How to Put Lights on a Tree Outdoors?

String lights are most people’s staple when it comes to decorating trees, whether for Christmas or just for everyday decoration. Hanging lights can also be surprisingly effective, however, and can bring your yard and property a lot of light that’s both decorative and even practical.

But, how should you go about it? How to put Christmas lights on a large outdoor tree? The easy answer is – carefully and with plenty of planning but let’s elaborate a bit more below.

How to hang Christmas lights on outdoor trees?

Safety is pretty much the only thing you can’t afford to get wrong when it comes to outdoor electronics so we’ll start from there:

  • The first step is to pick lights that are suitable for outdoor use. Fortunately, most hanging tree lights fall in this category, especially when it comes to the mid and large sizes. While some string lights are for indoor Christmas trees only, most hanging tree lights are rated for outdoor use. Still, to be safe, look for lights and extension cords that also have GFCI (ground-fault circuit-interrupter) protection for shock hazards.
  • Another safety precaution is to use a secure ladder and to always have a buddy around in case of an accident. Knowing how to put Christmas lights on a tree outside is one thing but everyone can slip up even when they know what they’re doing.

With that in mind, the rest is mostly about finding the right lights for your trees, yard, and preferences. You can go with giant hanging light orbs, star or snowflake hanging lights, or even just basic shape light bulbs with or without lampshades. You can also hang string lights instead of wrapping them around the tree. Most of these choices are a matter of personal preferences.

  • Pick larger lights if you want their light to be not only decorative but practical for outdoor dinners, social gatherings, etc.
  • Don’t hang the lights too high. This will reduce the impact of their light, it will make hanging them needlessly difficult, and will remove any practical lighting side effects they could have.Go with white lights if you want a more practical and casual year-round lighting. Multi-colored lighting is more festive and is usually preferred for the holidays.
  • Make sure to check how heavy the lights are and that you put them on the thicker and stronger branches.
  • As for how to string Christmas lights on outdoor trees, the process is as simple as it sounds. The only significant pitfall comes from stronger winds – because we’re talking about hanging string lights and not wrapping them around the tree, they can easily get damaged from the wind. So, hanging them extra tight and on multiple branches is a good idea.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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