Guide on How to Decorate Outdoor Trees with Lights

How to decorate outdoor trees with lights. If you’re looking to add some excitement to your yard, outdoor tree decorations are a fantastic way to achieve this. Decorating trees with lights can add a beautiful touch to any outdoor space, no matter the occasion. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you how to decorate outdoor trees with lights, giving you outdoor tree-lighting ideas that will impress your guests.

From selecting the right lights to planning your outdoor tree lighting design, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure your trees look their best. We’ll also provide tips on preparing your trees for decoration and wrapping lights around them. You’ll also learn about the importance of safety and efficiency when it comes to outdoor tree lighting.

So, if you’re ready to create a mesmerizing display of tree lights, let’s get started with the best outdoor tree decorations and outdoor tree lighting ideas.

Selecting the Right Lights for Outdoor Tree Decorations

Selecting the Right Lights for Outdoor Tree Decorations

When it comes to decorating outdoor trees with lights, choosing the right type and style can make all the difference. Whether you want to create a cozy and intimate ambiance or a festive and celebratory atmosphere, the following tips can help you select the perfect lights for your outdoor trees.

1. Hanging Lights on Trees

Before you start hanging lights on your outdoor trees, consider the size and shape of the trees, the distance between them, and the height you want to reach. This will help you determine the type and length of the lights you need. For example, if you have tall and narrow trees, use long and thin light strands to create a dramatic effect.

When hanging lights on trees, it’s also essential to secure the strands. You can use clips or hooks specifically designed for outdoor tree lighting or create your DIY solutions using zip ties or twist ties.

2. DIY Outdoor Tree Lighting

If you’re feeling creative, you can create your own DIY outdoor tree lighting using materials such as mason jars, wine bottles, or even old Christmas ornaments. For example, you can fill mason jars with battery-operated string lights and hang them from the trees to create a charming and rustic look. You can also wrap wine bottles with fairy lights and place them on the branches for a whimsical and enchanting effect.

3. Outdoor Tree Lighting Tips

Finally, when selecting the right lights for your outdoor tree decorations, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose weather-resistant lights that can withstand rain, wind, and snow.
  • Opt for LED lights, which are energy-efficient and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
  • Consider the color temperature of the lights. Warm white lights create a cozy and intimate atmosphere, while cool white lights provide a brighter and more modern look.

With these tips, you can select the right lights for your outdoor tree decorations and create a stunning and memorable display to impress your guests and neighbors.

Planning Your Outdoor Tree Lighting Design

Creating a stunning outdoor tree-lighting display requires proper planning. You want to make sure you highlight the natural beauty of your trees and create a warm atmosphere in your yard. Here are some creative tree-lighting ideas to inspire your design:

1. Lighting Up Trees in the Backyard

Before you start decorating:

  1. Take a look at the trees in your backyard.
  2. Consider their shape, size, and location to determine the best way to light them up. Use string lights to create a cascading effect if tall trees have many branches.
  3. Use larger bulbs for a softer glow and smaller bulbs for a more intricate look. If you have smaller trees, consider using spotlights to highlight their unique features and create a cozy ambiance in your yard.

2. Outdoor Tree Lighting Inspiration

If you need some inspiration for your outdoor tree lighting design, take a walk around your neighborhood and see what others have done. You can also browse online for ideas and images that fit your style. Consider incorporating different colors, such as warm white or multicolor lights, to add a festive touch to your yard.

Remember, the key to creating a beautiful outdoor tree lighting display is to let your creativity shine. Feel free to experiment with different techniques and see what works best for your trees and yard.

Preparing Your Outdoor Trees for Decoration

Preparing Your Outdoor Trees for Decoration

Before you begin decorating your outdoor trees, it’s essential to prepare them properly. An important step is trimming and shaping your trees to enhance their beauty and ensure a secure installation of lights. The trees should be pruned, removing any dead or diseased branches. Also, ensure that the branches are manageable, as this can make it difficult to wrap lights around them.

Once your trees are groomed and ready, it’s time to start planning which lights you will use and how you will hang them. Take into account the size and shape of your trees and decide how many lights you will need to create a stunning display.

It’s important to choose waterproof lights designed specifically for outdoor use. These lights are designed to withstand the elements and will not be damaged by rain, wind, or snow. Before hanging the lights, ensure that all cords and connections are in good condition and that there are no frayed wires or exposed cords.

To ensure the safety of your outdoor tree lighting, make sure all lights are connected to a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This will prevent any electrical shock hazards, especially in wet conditions.

Preparing your outdoor trees for decoration sets the foundation for a successful and visually pleasing display. Taking the time to groom your trees properly and ensuring safe and efficient lighting will result in a breathtaking outdoor ambiance that will envy the neighborhood.

Wrapping Lights around Outdoor Trees

One of the most popular techniques for decorating outdoor trees with lights is wrapping them around their trunks and branches. This creates a stunning effect and enhances the natural beauty of the trees.

The key to successful outdoor tree lighting is choosing the right type of lights and wrapping them in a way that complements the tree’s shape and size.

1. Choosing the Right Lights

When selecting lights, consider the color, style, and size. Warm white lights give a soft glow, while multicolor lights are more festive. Choose a style that matches your taste and complements the overall aesthetic of your yard.

In terms of size, choose lights that are appropriate for the size of the trees. Larger trees can accommodate larger bulbs, while smaller trees may look better with smaller lights.

2. Wrapping Techniques

When wrapping lights around your trees, start at the base of the trunk and work your way up to the branches. Use clips or hooks to secure the lights in place.

If you’re wrapping lights around a tree with many branches, consider wrapping the lights around individual branches instead of the trunk. This will create a layered effect and enhance the overall look of the tree.

For a more natural look, wrap the lights in a zigzag pattern. This will create a softer, more organic effect and mimic the way that light falls on natural objects.

When wrapping lights around outdoor trees, avoid using too many lights or wrapping them too tightly. This can damage the tree and create a fire hazard. Use a timer to turn the lights on and off automatically to save energy and ensure safety.

In conclusion, wrapping lights around outdoor trees is a beautiful way to enhance your yard’s decor. Choose the right lights, wrap them in a way that complements the trees, and you’ll have a stunning display that will delight guests and make your home shine throughout the holiday season.

Using Tree Clips and Hooks for Hanging Lights

When it comes to hanging lights on outdoor trees, tree clips and hooks are essential accessories. They can help you achieve a professional-looking display while ensuring your lights stay securely in place. Here are some tips on using tree clips and hooks for your outdoor tree lighting:

1. Choosing the Right Clips and Hooks

Before you start, make sure you have the right tree clips and hooks for your particular trees and lights. Different types of clips and hooks work better for different types of trees. For example, flat hooks work well on trees with smooth trunks, while spiral hooks are better for trees with rough bark.

It would be best to consider the weight of your lights and the strength of the clips or hooks you choose. You want to keep your trees manageable and make sure the clips or hooks can securely hold the weight of your lights.

2. Placing the Clips and Hooks

The placement of your clips and hooks is crucial for a successful outdoor tree lighting display. Place them evenly around the tree, leaving enough space between each clip or hook. This will help distribute the weight of your lights evenly, preventing any one area from bearing too much weight.

As a general rule, you should place your clips and hooks about 12 inches apart. This will give you enough space to wrap the lights around the tree without overcrowding.

3. Wrapping the Lights

You can wrap your lights around the tree once your clips and hooks are in place. Start at the bottom of the tree and work your way up, wrapping the lights around the trunk and branches as you go.

Make sure to wrap the lights loosely around the tree to prevent damage to the branches. You can secure the lights to the clips and hooks as you go, making sure they stay in place.

4. Maintaining Your Outdoor Tree Lighting

After you’ve completed your outdoor tree lighting display, it’s important to maintain it throughout the holiday season. Check your clips and hooks regularly to make sure they haven’t come loose or shifted, and make any necessary adjustments.

You should also regularly check your lights for signs of wear or damage and replace any bulbs as needed. By maintaining your outdoor tree lighting, you can ensure a safe and beautiful display all season long.

Creating a Festive Atmosphere with Colorful Lights

When it comes to outdoor tree lighting, colorful lights can make a huge impact on the overall ambiance and look of the decorations. While warm white lights are a classic choice, adding a pop of color can create a festive atmosphere for holidays or special occasions.

If you need help deciding which color scheme to choose, consider the colors in your surroundings. You can coordinate with the colors of your home, landscaping, or existing outdoor decor. For a more playful look, mix and match different colored lights or opt for themed lighting.

Themed lighting can be a fun way to showcase your personality or interests. For example, if you love sports, you can use lights in your favorite team’s colors. If you’re celebrating a holiday, you can use colors that correspond with the holiday, such as red and green for Christmas or red, white, and blue for Independence Day.

Incorporating different types of lighting can also add depth and interest to your outdoor tree decorations. Consider using rope or icicle lights to create a cascading effect, or add twinkling lights for a touch of magic.

Lighting Placement Tips

When placing colorful lights on your outdoor trees, it’s essential to be strategic. Here are some tips:

  • Use larger bulbs for larger trees and smaller bulbs for smaller trees.
  • Place lights in the inner branches to create depth and a fuller look.
  • Wrap lights around the trunk of the tree to add texture and interest.
  • Consider starting at the top and working your way down for taller trees.

By incorporating colorful lights in your outdoor tree decorations, you can create a festive and inviting atmosphere in your yard. With these tips, you’ll be able to select the perfect color scheme and placement for your lighting display.

Adding Extra Elements to Enhance Tree Decorations

Adding Extra Elements to Enhance Tree Decorations

While outdoor tree lighting is a showstopper, incorporating extra elements can take your decoration game to the next level. Adding ornaments, ribbons, and other decorative items to your trees can create a truly enchanting display.


Ornaments are a classic addition to outdoor tree decorations and can be easily hung from branches using tree clips or hooks. Opt for ornaments that are weather-resistant and can withstand the elements. You can choose from traditional ornaments such as bulbs and stars or go for something unique like animal shapes or sports-themed ornaments.


Ribbons are a versatile addition to any outdoor tree lighting design. They come in various colors and textures and can be used to wrap around the tree trunks and branches or create a bow at the base of the tree. Choose ribbons that complement the color scheme of your lights and other decorations.

Other Decorative Items

Other decorative items like pinecones, florals, and bows can also be used to add a personal touch to your outdoor tree decorations. You can fasten them to the branches using floral wire or string. Make sure the items you choose are weather-resistant and can withstand wind and rain.

By adding extra elements to your outdoor tree decorations, you can create a truly unique and enchanting display that will surely impress your guests. Just remember to choose items that are weather-resistant and can withstand the elements, ensuring your decorations remain looking exquisite throughout the holiday season.

Ensuring Safety and Efficiency in Outdoor Tree Lighting

When decorating outdoor trees with lights, safety should be your top priority. To ensure a secure and efficient operation, follow these essential tips:

  • Check all electrical cords and connections for damage before use.
  • Use only outdoor-rated lights and extension cords.
  • Do not overload circuits or extension cords, as this can cause a fire hazard.
  • Use a timer to automatically turn off lights, ensuring energy efficiency and avoiding potential hazards.
  • Do not leave lights on overnight or unattended.
  • If using a ladder to hang lights, make sure it is on stable ground and have someone hold it steady while in use.
  • When using hooks or clips to hang lights, make sure they are designed for outdoor use and can handle the weight of the lights.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy a beautiful and safe outdoor tree lighting display all season long.


Congratulations! By following this guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge and inspiration to create a stunning display of outdoor tree lighting. Remember to select the right lights for your trees, plan your design, and prepare your trees properly before starting the decoration process. When wrapping lights around your trees, use tree clips and hooks appropriately to ensure a secure installation. Feel free to get creative with colorful lights and adding extra decorative elements to enhance the overall look.

Leave a Comment