How many Christmas Lights do I need to decorate my tree?
This is probably one of the most common questions we receive during the holiday season. The question is difficult to answer because the answer depends a lot on personal preference. However, you can make a fairly reliable estimate by taking some measurements from your tree. First, measure the height of the tree (not including the trunk.) Second, measure the tree's circumference at the base of the tree. Third, decide how far apart you would like to space the lights vertically on the tree. (*If you like more lights on your tree you should space them more closely together. If you like a lot of lights on your tree we recommend that you use 2-3" vertical spacing. If you like less light 4-6" spacing is sufficient.) Once you have made these measurements you can determine the total feet of lights you will need by using the following formula:
1. Multiple the tree diameter by 3.14.
2. Multiple the product of step 1 by the height of the tree.
3. Divide the product of step 2 by 2.
4. Divide the amount result of the calculation in step 3 by the desired vertical spacing (*Use .33 for true 4" vertical spacing.)
To determine the number of strings of a particular product you want divide the total from step 4 by the number of feet of the Christmas light product you want to use.
For example, the calculation for a 8' tree with a 5' diameter where the vertical spacing is to be 4", the calculation would be:
1. 5*3.14 = 15.70
2. 15.70*8 = 125.60
3. 125.60/2 = 62.80
4. 62.80/.33 = 190.30
Using these figures, the tree should have a total of about 190' of lights. Most of our light sets are 25' in length so dividing this by 25 yields a total of about 7-8 strings needed.
- A standard rule is one set of lights per foot of tree height (6’ tall tree = 6 sets of lights). Slim line trees, usually require one set of lights per 1’-2’ of tree height
- Have an extension cord handy to plug the lights into – always make sure to test the lights prior to using them
- Always have the lights plugged in while you work
- To light the tree, work from the bottom of the tree upward. Continue to move around the tree as you light
- Start by lighting the inside of the tree near the center trunk. Wrap the lights around the branches and work your way out and back again as you move up the tree
- Wrapping the lights around the branches helps keep wires hidden – this gives you a professional and clean looking finished product
- If you have end-to-end lights, you can add more sets by plugging them in to each other. Or, an extra extension cord may be necessary to plug lights into as you work toward the top of the tree.
o Need to add more lights but don’t have an end of a set (female plug) to plug into? You can plug additional sets into the female plug on the backside of the male plug, to add additional lights where you need them.
- To create a perfect sense of balance, place smaller ornaments at the top of the tree, and position larger ornaments near the middle and bottom of the tree.
- As you start to build your theme, create a focal point either at the top or the bottom of the tree
- Carry the theme through, with appropriate decorative garland or ribbon
- Place props in the tree to enhance or reinforce the product and theme
If you need assistance determining how many lights you need for your Christmas tree or other lighting display please feel free to contact us.