How To Troubleshoot A Pre-Lit Christmas Tree

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Time to read 8 min

How To Troubleshoot A Pre-Lit Christmas Tree

Having problems with the lights on your Christmas tree? No matter if all of the lights are out or only a small portion, you may not need to purchase new ones. There are many simple techniques you can test out to hopefully fix your lights. It is important to start by locating the area of the problem, whether it be with the fuse or bulbs. You can use this to then identify what techniques will be most beneficial for the lights on your pre-lit Christmas tree.

Check if Light Strings Are Plugged Well

This is a simple yet very important step for your Christmas tree. If the light strands on your tree are not plugged in properly, they can become potential safety hazards and lead to an increased risk of fire and electric shock, as well as damage the lights themselves.

It is important to take action if you notice any exposed wires or problems with the cord.

In order to reduce these risks and fix any problems with the lights on your tree, you will want to check the outlet where the lights are plugged in and ensure that the plug is firmly placed in the socket and sits flat against the outlet without any gaps. If the cord for your lights is too short, consider purchasing an extension cord .

What To Do When Pre-Lit Tree Lights Go Out?

While it is unfortunate that the lights on your Christmas tree may not be working, there are many ways to troubleshoot. One simple way is to check that the tree is correctly plugged in, as mentioned above. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you will want to check for any loose or broken wires and damaged or loosened bulbs. 

If only one section of lights stops working, you will want to be extra thorough when examining that area.

Additionally, light testers can be helpful tools. They are very affordable and check the presence of electricity through various areas and equipment. After some time and careful examination, your pre-lit tree will once again be shining brightly throughout your house. 

Check the Bulbs on Each String

It is possible that one light on your pre-lit Christmas tree may cause the other bulbs in that same section to stop working. This may be because the shunt, which allows electricity to continuously flow, may have broken at one particular light. Another possibility is if your tree is made up of incandescent lights that are part of a series circuit in which all elements are arranged in one path. On these light strands, one faulty bulb can cause the rest of the strand to stop working as electricity won’t be able to flow through.

To fix these problems, you will want to go through all the lights on your tree, thoroughly examining each bulb. You should check that there is no visible damage to any of the bulbs and that all of them are firmly screwed in. 

Another way to ensure that your bulbs are working is to use a light tester to check that electricity is running through certain places. You can hold one of these up to each bulb to find where electricity is present and where it isn’t.

How Do You Replace Lights on a Pre-Lit Tree?

Replacing the lights on your pre-lit Christmas tree is a relatively effective way to fix the lights. After you’ve identified areas where bulbs are broken for any particular reason, you’ll want to focus on these areas to replace your bulbs. Follow the steps below:

  • Start by unplugging your tree
  • Remove decorations, including any Christmas ornaments , tinsel, tree toppers, and other decorations. You’ll want to ensure that these decorations are not broken while repairing your tree
  • For each of the lights that don’t work, you’ll want to unscrew the bulb by twisting counterclockwise
  • Using a new bulb of the same exact kind, you’ll want to twist it into the area where the faulty bulb previously was.

If your bulbs don’t screw in, you can use a tool that helps pull the bulb out of its socket. You will pull out the faulty bulb and replace it by placing a new identical one in the same socket. Make sure that you properly dispose of the removed bulbs.

Check Your Pre-Lit Christmas Tree’s Fuse

To check the fuse on your Christmas tree, begin by carefully unplugging the tree. The fuse is often located near the end of the string of lights where the lights would be plugged into an outlet or another strand of lights. Follow these steps to check:

  • Slide open the marked area where the fuses are located. You can use a flathead screwdriver, your nail, or any other item that is small, flat, and thin
  • Once you slide this compartment open, you should see two fuses. You can use a screwdriver to pop these out of the compartment
  • Inspect them for any possible damage or discoloration

How Do You Replace the Fuses on Pre-Lit Christmas Trees

To replace the fuses on your Christmas tree:

  • Unplug your lights
  • Open the compartment where the fuses are stored with a flathead screwdriver or even your nail
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the broken or damaged fuses
  • Place new fuses of the same kind into the area where the fuses previously were
  • Close the compartment and your lights should be working again
  • Dispose of the fuses that were replaced

Troubleshooting Pre-Lit Christmas Tree

A Light Strand Is Out

There are several factors that could cause the lights on your pre-lit Christmas tree to go out working. If you have had your tree for several years:

  • The lights may be worn out from use
  • There may be a blown fuse
  • Or possibly damage to the wiring

However, if your tree is new:

  • There may have been some issues during shipping that caused your tree to be damaged

Make sure that you are always protecting your tree and have a good storage plan . Listed below are some simple ways to troubleshoot and get the lights on your Christmas tree to work again.

Check the Light Strands

Visually inspect each bulb, looking for any damage or bulbs not firmly screwed in. You can also use a light tester to check for bulbs not functioning correctly.

Check the Master Bulb

The master bulb lies on the same strand where all the other lights are located. This bulb will be easier to identify as it is usually larger and located near the base of the tree. This light is crucial for the rest of the lights on your tree as it is similar in its actions to a fuse and helps prevent overheating.

If the master bulb appears to be burnt out, you will want to replace it.

You will unplug the lights and then unscrew the bulb. Then replace the bulb with a new one of the same kind and dispose of the previous one.

Check the Fuses

Locate the area where the fuses are located on the strand of lights. It should be near the end of the strand. Once you open the compartment, check for any damage or discoloration to the fuses and if there are any signs of these, you’ll want to replace them.

An Entire Section Is Out

There are several factors that may cause only one segment of the lights on your Christmas tree to stop working. Some common issues may be attributed to the way the light strands are wired. On some strands, if one bulb were to go out, electricity wouldn’t be able to reach the other bulbs and light them up. In addition, there may also be problems with the wires as some may have been damaged with overuse. You may also have too many lights on your tree .

See below for some quick ways you may be able to resolve your problem.

Replace Broken Bulbs

To replace broken bulbs:

  • Inspect your tree for areas where bulbs are having difficulty lighting up
  • Unplug the lights on your tree
  • Either unscrew the broken bulbs or pull out the bulb from its socket
  • Replace with the same kind of light
  • Properly dispose of any broken bulbs you removed

Replace the Master Bulb

Replace the Fuse

Troubleshooting Incandescent Prelit Christmas Trees

In an incandescent light bulb , electricity passes through a metal filament, which produces light once heated. Strands of incandescent bulbs on pre-lit Christmas trees allow the rest of the lights to continue working if one were to go out as electricity is still able to flow down the strand because of copper wires that sit at the base of each bulb.

If a large section or entire strand of lights were to stop working, this would signify a larger problem.

One possible problem may be associated with the copper wire that allows electricity to continuously flow. This wire may be moved or broken on one light, which would prevent other bulbs from being able to light up. 

You should look at the copper wires along the strand and ensure that they are in place and there are no exposed or broken wires. If the wire is moved in the wrong position, you may be able to move it back so the strand can light up.

However, you may need to replace the entire strand. If you aren’t able to simply move the copper wire, try some of the troubleshooting techniques mentioned above.

Troubleshooting LED Trees

LED lights are a popular option for pre-lit Christmas trees as they are energy-efficient and last for a long period of time. This helps to reduce prices and the frequency of the need for replacements.

Ways to fix your LED lights are more limited because of their construction.

Mini light testers don’t work with LED lights, so it may be more difficult to identify the problem. If you are having issues, try some of the options for troubleshooting above.

Troubleshooting the Lights on Your Christmas Tree is Easy and Effective

Overall, there are so many options for fixing the lights on your pre-lit Christmas tree. From checking the fuse to checking the master bulb, all of the processes mentioned above are relatively easy and require minimal effort.

The Christmas season is about spending time with loved ones, and a beautiful Christmas tree helps to enhance the lovely spirit of the season. Hopefully with these quick fixes, the lights on your tree are working once again and you can return to what is most important to you and your family.

If you are still having problems with your lights or have any additional questions, feel free to contact us .

About the Author

Jacklyn Walters

Jacklyn Walters is the Marketing Lead at Dekra-Lite. She specializes in content writing and spreading Christmas cheer. In her free time, Jacklyn can be found at the beach, writing poetry, or buying Christmas sweaters for her dog.

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