How to Wrap Trees with Christmas Lights

When wrapping trees with Christmas lights, there are some basic measurements that you need to take into consideration. Measure the circumference of the tree trunk, as well as the circumference and count of any branches you wish to wrap with lights. Determine how much spacing you want both between each light bulb on the string, as well as how far apart you plan to wrap the light strings.

A 6″ bulb spacing is popular for wrapping trunks and branches, with an average spacing of 2-3″ between strings. Divide height by desired string spacing, multiply total by circumference to calculate total string length needed. Example: we have a 4’H trunk that measures 2′ in circumference, and we plan to wrap four of the stronger branches, which measure 3’L and 6″ in circumference.


Use this equation to learn how to wrap a tree with lights:

  • 4’H trunk / 3″ spacing = 16 x 2′ circumference = 32′ of lighting
  • 3’L branch / 3″ spacing = 12 x 6″ circumference = 6′ of lighting per branch
  • Total lighted feet will be approximately 56′ for the trunk and four branches

Total power available should also be taken into consideration when wrapping. If using commercial mini light strings, up to 10 100-bulb count strings can be connected, or 420 watts. If using premium , up to six 100-bulb count strings can be connected. LED lights typically allow up to 43 light strings, or 210 watts, to be connected, so there is rarely a concern of plugging to many LED strands together. Switch to energy saving LED lights to allow for maximum light counts.

Most trees are wrapped the length of the trunk and approximately 3-4′ high in the extending branches. Not every branch needs to be wrapped, and branches should be selected to allow for an even, pleasing distribution of light. Wrapping trees is much easier with two people, and by keeping the string in a neat ball. The following steps are the easiest way to wrap trees:

  • Start at the base of the tree with the first string of lights. Make sure the male plug is ground level to connect with your power cord.
  • Starting with the female, begin wrapping the tree systematically, connecting the male end with the next light string’s female end.
  • Wrap Christmas lights tightly, to ensure a snug fit. Lights will stay in place if wrapped tightly, but you can use zip ties to secure any loose wires or areas of concern.
  • Increase vertical spacing of strings on branches where light strings will be wrapped up and back down.
  • Keep light strings in close proximity to the tree to prevent wind and storm damage.

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