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How to choose and hang Christmas tree lights

It's safe to say that it just doesn't feel like Christmas without the flickering glow of Christmas lights. Pulling them out of the box each year and unravelling the tangled wires may feel like a drag, but when they're eventually draped on the tree and switched on, you know it's been worth the effort. Whether you're due for a new set but don't know how many lights to get for your Christmas tree, or whether you're after the easiest and most impressive way to hang fairy lights, we've got the answers for you.

PS: If you really can't be bothered with stringing lights, you can always buy one of our pre-lit Christmas trees with the lights already attached!


Solar LED Christmas lights

Most of the fairy lights for Christmas trees on our site are of the solar-powered LED variety instead of the old-fashioned incandescent lights, which, while cheaper, have a higher electric energy consumption and a shorter life. LED fairy lights save up to 75% of energy consumption, last longer, have a low risk of fire, and also come in a large variety of colours. 


How many lights does a Christmas tree need?

When choosing Christmas lights, obviously consider the size of your Christmas tree first. Generally, you'll need at least 100 lights for every 50cm, depending on how bright you like your tree. If you want a brighter tree, use more lights by repeating your pattern. Refer to the table below to see the number of light bulbs you need for achieving different levels of brightness. 


What colour of Christmas lights to choose

On our site, you'll see the option of warm white, cool white or multi-coloured fairy lights. Here are some tips to guide your decision on which colour of Christmas lights to choose. 

When to choose warm white:
- You have a green Christmas tree.
- Your ornaments are in traditional red, green and gold colours.
- You want your ornaments to be the focus.
- You like a cosy glow.

When to choose cool white:
- You have a white or flocked Christmas tree.
- Your ornaments are blue, silver or neutral-coloured.
- You want a bright, lively atmosphere.

When to choose multi-colour:
- You have a Christmas tree that is full in volume. 
- Your ornaments are mismatched and the kids are likely to be decorating.
- You want a playful vibe and subscribe to 'more is more'.

Whatever type of lights you choose, use the same type for the entire tree for a consistent look and, where possible, don't forget to match the cord to the colour of your tree so it disappears into the foliage.

How to hang Christmas lights

Apart from the convenience of artificial Christmas trees, they're also so much easier than real ones to decorate with lights as the tree shape is more uniform. Here are the three of the most common hanging styles for fairy lights. 


This is probably the most common method given it's the quickest.

  1. Plug the lights in to make sure all the bulbs are working. 
  2. ​Starting from either the top or bottom of the tree (depending on your preference), wrap the lights over and under the branches of the tree, placing some lights deeper into the tree than others and alternating the patterns so that it looks more organic. 


Using less lights and easier to remove, this hanging style was popularised by a TikTok Christmas tree decorating hack.

  1. Plug the lights in to make sure all the bulbs are working.
  2. Start with the plugless end of your lights from the top of your tree and let the lights lay vertically like a seam.
  3. Each time you reach the bottom, turn the lights back the other way until you have a zigzag pattern around the whole tree.

This is the most time-consuming method, although professionals including the decorators of New York's iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, swear by it, claiming it gives trees the most volume.
  1. Plug the lights in to make sure all the bulbs are working.
  2. Divide your tree vertically (trunk to tip) into three sections. Starting from the bottom of your tree, string your lights in each section, weaving in and out of the branches to create depth, zigzagging your way up to the top of the tree. 
  3. Hide the connectors by pushing it deep into the tree branches near the trunk.
  4. Once you reach the top, you can either tuck the extra lights into the back of the tree or run an extension cord down the back to the outlet.

And, of course, if you really can't be bothered with stringing lights, don't forget you can always buy a pre-lit Christmas tree with the lights already attached.

Shop our Christmas lights and festoon lights now and bring on the festive magic. 
Selma Nada Rajah 26 September, 2023

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