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How to Properly String Lights on a Christmas Tree

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Photography by: YASU+JUNKO

Novelty Lights

Deck the halls (and trees, wreaths, and garlands!) with these whimsical LEDs.

from top down

1. Icicles

These look great on a tree or hanging from eaves.

 

Winter White Icicles, by Kurt Adler, $36 for 30 lights, amazon.com

 

2. Globes

Whether turned on or off, the filigree balls, available in both silver and gold, are striking.

 

From $22 for 24 lights, environmentallights.com

 

3. Large Snowflakes

Brighten a wreath with a dusting of battery-operated snowflake lights.

 

By Martha Stewart Living, $7.50 for 30 lights, homedepot.com

 

4. Tiny Dots

These Stargazer lights are battery-operated and work especially well in miniature village scenes.

 

$38 for 15', shopterrain.com

 

5. Mini Snowflakes

Light up a tree with petite snowflake bulbs.

 

By Martha Stewart Living, $14 for 50 lights, homedepot.com

 

6. Flowers

The bendable battery-operated branches are perfect for a garland-trimmed fireplace mantel.

 

$15 for 24 lights, save-on-crafts.com

Branch-Weaving

Wrapping strings around branches (instead of around the tree’s perimeter) creates a better, brighter twinkle but requires more effort.

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1. Starting at the bottom bough, string lights along the underside of each branch. When you get near the end, loop the string around the top of the branch.

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2. Work back to the tree trunk, winding around the branch and light strand. Continue around the tree.

How Many Strings Do You Need?

Use these equations, endorsed by our lighting experts, to calculate the number of bulbs required for your tree; then divide by the number of bulbs per string.

 

SURFACE-WINDING EQUATION

Number of lights = height × diameter of tree × 20

 

3-D WEAVING EQUATION

Number of lights = height × radius × radius × 50

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