How Many Lights for Christmas Tree? Tree Light Calculator: Find Exact Number

Couple holding Christmas tree lights and a calculator wonder how many lights for Christmas tree is needed.

Whether wrapping indoor or outdoor trees, determining how many lights for Christmas tree before you start decorating, can save you a lot of time and trouble.

And, having the exact plan is one of the best ways to ensure a fantastic display for Christmas, while also using the least amount of energy.

Aside from reducing the negative impact of Christmas displays, considering a family Earth defenders carbon offset will help.

Before calculating how many lights for Christmas tree decorations, it is essential to choose the type of lights that will be used for either indoor or outdoor trees.

This guide explains exactly how to do it.

Popular Lights for Wrapping Indoor and Outdoor Trees

Choosing the perfect Christmas lights can be tricky. There is a lot to choose from, including lights for natural trees, lights for artificial trees, small lights, large bulb lights, colorful lights, white lights, and a whole lot more.

Some sets of lights are controlled manually, while others come with a handy app that allows for remote control. Most light strands feature 150 bulbs, but others have more or less.

Some of the most popular lights for wrapping indoor & outdoor trees include the following:

Type of Christmas Lights Color Length Application Why Buy?
Twinkly 250 Gold Edition Smart Fairy Lights Color: Gold / Silver Length: 65 feet Can be used indoors or outdoors. These fairy lights are easy to customize and have various settings to choose from. The lights are also smart controlled using Alexa or Google assist, and last for 3000 hours.
Rudolph Outdoor String Lights Color: Multi-colored Length: 58 feet Can be used indoors and outdoors These lights are affordable, come with 10 settings, and have an automated timer.
Balsam Hill Cluster Lights Color: White Length: 19.5 inches Should be used indoors. The Balsam Hill cluster lights come with 8 settings and are remote-controlled. The only downside to these lights is that two sets would be required for a 7-foot tree. These lights are a great option for a neutral theme.
Twinkly Festoon Lights Color: Multi-colored Length: 32.8 feet Should be used indoors. These lights work via the Twinkly app, and allow for the color and light setting of each bulb. They are very durable, but would only work well on large trees.
Pro Series Festoon Lights Color: Warm White Length: 48 feet Should be used outdoors. These festoon lights have extra large bulbs and come with only one setting for a simple look. The lights are neutral enough to be used year-round.
Cosmic Cluster Fairy Lights Color: Warm White Length: 25 feet Should be used indoors. Cosmic cluster lights are an excellent choice for closed porches or mantels. Each set has 10 settings and an automated timer.
100 LED Battery Operated String Lights Color: Warm White Length: 17.5 inches Should be used indoors. These, highly affordable, lights are great for small Christmas trees and work with batteries. They have 8 settings and an automated timer.
Lights4Fun Core Series Fairy Lights Color: Warm White Length: 104 feet Should be used indoors. These lights come in extra-long lengths for big trees and have 8 settings. They do not have an automatic time.
LED Micro Lights Color: Warm White Length: 98 feet Should be used indoors. These small lights only come with one set, but they are very bright and good for small trees.
Yuletide LED Christmas String Lights Color: Pink Length: 66 feet Should be used indoors. These pink lights are right on trend and come with one set.1

When choosing LED lights, there are several options when it comes to LED bulbs and cords. The LED bulbs and cords come in several sizes and colors to fit in with the overall Christmas theme.

For some, however, incandescent Christmas tree light strings are still best.

Some of the best incandescent Christmas tree light strings, as well as LED Christmas light strings, include:

  • GE Energy Smart Colorite LED Lights: Traditional white lights that last around 10 years.
  • Christmas Designers LED T5 Lights: Multi-colored, and warm white lights with a cooler tone.
  • Christmas Kringle LED Traditions Lights: Bright, outdoor lights with wires that are durable in bad weather.
  • Christmas Tree Mini Incandescent Lights: Mini lights with a warm glow and 3,000 hours of use.2
  • Home Accents Mini Incandescent Lights: Mini lights with a traditional look.
  • Vermont Clear Christmas Lights: Incandescent lights for a cozy atmosphere.

How Many Lights Do You Need for Your Christmas Tree This Year?

So, how many lights do you need for your Christmas tree this year?

Photo of a green Christmas tree with small lights with Christmas lights on the background.

Image: kaleb tapp9

The general rule of thumb is that 100 lights are required for every foot of the tree. However, this is open to modification according to personal taste.

4” bulb spacing is very popular around the world, as this allows for maximum lighting, while 6” to 8” spacing works well for branch wrapping.

How Many Lights for Christmas Tree?

Determining how many lights for Christmas tree purposes depends on the height of the tree, and also the type of lights used.

Some prefer to use 150-bulb strands for each foot of the tree, generally assuming that it’s a 6-foot tree.

How Many Lights Per Foot of Christmas Tree?

Establishing how many lights per foot of a Christmas tree also depends on the width of the tree.

Narrow trees require fewer lights than broad trees, and when light strands are extra-long, you can use less.

How Many Lights for a 6ft Tree?

How many lights for a 6ft tree?

Generally, 4-6 strands of Christmas lights (30-40 feet strands) would be sufficient for a 6ft tree.

Related Reading: How Many Trees Are in the World? By Country, Type, Year (Updated 2022)

How Many Lights for a 7-Foot Tree?

How many lights for a 7-foot tree?

General 5-7 (30-40 foot) strands of Christmas lights would be sufficient for a 7-foot tree, but it depends on the density.

How Many Lights for Christmas Tree?

The below table highlights the ‘how many lights for Christmas tree requirements, including for 6-foot and 7-foot trees, using strands that are approximately 30 feet long.

Graph that shows the number of lights required for Christmas tree.

Height of Christmas Tree Number of Lights Required
3 feet 3 strands (300-600 individual lights)
4 feet 4 strands (400-800 individual lights)
5 feet 5 strands (500-1000 individual lights)
6 feet 6 strands (600-1200 individual lights)
7 feet 7 strands (700-1400 individual lights)
8 feet 8 strands (800-1600 individual lights)
9 feet 9 strands (900-1800 individual lights)
10 feet 10 strands (1000-2000 individual lights)3

Christmas Tree Lights Calculator

A Christmas tree lights calculator comes in very handy when trying to work out how many lights to add to any given Christmas tree.

A Christmas tree lights footprint calculator would require the following inputs:

  • Height of Christmas tree (m, cm, in, ft, or yd)
  • Diameter of Christmas tree (bottom of the tree)
  • Strand length (if known)
  • Strand spacing:
    Dense spacing – 4 inches
    Covered spacing – 8 inches
    Natural spacing – 12 inches
    Moderate spacing – 20 inches
    Sparse spacing – 30 inches
  • How many light strand rotations or ribbon rotations around the tree?
  • Length of the strand (m, cm, in, ft, or yd)
  • Bauble density:
    Dense spacing – 10 per ft2
    Covered spacing – 5 per ft2
    Natural spacing – 3 per ft2
    Moderate spacing – 1 per ft2
    Sparse spacing – 0.50 per ft2
  • Total number of baubles
  • Diameter of baubles (m, cm, mm, in, ft, or yd)

The calculator will use the inputs to determine the tree coverage and the end result will look like this:4

Photo that shows the proper way of putting lights on Christmas tree.

A Christmas tree lights calculator can also determine the number of light strands for different types of Christmas trees, including evergreen, and deciduous trees.

The inputs required are as follows:

  • Evergreen

Height of tree (ft)
Width of tree base (ft)
Spacing of lights (vertical in inches)

  • Deciduous

Height of tree (ft)
Width of tree canopy (ft)
Spacing of lights (vertical in inches)

  • Bushes

Height of bush (ft)
Width of bush (ft)
Spacing of lights (vertical in inches)5

How Many Lights for Wrapping Outdoor Trees? (How Many Lights for Christmas Tree?)

Determining how many lights for Christmas tree, also applies to outdoor trees.

So, how many lights for wrapping outdoor trees?

Photo of a bare tree outside with a blue background wrap with Christmas lights.

Image: Fred Heap10

Calculating the number of lights for outdoor trees requires the correct measurement of the tree trunk circumference as well as the circumference of each branch that needs wrapping. Spacing plays an important role in the equation: height is divided by string spacing, and the total is multiplied by the circumference to calculate the length of light string required.

The below example applies:

  • 4’H trunk / 3-inch spacing equals 16 x 2’ circumference equals 32’ lighting.
  • 3’L branch / 3-inch spacing equals 12 x 16” circumference equals 6’ of lighting.
  • The total number of lighted feet is estimated to be 56’ for the tree trunk and 4 branches.

Bulb Spacing for Outdoor Trees

Bulb spacing for outdoor trees is dependent on the type of tree, and whether trucks or branches are wrapped.

  • Evergreen trees generally need extra strings of lights to ensure full coverage. The ideal spacing for evergreen trees is 6”.
  • Deciduous trees require fewer lights if draping and not wrapping. For these trees 8” spacing is good.
  • Trunks and branches generally require more light coverage, with up to 5 strings usually being sufficient.
  • Hedges and bushes don’t require many strings of lights, and the best option may be net lights.6

Wrapping Outdoor Trees With Christmas Lights Quick Reference

The below table holds a ‘wrapping outdoor trees with Christmas lights’ quick reference:

Graph that shows outdoor Christmas tree lights quick reference.

Height of Tree Mini Lights (number) C7 Lights (number) C9 Lights (number)
Height of tree: 4’ Number of mini lights: 100 Number of C7 lights:
Height of tree: 6’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Height of tree: 8’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Height of tree: 10’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Height of tree: 12’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Height of tree: 15’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Number of C9 lights:
Height of tree: 20’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Number of C9 lights:
Height of tree: 25’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Number of C9 lights:
Height of tree: 30’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Number of C9 lights:
Height of tree: 40’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Number of C9 lights:
Height of tree: 50’ Number of mini lights:
Number of C7 lights:
Number of C9 lights:

Types of Christmas Tree

There are several types of Christmas tree to choose from when decorating for the festive season and establishing how many lights for Christmas trees are needed.

The most popular types of Christmas trees include:

  • Balsam Fir Christmas Tree
  • Grand Fir Christmas Tree
  • Arizona Cypress Christmas Tree
  • Leyland Cypress Christmas Tree
  • Douglas Fir Christmas Tree
  • Fraser Fir Christmas Tree
  • Colorado Blue Spruce Christmas Tree
  • Canaan Fir Christmas Tree
  • White Spruce Christmas Tree
  • White Fir Christmas Tree
  • Norway Spruce Christmas Tree
  • Scots Pine Christmas Tree
  • Eastern White Pine Christmas Tree
  • Eastern Red Cedar Christmas Tree
  • Korean Fir Christmas Tree

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

There are usually thousands of pre-cut Christmas trees on sale in every state, but if you prefer to cut your own Christmas tree, the following tips will come in handy:

  • Purchase a permit if the desired tree is growing within a national forest. (Permits generally cost $5 and a single household can obtain up to 5 permits every year).
  • When cutting down a tree inside a national forest, ensure that the tree is not taller than 12 feet and that it is not within 200 feet of a road or body of water.
  • The tree should be cut no more than 6 inches above the surface of the soil.
  • The tree should be at least 8 feet from another tree that is similar in size.
  • For the actual cutting process, a quality handsaw will be required and a tarp is advisable for the car when transporting the tree.
  • Pruning shears will take care of non-essential branches and a sturdy rope is required to attach the tree to the roof of the car.
  • Don’t forget to take a measuring tape along, to make sure the tree will fit inside the living room or whatever other room it will be set up in.
  • When the festive season is over, the Christmas tree can be disposed of by contacting a removal company or donating to a non-profit.7

How Many Christmas Trees Per Acre?

Common questions about Christmas tree cutting are, how many Christmas trees per acre, and how many Christmas trees are cut down each year.

Up to 1,500 Christmas trees can be cultivated on a single acre of land. In the US, up to 36 million Christmas trees are cut down each year, while that number rises to 60 million in Europe.

Can You Replant a Christmas Tree?

A common question about Christmas tree disposal is, can you replant a Christmas tree?

A Christmas tree can indeed be successfully replanted if the following steps are followed:

  • Allow the tree to re-enter dormancy by keeping it sheltered outside for a few days.
  • The hole in which the tree is planted should be five times the size of the root ball.
  • The hole should be covered with mulch and thoroughly watered. Fertilizing should only be done in the spring.
  • The tree will fare better outside if protected with a screen.8

When decorating a Christmas tree for the holidays, it is important to keep in mind not only how many lights for Christmas tree will be required, but the various responsible manners in which to dispose of the tree once the festive season is over.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Many Lights for Christmas Tree

How Many Lights for Christmas Tree?

The general rule for how many lights for Christmas tree is, 100 to 200 lights per foot. This is dependent on how bright the tree should be.

Should You Buy Extra Lights?

It is always good to be prepared with extra lights, if some of the original lights become damaged or the first few strings don’t provide enough coverage for the tree.

How Many Lights Should I Put on My Christmas Tree?

Most people add around 100 lights for every foot and a half or so, but the number of lights is really dependent on personal preference.

Why Drill Holes in Christmas Tree Trunk?

Some believe that drill holes in Christmas tree trunk will make it last longer, because it will allow the tree to take up more water. However, the best way to ensure a longer-lasting tree, is to choose a healthy tree to begin with. Heavier trees have more retained water, and will also last longer.


1Oliphant, L. (2022, October 23). Best Christmas tree lights 2022 – tried, tested and rated |. Woman & Home. Retrieved from <>

2Mahoney, D., & Dunn, T. (2022, November 7). The 5 Best Christmas Lights of 2022 | Reviews by Wirecutter. The New York Times. Retrieved from <>

3Real Simple. (2022, September 14). How Many Feet of Christmas Lights You Need for Every Tree Height. Real Simple. Retrieved from <>

4Omni Calculator. (2022, October 16). Christmas Tree Calculator | Design Your Perfect Tree. Omni Calculator. Retrieved from <>

5Holiday-Light-Express. (n.d.). Christmas Light Calculator. Holiday-Light-Express. Retrieved from <>

6Harvey, K. (2022, December 1). How Many Lights for Wrapping Trees? Christmas Lights, Etc. Retrieved from <>

7EMBRACE SOMEPLACE. (2022, November 14). How to (EASILY) Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in a National Forest. EMBRACE SOMEPLACE. Retrieved from <>

8Fantastic Gardeners Blog. (2016, January 13). Replant, Reuse, Recycle Your Old Christmas Tree. Fantastic Gardeners Blog. Retrieved from <>

9Blurred Holiday Reflections by kaleb tapp. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

10Trees at dusk by Fred Heap, Unsplash. Retrieved from <>