How to put lights on a large 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

How to Put Christmas Lights on a Large Outdoor Tree

Christmas is more than just a celebration of family, friends, faith, and giving. For most of us here in the States, it’s a season during which we give ourselves permission to decorate anything and everything with lights, colors, images, and sounds that bring us joy.

Rolling through a nice neighborhood in the evening to behold all the homes emblazoned with sparkling lights and lawn decor is a classic family outing in the winter. If you’re in the mood for some sight-seeing, Christmas Lights Near Me in Dallas has a list of popular public displays! And if you as a homeowner are the festive type, you may have some plans of your own to brighten up your home’s exterior.

But let’s say your new to the adventure of hanging lights all on your own. This task really does require some planning and forethought, especially if you intend to put Christmas lighting in tall trees with large branches.

Let’s take a look at the materials you will need, and the steps you will want to follow to guarantee success.


  • A ladder
  • A tape measure
  • Ring connectors, adhesive-back hooks, and/or electrical tape
  • Outdoor extension cords
  • Outdoor Christmas lights

Hanging the Lights


For a truly precise arrangement, you may want to measure the height and circumference of your tree trunk. Enlist the help of a friend- and a ladder- to measure the length of the branches you want to wrap as well.

Remember, not every single branch needs to be adorned. Take a moment to envision what you want, and prioritize outer branches that are more visible. This way, you can maximize the coverage area of your light strands.

Sort out how many strands you need, and get your materials together. And remember to practice safety! For taller trees that require a ladder, this is not a venture you should embark upon alone. A trusted partner can keep you safe, help you unravel the light strands, and serve as a second set of eyes.

Start at the Trunk

The process involved in putting Christmas lights on taller trees is similar to that of decorating a indoor Christmas tree. You start by wrapping the lights around the bottom and work upwards toward the top.

The best lights to use for taller trees are connectable strands. This way, you can tailor the length according to your needs. The strands will come with male and female plugs at either end, so be sure you line them up accordingly beforehand

We recommend using LED lights, as the light they emit is brighter and they use very little energy. Additionally, they will last far longer than traditional bulbs. 

Working The Branches 

Wrapping the Christmas lights around a tree’s branches is slightly more involved than the trunk. You’ll want to plan ahead about when to double back toward the base, and how that might affect the spacing of your lights.

Again, you don’t need to drape every single branch. In fact, you don’t need to drape the full length of any branches! Have whoever’s helping you offer aesthetic feedback from the ground, to help you determine the most ideal placement.

Fastening the Light Strands

Ring connectors, or ring terminals, are a great tool for fastening any sort of wiring into place to avoid loose strands. They can be fastened to the trunk and/or the branches, to hold the lights in place. This is especially helpful for windy regions, as you don’t want a dangling wire to begin unraveling.

Both hooks and ring connectors can be used to hold everything in place, including the very end of the light string. That is definitely the most important thing to fasten down! However, adhesive hooks may not be feasible in wetter climates. Electrical tape is more likely to stay put in inclement weather.

Safety Concerns

Be sure you pick a day that has no rain or snow in the forecast. Minimal wind, or none at all, will also make the job easier and safer. Once you’re done, secure the extension cords to avoid trip hazards.


Hanging lights in taller trees certainly requires some planning and safety, but it’s definitely a realistic DIY project if you’ve got all the right information. However, if you’d rather leave your Christmas lighting installation to the professionals, Ryno Lawn Care is happy to assist.

How to hang a garland on a Christmas tree beautifully: indoors and outdoors, step-by-step instructions, diagrams and videos

Decorating a Christmas tree is an important moment that not only children, but also adults are waiting for. Packages with toys and tinsel are taken out, beautiful balls are hung, perhaps some decorations are even made by hand. But the Christmas tree must sparkle and shine, and this requires LED lights. How best to hang a garland on a Christmas tree is described in this article.

Decorating the Christmas tree correctly: garland or toys first?

It is much more convenient to decorate the Christmas tree in the following order:

  1. First of all, lights are placed on the Christmas tree. Beforehand, it is recommended to lay out the garland on the floor and check the operation of the light bulbs, then distribute it on the tree.
  2. Only after that you can hang toys on the branches: balls, bells, houses, etc. Since the bulbs are already on the tree, you can assemble a composition that matches the color. For example, hang a golden bow near the red light. When all the decorations are on the tree, you need to make sure once again that they are evenly distributed and securely fastened to the branches.
  3. At the end of the decoration, artificial snow can be spread on the ends of the paws, and the entire Christmas tree can be decorated with rain, beads and tinsel.

See also: DIY Christmas decorations

Reasons why it is better to hang an electric garland on the Christmas tree in the first place:

  • Without additional decorations, the wire is easy to lead to the outlet.
  • You can turn on the lights, check their work, see how beautifully they are distributed among the branches. In which case, the garland is easy to remove and reposition.
  • Lights are easier to match with Christmas decorations so that they are in the right color scheme.

Do not forget about the design concept, which many are guided by in the process of preparing for the New Year holidays. If you want to achieve the effect of an inner glow on the tree, place the lights closer to the trunk, and then hang the rest of the decorations. The same applies to New Year's lighting with large bulbs - they need to be distributed on the Christmas tree in the first place. Designers prefer to hang small flashing LEDs on a Christmas tree already decorated with toys. A slight shimmer will give the Christmas tree a magical aura, and the lights will attract attention.

Hanging the lights on the Christmas tree before or after the toys - everyone decides for himself. The main thing is that the preparation for the New Year brings joy.

See also: Making garlands for the Christmas tree with your own hands

How to choose a garland?

Among the abundance of shimmering garlands presented in stores, it is difficult to make a choice. First, let's look at the main types of LED decorations:

  • Filamentous. Most often, it is with such lighting equipment that the Christmas tree and the room are decorated. They can be in the form of one long cord on which LED bulbs are located. Manufacturers also produce garlands in the form of a grid or fringe - it is convenient to hang them on windows and walls.
  • Street. To decorate the Christmas tree on the street, they use special transparent flexible garlands with LED bulbs, which are reliably protected from moisture.
  • LED strips. They are used not only as a New Year's decoration, but also for additional lighting in the room.

Manufacturers of New Year's lighting equipment recommend purchasing an LED decoration with 500 bulbs for a two-meter Christmas tree (their number is indicated on the package). If the tree is 30-50 cm taller, it is better to choose a garland with an additional 50-100 bulbs.

Classic Christmas decorations can glow with a yellowish dim light, and light bulbs often fail. Manufacturers have come up with and introduced many innovations so that the garlands work for a long time and decorate the Christmas tree with iridescent, multi-colored lights.

But do not forget that the garland can be dangerous to health and even life:

  • To avoid fire due to excessive heating of the bulbs, you should purchase a decoration with a power of no more than 65 watts.
  • Do not let children turn lights on and off by themselves.
  • Do not put strings with lights in glass bottles, despite the fact that such arrangements look very nice. Such decor can provoke an electric shock.

What to look for when buying LED garlands:

  1. The plug must be durable, made of quality material, not change its original shape.
  2. You can calculate the desired length of the decoration as follows: measure the height of the Christmas tree and buy an ornament three times longer in length.
  3. The wire that will be connected to the outlet must be at least 1.5 m for a home Christmas tree, for street decor - 10 m or more.
  4. Light bulbs must be tightly fixed, not wobble, much less fall out of the sockets.
  5. The power supply must only be opened with a screwdriver or other special tools. It is better to look at the soldering of wires before buying a product.
  6. For a street Christmas tree, purchase special lighting equipment with additional protection against moisture. On the packaging, the manufacturer must indicate that the jewelry is intended for external use.
  7. Samples of good quality must be free from foreign, unpleasant odors.
  8. The purchased model must be certified, otherwise it is forbidden to use it to decorate the Christmas tree and the room.

The operation of the garland should be checked in the store, and at home it is undesirable to immediately plug it into the outlet. Give time for the bulbs to warm up to room temperature, only then proceed to the decor of the Christmas tree.

How to decorate a Christmas tree with a garland?

There are several secrets on how to hang the garland so that the lights look beautiful:

  1. The decoration is placed on the Christmas tree only after the tree is set upright. If the Christmas tree will stand in the corner, you need to think in advance which side of it should look more elegant.
  2. Before hanging a luminous decor, lay it out on the floor, check the operation of all the bulbs, connect it to the outlet to make sure that all the lights are working.
  3. It is more convenient to start hanging the decoration from above, evenly distributing the lights in a zigzag pattern over the branches. If the tree will be in the center of the room, start at the top and work your way around.
  4. If you place lights near the trunk of a tree, it will look magical and mysterious, but it is better not to use flickering light bulbs for this.
  5. A thin garland with monochrome lights can be wrapped around each branch, starting from the lower legs.

Is it possible to hang a garland on an artificial Christmas tree and how to do it correctly:

  • Artificial tree needs additional, warmer lighting. Instead of blue or silver light bulbs, decorate the artificial Christmas tree with gold, red, purple lights.
  • Any artificial Christmas tree can be decorated with a garland, but provided that the device is fully functional, there are no bare wires in it, and all bulbs are tightly held in cartridges.
  • If there is not enough cord to decorate the entire height of the Christmas tree, you do not need to remove the decorations and start over. Buy another copy and complete the decor to the end.

If the Christmas tree is in the house

Interior designers offer their own way to decorate the Christmas tree with a garland:

  • Enter the room and pay attention to where your eyes first turned. It is in this place that it is better to put a shiny and sparkling Christmas tree. In addition to the tree, you can decorate windows, stair railings, fireplaces, bookshelves, etc. with lights.
  • Come up with a style of New Year's decor, and only then choose decorations for it. Light bulbs are different: plain, multi-colored, with a warm yellowish tint, curly. For a classic style, it is better to choose traditional colored lights, and for a Scandinavian or eco-style, plain or white ones are suitable.
  • When choosing a decoration, consider not only the length, but also the width of the Christmas tree: the more fluffy it is, the longer the garland will be needed.

See also: Creating a Christmas tree from a garland on a wall or window with your own hands

The sequence of further actions:

  1. We check the health of the decoration before hanging it on the branches.
  2. Preparing a few extensions in case the cord is not enough to decorate the entire Christmas tree. Most garlands are made in such a way that it is possible to attach them to each other. But according to fire safety rules, it is impossible to insert a Christmas decoration with more than 500 lights into one wire.
  3. So that the decor does not get confused, it is more convenient to decorate the Christmas tree together. You can wind the cord into a ball, starting from the part opposite to the plug. So you will hold the decoration in one hand, and lay out the light bulbs on the branches with the other.
  4. Light up the lights to see what colors will be on the tree. Start hanging decor by choosing a pattern: zigzag, spiral, top-down, diagonal, vertical lines, etc.

How to hang a garland on a street tree?

Tips and tricks for decorating a street tree on your porch or backyard:

  • Better to use warm colors of lights: yellows, reds, purples.
  • The plug from the garland must reach the socket. If you cannot connect the decoration to electricity, choose garlands that run on batteries.
  • Buy LEDs that are waterproof. On the packaging, the manufacturer must indicate that the garland is allowed to be used outdoors.
  • You can purchase ready-made sets of New Year's lighting equipment, for example, 10 luminous threads 10 m long each. With this composition, you can easily decorate a street Christmas tree 5-10 m high.

To create a festive, magical mood in a country house or in the country, they often use special illumination from luminous bulbs. Not only a decorated street Christmas tree looks beautiful, but also a luminous roof, balcony railings, columns, windows from the outside, trees and shrubs.


There are several ways to hang the decoration on Christmas tree branches:

  1. Start from the top, evenly distributing the bulbs over the lower legs in a spiral with a little sagging.
  2. To make it easier to hang toys later, the lights can be attached closer to the trunk.
  3. If the Christmas tree is in the center of the room, it is better to distribute the luminous decoration in a circle.
  4. On the tree, which will be located in the corner of the room, the garland is hung on the branches in a zigzag pattern.
  5. It is permissible to start decorating the Christmas tree from the lower branches, in tiers, as if obliquely, or on top with a serpentine.

There are no clear instructions on how to hang garlands, except for basic fire safety rules. If you want to make the Christmas tree sparkling, use several garlands. Hang decorations in a zigzag, top-down or vice versa, wrap branches in a spiral or decorate in any other way. The main thing is that the creation of New Year's decor brings joy and cheers up.

See also: How and what to choose a Christmas tree for the New Year?

5 fun ways to light up your garden

A great way to decorate for the New Year is to build beautiful street lighting. To do this, you can use various methods.

Melting icicles

What is winter without icicles, what is New Year without bright lights. The easiest way to create a real fairy tale in your own home and country house is to hang an LED street garland in the form of icicles.

There are different design options: from natural icicles that completely follow the contour of natural icicles to ordinary elongated tubes.

The main thing is to choose special lighting for the facade. After all, indoor garlands are not suitable for outdoor use: frost, snow, high humidity will quickly disable them.

The length of the garland for street lighting should be chosen depending on the perimeter of the house.

It is better to buy a long cord right away than to look for a dozen sockets and adapters later to connect all the cords to the network.

Designers recommend hanging "melting icicles" with lanterns in those places where real icicles can form: under the roof of the house, on the top of the windows, on the porch. It can even be placed on street lamps, as long as they do not interrupt their light.

Choose the color of the LEDs at your own discretion. It can be:

  • white;
  • yellow;
  • blue;
  • green;
  • red;
  • multicolored.

When creating a composition, it is required to adhere to one color scheme so that the impression of chaos and ill-conceivedness is not created.

Even correctly hung garlands will not provide the desired effect if they are of different colors.

LED consoles

An expensive way to illuminate the house from the outside, but very effective. LED lamps are installed at a height of 3.5 m. In a private house, this rule can not be followed.

Choose LED consoles for street lighting of a private house for the New Year according to the following parameters:

  • size;
  • power;
  • degree of protection;
  • number of light sources;
  • temperature regime;
  • glow mode;
  • supply voltage;
  • mass.

If you want to save money, choose LED luminaires with a universal image. After all, it is appropriate to put Santa Claus and a snowflake only in winter, but a cat, a star, fireworks can shine on any holiday all year round.

Cantilever LED fixture will need an L-bracket. You also need to provide access to the outlet. If the console is to be turned on at a certain moment of the holiday, then the person responsible for this must be able to freely approach the lighting fixture.

Luminous curtain

It is difficult to imagine something more spectacular than a building entangled in a web of small lights. To illuminate the house from the outside, you can hang a luminous curtain on its facade.

Such lighting can decorate the facade of the house, the porch, build an alley along the path. The main thing is to purchase a special garland for this. It should be suitable for outdoor use, and also have the dimensions you need.

You can assemble a decor from a variety of garlands, but they will have to be connected to something. And here problems may arise: so many sockets and adapters may simply not be at hand. Therefore, it is easier to immediately choose a luminous curtain of a suitable size.

Standard bulbs for this kind of round lighting. But you can find more interesting options with diodes in the form of hearts, snowflakes, icicles, stars.

On the other hand, they are not needed outside. The facade of the house is a large object, its beauty lies precisely in the three-dimensionality visible from afar.

Therefore, the shape of the bulbs does not play a special role. But size does matter.

Small LEDs make it harder to decorate a large area.

The curtain can be quite short. Such a fringe is usually hung along the roof. And long or cascading garlands can also be hung on a fence or outbuildings. They will direct light on the contours of buildings, as a result, an ordinary summer house or a private house will look like a fairy-tale village.

Neon cord

Outline the building with a neon cord. This lighting option is universal, it can be used for decoration all year round.

Flexible neon options:

  1. Electroluminescent - soft PVC cord with wire soldered inside. Such neon can be used in frosts down to -30 degrees. The cord is waterproof and will not fade over time.
  2. LED - a modern version of neon, consisting of LEDs and a PVC tube. A high-quality LED cord glows so that individual diodes are not visible. Such illumination does not heat up, withstands frosts down to -45 degrees.

Characteristics of neon cord depend on quality and manufacturer. Permissible temperatures and other conditions should be specified at the time of purchase.

The diameter of the neon cord can be 0. 9-5 cm. Thick cord is less flexible, so it is more difficult to use it to create curved shapes with many small details. But it is well suited for outlining the contour of the house. Polyvinyl chloride in the cold can tan, so it is advisable to deal with the design of the facade in advance. Just before the New Year, the thermometer can hold a sub-zero temperature steadily, which will make it difficult to install neon decor.

Sparkling ice sculptures

Beautiful ice figures are the most unusual and beautiful way to decorate the New Year's yard of a private or country house. And if you place a glowing light inside each sculpture, it’s hard to imagine a more fabulous decor.

For such a figure, you need to choose LED street lamps that do not heat up much. The figure itself can be made separately by inserting a hollow transparent tube inside. Then the backlight can be connected at the last moment, and not try to freeze the Snowman with a flashlight inside.

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