how to put christmas lights on a large outdoor tree

How to Put Christmas Lights on a Large Outdoor Tree

The festive season is upon us, and what better way to spread joy and warmth than by transforming your outdoor space into a sparkling wonderland? Decorating a large outdoor tree with Christmas lights can turn your patio into a magical show for everyone to enjoy.

Are you ready to dazzle your outdoor tree with festive lights this Christmas season? Decorating a large outdoor tree with Christmas lights may seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning and the right technique, you can create a stunning display that will spread holiday cheer to everyone who passes by.

What You Need to Hang Christmas Lights on an Outdoor

When it comes to decorating a large outdoor tree with Christmas lights, planning is key. Here are some important steps to take before you begin:

Gather the Necessary Tools

Christmas LightsIlluminate the tree with festive colors.
Extension CordsProvide power to the lights from an outlet.
Timer/Remote ControlAutomate the lights’ on/off schedule.
Step LadderReach upper branches safely.
Fasteners/ClipsSecure lights to branches without damage.

Choose the Tree Size and Shape You’ll Hang Lights

First, take a look at the tree you’re decorating. Consider its height, width, and overall size. Knowing the dimensions of the tree will help you determine the amount and length of lights you will need.

Which LED lights are better for wrapping a Christmas tree?

Selecting the right type of Christmas lights is essential for a successful display. There are various options available, including traditional incandescent lights, energy-efficient LED lights, and specialty lights like icicles or net lights.

LED lights are a popular choice due to their longevity, durability, and energy efficiency. Additionally, consider the color of the lights – white lights offer a classic look, while multicolored lights can bring a playful and festive feel.

How to Hang Lights on a Christmas Tree

Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to start hanging the lights. Follow these steps for a smooth and successful decoration process:

Start at the bottom: Begin by plugging in the first string of lights and securing the male end to the bottom of the tree using a staple gun or outdoor-rated fasteners. Make sure to leave enough slack to access the nearest electrical outlet.

Wrap the trunk: If you choose to wrap the trunk, start at the bottom and work your way up in a spiral motion. Make sure the lights are evenly spaced and not wound too tightly around the tree.

Move on to the branches: Once the stem is wrapped, it’s time to move on to the branches. If you chose cascading lights or branch wrapping, attach the lights to branches using light clips or fasteners. Be careful not to put too much weight on the branches, as this can cause damage.

Step back and assess: Step back from time to time to check your progress and make necessary adjustments. This will ensure that the light is distributed evenly and creates a balanced look.

Add extra strings: Don’t worry if one string of lights isn’t long enough to cover the entire tree. Simply add extra strands by plugging the female end of one cord into the male end of the next cord. Be careful not to exceed the recommended wattage for extension cords.

SAFETY FIRST: As soon as you install lights, keep safety your top priority. Use strong ladders, avoid overextension, and be mindful of your surroundings. If you are unsure regarding electrical aspects, consult a professional.

You have to choose Quick Plan while hanging lights on the Christmas tree

Before you start hanging the lights, it’s important to have a lighting plan in mind. Consider the overall look you want to achieve and where you want the lights to be most prominent.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Wrap the trunk: Start by wrapping the tree trunk with lights from the bottom up. This will create a stunning visual effect and make the entire tree shine.

Cascading lights: To create a waterfall effect, start with a group of lights at the top of the tree and let them fall down in a gentle spiral. This technique works especially well with larger trees.

Branch Wrapping: If you prefer a more traditional look, wrap the lights around individual branches, working your way from the bottom to the top. This method will enhance the natural shape of the tree.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative with your lighting plan. The goal is to enhance the tree’s beauty and create a captivating display.

how to put christmas lights on a large outdoor tree

How Many Lights for Wrapping Trees?

To determine how many lights you’ll need to wrap a tree, start by measuring the circumference of the tree trunk and any branches you plan to decorate.

Decide on the spacing between each light bulb and how far apart you want to wrap the light strings. LED mini lights with a 6-inch bulb spacing are commonly used for wrapping trunks and branches.

Here’s a simple guide to calculate the total string length needed:

  1. Calculate for the trunk:
    • Divide the tree height by the desired spacing between wraps.
    • Multiply the result by the circumference of the trunk.
    • A 4-foot-high trunk with a 3-inch spacing: 4’H trunk / 3″ spacing = 16 x 2′ circumference = 32′ of lighting.
  2. Calculate for branches:
    • Measure the length and circumference of each branch you plan to wrap.
    • Use the same formula: divide the length by the spacing and multiply by the circumference.
    • A 3-foot-long branch with a 3-inch spacing: 3’L branch / 3″ spacing = 12 x 6″ circumference = 6′ of lighting per branch.
  3. Total lighted feet:
    • Add up the calculated lengths for the trunk and each branch to get the total length needed.
    • For the given examples, the total lighted feet would be approximately 56′ for the trunk and four branches.

Tips and Tricks for a Spectacular Display

Now that you have the basics of installing Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree, here are some additional tips and tricks to take your display to the next level:

Check the lights: Before calling it a day, ensure that all the lights are working correctly. Replace any burned-out bulbs or faulty strands to maintain the overall effect.

Create depth: Add depth and dimension to your tree by mixing different light colors or using lights with varying intensities. This will create a visually appealing and dynamic display.

Add ornaments or ribbons: Consider incorporating ornaments or ribbons into the tree to add an extra festive touch. Secure them to the branches with ornament hangers or floral wire.

Take advantage of a timer: Set the timer or use a remote control system to turn the lights on and off at the desired times. This will not only save energy but also extend the lifespan of the bulbs.

Enjoy the magic: Once the lights are up and everything is in place, don’t forget to take a moment to step back and enjoy the magical ambiance you’ve created. Bask in the glow of your beautifully illuminated outdoor tree!


Decorating a large outdoor tree with Christmas lights can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. By following the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating some tips and tricks, you’ll transform your tree into a magical centerpiece that captures the festive spirit of the holiday season.

Remember to plan ahead, choose the right lights, and take your time during installation. With a little creativity and attention to detail, your outdoor tree will shine bright and become a source of joy and wonder for all to enjoy. Happy decorating!

how to put christmas lights on a large outdoor tree

People also ask

  1. How do you put Christmas lights on a large outdoor Christmas tree?
    • Start by selecting a large outdoor tree with textured bark.
    • Measure the tree’s height and circumference for accurate light placement.
    • Use extension cords to reach the tree and choose outdoor-rated cords for safety.
    • Attach the lights with specific outdoor clips or fasteners to avoid damage.
    • Consider using a timer or remote control for convenient on/off scheduling.
  2. How do you string lights on a tall outdoor tree?
    • Utilize a sturdy step ladder to safely reach the upper branches.
    • Begin wrapping the lights at the base, moving upwards in a spiral motion.
    • Use the tree’s natural shape to guide the light placement for a balanced look.
    • Secure the lights with clips or fasteners, ensuring they stay in place.
  3. What is the best way to hang outdoor Christmas lights?
    • Plan your light display by measuring the tree’s dimensions.
    • Opt for LED lights for energy efficiency and a variety of colors.
    • Secure the lights with outdoor-rated clips or fasteners to prevent damage.
    • Consider using a timer or remote control for easy management.
  4. How many feet of Christmas lights do I need for a large outdoor tree?
    • Calculate the tree’s height and circumference to determine the required length.
    • Choose lights with spacing that complements the tree’s size and density.
    • Aim for even coverage, and consider using multiple strands for a fuller look.
    • It’s better to have a little extra length than to fall short, so measure generously.