Outdoor lights undeniably bring exquisite ambiance to your garden plants and trees. However, these lights are exposed to outdoor environmental elements that could affect the performance of the light and can even be a potential electrical fire hazard. So, apart from design and ambiance, you have to really consider the safety of the lights and the trees. The way to do that is to install the outdoor tree lights properly.
Ways to Install Lights on Trees
There are different lights you can use for trees, and different ways to set them up according to your preference and design plan.
Mounted Light Fixture
If you have a vast garden and you just need it to be lighted during night time but you have no poles to mount it to, you can use tall trees, such as palm trees that don’t have broad branches. Not only it provide lights to your dark outdoor space but it can also serve as a security light for your place.
You can use solar-powered LED fixture lights for energy-efficient lighting. Most of these fixture light products are equipped for mounting. In fixing a light on the trees, make sure you will not harm the branches of the trees. Metal ties and plastic wrapping can cause damage to the plant when left unattended. It’s better to check the mounting hardware of your light fixture or opt for plant-friendly screws and ties to maintain the good health of your trees.
Hanging lights on trees to illuminate beautiful ambient lights perfect for intimate celebrations like weddings, dinner parties, or even just simple garden gatherings. Design and effect are important for hanging lights, that’s why there’s a lot of light options available in the market to match your requirement.
You can use string lights to wrap and hang in the tree branches for simple and inexpensive hanging lights. But if you have the budget to splurge on beautiful hanging lights you can use those as well.
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Strand or string lights can be used to wrap your trees to give a festive look in your garden especially in the holiday season. If you plan to wrap from the base to top branches you have to plan carefully on how many lights you will need to complete one wrapped tree.
Wrapping Your Outdoor Trees with Lights
Doing this task should be enjoyable and you wouldn’t want any unexpected dilemma in the middle of your installation. To avoid interruption during installation, careful planning must be done.
Before you start with your project, measure the tree’s size and trunk circumference so you can get enough lights to cover the area you need to wrap. You also have to prepare the tools you will need to help you set up the lights from bottom to top. Here are the following materials and tools to install lights wrapped in your tree:
- Extension cord suitable for an outdoor setting
- Outdoor light strings or light strands
- Plant ties or tape
Choose your Light
In wrapping the tree, the most applicable lighting type to use is string lights. It’s just a matter of LED colour that can bring out the vibe you prefer. For holidays like Christmas, you can pick up some lights with various colours for a festive vibe. It could also serve as an outdoor Christmas tree. While you can have warm yellow coloured light strings for a serene atmosphere.
Test your Lights
You wouldn’t want to put lights around your tree, secure the attachment with a tie or tape only to find out that one or some of the bulbs don’t light up. So, before that happens, you better check the strand if each of the bulbs is working. If you’re working with two or more lights for one tree, connect by plugging them together so you can see if they’re working just fine plugged in together. You also have to check the lights plugged into the actual outdoor cord extension to ensure everything works perfectly from the base of the tree up to the branches.
Ensure Power Cord Safety
Being in an outdoor state, the electric cord aside from the actual lights will be exposed to a moist, wet, and hot environment. To avoid short-circuit or fire hazards that these outside conditions may cause, you can use Ground Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) to protect your cord as you extend your outdoor-rated extension cord at the base of the tree. To secure the cord into place, you can wrap it around the tree, then plug one end of the strand lights into the cord.
Wrap it up
Start from the bottom where your extension cord is. Wind the strand lights upward with ample spacing of about 3 to 4 inches between the winding strand. For an attractive outcome, try to create a uniform spacing. Don’t leave out the large branches to decorate. Wrap the tree limbs with at least four inches of space apart. When you reach the end of the branch, wind the strand back ending up at the center or between the strands that are winded up.
Don’t Strain Yourself
You don’t have to get yourself too worked up in doing this project. Use a ladder to reach the high branches of the trees. A step ladder will do if it can reach what you want to cover but if it would require you to go higher than 6 feet, ask for someone to look after you and the state of the ladder as you climb.
When you’re done with the winding to wrap the tree, secure the lights by using a tie or tucking some of the wires to the crooked parts of the branch. Do not use any material that could leave damage to your trees such as a metal wire.
Tips and Tricks
- Most trees can handle outdoor lighting. Leafless trees are the best ones to use for hanging lights. Palm trees can be wrapped with strand lights, too aside from being the best option for a light fixture.
- LED lights are one of the best lights to use for outdoor settings. They last longer compared to other types of bulbs.
- Measure your trees prior to installation. If you don’t have the budget to wrap a lot of trees in your garden, you can do it one by one until you finish all of your trees.
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