Everyone has their favorite way to do Christmas tree decorating, from all white lights, to multi-color lights to two-tone designs, from small polka dot lights to traditional mini lights to larger “old-school” C7 or C9 size bulbs. And the great thing about lighting up your Christmas tree is that there’s no right or wrong way – it’s all about the way YOU want it to look. However, if you’re ready for something different we have an recommendation to kick things up to the next level for your tree.
Perhaps you’re in the position where many people are today: boxes of old incandescent lights (many of which are not working) that you’re looking to replace with LED lights. If so, look at the options in our Christmas LED String Light Guide, and calculate how many lights you’ll need. Then let your artistic side loose! You can certainly pick one style or color theme and create a beautiful tree, but mixing sizes will make for a unique look that looks classic and sophisticated, yet more interesting than a single-size bulb design.
How To Do It
This is certainly something where personal preference comes into play, but after some trial and error, we’ve found that a dimensional light look for Christmas tree decorating looks really amazing when it resembles the night sky: lots of small white lights with a few scattered larger white lights for contrast. We like to start with polka dot lights that get wrapped into the tree from top to bottom. Other good options are incandescent mini lights or LED M5 mini lights which you can see in the image below.
Don’t just string the lights along the outside edges of the tree branches. Take the time and effort to wind them back and forth, up and down the length of the branches. By doing this, some lights are deeper into the tree and some are out towards the edges. Keep in mind that you’ll likely use more lights with this technique. You may use 50 percent more lights than your “usual” amount.
Again, personal preference comes into play (there’s no wrong choice!), but we really like the pairing of polka dot lights or other mini lights with a notably larger bulb such as the LED C9 mini lights to provide sufficient contrast. Use the larger lights more sparingly as an accent throughout the tree. As with the smaller lights, weaving the bulbs deeper into the tree can give an interesting effect, but may result in too many lights. We found that weaving the lights only slightly into the branches results in a really eye-catching result.
For a traditional look, mix in the old Christmas style C9 string lights such as shown in the image below. The flexibility of these string lights allows you to replace bulbs and opens up a wide variety of color options, as well as incandescent and LED bulb styles. PartyLights.com offers a wide variety of C9 string light sets with popular cord and bulbs sold together, but we also sell the C9 cords and C9-base bulbs separately so you can create the exact look you need for your Christmas tree.
Tips for Larger Trees
For a larger Christmas tree decorating project, you can take this technique up a notch. As with a standard-size tree, generously use polka dot mini lights across the entire tree, and weave in and out along the branches. Then use the LED C9 string lights, but remember it is an accent and should be used much more sparingly as a highlight through the tree.
To really take things to the next level, add a third intermediate sized bulb to bridge between the small polka dots and large C9s. An LED M6 mini light is a good option, although we also like the LED C6 mini light for it’s similarity to the C9s. As with the C9s, use the medium bulbs as more of an accent which will look best when placed slightly into the branches, but don’t necessarily weave the strings up and down the branches.
Dimensional Lighting Beyond Your Christmas Tree
You don’t need to limit this technique to your tree. Indoor or outdoor garland can be look amazing with multiple light sizes as well…in fact, anywhere you decorate with lights will look more eye-catching with dimensional lighting. If you’re decorating bushes in the front of your home, using two different light sizes adds more variety to the display; less uniformity means more interest!
The image below shows a great example of dimensional lighting used on outdoor garland with multi-color lights. As the image shows, use two small lights such as the LED G12 mini lights and LED M5 mini lights (or incandescent mini lights) throughout the garland. Then add the large LED C9 string lights sparingly as accents. And remember, outdoor lights are typically viewed from a much greater distance than indoor lights, so more is usually better!
Whether it’s an all white light tree, or an outdoor multi-colored garland, dimensional lighting adds a look that will be sure to have your friends and neighbors notice. Of course, with a large variety of sizes, shapes and colors, PartyLights has the LED Christmas string lights for your design and will help you to really show off your holiday spirit. After you complete your display, we’d love to see the result! Email us or post a picture and tag us on Facebook(@partylightscom) or Instagram (@partylights_com).