Light the Tree


We spend many an evening entertaining outdoors in South Africa, so why not light up the garden and let it set the scene? There’s something magical about the way the lights and the shadows they cast bring out different characteristics of a tree. An illuminated tree will lend something special to your holiday décor and you don’t need an electrician to rig it up for you. It’s decor that will outlive the season too, enhancing your garden landscape throughout the year.

Shopping List
2.5 mm2 2-core cable (27 amps) (see step 1 below to determine the length you require)
15 x BC illumination lamp holders (suitable for outdoor use)
15 x golf ball lamps (bayonet type)
1 x 3-prong plug
Heat-shrinkable tubing (12.7 mm)

Top Tools
Automatic wire stripper
Tape measure
LCD Mini Digital Multimeter
Cable ties


1: Find a power source for your plug point and measure the distance from it to the tree you have selected. Then measure from the base of the tree up the trunk and along the branches you plan to illuminate. This combined measurement will determine the length of cable you need to buy for the tree light.


2: With a sharp spade, cut a channel in your lawn to bury the cable from the plug point to the base of the tree.


3: Strip one end of the cable with the automatic wire stripper to attach the 3-prong plug.


4: Wind the cable throughout the tree and attach it to the branches with the cable ties.

5: Seal the opposite end of the cable with heat-shrinkable tubing.

6: Select points, evenly spaced, along the cable for the lamp holders. Fixing the lamp holders is easy – simply align the cable flush with the protruding spikes on the lamp holder so that the spikes pierce both cores of the cable.

The Gardener