# How Many Lights To Wrap A Tree Trunk

Looking to stop traffic this holiday season? Wrapping your trees in festive commercial holiday lights is an easy way to make your outdoor space simply magical.

Before you get started, there are some basic measurements that you need to take into consideration. YES – There IS math involved!:) You will need to measure the circumference of the tree trunk, as well as the circumference and count of any branches you wish to wrap with lights. Then decide as to 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.

Christmas mini lights with 4″ bulb spacing are 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.

Here’s a great 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:

Of course, we are fans of the “more lights, the better” mindset, so feel free to add as many stunning lights as your big Christmas heart desires!

Starting with a ball of lights is much easier, as the lights tend to stay untangled. Begin at the base of the tree, with the male end of the plug and wrap around the tree working your way up. Begin wrapping the tree upwards, connecting the male end with the next light string’s female end. Wrap the lights firmly, but not too tight. You can also use our high-quality zip cords to secure the lights if need be. When you reach the branches, you will want to increase the vertical spacing of strings on branches where light strings will be wrapped up and back down. You don’t need to wrap all of the branched, and you only need to go about ¾ of the way up a branch for maximum effect.

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.

### Quick way to calculate how many feet of lights needed to wrap a tree trunk

Here is our setup:

We are using a tree that has roughly an 18-inch diameter. We won’t need to use that number for any calculations but thought it might be good for reference. It is a pretty reasonably sized sample tree. Not too small. Not too big.

Step 1. Mark off 12 inches on the tree trunk in question with the painters tape. (Chalk would be equally useful.)

Step 2. Make a mark on the tape with the sharpie at the same places on the top and bottom tape. David thought this was unnecessary but I think it’s nice to easily see the beginning and end of the spiral.

Step 3. Use the cord to wrap the tree with the rope in the same way you’d wrap a set of lights adjusting the spiral to reflect how much light you want to see on the tree.

David winding the cord around the tree….

This wrapping resulted in 6 inches of distance between the spirals. This spacing is a good choice for larger trees.

Step 4. After winding the cord at a 6 inch spiral between the tape spaced 12 inches apart, we marked the cord with tape and measured the total length of cord used.

The length of the cord for a 6-inch spaced spiral is 11 feet!

We decided to wrap the tree again but spaced the spirals 4 inches apart. This distance is commonly used in commercial applicaitons where intense lighting is the goal.

Here is what that looked like:

We measured again. The length of the cord this time was 23 feet.

Once the distance required to light a foot of the tree trunk is measured, just multiply that number in feet by the height of the tree trunk.

In our examples, let’s see how many feet of lights are needed to light 10 feet of tree trunk.

For roughly 6 inches between spirals

11 feet of lights x 10 feet of tree = 110 feet of lights which is 6 – 7 strings of LED lights spaced 4 inches apart

This installation can be lit with either glass or LED as long as any circuit does not exceed 210 watts.

For roughly 4 inches between spirals

28 feet of lights x 10 feet of tree = 280 feet of lights which is about 17 strings of LED lights

This installation could be glass with a splitter installed after the first 10 sets with 10 sets running in series and 7 sets running in series from the other side of the splitter. Seventeen LED strings could be run in series without splitters.

Choose the right spacing based on size of tree, desired look, available power, and budget.

• Common spacing for glass mini lights strings are 2.5, 4, and 6 inches. LED Mini lights are spaced 4 and 6 inches apart.
• Glass mini lights cannot be run more than 500 bulbs in series before a splitter is instroduced into the installation
• LED light strings can be connected 100’s of feet in series. Check the specification of the light strings for maximum number of strings that can be installed end to end.
• Use the total length of the light strings including the “head” and “tail” which is the measure of wire between the plug and first bulb.
• Add 10% or at least an extra string of lights to projects to account for irregularities in the tree trunk.
• The greater the distance between bulbs, the more economical the installation. More wire per light, is a good choice for larger trees. A smaller distance between bulbs can be a good choice for smaller tree trunks on smaller trees.
• Of course, we are fans of the “more lights, the better” mindset, so feel free to add as many stunning lights as your big Christmas heart desires!

Christmas mini lights with 4″ bulb spacing are 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.

Looking to stop traffic this holiday season? Wrapping your trees in festive commercial holiday lights is an easy way to make your outdoor space simply magical.

Here’s a great 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:

Starting with a ball of lights is much easier, as the lights tend to stay untangled. Begin at the base of the tree, with the male end of the plug and wrap around the tree working your way up. Begin wrapping the tree upwards, connecting the male end with the next light string’s female end. Wrap the lights firmly, but not too tight. You can also use our high-quality zip cords to secure the lights if need be. When you reach the branches, you will want to increase the vertical spacing of strings on branches where light strings will be wrapped up and back down. You don’t need to wrap all of the branched, and you only need to go about ¾ of the way up a branch for maximum effect.

### Watch Now: How to Wrap Trees With Outdoor Lights

• Outdoor light strands
• Twine or plant tape (optional)
• ### Choose the Trees for Lighting

Select the tree or trees you would like to light up. Start with one that creates a natural focal point in your landscape. Ideally, it will also have an interesting form and elegant branches that will look especially striking when illuminated. Odd shapes of branches and limbs can become magical in the evening when electrified with twinkling lights. A very large tree can have a lot of “wow” factor, but the bigger (and taller) it is, the more lights it will need. What you dont want is a big tree that is sparsely lighted, so choose the right size for the amount of lights you have or are willing to buy. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian

• ### Test the Light Strands

Test each strand of lights by plugging it in and making sure all of the lights are working. Its important to do this before hanging the lights, especially if you wont have the lights on while you work. You dont want to put up all of the lights only to discover that a strand in the middle is on the fritz. If desired, connect multiple light strings (after testing them) by plugging them together end-to-end. Wind the resulting long string around a flat piece of cardboard. This makes it easy to handle a long string without having to fight a tangled mess. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian How to Fix Christmas Lights

• ### Lay Out the Cord

Extend an outdoor-rated extension cord to the base of the tree. Because the cord will be outdoors and may get wet, it must have GFCI (ground-fault circuit-interrupter) protection to protect against shock hazards. To ensure protection, plug the cord into a GFCI outlet or use a GFCI-protected outdoor cord. Decide where the visible base of the tree is—this is the point where the tree becomes visible from the street or from the house. In addition, tall grasses, rocks, and other landscaping features might cover or obscure the very bottom of the trunk. Walk to the curb or out to the street, and make a mental note as to where the trunk is visible. Position the cord end at this point. If desired, you can wrap the cord around the base of the tree to secure it. Plug the first strand of lights into the extension cord. You can plug the cord into the outlet, if desired, or wait until youre finished. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian Use the Right Extension Cord Gauge for the Job

• ### Wind Up the Trunk

Begin wrapping the lights around the trees trunk, moving upward with each winding. To ensure even spacing, check the distance between windings with your hand. Use about four fingers to get consistent spacing between each wrap around the tree trunk. Aim for uniform spacing to make the finished project look its best. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian

• ### Run Up and Down the Limbs

Wrap the lights up each limb or large branch, making sure you have several extra feet of string. Space the wraps about two hands (eight fingers) apart. When you reach the end of the limb, reverse direction and wind the string back down, winding between the upward wraps so that the resulting spacing is one hand width. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian

Use a ladder to reach high areas. Never climb a tree to hang lights. You can use a freestanding stepladder for relatively low heights, but for higher areas, use an extension ladder. Always follow standard ladder safety procedures, making sure the ladder is evenly supported at the top and bottom and that it angles at about 75 degrees (15 degrees from vertical). If you need to climb more than about 6 feet high, have a helper hold the base of the ladder and to “spot” the lighting from the ground while youre up on the ladder. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian

• ### Secure the String

Secure the end of the light string, as needed, to complete the installation. You can simply tuck the end into a crook of branches to keep it from coming loose, or you can tie the string to the tree with a piece of natural twine or planting tape. Dont use metal wire, which could create a shock or fire hazard if the metal cuts through the lights wire insulation. You can also use a plastic zip tie, as long as you remember to cut it off before long. A strong zip tie could girdle the tree and cause damage if its not removed. The Spruce / Nanor Zinzalian

• ## FAQ

How do you wrap a tree trunk with lights?

“A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every foot-and-a-half of tree,” according to Lowe’s.

What kind of lights do you use to wrap trees?

LED mini lights with 6″ bulb spacing are popular for wrapping trunks and branches. To calculate the total string length you’ll need: divide the tree height by the spacing you want between wraps and multiply the total by circumference.

How many feet of lights do I need to cover a tree?

Trees: One 32-foot strand (100 lights) for every 1 1/2 vertical feet of an evergreen tree; or, about 500 to 600 lights for an 8-foot tree.