Tips for Putting LED Lights on an Outdoor Tree

Posted by Brett Carter on 14th Apr 2021

Simple and Professional Tips for Putting LED Lights on an Outdoor Tree

Whether you’re creating the perfect summer light display or a Christmas Wonderland, there are two basic wrap ideas when putting lights on outdoor trees: a trunk and branch wrap, and a canopy wrap. We are going to cover these two basic wrapping techniques so that you can make your trees look clean and professional.

Easy-to-Follow Trunk and Branch Wrapping Tips

Let’s talk about lights! Trunk and branch wraps are intricate and require smaller lights to accentuate the character of the tree. Consider using string lights with a short spacing between each bulb, between 4 to 6 inches. As the name suggests, you will be wrapping the trunk and branches of your tree. Let’s get started!

Step-by-step Instructions:

Step #1

Take a step back and look at your tree

Not every branch needs to be wrapped, so it’s always a good idea to take a step back before you begin. Figure out which branches you would like to highlight, and which ones you can leave out. Envision how the tree will look at night time and how you can display it’s natural shape using your lights.

Step #2

Start at the base of the trunk (and keep the lights on)

Once you have your design planned out, plug in your lights and start at the base of the trunk. It is always a good idea to wrap trees with your power on in case there is a faulty string of lights.

Step #3

Make sure the line is tight to avoid the lights slipping down

Wrapping evenly up the trunk, making sure not to cross your lights over each other - it makes the wrap look sloppy, inconsistent and unprofessional.

Step #4

Have your 3 or 5 tap splitter at the ready

Look at the wire and identify which side is ribbed. This is an important step because we work with the "ribbed side right" rule. If this rule is not followed, your cable might not work properly, and you will be putting yourself at risk for a little zap!

Just like the trunk, you are looking for even spacing, avoiding cross-over of your lights.

Step #5

Use double spacing to highlight smaller branches

More often than not, you are going to come across a spur (or a smaller branch) in your bigger branch that you might want to highlight. Instead of using another splitter, try wrapping up the spur with your spacing doubled, so that you can come back down in between the line going up

PRO TIP

Finishing with a Y

This is one of the most crucial parts to making a trunk and branch wrapped tree look OUTSTANDING. At night time, your tree will actually look like a tree and not a bunch of lighting toothpicks! All you need to remember is to end your line with a Y shape, or a ‘split’ at the end of your branches

How To Make a Beautiful Canopy Wrap

Canopy wraps are a simple and beautiful way to display your tree’s features. Canopy wraps are a fairly straightforward installation. Instead of wrapping each branch individually, like with a trunk and branch wrap, you are hanging the lights from branch to branch to highlight the canopy structure as a whole.

Canopy wraps definitely require a little patience,and can be almost impossible with just a ladder. That’s why selecting the right tools makes this job a lot easier!

Use a Painter’s Pole!

If you can stay off a ladder, do it! One of the best ways to wrap a canopy of a tree is by using a painter’s pole with a hook attached on the end of it

With the painters pole, now turned Christmas Light Hanger, canopy wrapping your trees is safe, effective and much faster.

Begin by running your extension cord up the trunk and to the end of one of your branches, this will be your starting point.

It’s time to plug in your lights and begin wrapping them around your tree

You don’t want your runs to be too tight to the tree, as in nasty weather situations the branches will move a lot, potentially hurting your lights, or even worse, the tree.

On the contrary, you don’t want your lights to saggy as it can make the tree look sad! So find a happy medium. After completing your first revolution, be sure to keep you spacing even when wrapping it a second time. The density of lights depends on how much you have budgeted for your tree. It may take a couple tries of wrapping your tree before you get it just perfect.

Wrapping Up!

You don’t want your runs to be too tight to the tree, as in nasty weather situations the branches will move a lot, potentially hurting your lights, or even worse, the tree.

On the contrary, you don’t want your lights to saggy as it can make the tree look sad! So find a happy medium. After completing your first revolution, be sure to keep you spacing even when wrapping it a second time. The density of lights depends on how much you have budgeted for your tree. It may take a couple tries of wrapping your tree before you get it just perfect.

Watch How To Canopy Wrap A Tree

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