How many lights do you need for your Christmas tree? This is the experts’ golden rule that never fails

Here's the easy-to-follow formula for the perfect amount of Christmas lights for your tree

A decorated Christmas tree with presents next to a sofa
(Image credit: Dunelm)

Unlike the rest of Christmas decor, when it comes to Christmas tree lights there is such a thing as right and wrong. The style and volume of your Christmas decorations is up to personal preference but Christmas lights need to adhere to a formula to reach the desired effect. Which begs the questions – how many lights do I need for my Christmas tree then?

Nobody wants to get home with the best Christmas lights they just bought only to find out they are either too short or too sparse to cover their tree. That’s the real nightmare before Christmas!

But luckily, there is an easy way to prevent this from happening as we turned to our Christmas lights and tree experts to give us some advice on the matter. This is the golden rule that they came back with, which they always adhere to for a well-covered, illuminated Christmas tree. 

A living room with a decorated Christmas tree and a burning fireplace

(Image credit: Carpetright)

How many lights do I need for my Christmas tree?

Figuring out where to buy Christmas lights and what kind to get (smart? Twinkling? Coloured?) is only part of the task at hand. The amount of light bulbs and the length of the lights also need to be accounted for. And there is a strict but simple formula you should follow to get it right.

‘We recommend around 100 bulbs for every two feet of the tree,’ says Ben Wightman, product expert at Christmas Tree World. ‘This means that if you have a 6ft artificial Christmas tree, you'll need a string of 300 LEDs to light up your tree perfectly.’

He adds, ‘It’s important to note that this is the minimum number of lights you will need to cover your tree. You can add more if you like a fuller look, but going below the recommended number of lights could make your tree look a little sparse.’

A living room with a decorated Christmas tree next to a fireplace

(Image credit: sofa.com)

Emily Kelsey, PR assistant at Lights4Fun, applies a similar formula to the desired length of your Christmas tree lights to cover your best artificial Christmas tree with. ‘We recommend using 300 bulbs or 15 metres of lights for decorating a 6ft Christmas tree. If you have space for a larger tree we’d suggest for every extra foot of height, simply adding another 5 metres of lights, so for a 7ft tree, we’d recommend using 20 metres of lights. Our golden rule is 100 bulbs or 5 metres of lights per 2ft of Christmas tree.’

While 6ft to 7ft is the average go-to Christmas tree size in the UK, if you’re planning to have a smaller tree as short as 2ft, the experts encourage you to still go all out. 

‘Generally, small Christmas trees can range from 2ft to around 4ft in height. Decorating a smaller tree can feel like more of a challenge, due to the smaller canvas you have, but small trees don’t need to be simple! We recommend still going all out and adorning those smaller trees. We recommend around 100 lights for a 2ft tree and 200 lights for a 4ft one,’ Ben advises. 

FAQs

How do you estimate how many Christmas lights do I need?

The expert-approved golden rule is 100 LED bulbs of Christmas lights per 2ft of a Christmas tree.

How many lights do I need for a 7ft tree?

For a 7ft-high Christmas tree, it’s recommended to decorate it with 500-bulb Christmas lights, measuring about 20 metres.

How many LED lights do I need for a 6ft Christmas tree?

When it comes to a 6ft Christmas tree, the recommended amount of LED lights is 400.

Now let there be light on that tree of yours! A sufficient amount that is.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.