Christmas tree with lights and gold decorations
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

How To Put Lights On A Christmas Tree

Master the art of lighting your Christmas tree by following our guide 

There is an art to lighting a Christmas tree to make it look stunning; first of all you need a good amount of lights, we recommend 100 per foot of tree, so a 210cm (7’) tree will need at least 700 lights. Use just an ordinary string of lights, not the cluster lights as they are a huge number of lights on just a short length of wire; they can be used on a tree and spiralled around the tree to give a stunning effect, but you will need a huge number of sets. Cluster lights are usually used on a garland or swag or simply wound around the staircase bannister.

 

 

The tree we use in the video is the 210cm (7’) Keswick Spruce, which is from our budget range of trees. It is the traditional 100% PVC, but for a budget tree is really thick and bushy. The lights are the Compact 1,500 warm white LEDs on 34m of wire. When you take the lights out of the box they should be tightly coiled, do not unwrap them as you will just end up with a tangled rat’s nest which will be hugely frustrating. Plug in the lights so you can see where you are going; only do this if you are using LEDs as they are low voltage and cold to the touch. Don’t switch the lights on if you are using the old-fashioned filament lights as they are high voltage and get red hot.

Start at the back of a bottom branch and wind the lights round the branch to the front then go to the back again and onto the next branch. Carry on around the bottom layer of branches and when all have been lit move up to the next layer repeating the process. Carry on to the top of the tree. In the video I planned on just using one set of lights but ended up using two sets just so that the tree looked spectacular on the video, so the demonstration tree ended up having 3,000 lights. Taking the lights all the way to the back of the tree gives depth to the tree and illuminates your decorations to make them really shine out.

If putting lights onto the tree is too time consuming and seems like hard work why not invest in a pre-lit artificial tree. All our pre-lit artificial trees have LED lights, those from The National Tree Company and Puleo have replaceable bulbs. The tree lights, as well as the tree, are guaranteed for 15 years so we can send out spares if one should break or not light. The trees which feature the Power Connect lighting system are even easier to light as the connections are inside the central pole so come on automatically as you assemble the sections of tree. With a standard pre-lit tree each section of tree has to be connected to the previous one with a small 2-pin jack, so an average 210cm (7’) tree will have two connections and with the National Tree trees there will be a spare connection at the top to accommodate a lit tree topper (the tree toppers are only compatible with trees from The National Tree Company).

Good quality LED lights should last an average of 50,000 hours, which equates to approximately 208 years assuming you run them for 8 hours over 30 days of Christmas. So although LEDs seem to be quite expensive initially, considering the time they last and the fact that they are low voltage and cost next to nothing to run, they are not a bad investment. Most of the LED light strings have non-replaceable bulbs so if one goes out it does not affect the rest of the lights; as they usually have a lot of bulbs on one string quite a lot will have to have gone out before it becomes really noticeable. If, like me you dread the thought of looking through a whole string of lights to find a broken bulb then LEDs really are a no-brainer.