creating custom settings via the remote control. Adjust the brightness and flicker speed or switch from Warm White and Multicolor Steady Glow. Pick from 10 preset motion effects for twinkling Christmas tree light options.

To learn more about LED pre-lit Christmas trees and Color Blast technology, read this guide:

More Guides on Christmas Tree Lights

Do you have more questions concerning the LED Christmas lights on your artificial tree? We compiled a few more resources below to help you out.

How many lights should be on a pre-lit tree?

Picture of a pre-lit white Christmas tree
Pre-lit Mont Blanc Christmas tree by Eve by Designs

The number of lights you need depends on the height of your Christmas tree. Treetopia’s pre-lit Christmas trees already have the recommended number of bulbs according to the manufacturer’s standards. They’re professionally hand-strung, too, so the set-up will be quick and easy.

For unlit Christmas trees, a rule of thumb is to string about 100 to 150 lights per foot of your tree. Use our Lights Calculator to help you get the right number.

Christmas Tree Lights Calculator
Click to calculate the number of bulbs you need.

How do I know which bulb to replace on Christmas tree lights?

When one bulb does not light up while the rest do, it’s most likely defective and may need replacement. However, first check if the bulb is properly connected to its socket and not loose.

Read our comprehensive guide below for tips on replacing Christmas tree light bulbs:

Whether it’s for the holidays or other occasions, tree lighting plays an important role in your décor. Share this post if it helped you learn about the different types Christmas of tree lights.

Have a sparkly and shiny holiday season!


  1. Melody Purcell Higgins Reply

    Was wondering where to get replacement bulbs for your prelit trees?

  2. David Trobaugh Reply

    Can I get replacement bulbs or a whole strand of lights my tree is only two years old and have a whole strand out and lights out everywhere. Paid good money for this tree and only get two years

    • Treetopia Reply

      We’re sorry to hear you’re experiencing issues with the lights on your tree, David. Could you send us an email with your Order ID or the email address you used to make your purchase at so we can look into it? You can also reach us at 877-768-7338, Monday through Friday 6:00 am – 6:00 pm PST.

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