2016 Top Tip
Before installing lights at the outer edges of your Christmas tree, start instead by running 100-150 mini lights up the center of your tree. It takes less than 10 minutes and adds real depth and texture to your tree. You don’t have to wind the lights strings around the trunk, just let them hang gently through the branches.
Lighting the core is especially nice in natural trees.
1. Zip tie light duty extension cords to the central trunk of your tree so that a plug is located about every 3 feet on the trunk. Be sure to adjust this estimate for the height of your tree.
2. Hang those lights down the center.
3. Start at the Botton!
We don’t advocate starting at the top of the tree but we suggest you start decorating at the bottom of the tree.
We don’t advocate starting at the top of the tree but we suggest you start decorating at the bottom of the tree. Nothing is worse than a naked bottom. The lowest 18 inches of your tree will take the most lights and installing in that area first will ensure that your tree looks rich.
If your lights run thin at the top it may be just fine like that or you can add a few more ornaments and you’ll be fine until you can purchase a couple more strings of lights.
4. Plug in your lights as you install them
Plug your lights into your extension cord splitter and install them while lit so you can instantly see your gaps. Friends and family coaching you from the sidelines can make this part of decorating your tree lots of fun.
Snacks are also good at this time.
You’ll also verify the lights are working fine before you wind them into your tree’s branches.
5. Don’t blow a fuse – don’t plug in too many lights in series. Check your specs.
Know the maximum number of strings that you can run in series for the type of Christmas tree lights you’ve purchased and don’t exceed that number.
If your lights suddenly all go out, you might have exceeded this number and blown a fuse. Replace the fuse by sliding back the little door in the male plug.
6. Tuck. Bob. Weave.
Install the light strings in a up-down-sideways zig-zag fashion using a “bob and weave” technique as you work your way up and around the tree. Make use of smaller branches to position and hide the wires.
Simple spirals can be boring. Don’t forget.
Tuck. Bob. Weave.
What is that tree in the photo?
This is a slim 7.5-foot artificial tree. The total number of lights installed is 600 white/clear incandescent Christmas tree mini lights.
One-hundred lights are hung down the center of the tree and 500 lights on the perimeter wound into the tree about 3-4 inches all the way around the tree.
Consider using this tree as a guide and consult with our How Many Lights On My Tree Calculator as you finalize your tree lighting decisions.
We’re so excited to see what you are going to do with your tree this year that we’re kicking of the first annual……
Details: How Many Lights on Your Tree Giveaway!
Send us your Christmas tree photo today!!
I found your suggestions very reassuring and incredibly common-sense-useful! Loved this post and I’m definitely pinning it to share! Thanks for the great read and awesome tips!
My old tree that I am retiring this year has individual branches. I would string my lights on each layer of branches starting at the bottom inside and run them out to the branch tip and then back. I also “dangled” a string of lights right down the center of the tree. This tree was a huge 7.5 foot tall, 60 inches deep tree. I mixed clear and colored light strings and generally had around 3300 lights on the tree. This year, circumstances have dictated that I must have a slimmer tree, so I went with a 7 foot tree. We will see when I set it up what will need to be done lighting wise.
Sounds like you had a great tree! Send a photo of your new tree – I’d love to know how many lights you use since this year’s tree is a little thinner!