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dad1166 07-31-2011 07:14 PM

making string lights
I want to make a few sets of string lights, something that looks substantial.
I wanted to know if there is anything i should know or consider before i start. I am going to buy some waterproof lamp sockets and some lead. I have a few outlets in the back and plan on plugging them in directly and using a timer. I am definitely a beginner.

AllanJ 07-31-2011 09:10 PM

Are these walnut sized Christmas tree style lights, miniature pencil eraser sized Christmas tree lights, standard light bulbs, or "rope" lights inside a flexible transparent plastic tube?

Standard light bulbs can shatter if they are hung outdoors and rain gets on them when they are turned on.

dad1166 07-31-2011 09:15 PM

Standard bulbs, maybe ill buy some outdoor bulbs. I have a few dollars to spend on this project

sixeightten 07-31-2011 09:16 PM

You can buy a nice set of string lights at an electrical supply house. Probably not more than $40 for a 10 light string.

dad1166 07-31-2011 09:19 PM

I need a few 20 ft strands and I want to make it myself just for fun

AllanJ 08-01-2011 06:44 AM

You will need to use wire nuts or similar clamping devices to make the connections. Do not rely on the wire nuts to support the weight of the string.

Often knots are tied in the wires "of the string" to provide mechanical (physical) support. Then the actual connections with wire nuts don't get pulled on. This is for temporary use only because over time the insulation in the knots will wear through. Also the temporary nature of this arrangement forgives the unattractive appearance of the knotted wires. Another alternative is using a rope to provide support and wrap the wires around the rope not too tightly (or use cable ties).

Chances are it will take many hours of labor to make something that looks as good as the string of work lights you can buy for the $40. mentioned previously.

Missouri Bound 08-01-2011 07:46 PM

There are light sockets made for this application. The base of the socked unscrews revealing 2 sharp pins. The wire is laid into a groove in the bottom of the socket and when the base is screwed back on it pushes the wire into the pins. These sockets usually have a wire hook on them for hanging. Get the right size wire, observe polarity and you should be fine. (still probably cheaper to buy the ready made set)

WDR 08-02-2011 08:08 AM

Yes they make sockets and I have seen them at most standard hardware stores around hear for about $2.00. Look up temporary light socket to find them online.

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