How To Put Christmas Lights On A Large Outdoor Tree

Posted by Outdoor Ambiance on October 13, 2023

he holiday season is upon us, and there's no better way to spread the festive cheer than by adorning your outdoor trees with beautiful Christmas lights. At Outdoor Ambiance, we understand the magic that outdoor tree lights can bring to your home during this special time of year. Hanging Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! We have years of experience in lighting up outdoor trees, and we're here to guide you through the process step by step.

Choose the Right Christmas Lights

The first step in creating a breathtaking outdoor tree display is selecting the right Christmas lights. LED lights are an excellent choice for outdoor use because they are energy-efficient, durable, and emit a vibrant, long-lasting glow. Before you begin, ensure you have enough lights to cover the entire tree. As a general rule of thumb, plan for at least 100 lights per foot of tree height. For example, a 20-foot tall tree would require a minimum of 2,000 lights.

Safely Set Up a Ladder

Safety is paramount when working with tall outdoor trees. Begin by positioning your ladder on a stable surface near the tree. Make sure the ladder is tall enough to reach the branches at the top of the tree safely. If your tree is exceptionally tall, consider using a telescoping ladder or an extension ladder.

Start at the Base of the Tree

To ensure a balanced and visually appealing display, start hanging lights at the base of the tree. Plug the light string into an extension cord and secure it to the tree trunk using outdoor-rated electrical tape. This will act as your starting point and source of power for the lights.

Hang Lights Around the Tree

Above shot of yellow and black bins filled with lights

Begin wrapping the lights around the tree, working your way up from the base. Keep the lights evenly spaced and avoid overcrowding any particular area. When wrapping the lights around tree branches, make sure they are securely fastened but not so tight that they damage the branches. Depending on the size of your tree, you may need to enlist the help of a friend to ensure the lights are evenly distributed.

Make Sure Lights Go Deeper

As you ascend the tree, make sure the lights go deeper into the branches rather than just staying on the surface. This will create a fuller and more radiant effect. Carefully thread the lights through the branches, paying attention to the natural shape of the tree.

Hang Lights Far Apart

To avoid overloading the tree and creating a cluttered look, hang your Christmas lights far apart. Spacing the lights about 6-8 inches apart works well for most outdoor trees. This not only ensures a balanced appearance but also prevents excessive tangling of the light strings.

Continue to the Top of the Tree

Once you reach the top of the tree, secure the lights in place and make sure they are evenly distributed. The top of the tree is the focal point, so take your time to achieve a pleasing arrangement. If necessary, adjust the lights and branches to create a symmetrical appearance.

Check for Dark Spots

After hanging all the lights, step back and inspect the tree from a distance. Look for any dark spots or areas that may need additional lights. It's essential to make sure all the bulbs are working, so replace any burnt-out bulbs before finalizing your display.

Secure the Extension Cord

Secure the extension cord to the tree trunk or hide it among the branches using outdoor-rated electrical tape or zip ties. Ensure that the connection between the extension cord and the lights is protected from the elements to prevent electrical hazards.

Use a Timer or Remote Control

For convenience and energy savings, consider using a timer or remote control system to automate the operation of your outdoor tree lights. This way, you can set the lights to turn on and off at specific times during the holiday season, saving both energy and effort.

Add a Touch of Creativity

While the traditional method of wrapping lights around the tree is beautiful, don't be afraid to get creative. Consider incorporating different light colors, such as warm white, multicolored, or even twinkling LEDs, to give your outdoor tree a unique and captivating appearance. You can also experiment with various lighting patterns, like zigzagging or spiraling, to add a touch of whimsy to your display.

Keep Safety in Mind

Safety should always be a top priority when working with outdoor Christmas lights. Ensure that all electrical connections are protected from moisture and weather conditions. Use outdoor-rated extension cords and power outlets designed for outdoor use. If you're unsure about any aspect of electrical safety, consult a professional electrician for guidance.

Maintain Your Lights Throughout the Holiday Season

Once your outdoor tree is beautifully adorned with Christmas lights, it's important to maintain them throughout the holiday season. Regularly check for burnt-out bulbs and replace them promptly to keep your display looking flawless. Additionally, inspect the extension cords and electrical connections for any signs of wear or damage.

Embrace the Holiday Spirit

Hanging Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree is not just a task; it's an opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit and create lasting memories. Invite family and friends to join in the decorating process, play festive music, and sip on hot cocoa to make the experience even more enjoyable.

Share the Joy

Finally, share the joy of your beautifully lit outdoor tree with your community. Your efforts can brighten the spirits of those who pass by, spreading holiday cheer far and wide. You can even host a small outdoor gathering or light ceremony to officially unveil your dazzling creation to friends and neighbors.

Trees with yellow lights and multicolored lights


Hanging Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree may require some effort, but the enchanting result is well worth it. At Outdoor Ambiance, we know that outdoor tree lights can transform your outdoor space into a magical wonderland during the holiday season. By following these expert tips and taking your time to hang Christmas tree lights properly, you'll create a stunning display that will delight your family and guests alike. So, grab your lights, prepare your materials, and get ready to make your outdoor trees shine brighter than ever this holiday season.