For all those people waiting until tomorrow (1st December) to put your Christmas tree up, here is what you need to know about how to hang Christmas tree lights to create a beautiful looking tree.

christmas tree lights

I’ve already put my tree up.  My daughter and I have a tradition of decorating the tree together.  We crank up the Christmas music and sing along while we decorate.  Christmas tree lights really make the tree, so I wanted to share my tips and tricks for getting your Christmas tree lights right.

How Many Lights to Use?

As a general guide, you should use 100 lights for every 1-1 1/2 feet of tree.  So a 4 ft tree would use 400 lights and a 6ft tree would use 600 lights.

If your lights have flashing functions try to get the number of lights you need in one set.  If you use multiple sets you may have one set slowly fading while the other set is flashing quickly which will look wrong.

christmas lights

Tips for Hanging Christmas Tree Lights

Turn the Lights On

Plug the lights in and turn them on before you start to hang them.  Check if there are any lights or sections not working.  Make sure when arranging the lights that you hide any dead bulbs toward the centre of the tree.  Having the lights on means you can see how the lights look as you arrange them.

Christmas tree lights on

Where to Start?

It doesn’t matter whether you start at the top of the tree or the bottom, just make sure that the end of the cord with the plug is at the bottom of the tree closest to the power point (socket).

It can be easier to arrange the lights if they are wrapped in a ball, and you gradually unravel the lights as you arrange them.  If your lights are wrapped so the power cord is at the end, start at the bottom.  If they are wrapped the other way, it might be best to start at the top.


Image – In My Own Style

Hanging Pattern

Personally I wrap my lights from the top of the tree to the bottom.  I weave them in a random pattern back and forth and in and out of the tree.  Having the lights switched on really helps as you can see any dead spots that need filling.

Avoid wrapping the lights in a spiral pattern around the tree as you will end up seeing the wires run across the perimeter of the tree.  Instead try weaving the lights into the trunk of the tree and then out to the tips of the branches.

christmas tree lights how to

Image: Yellow Bliss Road

If your tree is in a corner or against the wall you don’t need as many lights around the back.  Use a ladder to reach the top of the tree.

Here are a couple of good videos that show different styles of hanging the Christmas tree lights.

And this one over at Real Simple – How to Put Lights on A Christmas Tree

Real Simple Lights

Final Adjustments

Once you’ve finished hanging the lights, step back and look at the tree.  Reposition sections of lights to ensure there are no dead patches or areas where there are too many lights too close together.  You can use small wire ties to hold the lights in place.

If your lights have a lighting functions mode, run through each mode to see how it will look on the tree.  Use a timer if you want your lights to turn on and off automatically.

Once you have the lights looking good, then add all your decorations to the tree.

Decorate Christmas Tree Lights

So turn on the Christmas music and make decorating your tree a fun time with the family.