Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to Hang Your Christmas Tree Lights

Happy December!

How to Hang Your Christmas Tree Lights
Christmas décor is in full swing in my house, and of course the focal point is the tree! It is by far my favorite part of the holiday season. Last year I showed you a little experiment I did with the hypothesis that hanging lights in different methods (vertical vs. horizontal) resulted in significantly different results.

If you missed it, here is the recap:

Now this year, I applied what I learned LAST year, and made an OUTSTANDING tree, if I do say so myself. Roughly 800+ lights later, and this is my final result:

How to Hang Your Christmas Tree Lights
Personally, I am a visual learner, and I like being able to track changes and progress with pictures, so that’s how I came up with these pics. Of course, the base of the experiment, the humble and bare tree:

Tree with no lights

Then the addition of a strand of twinkle lights (100 lights), strung vertically, and focused on the inner most portion of the tree.

Tree with one strand of lights
A strand of 200 solid lights are then added. I did a significant portion in the vertical method, but also did a small section of the bottom of the tree in the horizontal method. I don’t want that section to be under-covered.

2nd strand of lights on tree

This next addition is my favorite of them all. I was treated to a strand of 140 specialty lights. They have 8 different “settings” and really make a difference on the tree.  You’ll have to check out the video for the full effect of them. They are only added vertically to the tree.

3rd strands of lights
Another strand of 100 twinkle lights was added next. I mostly applied them vertically, but added a few parts of them horizontally. I wanted to distribute the twinkle lights thoroughly throughout the tree.

4th strand of lights on the tree
The next strand is a bit of a toss-up. It’s a tad on the goofy side.  Despite my best efforts, some parts blink some of the time, but not all of the time. It’s completely random. Anyways, there are about 150 lights on this strand. It is also applied vertically, but working outwards on the tree.

And FINALLY, the last strand. 100 plain lights. These were mostly used for filling in any spots that may have been neglected. I ended up rearranging this strand a little as the branches opened up over the next day or two.

Ta-da! Looks great doesn’t it? Here is a few of my favorite shots:
Bokeh Christmas Tree

And so you could get the full effect of the twinkle lights, here is a quick video I snapped to share with you!

My tips for optimal light coverage:

  • There is no one right way. I obviously combined several methods and techniques to get the look.
  • Quantity. As far as I can tell, the more lights, the better!
  • Patience. This is a must! Going up and down, strand after strand, branch after branch, is not something you just throw together.
  • Make a night of it! Put on some great Christmas music, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy the process!
  • Work from the inside of the tree, out. It’s easier to start pushing the branches apart to get to the inner most part of the tree when there is nothing in the way.
  • After every strand, step back and take a look at your work. See what sections you missed, eye where you are going to put the next strand, etc.

SO! I must ask: How do you hang your lights? Any tips or techniques you’d like to share? Suggestions for others? 


  1. Love this! Beautiful lighting and absolutely covered. You know, the ornaments don't really shine at night when the lights are on, so getting them just right is super important and your tips are perfect. We are full time RVers and have no room for a tree *sniff*. I still hang ornaments in the window, but I'm pinning this anyway in case we ever decide to go back to a regular job in a regular house.

    1. Aww, we need to get you a mini tree somehow! Tehe, maybe one on the dash :) Just a mini one! I'm still adding the final ornaments to my tree now, but they look absolutely divine at night with all the lights behind them! Thank you for checking out the post lovely! <3 <3

  2. Wow how cool!!! We only have about half of that amount on our tree and I'm not happy about it but not fixing it this year. Will hunt down lights on sale after Christmas though. Twinkle lights bother me for some reason...yeah I'm weird. lol Love your idea of starting from the inside working out and will definately use that method next year. Your tree looks gorgeous so far!!! Thanks for the detailed explanation. :)

    1. Well thank you Ann! I totally hear ya, not everyone is up for twinkle lights! I was hoping to pick up MORE lights at Michaels (on sale of course) but the one near me is pretty much out of EVERYTHING! crazy. I'm super glad you found this post helpful :) You'll have to keep me updated next year on how your tree turns out!