Perhaps you’re tired of how your Christmas tree ends up looking after decorating it for hours on end. Maybe you run out of lights by the time you get to the bottom, or can’t seem to hide the cords well enough. Regardless of what brought you here, Tree Classics is ready to help. Today, we’re going to show you tips and tricks on how to put lights on a Christmas tree.
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. If you’re interested in learning how to make your Christmas tree shine with lights, this article is for you. 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
First, keep in mind that decorating a tree can be a fun family activity, just like making the cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.
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 light 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 have two choices when it comes to lighting 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 with lights, 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. There is perfection in the imperfection of the decoration: it’s what makes the Christmas tree more personal and homey.
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.
Click here to read the full video transcript
Jennifer Lutz: Hi, guys. I’m Jen, with Tree Classics. It’s great to be with you today. Today, I’m hoping to answer the usual question of what is the best way to put lights on a Christmas tree.
Step one in putting lights on a Christmas tree, you want to make sure you have all of your supplies first. The things you’re going to need—you’re going to want the power strip, because there’s lots of lights involved, and you really should only be stringing three lights together at a time.
The next thing you will want is an extension cord. An extension cord—we’ll talk about this later—but you’re going to feed the extension cord down the middle of your tree.
The next thing you’re going to want is lights. We’ll talk in the next step about how many lights you’re going to want per foot. Another thing you’re going to want on hand is a pair of scissors, because I think it looks much better if you cut these unsightly little light tags off of the lights before you put them on the tree. That’s all you need to begin with. Really quickly, power strip, extension cord, lights, and a pair of scissors.
Now that you have all of your items in one place and you’re ready to string lights on the tree, the first thing you want to do is actually test your lights to make sure that they light up. The last thing you want to happen is to get lights on a tree, and then realize you have a strand that’s out.
I’m just going to test this over here. The other thing is, I mentioned this earlier, you don’t want more than three strands to be put together, but you also want to make sure that all three, when they’re plugged in, that all three strands work when they’re plugged in together. We know that these three strands actually work. We’re good to go on that end. I’ll plug these really quickly.
The other thing that I then do is that you want to feed the extension cord, which if you look up here, I already did that for you. I start with the female end of the extension cord so that if you have your tree top, or if you need to plug that in, you can do that at the top. Then you feed it down at the middle of the tree, and here it is plugged in over here.
All right. The other thing you want to know, we’re going back to the lights, is at the very least, you want to have 100 lights per foot. If you really love a very well-lit tree with lots of light and lots of sparkle, you’re going to want up to 300 lights per foot. What I have here is a seven-and-a-half-foot unlit Kennedy Fir from Tree Classics. For this tree, at a minimum, I’m going to have 700 to 800 lights. My preferred method of putting lights on is to actually—I like to start at the top, then I weave going back and forth. I weave the lights in from back to front, really working the lights on to each branch.
You see me working these into the back. You really want to get back into the tree to really light that tree, and I’m working my way forward on each tip, but then you can actually wire each branch or each tip of the light. Because I like a really well-lit tree. Then I’m going to move to the back, work these lights in right here. Wrap it on this branch. Again, weave the lights under the branch. That’s what I like to do.
Another important thing when you’re decorating, I did along the way, is you step back every foot or two, and you look and you see if you’ve got all the lights and all the tips lit the way you want, and then you rework section by section.
I also just encourage you—you get better the more you do it. Honestly, lighting trees is something that could really stress me out, but the more I’ve done it, the better I get at it. Be encouraged.
Again, I’m Jen with Tree Classics. It’s great being with you today. Check us out on our treeclassics.com YouTube channel to get more tips about lighting trees, decorating, and such.