treetopia christmas light 101

Whether bright and festive or warm and inviting, lights can set the tone for your décor and give your Christmas tree a brilliant finishing touch. However, with all the jargon and acronyms associated with modern holiday lighting, how do you know which pre-lit tree or wreath to add to your cart? Get to know the different types of Christmas lights with this lighting guide from Treetopia.

Traditional Lights

Traditional incandescent lights have been around since we made the switch from candles to electric lighting on our Christmas trees. Its technology has evolved since, but incandescent lights still retain the warm, familiar glow that makes it a favorite among decorators and homeowners alike.

These lights are also significantly cheaper than modern LED lights of the same quality but will cost more to run. Incandescent lights use a heated wire filament to produce light, making the bulbs hot to the touch even after a short period of time. Less than 10% of the energy used in the filament produces light, making incandescent bulbs less efficient than other types of Christmas lights.

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to have about 100 traditional lights per foot of a traditional tree. For example, the 7.5-foot Tuxedo Black Christmas tree has 800 clear lights. Smaller trees or pencil trees have less horizontal real estate, so less than 100 lights per foot will work fine.

What are the different types of traditional Christmas lights?


Clear-lit trees bring something familiar to green and colorful Christmas trees, and people love the warm, comforting glow that traditional lights give to their tree.


Multicolor lights usually consist of alternating red, green, and blue bulbs. In some pre-lit Christmas trees, you can easily find other colors like orange, yellow, green, and purple in the mix. With their varied colors, these lights easily create a festive atmosphere.


Colorful pre-lit Christmas trees
Pretty in Pink and Black Tiger Christmas Tree

Colorfully-lit Treetopia trees have colored lights that match or complement the tree’s foliage. For example, the Pretty in Pink Christmas tree has matching pink foliage and pink lights for a uniform look. On the other hand, the Black Tiger Christmas tree has glossy black needles paired with orange lights to drive home the theme.

LED Lights

Trees with LED lights have gained popularity in recent years because of their energy-efficiency and durability. LED lights do not have filaments, so they produce less heat and typically last longer than traditional types of Christmas lights—about 50 times more than a typical incandescent bulb. LEDS are generally made with sturdier lenses as opposed to fragile glass and their lack of filaments make them sturdier, safer, and less prone to damage.

The typical LED bulb emits a cool, bright white light and can sometimes appear bluish—unlike the warm glow of an incandescent light. Unlike incandescent lights, LED bulbs can also produce a specific color, eliminating the need for colored glass.

LED lights use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and while LED-lit Christmas trees may cost more initially, they will be more cost-effective in the long run. Similarly, the brighter glow of LEDs means fewer lights are needed per foot of the tree, which adds to its cost-efficiency.

What are the different types of LED Christmas lights?

Clear LEDs

Clear LED lights glow much brighter than traditional lights, so they make your holiday decorations more vibrant. The cool white lights also make colorful foliage pop even more.

Multicolor LEDs

Multicolor LED lights have the same festiveness of traditional multicolor lights, only in a more vivid and energy-saving package.

Color-Changing LEDs

Color Changing LED Christmas trees give you the best of both worlds. This technology lets you switch from Clear LEDs to Multicolor LEDs, so you can easily create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

Christmas lights can help you achieve the perfect look and feel for your home this season, and we hope this guide helped you with all the technical details. Which type of holiday lighting fits your decorating plans best? Tell us in the comments section below! Still undecided? Take a look at Treetopia’s extensive line of pre-lit colorful Christmas trees or pre-lit green artificial trees to see a variety of options!


  1. Melody Purcell Higgins Reply

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

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