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BUYER'S GUIDE

How to Determine the Quality of an Artificial Prelit Christmas tree?

Many consumers inaccurately assume that the number of lights and the number of tips on an artificial Pre Lit Christmas Tree are accurate methods of judging the quality Artificial Pre Lit Christmas Trees. This assumption may not be true.

It is far more important to have quality Christmas lights than to have high quantities of lights.

It is far more important to have quality tree branches than to have high quantities of branch tips.

After reviewing the information below, you will be able to ask the questions to assist you in determining artificial Pre Lit Christmas Tree quality.

Christmas Tree For Me, LLC guarantees that your Christmas tree will meet or exceed the quality guidelines defined below.

Tree WarrantyDescription
LightsWarranties for mini lights should be 3 years or 3,000 hours
General ConstructionThe warranty for general construction of an artificial Christmas tree should be for 10 years.
Tree LightsDescription
BrightnessQuality light bulbs have a milliamp (mA) rating between 170 and 200mA. The higher the mA rating, the brighter the lights shine. Big box retailers sell trees with 100-120mA lights to reduce price point. The 100-120mA lights can burn out quickly.
Ratio of lights to heightA full Christmas tree with 80-100 quality lights per foot is high quality. For example, a 7. 5 foot high tree should have between 600 and 750 quality lights. A trim or medium tree may have less. Do not place significant importance on the quantity of lights until you understand the quality of the lights.
Twist Proof socketsTwist-proof sockets prevent the bulb from rotating in the socket and thereby shutting the entire light string off. The two bulbs to the right are BOTH twist-proof sockets. Point being that you cannot tell if the sockets are twist proof by looking at them. Twist Proof sockets
How are light strings attached to the branch?The lights on pre lit Christmas trees must stay in place for many years. In general, there are two ways to attach the lights to the branches. One is to wrap the lights around the branch. The other is to use clips similar to those in the image to the left. Either method works well.using a clip
Burn out protectionThe ability for a single bulb to burn out and the remaining bulbs stay lit is a huge convenience. This ability demonstrates superior quality of the filament in the bulb.
Light spacingThe greater distance between the lights on a mini light string, the higher the quality of the light string. A high quality, pre-lighted artificial Christmas tree uses light strings with 8-10 inches between the lights on the string. The spacing between the lights allows the light string to be properly attached to the tree AND provide thorough light distribution. Low-end pre lit trees use light strings with 4-5 inch spacing.
Always LitAlways-lit light strings contain a micro-chip in the socket. If the bulb is removed or broken, the remaining lights stay lit because of the micro-chip. This type of light is significantly more expensive that standard lights.
PVC NeedleDescription
PVCPVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. The majority of artificial Christmas trees have needles constructed from PVC. Sheets of PVC are called “plies”.
PlyThe process starts with sheets of PVC. Quality Christmas tree needles are constructed by gluing two or three plies of PVC together. Two or more ply increase the strength and rigidity of the needle.
Crush-resistantIn storage, PVC needles must resist being crushed. The thickness of the PVC dictates if the PVC is permanently crushed or reshapes itself when taken out of the box. A quality tree has at least two plies of PVC which are at least 10-12 micron thick. Low-end trees use one ply of 10 microns and one ply of 7 microns.
Needle Length
High Quality Branch
High Quality Branch
Lower-end branch
Lower-end branch

The high quality branch on the left has long, lush needles to provide realism. The lower-end branch on the right has short, sparse needles. This is an example of a lower quality branch. Picture two 7. 5 foot trees with 1,419 branch tips sitting side by side. One tree has the high quality branch; the other has the lower-end branch. Which artificial Christmas tree would you want in your home?
Fade resistantHigh quality PVC is made to resist fading over time. Low end PVC changes color after a few years.
Frame retardant materialsThe recent advances in PVC manufacturing techniques allow the PVC to be flame retardant. The low-end PVC is not flame retardant.
Branch Description
Sculptured tips
High Quality Branch
High Quality Branch
Lower-end branch
Lower-end branch

The high quality branch on the left shows a rounded, sculpted branch tip which creates realism. The lower-end branch on the right had the end chopped off instead of sculpted. Which branch would you rather have on your tree?
Heavy gauge wireThe gauge of wire in the branch of an artificial Christmas tree provides the strength for the branch to hold heavy ornaments. Low end trees use lighter gauge wire.
Polyethylene Needle Description
PolyethylenePolyethylene branches/needles are created by molding plastic. These branches/needles are generally more expensive to make.
Mold MarksHigh quality polyethylene trees do not have rough edges. Low-end polyethylene trees have rough edges created during the molding of the branch. High Quality Polyethylene
High Quality Polyethylene
SegmentsThe higher quality realistic Christmas trees have fewer molded parts.
Branch AttachmentDescription
HingeA quality Christmas tree uses a hinge to attach the branches to the center pole. In the picture to the right, you can see how the wire in the branch is permanently “hinged” connected to the center pole by metal. Many low end trees use plastic hinges. Hinge
StickThere are still stick method artificial Christmas trees on the market. In this case, each branch is labeled and someone inserts each branch into the center pole to assemble the tree. This method of assembly is very time consuming and plagued with inconvenience. Christmas Tree For Me, LLC does not sell this type of tree.
StandDescription
MetalAs the height of an artificial Christmas tree increases, it is more important to have a sturdy metal stand to hold the tree. The stand should be made from quality steel and have welds or rivets holding the pieces together. Screws or plastic insert models should be avoided.
PlasticPlastic stands should not be used for trees taller than 2-3 foot in height.
Center PoleDescription
Single PoleExcept for natural trunk trees, the center pole should be made of high quality metal. Plastic center poles lend themselves to breaking.
Frame Tree Commercial Christmas trees generally use the frame method of construction. A quality frame tree uses layered cones held together with bolts to create a sound base. Each section should be color coded for easy assembly. Frame Tree