Originally Posted by Jeff Westover
Good luck finding a tree that is NOT pre--lit that you like. Why is it that so many of them are pre-lit? I'm one of those who puts a lot of traditional stuff on my tree...that means a mix of miniature and C-7s (with reflectors)...and that means NO pre-lit trees for me. Every pre-lit tree I have owned I have regretted. Especially the FLOCKED tree.
I've found an unlit one online on balsamhill.com as my fallback tree if I can't find just what I want locally. (They have a good selection of unlit trees, BTW---pricy, but many include the stand, a storage bag, and a pair of gloves to protect your hands while shaping the branches.) I'd rather find one locally, 'cause I'm finicky about Christmas trees, so I'd rather see it personally before I buy. The only tree I ever bought online (a pre-lit one) I sent back, because it used non-standard bulbs, so I couldn't replace burnouts. (Another strike against pre-lit trees, I guess!)
I guess most trees sold are pre-lit because folks are too busy to "roll their own" and want to save time. But I found from experience that you spend extra time in the long run hunting down burnouts, once enough bulbs quit to put out a string or two. One of my least favorite activities of the season.