There’s no doubt about it, having one or more of your large outdoor trees wrapped in lights is one of the most stunning and beautiful Christmas lighting effects you can have. But wrapping a 20’ tree can look like a daunting process. Here’s where to start:
- Calculating Number of Lights Needed: Sorry, but there really is no exact formula for calculating how many lights are required to light outdoor trees. Slender and deciduous trees require the least amount of lights; evergreen trees like spruce, pines, and firs retain all of their foliage and may require up to 25% more lights than the recommended count. Here’s a ballpark rule of thumb: when using mini lights, figure on 100 lights per vertical foot of the tree for medium lighting, if you want heavy lighting, figure on 200 mini lights per vertical foot. Remember to figure in the trunk if you’re going to wrap it, as well as the distance to your power source!
- What kind of lights: Use outdoor lighting only! Bulbs that are spaced 6” to 8” apart are best. Invest in LED’s as soon as possible!
- Begin at the very beginning: Yes, in this case that means – start at the top. To do this you should lay out – and connect – a number of light sets, using splitters every three strands. If you’ve got a tall tree, you need an equally tall ladder. (this is why you need to do this with a friend!) Once you’ve lodged the top of the light in the top of the tree, you will need to move the ladder around the tree several times in order to place the lights, but then it should become easier, as you will be able to start winding them onto the tree from the ground. Periodically plug everything in to see how it’s going, and adjust the lights if necessary!