With Thanksgiving in the bag, the week that follows is often dedicated to setting up the Christmas tree. While we have nothing against real trees or even traditional artificial ones, we went with a pre-lit version this year.
Why? Speed—after all, we’ve got a whole house worth of lights to hang up. After opening the box, we had the Twinkly spruce upright and blinking in about three minutes flat (without reading the directions). Like most pre-lit trees, the Twinkly comes in three sections that are wired, in this case with 600 multicolor LEDs. But each segment of the tree clicks together, completing the electrical connection all the way up the tree, so there’s no fussing with wires or plugging light strings together.
The tree has a nice shape and color, but looked even better after bending some of the 3,404 branch tips. That said, the magic is in the Twinkly app and those LED lights. Once you sync the tree to your phone or tablet, you can change the lights to any of about 35 included patterns—from top-down color changes that mimic falling snow, to scrolling flag patterns, to striped rainbow effects.
The app lets you tweak the colors and the effects or add your own custom designs. You can also schedule the tree to turn on and off (no separate timer!), and if you have other Twinkly LED light strings, the colors and patterns can be matched throughout the room.
Really, the only thing the tree is missing is the ability to control it away from the tree—you have to be within the tree’s WiFi network to use the app—and a plug near the top to power a tree topper.
[Twinkly 7.5 ft. Pre-Lit LED Swiss Mountain Spruce; $548; homedepot.com]
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!