How to hang lights on tall outdoor tree

How to Install Lights on an Outdoor Tree

Excited to turn your yard into a winter wonderland this year, but don’t know where to start? We all enjoy hanging stockings around the house and decorating the Christmas tree in our living rooms. But the fun doesn’t have to stop inside the home! Get your holiday light show started with this guide to safely hanging Christmas lights on your outdoor trees.

What You Need to Hang Christmas Lights on an Outdoor Tree

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • String lights
  • Extension cords
  • Sturdy ladder
  • Measuring tape or yardstick
  • Sharpie-type pen

Choose the Tree You’ll Hang Lights On

Before measuring out your lights, decide which tree you’ll hang your lights on. In general, trees with more textured bark will hold the lights most easily.

You also want to choose a tree that 1) your extension cords will reach, and that 2) will be visible to passersby. Note which side of the tree faces the road so you can arrange the display such that the less-sightly ends of cords hang on the back of the tree.

Hanging Lights on Trees with Exposed Trunks

Trees like oaks, maples and beeches won’t have leaves left during the winter, so your lights will be more visible. Once you decide on a bulb size (mini, C7 or C8), you’ll need to measure the string lights you want to hang on your outdoor tree. This is a good time to test the lights to make sure all the bulbs work!

Measure the height of the tree with your yardstick or measuring tape. Then measure the circumference of the trunk. Don’t forget a separate set of measurements for any branches you’d like to decorate as well.

The easy rule of thumb is (height / separation) x circumference. For example, if we were hanging lights three inches apart on a four-foot-high trunk with a two-foot circumference, our measurements would be (4’ / 3”) x 2’ = 16 x 2 = 32’ of lighting. Perform the same calculations for each branch you’d like to include.

Note: To complete the calculation, make sure to convert any measurements that are in feet to inches for an all-inches result, and then divide that result by 12 for the number of feet you need in lights. Like so: 48 inches (4' truck height) / 3 inches (separation) = 16 inches x 24 inches (2' tree circumference) = 384 inches, which converts to 32-feet of lighting.

Hanging Lights on Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees will still have greenery during the winter and will require longer light strings with bigger bulbs. Mr. Handyman recommends 6-inch bulb spacing. Consider hanging larger bulbs such as C7s or C8s on evergreen trees.

Hanging Lights on Large Outdoor Trees

Decorating a large outdoor tree will require a little extra planning.

  • Decorate outside branches, as inside branches may not be as visible.
  • Set up more than one ladder in case one falls.
  • Ask a friend or family member to steady the ladder you’re on.

Hanging Lights on Your Outside Tree

Once you’ve chosen your tree and measured out your lights, it’s time to start hanging lights on your outside tree! There’s no need to use damaging nails or staples here – the bark should hold the strands just fine. You can use zip ties for areas that need extra security.


  1. Set up your ladder. Always make sure you can climb down easily.
  2. Mark your tree. Using the yardstick or measuring tape and your Sharpie, make a mark about every three inches up the length of the trunk. You’ll use this as a guide when you’re hanging your lights.
  3. Attach your power source. Run the extension cord from your house to the tree. Wrap the cord around the base of the tree a couple times and tie it in a simple knot so that there’s no risk of unplugging if anything disturbs the cord. Start about one-inch up to keep your wires out of water or snowdrifts.
  4. Start wrapping the light strand. Wrap your lights firmly enough to stay on the tree bark, but not as tightly as possible – if your tree swells after a heavy rain, it will need room to expand without damaging your lights.
  5. Plan spacing for branches. If you would like to wrap multiple branches with the same string of lights, space your wraps twice as far apart going up so that you can wrap in the middle as you descend.
  6. Secure the end of your light strand with a simple knot or twist tie.
  7. Plug your lights in and admire!

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your outside tree lights! You can create beautiful multicolored trees by using several light strands in different colors. To avoid mixing up your colors, color-code the strands by attaching a piece of colored tape.

Christmas Light Hanging Services

All Tangled Up? No need to add to your holiday stress! Mr. Handyman’s holiday light hanging services can do all the work for you. Contact your local Mr. Handyman at (877) 685-1377 or request service online.

Make sure your home is safe and sound this holiday season with an electrical safety inspection from Mr. Electric®. Like Mr. Handyman, Mr. Electric is part of the Neighborly® community of trusted home service providers. You can count on Mr. Electric for all your electrical repairs, installations and upgrades.


  • DIY
  • Holiday & Seasonal
  • Outdoor Living

3 Tips on How to Hang Lights on a Tall Tree Without Using a Lift

‘Tis the season to hang the wreaths and string the Christmas tree lights! Christmas lights are one of the biggest and brightest signs of the holiday season, and lights on a tall tree are always a sight to behold. While a decorated tree will forever catch people’s hearts and eyes, getting them ready can take a lot of preparation, especially when working with an oversized Christmas tree. 

Of course, you can turn to a company like Christmas Light Installers LLC and our commercial or residential Christmas light installers. But there are also a few key tricks to follow and some important tips for putting Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree. Whether your tree is 12 ft. or 50 ft, and if you decide to go the route of a DIY installation, consider these tips to hang lights on a tall tree without using a lift.

Finding the Right Measurements

The first step to putting Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree is to find the right measurements. The last thing you want to do is hop on a tree without understanding how your lights will look or how many you’ll need.

Measure the circumference of the tree trunk, and estimate the height to the top of the tree. A relatively close guesstimate works fine in this case, but make sure you start from the base of the tree.

Once you have these figures, determine how far apart you want your lights to be. Two to three feet is usually a good distance, but you can go wider or closer. Divide the height of the Christmas tree by the length of how far apart you want the lights to be. Multiply this figure by the circumference you measure; now you know how many feet of lighting you need.

If you want to avoid a few calculations, a good rule of thumb is to use 100 lights for every 1.5 feet of the tree. Either way, before you put Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree, you must make sure you have accurate measurements.

Use a Painter’s Pole

The toughest part about a tall Christmas tree is not just getting up there but finding out how to make a beautiful design while suspended in mid-air. Sure, a friend can provide help, but there’s got to be some way to make your life easier, right? Fortunately, a painter’s pole is a great way to ensure those hard-to-reach limbs are lit.

Start by removing the roller so that the metal hook is exposed. You may need to purchase a hook, which you can find at most home improvement stores. Before you begin stringing, make sure your lights are plugged into an outlet and extension cord if you need one. You can then place the first strand of lights into the hook and slowly work your way around the tree. Pro tip: start from the bottom and work your way to the top, adjusting the pole’s length when needed.

Make Your Own Pole!

Don’t have a painter’s pole? No problem! You can still put Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree with a makeshift pole. First, find two old brooms and saw off a clean edge on the first broom. Take two nails and drive them into the sawed-off edge, creating a V-shaped image that allows you to pull at the lights. 

Finally, tape the two sticks together with duct tape, making them close enough to not wiggle but not so much that you don’t maximize the length of the two brooms. Best of all, if you need to put lights on a taller tree outdoors, you can extend the pole a bit longer with another broomstick!

This Home had a Magnolia tree’s trunks wrapped in LED mini lights. This service is called a “Trunk Wrap”.

Use a Ladder

A ladder might be the best option if you’re working with a tree that exceeds the length the painter’s pole can reach. When using a ladder to decorate your tree, always try to have another person spotting you to ensure the ladder stays stable. Or you might consider calling one of Santa’s little helpers to join in on the fun!

When using a ladder, try decorating the tree as much as possible while on the ground. When you’re ready for a height boost, wrap the light strings into a ball so that you can unravel them as you go. This will also save you from climbing up and down the ladder as you run out of lights. Have your little helper walk the strings around the tree as you place them from limb to limb.

Remember, you don’t need every single branch wrapped. Occasionally, you or your helper can test the lights from up close and at a distance to see whether or not branches may seem overloaded with lighting.

Additional Tips for Putting Lights on a Tall Tree Outdoors
  • Always assess the area for any safety or fire hazards when hanging lights outside.
  • Check the lights to ensure they are for outdoor use before putting them up.
  • Consider using LED lights to save energy.
  • Make sure your light strands don’t have any missing or broken bulbs.
  • Always organize your lights before beginning your decoration festivities.

Also, remember not to hang outdoor lights in dangerous weather like rain or snow. If your extension cords run along important walkways, use tape to prevent them from tripping up your family or mailman.

If you feel like you’re having a tough time hanging your lights, you don’t have to do it alone! Christmas Light Installers LLC offers permanent Christmas lights that light your home throughout the holiday season and stay hidden on your walls the rest of the year. Give us a call today, and you won’t have to worry about having to put lights on a tall tree outdoors again!

What’s Better Than Hanging Lights Yourself? Get Professional Installers!

If you’re having trouble putting Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree, you don’t have to work alone. Fortunately, homeowners and businesses can light up their property with a simple call to Christmas Light Installers LLC. Our Christmas light installers in Indianapolis, IN, help you light your entire property with unique designs and various types of Christmas lights, all at an affordable cost. Contact our expert installers today to put lights on a tall tree outdoors without the hassle!

3 Tips on How to Hang Lights on a Tall Tree Without Using a Lift

How to make the illumination of trees and shrubs in the garden


Arranging the illumination of garden trees and shrubs is one of the interesting landscape design methods that allows you to create a particularly cozy atmosphere on your backyard plot, conducive to relaxation and pleasant pastime. There are many ways and tools for creating such a backlight, about them - in this article.

Such lighting looks natural and at ease, because it is from above that sunlight falls on the crowns of trees and shrubs. Artificial light is more saturated, it allows you to create an interesting play of highlights and shadows in the garden. Not only the plant itself, but also the territory of the garden adjacent to it will fall into the zone illuminated by lanterns.

It will be especially comfortable to be in such a space against the background of the surrounding twilight or darkness. The option of illumination from above is relevant only for low plants, since it is physically almost impossible to illuminate large plants in this way.

Large-sized trees and shrubs with a beautifully formed crown or bizarre shapes look especially impressive when illuminated from below. To organize the backlight, the simplest lamps that can be installed in the ground or some elements of the landscape are suitable.

Light sources are located at a distance from a bush or tree that is equal to their height. The luminous flux is directed to the top point of the crown. The rays of light in this case will be able to highlight and favorably emphasize the foliage, bends and weaves of branches, the texture of the trunk.

If your backyard is surrounded by a hedge of conifers, you can position the lamps behind the trees, turning them so that the light rises up the trunk. Thanks to such illumination, the site at night will be decorated with the majestic silhouettes of firs and pines against the backdrop of a mysterious and romantic radiance.

Placing decorative lamps right among the branches of garden trees and shrubs is an unusual solution, somewhat bold, but very interesting. It will look especially advantageous on lush trees with medium-sized foliage.

Compact luminaires, fixed between the branches, will help to highlight the most attractive parts of plants or some decorative elements such as birdhouses, landscape ornaments, hanging flower pots. In order for lighting equipment to be invisible during the day, its elements should be small and dim. The wiring is carefully masked between the branches.

The method allows you to interestingly arrange the crowns of trees and shrubs, highlighting only their contours. This can be done using spotlights, garlands or LED strips. Particularly impressive in this design look hedges surrounding the site or dividing it into separate functional areas.

Landscape lighting can be arranged using the following types of luminaires:

  • Classic lanterns - they are suitable for lighting from above, from the side or from below (for large sizes). Lanterns usually provide a uniform flood light that helps to highlight the entire plant against the background of the surrounding landscape.

  • Hanging lamps - they are placed among the branches of trees and shrubs to beautifully illuminate their crown. These lamps are also used for decorative purposes.

  • Floodlights, ground and ground lamps - such devices are suitable for creating lower illumination of garden trees and shrubs.

  • Garlands - with their help you can effectively shape the contours of crowns and hedges or organize the illumination of plantings from the inside.

  • Light figures - to illuminate the plantations, you can choose beautiful luminous birds, butterflies, dragonflies, tree animals. Figures of fairy tale characters will look interesting around trees and shrubs.

LED fixtures are the most effective for landscape lighting. They produce a high quality luminous flux, are the most economical and durable among other light sources.

You can also use incandescent bulbs in the garden, but this is a rather expensive option in terms of energy consumption and the frequency of failure of these bulbs. Another suitable type of lantern is solar-powered, but such luminaires work well only in sunny areas.

  • To create street lighting, use luminaires with a degree of dust and moisture protection of at least IP65/66. Such devices are fully adapted to operation in open air conditions: they are not afraid of even strong showers and winds, as well as the ingress of the smallest dust particles.
  • Choose tree and shrub lighting fixtures with LED light sources. If for some reason you decide to give preference to incandescent lamps, place the lamps no closer than 1.5 meters from garden plants.
  • Purchase 12 volt low-voltage garden equipment whenever possible. Such devices are the safest, especially for lamps located near water.
  • Before buying lamps, try to correctly estimate the required lighting power for your plantings. So, one powerful lantern will be enough to illuminate a tall tree with a compact crown, and for sprawling lush crowns, at least two light sources will be required.
  • Lamps with cold light visually distance objects, with warm light they make them visually closer. This point is important to consider when considering the illumination of small gardens and suburban areas. But do not get carried away on the site using cold light sources, they can deprive the garden of natural colors and liveliness.

Illumination of garden plantings allows you to transform your site at low cost and create two completely different landscapes on it: one is the usual daytime landscape, and the other is unusual and even fabulous, which appears in the dark when the lights are on. Thanks to night illumination, you can extend the time of using the garden for almost the whole day, because now you no longer have to leave it after dark.

See models of street lamps for landscape lighting

How to make wooden lamps with your own hands?


  1. How to make a DIY lamp out of wood?
  2. Pros and cons of wooden structures
  3. Nuances to consider when making wooden structures
  4. Making a lamp in the shape of a coffee service
  5. Construction with plywood lace
  6. Other options for wooden lamps

In the design of private houses, wood is most often associated with antiquity. Therefore, wood lamps have an old look. The most popular designs are cart wheel chandeliers.

Scheme of a wooden table lamp.

Advantages and disadvantages of wooden structures

This type of structure has the following advantages:

  • if the candles are evenly placed, the structure will give the same illumination to all elements of the room;
  • spokes will practically not create obstacles to light.

Modern stylizations have the same advantages, but today instead of candles made of wax and torches, lamps are used. In most cases, such designs are made in the form of a candle.

Wooden structures have the following advantages:

Scheme of a round wooden lamp: 1 - segments for the rim, 2 - turned spoke, 3 - hub.

  1. The material is environmentally friendly. Not only will it not emit harmful substances, but it will also saturate the air with aromatic resins that make it easier for people to breathe.
  2. Wood can be easily processed. If special tools are needed for the production of a plastic or metal structure, then do-it-yourself lamps from wood can be made using a minimum set of fixtures.

Disadvantages of wooden structures:

  1. Wood is a combustible material. It is not recommended to place elements of this material next to incandescent lamps. If the contact burns in the lamp socket, the structure may ignite.
  2. Wooden ceiling fixtures are attacked by bugs, fungus and other pests. Coniferous trees suffer the least from rot and pests. For hardwoods, it is recommended to use antiseptic agents that can reduce the combustibility of the material.
  3. Wood is a hygroscopic material. It absorbs moisture from the air, as a result of which, during the drying process, the material may change volume, shape, or crack. In order for the structure to serve for a long time, it will be necessary to provide it with a constant temperature and humidity.

Nuances to be considered in the manufacture of wooden structures

The following nuances must be taken into account in the process of building lamps made of wood:

Scheme of assembling a lamp from wooden rings.

  1. Structures must be shaped so that all heating elements are removed from fixtures that are made of wood. The lamps should look upwards, because only in this case the upward air flow will not cause deformation of the tree.
  2. Fire safety rules prohibit placing wooden chandeliers under flammable elements.
  3. Wood lamp is great for bedroom or living room. In the kitchen or bathroom, where there is a sufficiently large amount of steam, such structures are not allowed to be placed.

In the event of a phase short, it is easy to get an electric shock.

Making a lamp in the shape of a coffee service

To make a lamp with your own hands, you will need to prepare the following items:

Scheme for a LED wooden lamp.

  1. Dry plank of any kind of wood. You can use both ordinary pine or birch, and ash. Oak is also suitable, which does not need to be painted or varnished.
  2. Several translucent coffee cups and saucers.
  3. Several sockets for a small plinth with fasteners for them.
  4. Required number of bulbs. In this case, it is recommended to use LED elements.
  5. A small amount of rubber spacers. Their number will depend on the method of fixing the cartridges.
  6. Two-wire copper wire of small cross-section and short length. It is best to use a wire with a cross section of 0.75 mm.
  7. Light chain or twisted cord. These elements will be used to secure the product to the ceiling structure.
  8. Required number of ring screws. The luminaire will be suspended using these elements.
  9. Electric drill.
  10. Wood and tile drills.
  11. Pliers.
  12. Screwdriver or screwdriver.

The manufacturing process of the structure is as follows:

  1. A planed board is processed with sandpaper (first coarse, then fine).
  2. Next, you will need to drill a few holes in the places where you plan to place the cartridges.
  3. If noble types of wood are used, then further processing of the material is not required. If other types of wood are used, then the material must be stained, then dried and varnished in several layers. In the open air, nitrolac will dry for several hours, so this process will not take much time.
  1. The next step is to drill holes in the coffee cups and saucers, being very careful not to damage them. In this case, you need to use only a drill for working with glass and tiles. It is not allowed to make great efforts. You need to drill at a low speed, in the process you need to ensure that there are no distortions. If you press hard on the electric drill, the bowl or saucer may break.
  2. Wires must be attached to all available cartridges. At this stage, you should not fasten them to each other.
  3. The whole structure is screwed together. If the cartridges will use platforms with holes for fasteners, then they must be pulled to the board through the holes in saucers or cups. If there is a threaded pipe and a nut on the end of the cartridge, then they must be passed through the cups, saucers and board. Rubber gaskets must be installed between metal and glass elements. Such a device can be made independently from an unused camera from a bicycle or car.
  4. Screws with rings will need to be screwed into the back of the board.
  5. Cartridges connected in parallel. No need to leave twists that are wrapped with electrical tape. Carefully you need to make even that part of the lamp that no one can see. To fasten the wires, you will need to use a block.
  6. The block must be fixed to the back of the board by any method: a small amount of adhesive mixture or screws. In it you need to clamp a piece of wire that will be connected to the wiring.
  7. On the back, chains or cords are attached to the rings. The second end of these elements is attached to a hook in the ceiling. The wire must be run through one of the circuits. At the end, you need to install light bulbs.

Plywood lace construction

Tools for making a wooden lamp.

It should be noted that this design is not ideal in terms of fire safety. However, in this case, LED lamps are used, which are economical. It should be remembered that such devices practically do not heat up. Therefore, the risk of fire in this case is excluded.

Fine plywood can be used with a hand jigsaw to create masterpieces of applied art. You can make such lamps with your own hands as follows:

  1. First of all, you need to grind a sheet of plywood.
  2. Using carbon paper, you need to transfer the drawing of the details.
  3. Structural elements will need to be cut along the contour.
  4. Holes will need to be drilled inside each of the pieces to be removed. In this case, it is recommended to use a drill with a thickness of 1 mm.
  5. The next step is to cut out the inner parts.
  6. Small files of various shapes will need to be used to clean up the edges of the structure.
  7. Next, you need to fasten all the elements together. For this, it is recommended to use an adhesive mixture. It should be noted that PVA glue may turn yellow after a while. Therefore, it is best to use a special adhesive solution for wood. Residues of the adhesive mixture on the visible parts of the structure will need to be carefully removed.
  8. At the end, the product should be varnished.

If you plan to use incandescent lamps, remember that their power must be less than 40 watts.

They should be placed at the maximum possible distance from the wooden elements. Only in this case can overheating of the lamp be avoided.

Other options for wooden lamps

You can make other lamps with your own hands:

  1. Construction of planks and rope. In this case, several matte shades are used as light sources. There is nothing complicated in the manufacture of such a design. It should be noted that in this case, only energy-saving or LED light bulbs should be used. High power incandescent lamps quite often create a fire.

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