How to String Christmas Lights How to String Christmas Lights

People love to use Christmas lights on their tree, whether it’s a real tree or an artificial one. The lights add to the atmosphere and help make a room look seasonal. However, there are many safe ways to string Christmas lights.

When you connect endless strings of lights to each other and plug them all into a single extension cord, or even into one outlet, it can generate a great deal of power. It will strain the bulbs, causing blowouts and could overload the circuit, tripping the breaker.

Step 1 - How Many Lights do You Need?

The number of strands of lights you need will depend on the height of the tree. Use C7 lights, where the bulbs are spaced a foot apart. With a 5 foot tall tree, estimate two boxes of Christmas lights and then add one more box per foot. With taller trees of 8 feet or more, you will need even more. For example, if your tree is 10 feet tall you will need to buy seven boxes of lights.

You will also need a power strip and an extension cord for every three strands of lights.

Step 2 - Preparing to String the Lights

Start by plugging the power strip into an outlet close to the tree. Do not have anything else plugged into that outlet. Then plug the first extension cord into the power strip. Run the extension cord up the trunk of the Christmas tree, attaching it with string or cable ties until it’s a little more than 1 foot below the top of the tree.

Step 3 - Stringing the Lights

Plug the first strand of Christmas lights into the extension cord, then continue by running it to the top of the tree before working your way down, draping the lights on the ends of the branches. Wind the strand around the branch wherever possible so it doesn’t show and work outwards from the tree trunk.

When you reach the end of the first strand, plug a second strand into that and continue to slowly work down the tree, still from the trunk outwards. After the second strand is on the tree, add a third and keep going.

Don’t attempt to add a fourth strand to the other three. Instead, plug another extension cord into the power strip and run it up the tree, attaching it like the first but just to the level where you’ll add a new string of lights.

Plug your strand of lights into the extension cord and continue. Again, don’t connect more than three strands together. If you’re going to have more lights, add another extension cord. If you fill all the outlets on the power strip and still want more lights, plug another power strip into a different outlet then run more extension cords to the tree.

Step 4 - Safety Tips

Make sure you unplug the tree at night and whenever you leave the house. If a bulb burns out, replace it immediately making sure you have the correct bulb, Unplug the tree before you replace the bulb. Never cover the bulbs with anything as this could cause a fire.

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