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How to Put Lights on a Christmas Tree Correctly & Safely

Christmas lights

Learning how to put lights on a Christmas tree properly may seem a little tricky and time consuming at first, but the end result is so worth it.

Having a Beautiful and Safe Tree

Lit Christmas Tree

Everyone wants their Christmas tree to look gorgeous. This beauty of course, begins with the right tree, lights and decorations. Sometimes, it is so easy to get caught up with the nostalgic Christmas ornaments, the stories behind them and the softly twinkling lights, that having a beautiful and safe Christmas tree slips peoples minds. When safety and Christmas trees are discussed, the focus of the conversation is generally about the lights.

Safety Tips for Christmas Tree Lights

Certain types of Christmas tree lights can get hot. That coupled with wrapped gifts under the tree becomes a fire hazard. Another serious fire hazard is overloading extension cords and electrical outlets. Overloading either of these can lead to electrical fires.

You may not hear about them as often as you used to, but Christmas tree fires do happen. Here are some quick and easy safety tips for Christmas tree lights:

  • Plug in all the strands of lights individually. - Do this before you string them on the tree. This is great for checking burned out bulbs, but you also want to check for electrical shorts in the wiring. If a strand of lights is shorted out, do not use it.
  • Use a surge protector. - If the light extension cords short out or malfunction in some way, having the lights plugged into a surge protector can help to prevent electrical damage to the outlet.

Now that you know two very important tips to protecting your family, it's time to move on to the fun part of learning how to put lights on a Christmas tree.

Preparing the Lights

More than likely, your Christmas tree lights have been stored in a box for nearly a year. No matter how careful you put them away, it's inevitable that some have become tangled. Before you can put the lights on your tree, you need to prepare them.

  • Lay the strands out flat on the floor
  • Plug them in to check for burned out bulbs and shorts
  • Replace burned out bulbs

Once you're done checking all the strands, it's time to put the lights up on the tree.

How to Put Lights on a Christmas Tree

Stringing Lights

Follow these easy steps and you will have a beautifully, and safely, lit Christmas tree:

  • Pull the tree away from the wall. - Once you have it in its stand, you want to pull it away from the wall far enough for someone to walk behind it.
  • Begin on the inside of the tree at the top. - Wrap the lights around the trunk of the tree, beginning at the top. Stand on a step stool if necessary. Continue this step until you reach the bottom of the trunk where the last branches are.
  • Light up the middle. - Now that the trunk is lit, move out on to the branches a few inches and wrap the lights loosely around the tree branches. Continue this until you reach the last branches on the bottom of the tree.
  • Light up the outside. - Now that the inside and middle are full of lights, wrap the strands along the outside of the branches. How far out you go is completely up to you. You can wrap the strands along the very tips of the branches if you want, but remember to save room for the ornaments as well.

Final Tips

Here are some final tips for putting lights on a Christmas tree.

  • Turn the lights on. - Having the lights on allows you to see any spots you've missed on the tree.
  • Have a helper. - Have someone stand behind you with untangled strands of lights to make the job go much quicker.
  • Stand back. - Every once in a while, stand back from the tree to see if you have too many lights in one spot and not enough in another.

Taking the time to put Christmas tree lights on, working from the inside of the tree to the outermost branches ensures that your tree will look gorgeous. Having lights on the inside of the tree also makes all of your great Christmas ornaments sparkle.

How to Put Lights on a Christmas Tree Correctly & Safely