How many lights do i need for a 6ft slim christmas tree


How Many Lights Do I Need for My Christmas Tree?

Posted December 4, 2021

Whether you’ve got a real or an artificial Christmas tree, every tree needs Christmas lights to make it look truly festive. However, getting the right amount of lights can be tricky. Follow our guide to make sure you achieve the look you want.

How Many Lights Do I Need?

For a basic look our number one rule is at least 100 bulbs per 1ft of tree – so that would mean a 6ft tree needs a minimum of 600 LEDs. For a fuller look, you can add as many lights as you want but we recommend upwards of 700 for a 6ft tree.

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What About Different Styles?

The different styles of lights will impact the number of bulbs you need for your tree as each light style has a different placement and you can achieve different looks with them.

String lights are a classic light otherwise known as fairy lights and are what most people think of first when it comes to decorating the tree. String lights are the most spread out light style which look fantastic for a twinkling understated look but if you want to achieve a fuller look, you may need to add more lights. Our recommendations below will help you make the right choice whatever your preference on style.

Recommended numbers:
6ft Trees = 600 LEDs
7ft Trees = 800 LEDS
8ft Trees = 1000 LEDS
9-10ft Trees = 1200 LEDS

2. Compact Cluster Lights

Otherwise known as Christmas Tree Lights these compact cluster lights are designed to give your tree a really full and bright look as they offer many more lights per metre when compared to classic string lights. There is 2.5cm spacing between bulbs and they are specifically designed for Christmas trees, making them the ideal choice. We recommend the following numbers to achieve the desired full look.

Recommended numbers:
6ft Trees = 750 LEDs
7ft Trees = 1000 LEDS
8ft Trees = 1500 LEDS
9-10ft Trees = 2000 LEDS

3. Cluster Lights

Cluster Lights have 4 x as many lights per metre than string lights, and only 1.5cm spacing between bulbs versus string lights 5cm spacing and therefore are already designed to offer a full look. We recommend the following numbers to achieve a well-lit glow for your Christmas tree.

Recommended numbers:
6ft Trees = 480 LEDs
7ft Trees = 720 LEDS
8ft Trees = 960 LEDS
9-10ft Trees = 1500 LEDS

4. Pin Wire Lights

Pin wire lights are becoming increasingly popular and it's no surprise why! These stunning LED Christmas lights sit on a very discreet wire which blend in perfectly with your tree and appear almost invisible. The bulbs are a different shape from other Christmas lights and give a more rounded glow.

Recommended numbers for Pin Wire Compact Clusters:
6ft Trees = 750 LEDs
7ft Trees = 1000 LEDS
8ft Trees = 1500 LEDS
9-10ft Trees = 2000 LEDS

What About Different Colours?

Whilst colour shouldn't impact the number of lights you need, sometimes brighter lights can have a harsher appearance and you may require less. Therefore, if you want a really bright cool white tree or a multicoloured tree, you probably want to go for a string light so that the lights are more spread out and not overwhelming.

For subtler colours like warm white and copper glow, you are better off going for compact clusters or cluster lights as the fuller appearance will really complement these colours.

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Written By

Megan Humble

Last update December 8, 2021

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Megan Humble
Last update December 8, 2021

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The Omni Calculator computes how many lights to put on Christmas trees.

How many lights should go on a Christmas tree?

This question gets asked so often during the holidays that everyone from retailers like Lowe’s to publications like Real Simple and Better Homes & Gardens have tried to answer it.

“A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every foot-and-a-half of tree,” according to Lowe’s. But Better Homes & Gardens recommends using three 100-light sets for every foot of a tree’s height. And Real Simple suggests 100 lights for every foot.

Since there’s no consensus about just how many lights is right, trimming a tree can be daunting for novice decorators. It’s even given headaches to mathematicians like Troy Henderson, a professor at the University of Mobile’s College of Arts and Sciences in Alabama. Last year, he developed what he describes as a hack to perfectly light a Christmas tree. By thinking of a holiday evergreen as an inverted cone, Henderson used the mathematical concept known as the conical helix to determine the right number of lights for his tree. He explained:

“Our Christmas tree is 3½ feet wide at its base and 8 feet tall. When using 75 feet of lights, the vertical spacing between rotations is about 7 inches. This ensures that if we begin wrapping the lights in a conical helix pattern beginning at the bottom of the tree and vertically space the lights by about 7 inches between successive rotations, the strands of lights will terminate precisely at the top of the tree.”

Henderson has made his Christmas tree light-spacing formula available to the public, and Dominik Czernia and Álvaro Díez, physics doctoral candidates studying in Poland and Turkey, respectively, have expanded on the mathematician’s work. They feature their approach on a web tool called the Omni Calculator. The free calculator factors in tree lights and ornaments and provides users with step-by-step computation and visualization. To use it, you’ll need to know some basic information, such as your tree’s height and bottom diameter, the length and spacing of the light strands, and the diameter of the ornaments you plan to use.

So who’s most likely to use a Christmas tree calculator? Is it designed for the math-and-science crowd or for anyone who wants a perfectly decorated tree? I interviewed Czernia and Omni Calculator Project founder Mateusz Mucha about the tool.

The Omni Calculator can help you figure out how many lights your Christmas tree needs.Omni Calculator
Nadra Nittle

Who knew that decorating a Christmas tree even stumps physicists? What prompted you all to develop a web tool that could simplify this process for everyone?

Dominik Czernia

We had been wondering how many lights and ornaments make a Christmas tree so beautiful. To our surprise, it was impossible for us to make at least some rough estimations. With the help of Dr. Henderson’s formula, we developed our intuitive tool with visualization of your perfect tree with lights and baubles. The best thing about it is the simplicity — all you need to enter are your tree’s dimensions.

Nadra Nittle

The conical helix is the key to the calculator. Can you describe how this pattern works in more detail?

Dominik Czernia

We surely can all agree that when we look at the Christmas tree, its shape reminds us of a cone, a pyramid with a circular base. So what does the conical helix have in common with a cone? Imagine you’ve got a ribbon that you attach to the top of a cone. Then start wrapping it around the cone, moving downwards until you reach the base. The curve formed by the ribbon is a conical helix.

Nadra Nittle

Using the conical helix pattern, it’s helpful to look at a Christmas tree from the top while decorating it. Why is that?

Dominik Czernia

One of the aesthetic factors that please most people is uniformity. The best way to check it is to look at a Christmas tree from the top so you can see every single ornament on it. Do they look uniformly distributed from that point of view? Perfect! That’s what we’re aiming for. This is another unique feature of a conical helix; it gives us excellent uniformity.

Nadra Nittle

An efficiently decorated tree might even help cut down on electricity costs. That’s amazing.

Dominik Czernia

It surely could help. The larger number of lights naturally translates into higher power consumption. However, we don’t want to resign from the lights entirely; they’re one of those things which bring a magical Christmas atmosphere. What we can do, though, is plan in advance how bright our Christmas tree should be to buy light strands of appropriate length.

This allows us to avoid the situation in which the light strand is too long, and we hide it somewhere in the tree foliage or leave it trailing on the floor. But still, these redundant lights will use electricity and generate costs! A well-decorated tree has uniformly distributed lights around; thus, it looks as pretty as we wanted, and simultaneously, the length of strands is perfectly adjusted to the Christmas tree’s dimensions.

Nadra Nittle

Who’s the target audience for the Omni Calculator? Is it mostly math-and-science types, or have normies expressed interest?

Mateusz Mucha

Omni Calculator is used both by geeks and people who aren’t as confident with math, but it’s actually the latter group we think about the most. People have thousands of decisions to make that they should base on numbers. But they don’t think in terms of math formulas, don’t have the time, or just don’t feel like making this effort. And they end up making bad decisions. It’s our goal to make this process easy, fast, and kind of fun so that people are more likely to do the math.

Nadra Nittle

On the Omni Calculator site, there’s a funny gif of Monica from Friends. She turns a Christmas tree around to show off her expertly decorated side of the tree and to hide the very messy side her friends decorated. Do you think Monica would use your calculator?

Mateusz Mucha

Sure, but it’s actually Joey and Rachel who could get the most value out of it. Chandler suffers through Excel every day, so he’d be capable. Ross would somehow make the tree about dinosaurs, and Phoebe would try to save the tree and homeless squirrels instead.

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Decorate the Christmas tree safely! - Safety on holidays and during mass celebrations

During the New Year and Christmas holidays it is so nice to enjoy warm and cheerful evenings with family and friends. However, it is worth remembering that a Christmas tree burning with multi-colored lights is not only the main decoration of the New Year's house, but a source of danger. Therefore, special attention should be paid to its fire safety. After all, the New Year is candles, crackers and lights, and Christmas trees , unfortunately, burn very well. Moreover, artificial ones also emit toxic substances, quickly melt and “spread”, which means that it will be more difficult to eliminate the source of ignition.

When choosing an artificial Christmas tree , it is safer to give preference to models that have a fireproof impregnation (this information is indicated on the packaging).

It is better to install a live Christmas tree two or three days before the New Year. If you bought it earlier, then hold it until it is installed on the balcony: it will be easier for it to adapt to temperature changes. After that, she needs to update the cut by sawing off a few centimeters from the trunk.

Spruce stand must be solid and solid. If you decide to stay on a live spruce, then make sure that it is not dry. The tree needs to be fed with water by placing it in a special form with a water tank or in a bucket of wet sand. This will prevent the needles from drying out and sprinkling quickly, and most importantly, it will increase fire safety. Spraying a Christmas tree decorated with electric garlands should be done with great care. If the garland is intended for both home and outdoor use, then there are no particular problems. Otherwise, spraying should be resorted to only in extreme cases, and before switching on tree must be left to dry completely.

Install the Christmas tree away from electrical and heating appliances and sources of open fire (fireplaces, gas stoves). It must be remembered that spruce needles flare up instantly and if it flares up strongly, it is quite difficult to extinguish it. Candles and sparklers should not be placed on the Christmas tree, especially in combination with cotton "snow" and paper toys. Let the candles stand on the tables, but even there they should not burn unattended. If you leave the table, be sure to pay them off.

The Christmas tree should not be too big for the room it will be in. Let its top be at least fifty centimeters short of the ceiling. This is especially important if the ceilings are lined with flammable material. The Christmas tree should not be placed close to the walls covered with wallpaper and next to the curtains. In addition, it is not recommended to install Christmas trees in such a way that they interfere with progress - in case of an emergency, they will create a significant obstacle.

If there are small children in the house, then if possible, it is better to install the spruce at such a height that they cannot reach the lower branches, while avoiding household injuries.

Be sure to follow fire safety regulations and be responsible in the choice and use of electrical decorations during the New Year and Christmas holidays.

Faulty and non-certified electrical appliances must not be used to decorate Christmas tree . Children should not have access to controllers (control units for the operation of an electric garland and / or Christmas tree ), wires and sockets.

To prevent the tree from tipping over and injuring the child, it must be correctly assembled and securely installed, and toys evenly distributed on it. You need to assemble an artificial Christmas tree in accordance with the instructions. In the room where the Christmas tree stands, kids should only be under the supervision of adults. For children's safety, it is better to decorate the Christmas tree with light, unbreakable decorations - bows, cones, fiberglass balls, etc.

Be conscious about the choice of garlands. It is better to choose products coated with a flame retardant and tested in a modern laboratory. Such information must be indicated on the packaging.

Garlands must be equipped with fuses, without them, during power surges, overheating and ignition of the wiring may occur. Never turn on the garland in the presence of bare wires, as well as homemade connections. In addition, the elements of the garland should not come into contact with the "rain", because the metallized foil can short-circuit the wiring.

The garland must be checked before placing it on the Christmas tree. At home, it is recommended to use decorations in which the number of lights does not exceed 50. And do not forget that more than three garlands cannot be included in one outlet. If you have any doubts, there is not at least one light bulb in the garland, or there are obvious damages, you cannot use such an ornament.

The most important fire safety rule is not to leave lights on at night or when no one is home. And be sure to watch the children, because they are drawn to everything that flashes beautifully.

When decorating the Christmas tree, remember that the fasteners of the toys must be strong. You can not hang heavy toys on flexible and thin branches, it is better to cling them closer to the base.

The fire safety rules associated with the Christmas tree seem very strict only at first glance. By following these simple tips, you will protect your home from any possible troubles and give your loved ones a happy and fun holiday!

Live or artificial: which tree to choose for Christmas?

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Image copyright Thinkstock

Image caption

What are the pros and cons of living and artificial trees?

Christmas and New Year's Eve is the time when the tree comes to our house, occupying the central place of the whole celebration. We decorate it with garlands, lights and balls, and put lovingly wrapped gifts under the tree.

Of course, the right tree has yet to be chosen. But what is the right tree?

Recently, in the West, more and more attention is paid not only to the height and quality of spruce, but also to other factors: for example, concern for the environment, recycling issues or the impact on the climate.

The BBC has asked experts for their opinion on which Christmas tree is best given all these factors.

According to Dr. John Keyser of the UK Carbon Trust, artificial Christmas trees are usually made from plastic, which in turn is made from petroleum. This is two-thirds of their so-called carbon footprint - a value that reflects the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere as a result of a particular human activity.

Another quarter of the carbon footprint of the atmosphere is the manufacturing process of artificial wood.

The "carbon footprint" of a two-meter artificial tree is equal to the emission of 40 kg of greenhouse gases. This is twice as much as a real Christmas tree, which is thrown into a landfill, and more than 10 times - compared to trees that are burned.

"So if you have an artificial Christmas tree at home, it will need to be put up for at least 10 years for the climate impact to be lower than that of a natural tree," explains Dr. Keyser.

Image copyright, Christmas Tree World

Image caption,

Today, good artificial Christmas trees look very realistic

According to Keyser, how a real tree is disposed of is more important than its origin.

The Carbon Fund estimates that a true 2m rootless Christmas tree has a carbon footprint of 16kg of greenhouse gases if dumped in a landfill after the holidays.

This is because rotting wood releases methane, which, according to the same foundation, is 25 times more greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

"Burning a tree at the stake, replanting it in the ground or turning it into sawdust for your garden will reduce its carbon footprint by 80%, down to 3.5kg CO2," states Dr. Keizer.

Image copyright Thinkstock

Image caption

According to the Carbon Foundation, a live Christmas tree has a much lower carbon footprint than an artificial Christmas tree

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So living trees have a much smaller carbon footprint than artificial ones, but what else should be taken into account?

Wigan-based Christmas Tree World sells both live and artificial Christmas trees.

Its products can be seen at airports, universities, established institutions and hospitals.

"We produce fire-resistant artificial trees, which is very important for large public buildings," explains CEO Steven Evans. "And when living trees start to dry out, they become quite a fire hazard."

Hospitals also prefer artificial Christmas trees, he says, because some patients are allergic to live needles. The company also supplies Christmas trees to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the family estate of the Dukes of Marlborough and one of the largest palace and park ensembles in England.

"While we grow our own trees on the estate, we also use artificial trees to reduce the risk of harmful insects that can damage the palace collection," says Blenheim estate manager Keith Bollenger.

Photo copyright, Christmas Tree World

Image caption,

Artificial Christmas trees pre-decorated with lights are becoming increasingly popular

Indeed, artificial trees have a number of advantages when used in large buildings.


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