Tree Lighting 101

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Lighting an Artificial Tree

Creating a magical glow of lights on an artificial tree isn't difficult, but it demands patience.

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Take your time lighting
your tree, and you'll be
happy with the results.

Artificial trees come in sections that open like an umbrella. If you use miniature lights, you can wrap them around the branches and leave them on permanently. Just be sure to light each section separately (that is, don't cross a section, or point of assembly, with a strand of lights).

Use 50-light strands: the 100-light strands are two 50-light strands wired together, and the 50-light strands are easier to work with as you wrap the tree branches. In addition, the 50-light sets are less likely to burn out or have electrical problems.

For Subdued Lighting:
artificial branch with light
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Photo 1

  • Use about 12 boxes of 50-light strands for a 6-foot tree and about 20 boxes for an 8-foot tree.
  • Begin at the bottom of the tree close to the trunk. Allowing some slack or leader cord in the first strand of lights, separate the cord near the first bulb so it forms a loop. Slip the loop over one of the branchlets or greens near the trunk, and wrap the cord a few times around the green to secure it.

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Photo 2

  • Pull the string of lights taut to the tip of the branch, then work back toward the trunk, wrapping the cord over itself and the branch.
  • Separate the cord again when you reach the trunk, and slip the cord over a branchlet to secure it. Carry the cord over to the next branch, wrap it around a green near the trunk, and pull it out to the tip. Wrap the cord over itself and the branch as before.
  • Continue wrapping branches in this manner until you come to the end of the string. Plug in the next set, and keep going until you reach the point where the tree comes apart. Work any extra lights back along the branch rather than crossing the section. When you wrap the top section of the tree, don't wrap the lights around as many branches so the tree will look evenly lit from top to bottom.

For Moderate Lighting:

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Photo 3

  • Use 20 boxes of 50-light strands for a 6-foot tree and 30 boxes for an 8-foot tree.
  • Follow the same procedure as for subdued lighting, but wrap the cord around some of the greens along the branch as you work back toward the trunk.

For Showcase Lighting:

  • Use 40 boxes of 50-light strands for a 6-foot tree and 80 boxes for an 8-foot tree.
  • Wrap the cord around every green as you work back along the branch.

Continued on page 4:  Outdoor Lights


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