How to String Christmas Tree Lights

If the job of lighting the Christmas tree makes you reach for the aspirin bottle, here's help on how to light your tree efficiently and beautifully -- and with fewer headaches.
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Lighting Made Easier

Christmas Tree
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Start decorating your tree with
lights first and then get glowing!

Creating a magical glow of lights on an artificial tree isn't difficult, but it demands patience; on a fresh tree, it calls for both patience and a trick of the trade.

Plug it in

Christmas tree lights are either stacked or end to end, also called string to string. Check the boxes of lights before you buy to make sure they're all compatible. You can join more strands with stacked plugs than you can with end-to-end type plugs. Be sure to check the box for the manufacturer's recommendations, however. Usually you can string together three 100-light strands or six 50-light strands.

How many lights?

For a fresh tree, plan for three 100-light sets per tree foot.

For an artificial tree, 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, use about 12 boxes for a 6-foot tree and about 20 boxes for an 8-foot tree. For moderate lighting, use 20 boxes for a 6-foot tree and 30 boxes for an 8-foot tree. For showcase lighting, use 40 boxes and 80 boxes, respectively.

Continued on page 2:  Lighting a Fresh Tree


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