HUGE Light Christmas Tree




The desire was to make a BIG lighted Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday season. So after Christmas last year, we went to Walmart and bought up all the lights that were on super SALE. I think that we paid about 1.99 a piece for the lights. And then they sat in the basement for about 11 and 1/2 months.....


Step 1: Some Trig

The lighted section of the lights was 23 feet. So that was the hypotenuse of the triangle. I figured the angle of the tree would be about 70 degrees, so I did some math to see what the other sides would be. With the angles, the center of the tree should be about 21 feet 7 inches. So I built the center of the tree with 6 2X4 studs 8 feet long.
I laid them out 8 8 8 and then backed them with 4 8 8 4 as you can see in the drawing. Initially I put them back to back, but they were too wobbly, so i put them together in a "T".

I added two 1x4 sections with a "U" cut out in the top to lay the lights in. See photo. This created two "valleys" for the light strings to go through.

When I had the 24 foot pole put together, i dug about a 3 foot hole, and put the pole in it.

Step 2: Base

The base was a 12 sided polygon, which meant that every interior angle was 150 degrees, or 15 degrees per side.

That being said, I need 12 four foot pieces of 2x4. Each one was cut 15 degrees on each end (photo).

Step 3:

I put the polygon together around the main vertical post of the tree and centered it. I then marked out every 15 inches around the outside, this would space the 32 sets of lights around the tree.

Step 4: Lights

With the pole in the ground, and the base on the ground around it, it was time to put the lights up. I used a long pole, and put the lights over the top, two strings at a time.

When 32 sets, 16 strings (two connected together) were put over the top, it was a dance around the maypole to get them untangled.

We attached the strings to the base with a staple gun...

We plugged them in and HUZZA, a tree.




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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    They are not all connected together in series.  They are only connected 4 strands (400 lights) at a time.  (The box said don't connect more than 5 strands end to end).  So with 32 strands, there are 8  sets linked together in parallel.  They come together in 3 outdoor surge protectors and then into a heavy duty (12 guage) 100 foot extension cord (capable of up to 15 amps) and then into an outdoor plug on a 20 amp circuit.

    (32 strands * 40 watts)/120 volts = 10.6 amps

    So far so good

    I will tell you that next year it is going to be LEDs (4 watts per strand!)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Isn't it a fire hazard to have so many strings of lights plugged in to one outlet. I have seen some lights that say don't connect more than 4 strings ?