Whether red, green, or white, Christmas lights can make almost any tree look absolutely stunning. Dressing a tree with quality lights is an art, and putting in a little extra effort to get it just right can make all the difference. Watch brand spokesperson Jen Lutz as she demonstrates how to put lights on a Christmas tree to create a holiday atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.
How to Put Lights on a Christmas Tree:
1. Gather your supplies
2. Test your light strands
3. Feed your extension cord down the tree
4. Decide how many lights to use
5. String lights on your tree
6. Take a step back and review
It doesn’t take a lot of equipment to light your tree. You just need lights, extension cords, a power strip, and a pair of scissors, then you’re ready to go. To make decorating easier, get yourself a 9-outlet Christmas tree cube tap extension cord. This lets you plug strands of lights along the trunk of your tree instead of the bottom, clearing up your floor.
If you have to buy new or replacement strands, make sure that their plugs and outlets are compatible with the strands you already have. Also, check that everything works with your extension cords. Try connecting strands of lights together to see if all of them are working properly.
Start with the female end of the extension cord near the top of the tree, so you can plug in your tree topper if needed. Then work it down the center pole until the bottom of your tree, where you can plug it into your power strip.
At the very least, you’ll want to have 100 lights per foot of tree—but for optimal coverage, go for about 300 lights per foot. Most Christmas light strands have around 100 lights on them, which means you’ll need 3 strands of lights for every foot of tree you’re trying to cover. For example, if you have a 6.5 foot tree, you’ll need around 1,950 lights. To easily calculate how many strands you need, check the packages of your lights.
When you have everything ready, it’s time to put lights on your tree. You can either decorate at the branch level or at the tree level. Here’s how to do both.
a) At the Branch Level
Some decorators weave and wrap lights around individual branches, working them up and down to get the best possible coverage. You can work systematically or decorate in a more random manner to create a natural look. You can also try using vertical waves, which move around your tree horizontally.
If your lights aren’t laying on a branch the way you want them to, use green floral wire to keep them in place. Bend the loose ends of the wire so they point towards the trunk of the tree, keeping them from scratching anyone.
b) At the Tree Level
If you prefer to decorate with lights at the tree level, there are three different ways to do it:
Bottom to top or Top to bottom
Wrap lights around the bottom of the tree and work your way up, or opt to do it from top to bottom. This is the easiest way to decorate, but you have to make sure you know how many lights you have left, so you don’t run out of strands before reaching the other end of your tree.
Layering the tree in thirds
Mentally divide your tree into 3 different sections and decorate one section after another. The shorter sections help make it easier to evenly distribute lights on your tree. People usually start at the bottom and work their way to the top, but you could go either direction.
Zigzagging in quadrants
Divide your tree into 4 to 6 sections, depending on its size. Place your extension cords near the trunk of the tree and attach your light strands. Then zigzag your light strands back and forth throughout the quadrant of branches. Repeat this with each quadrant to get a randomized and natural-looking pattern.
Whichever method you choose, make sure you place some of your lights at the back of the tree near the trunk and others near the branches. This makes your tree look fuller and creates more depth and visual interest.
As you put up your lights, step back once in a while to check how your tree looks. It’s easy to lose yourself in the tiny details of your tree, but remember that people will notice the whole tree, not its individual branches or sections.
No matter what your theme is, Tree Classics can help you capture the spirit of Christmas in your home. Visit our website to shop our collection of unlit and pre-lit artificial Christmas trees, along with holiday decorations and storage solutions.