Fairy lights aren't just for the holidays -- you can make your trees stand out year-round with a few strands.

Fairy Lights for Trees

by Jennifer Blair

When you think of fairy lights, your first image may be of a Christmas tree decked out to the nines for the big day. However, these small string lights don't necessarily have to reserved for holiday decorations. Fairy lights actually make ideal landscape lighting for trees that you wish to highlight, since you can easily wrap them around branches or a trunk and provide a soft, romantic light that can set just the right mood for your backyard, garden, patio or deck. Best of all, they're easy to work with, so you can decorate your trees in no time.

Consider Power Source

Fairy lights are extremely versatile because they come on a string that can wrap around any tree shape or size. However, because they require power to light, you must consider what source you plan to use when choosing your lights. If you opt for traditional fairy lights that are plugged into an electrical outlet, you must either place them on a tree located near an outlet in your yard or find an extension cord that’s long enough to go from the tree to an outlet. Since hiding the extension cord can be an issue, you may prefer using battery-operated lights that feature a pack for the batteries that is usually easy to hide among tree branches or on the ground. You can also opt for solar-powered fairy lights with a solar panel that absorbs sunlight during the day to power the lights after dark.

Choose Color and Style

Fairy lights come in a variety of colors and styles, so you can create a wide range of looks for trees in your yard. Multi-colored strands are often used at the holidays, so they may not be the best choice for a year-round display unless you prefer a more festive look. White fairy lights have a classic appearance that makes them ideal no matter what time of the year you’re decorating your trees. The lights are also available in other single shades, such as blue, green, red, pink or purple. While most fairy lights feature traditional small bulbs, they also come in whimsical shapes that can work well for your trees if you’re creating a year-round display. For example, you might choose flower- or butterfly-shaped fairy lights to give the trees in your garden or yard a fanciful look.

Highlight Shape

Because fairy lights come on a string that you can easily wind in any shape, they are ideal if you want to highlight a tree’s unique form. You can arrange the lights in an outline around the tree to highlight details even after the sun goes down. It’s an ideal option for evergreen trees that are cut in whimsical shapes, such as a spiral or pyramid topiary display.

Create Mood

Fairy lights aren’t just effective for outlining a tree’s shape. By weaving them through a tree’s branches, you can create a romantic mood for your yard -- especially if you have a large tree with branches that form a canopy over your patio or deck. For the most dramatic look, you’ll likely need multiple strands of fairy lights, particularly if you are decorating a very large tree. Use a ladder to reach the branches and wind the lights through them in a haphazard manner, spreading them out for a soft look or laying them closer to one another for a brighter display.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

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