1) Choosing Light Sets and Cords
2) Lighting the Tree
#1 Choosing Light Sets and Cords
Choose the colors that coordinate best with your tree and decorations. Select green cords to use on green trees, whether flocked or not. Use white cords on white trees. If you have an artificial tree and know how many tips it has, multiply the number of branch tips by .60 (60%). For example, a tree with 1,500 tips would require 1,500 x .60 = 900 miniature lights. Adjust the percentage up or down for a more heavily-lit or lightly-lit tree. If you don’t know the number of branch tips, a general rule to follow is 100 bulbs per foot of tree height.
To eliminate some cords, select a multi-plug extension cord to secure to the center trunk of the tree. Use a multi-outlet power strip to make it easy to turn lights on and off at one switch, and to protect against power surges. A power strip will also help extend the life of your lights, especially those on pre-lit trees.
#2 Lighting the Tree
Like every other step in trimming your tree, applying lights will be much easier if you follow a plan. First secure an extension cord to the middle of the tree trunk. Next, plug the extension cord into a power strip. Begin attaching light sets at the bottom of your tree and work upward. If your tree has hinged branches, it is easiest to tie up the branches above the layer you are lighting. After you finish a layer, untie and let down the next layer. After you attached lights to one bare branch, move to the next branch. As you move through the tree, use consistent spacing between lights. Work the lights out from the trunk of the tree to the branch tips and back in toward the trunk for complete coverage.
If you finish a section of the tree and have lights left on a strand, pull the strand back to the trunk of that section and wrap the excess lights around the tree trunk. After you have completed lighting your tree, fluff the branches by arranging the tips to achieve a desired shape.
Decorative or novelty light sets are considered lighted ornaments and should be added after regular lighting is completed. Plan on five 10-light sets of decorative lights for an average 7′ tree. Use a separate extension cord for novelty lights.
To simplify your life, a pre-lit tree is the best recommendation!