Written by Terry Smith
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Best outdoor artificial Christmas trees UK: trees with lights (pre lit) reviewed
Christmas is just around the corner, and that means presents, lots of food and drink, decorations (don’t forget your outdoor Christmas decorations too), and of course: Christmas trees.
Back in the day, it was enough to have a single Christmas tree, a few lights and ornaments, and a bit of tinsel thrown about. But over the years, just like with Halloween, Christmas decorations have become even more commercial and extreme, with a lot of people dressing up the outside of their homes as much as the inside.
I suppose it does make sense when you think about it. After all, Christmas is the time of the year when you get the most people visiting you, so why not make your home feel as welcoming and ‘Christmassy’ as you can.
One way to do this is to have an outdoor Christmas tree next to your front door or elsewhere, and the best kind of tree for this purpose is an outdoor artificial Christmas tree. Artificial trees are much more durable than the real thing, and it is now easy to get your hands on an artificial Christmas tree that is pre-lit. Be sure to pickup a waterproof extension cable reel too! You don’t want water getting into your electrics.
Pre-lit Christmas trees, whether they have LED lights pre-attached or are fibre optic models, save you a lot of time and effort dressing the tree and can really bring a feeling of festive fun into your garden and home.
My top picks for outdoor artificial Christmas trees in the UK:
- HMASYO Pop Up Christmas Tinsel Tree with Lights – top budget pick – best outdoor artificial Christmas tree in the UK
- National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Tree for Entrances
- NETTA 6FT Birch Twig Tree With 160 Warm White LED Lights
- National Tree Company Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Hanging Basket
- National Tree Company Feel Real lit Artificial Christmas Tree
What are the best outdoor artificial Christmas tree with lights?
I’m sure you’ve all seen, and probably owned an artificial Christmas tree at some point in your lives. I remember one year my mum decided she wanted a ‘proper’ Christmas tree and then spent the whole festive season telling me off for knocking the needles off onto the floor every time I brushed past it. We got an artificial tree again the year after.
Artificial trees can be used again and again, are easy to set up and then put away for storage afterwards, and there is much less mess than with a real tree. Pre-lit trees are even less hassle as they already have the lights built into the branches of the tree.
Some outdoor artificial Christmas trees have lights that stay on the whole time the tree is plugged in, others have ones that flash, and some, like fibre-optic pre-lit Christmas trees, can change colour all the time, giving you quite the light show.
There are both battery powered and mains connected Christmas trees with fitted lights, and all kinds of different sizes, colours, and designs to choose from. My missus loves the things, and we have a large one in front of the door, and a couple of battery powered, smaller ones she has placed on windowsills around the house.
The prices of the trees will vary and will be affected by things like size, build quality, brand name, and features; but it is not hard to find yourself a bargain with these products, just don’t expect the really cheap ones to last that long.
Example of using an outdoor pre-lit Christmas tree
When we first decided to place an outdoor, artificial Christmas tree with lights outside our front door, I figured it was the bigger, the better, and so I hunted down a 7ft tall one that had blue lights on the branches.
It wasn’t hard to put together, pretty much the same as any other fake tree. I just clicked the sections together, ran the power cable through the letterbox (I Know, not ideal, but the house we lived in at that time provided no other way to do it.), and switched her on. The tree worked really well and the missus was very happy.
By the following year, we had moved out of the city and into a small cottage with a little porchway, and that 7ft Christmas tree was never going to fit in there. Even when placed by the side of the porch, it still looked out of place so I bought a smaller and thinner one, this time with white LEDs. This tree was a pain in the backside.
While my old, larger tree had been problem free, this smaller one had a terrible base that made it unstable, and the lack of weight meant that it was always getting blown over until I weighed it down. After a week, I admitted defeat and bought yet another model, except this time it was a pre-lit Xmas tree in a pot, and despite having to string up the supplied lights myself, all was well again.
Since then, we’ve tried out outdoor Christmas trees that are battery powered and even solar powered Christmas trees, and they have their pros and cons like anything else. Yes, it’s nice not to have the power cables to deal with and all the potential dangers involved with them, but you have to remember to keep some spare batteries ready for the cordless trees, and solar panels can have their own issues in the dark, British, winter too.
Best outdoor artificial Christmas trees with lights reviewed
Choosing the right pre-lit Christmas tree for your garden is not an easy task. We all know not to trust advertisers, but when that’s all you’ve got to go on, what do you do?
It’s for this reason that we have tried out the most popular outdoor Christmas trees with lights for you, and below you will find our honest feedback on them; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
1. HMASYO Pop Up Christmas Tinsel Tree with Lights
Not everyone wants to spend a fortune on an outdoor artificial Christmas tree. In fact, I would hazard a guess that most people just want something low-cost and easy to set up to put in their garden or porch way, and that’s what you get with this product from Hmasyo. Al things factored, this is the best outdoor artificial Christmas tree
Standing over 5ft tall when assembled and on its stand, this tree is great size to have next your front door, welcoming guests with a bit of Christmas cheer. It has quite a slim profile too, so it won’t be getting in the way or blocking the entrance.
The tree is made up of mainly silver tinsel material but there are multi-coloured pieces scattered around, and these catch and reflect light really well, making it look like the whole tree is sparkling at times.
This is not a pre-lit product, but it does come with 5m worth of battery-operated LED lights that you have to spend 15 minutes wrapping around the tree. Please be aware that the batteries don’t come with the tree, so you’ll have to go out and buy 3 AA batteries.
Putting this Christmas tree up is absolute child’s play. All you need to do is slip the feet into the base, then connect the three central extension poles, and you’ve finished the first part. Next you take the main tree section, which is completely flat to begin with, and slide it over the top of the centre pole. Finally, you let the tinsel drop and it falls into place, hence the words ‘pop up’ in the name.
Now, obviously being a pop-up Christmas tree, and a low cost one at that, it isn’t the strongest thing in the world and if you’re going to use it outside, I seriously suggest you weigh the tree down to protect it from strong winds. However, it is better made than I expected for the low price, and it does look really good, with or without the lights on it.
2. National Tree Company Artificial Christmas Tree for Entrances
The National Tree Company brand is one I know very well, and I have always been happy with their products. So, I had high hopes for this product, and it didn’t disappoint.
First of all, this tree looks fantastic and very realistic, with over 400 crush resistant branch tips, and 100 integrated white lights. There really is no need for any further decorations, if you ask me, but you can add some more if you like.
One feature That I liked about this particular product was that even if one of the light bulbs has a problem, the others will still continue to work. Anyone who has ever used Christmas lights before will know how annoying it can be to have all the lights go out because of one single bulb, so this really pleased me.
While it has been constructed with material that make it suitable for outdoor use, and therefore won’t be destroyed by rust and things like that easily, the makers of this tree suggest that it is only really suitable for the garden if it is in a covered area.
At 3ft 26 inches tall, and 25 inches wide at the bottom, it is the perfect size for an entrance way, or to have one or two of them out on a covered patio, decking, or similar area. The branches all pull apart nicely, and this gives the tree a healthy, full look.
The tree sits in a plastic pot, and this makes it very stable, but I have to say that this part of the product is the blandest looking. My wife agreed but she fixed the problem with some tinsel and a bit of creativity, and it was soon looking as good as the rest of the tree.
To say this is easy to assemble would be an understatement, but I expected it to be so from my previous experience with this brand’s products. All it takes to pull down the branches into place and then space them apart for the look you desire.
The only improvement I would like to see in the future, is for the wires for the lights to be inside the branches. As it stands, they are outside, but as they are coloured like the tree, they aren’t visible unless you really look hard. Apart from that, this tree is a definite winner.
3. NETTA 6FT Birch Twig Tree With 160 Warm White LED Lights
Netta’s Birch twig tree might not be an artificial Christmas tree, per say, but once you see it illuminated in your garden, there’s no denying that it brings definite Christmas vibes into your home.
The branches on this tree are both flexible, and strong, so you can manipulate them into the positions you like, and then hang some decorations on there to complete the Christmas look.
The branches have lights at their tips and also along them, there are no wires in sight, and as there are 8 lighting modes the effect of the 160 bright white lights is really beautiful to observe.
What’s more, this pre-lit Christmas tree comes with a light timer that you can set to start at any given time, and then the lights will stay illuminated for 8 hours before switching off for 16. If you want them on all the time, you just don’t set the timer, simple and easy.
Stability is really good on the Netta pre-lit tree, thanks to the wide, square base that is made of moulded PVC, and is coloured white like the rest of the tree to give it that ‘snowy’ effect. The base measures 22cm x 22cm, and handles the 2.3kg weight of the 6ft tree very well.
As with most of these artificial Christmas trees, there isn’t a lot of weight to the product overall, and so you would want to weigh the base down or find some way to anchor it if used in the garden.
This is one product that really is built to go outside and stay there. However, as it powered by the mains, you will need a waterproof extension cable if you position the tree more than 3 metres from the nearest outlet.
Costing just under 60 pounds at the time of writing, I think it is a fairly priced product. The build quality is good, it is actually fully weatherproof, and it really does look fantastic when fully lit up.
4. National Tree Company Pre-lit Artificial Christmas Hanging Basket
While an outdoor artificial Christmas tree with lights can transform a plain old garden into a festive feeling wonderland, it isn’t the only way to do it, and if you’re struggling for space, or you want something to accompany your other outdoor decorations, this product might be right up your alley.
As with most, if not all national Tree Company products, this hanging basket looks incredible. The combination of needled branches, red berries, and snow-tinged pine cones, really give you that Christmas vibe, and the rounded basket is a great contrast.
I have to say though, that when I first opened the box, the product didn’t look like the advertising photos as everything was laid down and flattened. However, after a while spent moving branches and fluffing things up, it was soon looking the part.
Contained within the 84 branches are 50 UL white LED lights, and when switched on, they only add to the already beautiful effect of this wonderful hanging basket. The lights are battery powered, so there are no cables and no need to connect to the mains supply, just pop in some batteries and hang the decorations up.
These lights are energy efficient and won’t be giving you a shock when the electricity bill come through the door, but you can make sure of that by using the timer to set the lights to operate for 6 hours on and 18 hours off if you like.
Solidly built of fire-resistant materials, I got the impression that you would definitely get more than one season’s use out of these pre-lit Christmas hanging baskets, which is a good thing, as it makes the 60+ pound price tag seem more palatable. Still, you get what you pay for I guess, and I would say this product is worth it.
5. National Tree Company Feel Real lit Artificial Christmas Tree
If you want to go all out this Christmas, and you have the space to house it, the Feel Real lit artificial Christmas tree is as good as they get. You will have to pay for that quality, but this tree is so far ahead of the pack that thousands of customers have already decided the price is worth it.
Standing seven and a half feet tall, this tree towers over you and it’s so fun to watch the look on little kids faces as they look up to the top in amazement. It’s wide too, particularly at the bottom which measures over a metre and a half.
This tree is called ‘Feel real’ for a reason, and it really does resemble a real tree. There are even lifelike looking pine cones peering out from within the thick foliage, and when I say thick, I mean it; this artificial Christmas tree has close to 1,400 branch tips! What’s more is that there are three different types of needles, each a different shade, and this just adds to the overall effect.
The National Tree company haven’t scrimped on the lights either, and there a total of 750 of them that come pre-attached to the branches and ready to shine. The lights are all white and this gives the Tree a really warm and welcoming feel.
As large and full as this tree looks when it is assembled, the actual process of setting up this Goliath isn’t difficult at all. The branches come pre-attached to the central pole and all you need to do is fold them down on their hinges, and fluff them out a bit. Admittedly, the fluffing and spreading of the branches did take over an hour as the tree is so big, but the results were more than worth it.
The quality of this artificial Christmas tree is top-notch and the makers know it. In fact, they offer a 5-year limited warranty on the tree, and 2 years on the lights. The branches and needles are all made from fire-resistant materials, and I’m sure you’ll get years of use out of this tree.
However, there is one big issue. I couldn’t find any information on whether or not this product is weather sealed and ok for outdoor use. Although, we can’t recommend it, we thought we’d take a chance and set it up, but under a friend’s carpool and with a weatherproof socket just to be safe, and we had no issues with it. Still, I think you’d be better off with it indoors, maybe in the conservatory would be nice?
Well, there you have it: some good options for garden Christmas decorations this upcoming festive season. Obviously, the whole Covid-19 situation has complicated supply lines across the world, and there aren’t as many products as we would have liked to have tried out, but rest assured that we will update this page as soon as things change.
Possible problems with outdoor artificial Christmas trees with lights
I don’t think I have to spell it out that electricity, plus outdoors, plus the UK winter weather, is not exactly the most ideal combination in the world, but well-built, modern, outdoor Christmas trees are safe for the purpose they are made for.
Where you have to be careful, is when you are bargain hunting and buying the really budget items. Some of these have had corners cut during their manufacturing process and have been subjected to very little, if any, quality control, making them a recipe for disaster.
You also need to check whether or not the particular tree you are interested in is weather sealed and built to be used outside. Some pre-lit Christmas trees are made for indoors only, while others can be used in the garden. It’s really important that you know what you are buying.
The last thing to be aware of, is the same for any artificial Christmas tree: they are usually flammable. So, no matter if the lights on the tree are integrated, or if you are putting on your own, you have to keep an eye on things. Usually though, with a good quality, pre-lit tree, the chance of the lights causing a fire are low due to them being tested at the factory.