Presentation on theme: "How To Build Leaping Lights Arches - Strategies for designing and wrapping your arch lights - Tips for assigning channels Press F5 to see full screen slide."— Presentation transcript:
1 How To Build Leaping Lights Arches - Strategies for designing and wrapping your arch lights - Tips for assigning channels Press F5 to see full screen slide show modeBy: Jeff OstroffLauderdaleChristmas.comVersion 2. October 2013Our arches with white & Blue channels onOur Arches 2007 only white channel on
2 WARNING: You MUST use Schedule 40 PVC pipe. Do not get bogus thin walled white PVC pipe at Lowes. Their pipe is ¾” but does not say “Schedule 40”, a much thicker walled and more rigid pipe. You need this extra thickness to keep your PVC arch from sagging. This is especially problematic when you wrap more than 800 lights across each pipe section on arches > 10 ft. Sch 40 should be used for 15 foot and 20 foot arches, but you might get away without SCH 40 on 10’ long arches. The PVC pipe MUST say “SCH 40” on it as shown below. If not, do not buy that pipe!NOT Schedule 40Schedule 40 has thicker wallsWARNING:The PVC pipe MUST say “SCH 40” on it as shown above. If not, do not buy that pipe!Photo above shows the thicker walled, more rigid “SCH 40” PVC that you need.
3 How Big Should I Make My arches? How Tall will it be? It’s difficult for most people to calculate height of arch, so we experimented with 3 sizes that provide graceful arch with proper height and comfortable stress forces.Strategy:Come up with a size arch that looks good for your yard, then choose from 3 sizes shown on next page.
4 3 Arch Sizes For You to Consider: LARGE: 20 ft arch length most popular12 ft7 ft tall10’ PVC pipe MUST BE SCH 4010’ PVC pipe MUST BE SCH 40Requires:(1) 20 foot white ¾”SCH 40 PVC pipe or (2) 10 foot (most stores only carry 10’ length)(1) ¾” female threaded coupler (only if you are connecting two 10-foot pieces) (1) ¾” male threaded coupler (only if you are connecting two 10-foot pieces)MEDIUM: 15 ft arch lengthSmall: 10 ft arch length7’ 6” PVC pipe7’ 6” PVC pipe MUST BE SCH 405 ft tall6 ft41” tallSingle 10’ PVC pipe9 ftRequires: (1) 15 foot PVC pipe OR: (2) 10 foot white ¾” SCH 40 PVC pipes cut to 7’ 6” each(1) ¾” female threaded coupler (1) ¾” male threaded couplerRequires: (1) 10 foot white ¾” PVCYou can also use softer gray electrical PVCOn this arch. Not stiff enough for 15’ or 20’ arches.
5 EXAMPLE: 8 Channel MEDIUM 15 ft arch length 5 ft tallChannel #77’ 6” SCH 40 PVC pipe MUST BE SCH 40!7’ 6” SCH 40 PVC pipe MUST BE SCH 40!Channel #1Channel #8Leave 4”- 6” space at endsLeave 4”- 6” space at ends9 ft8 strings of lightsEach string 100 lightsTotal # Lights: 800Channels 9-16 To next arch
6 Stats: 8 Channels of White LEDs mixed with 8 Channels of blue LEDs 16 Channel Medium/Large 15 Foot Long Advanced Design: LauderdaleChristmas.com Solution 2007 (2560 Lights) This is the 15’ arch we built for our Christmas lights displayStats: 8 Channels of White LEDs mixed with 8 Channels of blue LEDsChannel #4&12Channel #5&13Channel #3&11Channel #6&14Channel #2&105 ft tallChannel #7&157’ 6” SCH 40 PVC pipe7’ 6” SCH 40 PVC pipeChannel #1&9Channel #8&16Leave 4”- 6” space at endsLeave 4”- 6” space at ends9 ftEach Channel:2 strings of 100 White LED lights (Costco)2 strings of 60 Blue LED lights (Sam’s Club) (Logistics & availability determined where we bought the LEDs)Total # Lights Per Arch: 2560 LightsChannels 9-16 to Blue LEDs
7 8 Channels of White LEDs mixed with 8 Channels of blue LEDs 16 Channel Smaller 10 Foot Long Advanced Design: LauderdaleChristmas.com Solution 2007 (1760 Lights) This is the 10’ arch we built for our Christmas lights display8 Channels of White LEDs mixed with 8 Channels of blue LEDsChannel #4&12Channel #5&13Channel #3&11Channel #6&14Channel #2&103’ 6”tallChannel #7&15Channel #1&91 Single 10 foot long SCH 40 PVC pipeChannel #8&16Leave 4”- 6” space at endsLeave 4”- 6” space at ends6 ftEach Channel:1 strings of 100 White LED lights (Costco)2 strings of 60 Blue LED lights (Sam’s Club) (Logistics & availability determined where we bought the LEDs)Total # Lights Per Arch: 1760 LightsChannels 9-16 to Blue LEDs
8 Below are 2 of our blue & white arches Below are 2 of our blue & white arches. On the left our medium sized 15 foot long PVC arch 5’ tall, endpoints spaced 9 feet apart. On the right, our 10 foot long arch 3’6” tall, endpoints spaced 6 feet apart.
9 Step By Step Assembly Instructions Build 3 of these wood PVC pipe support jigs out of 2 x 4 studs or other thin wood and drill a 1 ½” hole for the PVC to pass through. You can make the hole as big as you like. These jigs will support your PVC pipes as you wrap. Your lights. Nothing fancy, it just needs to stand on a table and support the PVC. Upside down folding chair works too. You can rest the PVC pipe on the “X” formed by the crossing legs.Step 2:Clean both ends of your PVC pipe before you start. PVC cement will NOT Stick unless surface is squeaky clean! You can slightly sand it to roughen it up too.Step 3 (Medium & Large Arches Only): Please note, I no longer recommend joining 2 pipe pieces together in this step for the larger arches, it puts too much stress at the joint, and might only last a season. Better to get a single 15 ft. or 20 ft. pipe from a plumbing supplier. This will make a smoother arch too.Apply PVC cement to one PVC pipe and slide on the ¾” threaded FEMALE coupler. Then get the other PVC pipe and cement on a threaded MALE ¾” coupler. Now screw both pipes together to form your 15’ or 20’ arch.
10 Making the coupler to the drill Step 4: Get some 1” L-brackets, and put 2 together using a bolt and nuts. The stack of nuts is used to insert this bracket assembly into the chuck of your drill so the drill can grip the bracket to spin it CLOCKWISE To keep the nuts tightened down.Step 5:Then drill through the bracket and PVC pipe to create a cross section pass feed through for your nut and bolt to secure the bracket to the PVC pipe.Step 6:Attach the bracket to the PVC pipe through the holes that you just drilled, using a nut and long bolt. The stack of nuts you see allows the drill chuck to grip better. Tighten all the nuts, and glue if needed or try a locking nut. Now you are ready to insert this bracket assembly into your drill, set for motorized spinning of your PVC pipes to help you wrap the lights onto the arches. Make sure your drill is set to spin CLOCKWISE or you’ll loosen the nuts on your bracket assembly.
11 Marking the pipes for wrapping & assembly setup Step 7: With your PVC pipe laid out, mark off 6” from each end as “keep outs” for the lights. For this 8 channel arch, get a magic marker and mark off the PVC pipe into 8 equal segment lengths that you will wrap your wires around:20 ft arch: Use 2.37 feet per segment (28 ½”)15 ft arch: Use 1.75 feet per segment (21”)10 ft arch: Use 1.125” per segment (13 ½”)No Lights here!Step 8:Line up 15 feet of tables and place your 3 PVC support jigs on the tables. Then pass the PVC pipes through the Jigs until they are supported. Duct tape the wooden support jigs to the table.Some people use folding chairs upsidedown.Step 9:Connect your drill to the other end of the PVC pipe to the bracket assembly that you built. You are now ready to start wrapping your lights!
12 Ready to start wrapping lights! When wrapping lights, always make sure they are on to make sure they still work as you wrap them.Step 10:Start by taping the first set of lights to the PVC pipe about 4” to 6” from the end. This will allow clearance off wet grass in southern climates, or snow in northern climates. Also pre-label plugs >>Step 11:Have a second person operate the drill at a constant, manageable speed, allowing you to feed the lights into a tight spiral onto the PVC pipe as it rotates.Keep an even tension while wrapping at an angle to avoid previous wrapped lights. You should be continuously moving previous light bulbs out of the way, so that you do not wrap over and block any light bulbs. Every 10 wraps or so, stop and push the loops tight against previous loops. You should not see white PVC shining through the spiral loops.
13 .To avoid bulk extension cables, cut your own thin SPT1 wire.Soldered on SPT1 or SPT2 green wireTape wires to PVC pipeCut enough wire to leave 5 foot cordStep 12:Snip off the power plug from the end of the first set of wrapped lights. We will solder on a length of SPT1 wire running down the PVC pipe, and re-solder the same connector back onto the other end of the cable.Step 13:Cut a length of SPT1 wire long enough to run down the length of the PVC pipe and providing a 5 foot extension past the PVC pipe as shown in drawing at top. Solder this SPT1 wire to the end of the light string where you cut off the plug.Step 14:Label plugs as you finish each one. You connect them to your lighting controller later. Example: White Ch 8. Try to use plugs that allow other plugs to connect on top for future versatility, connecting multiple arches to same channels. I used the wrong kind here. I’ll re-solder different ones on later.
14 Tip:Wherever your lights or wires might come in contact with a jig or support, wrap them in smooth packing tape or duct tape to prevent damaging your lights from rubbing against the support. Let the chafing and scrapes rub against the tape, not your lights and cables.Pre-cut and size all your custom made SPT1 cords ahead of time so you’ll have them ready when you wrap lights, and minimize down time. Have all your labels already attached to your plugs. Pre cut all your pieces of tape that you’ll need. After the first channel or 2, you’ll develop a good system to pull this off. Have one or 2 other people help you. It goes fastest with 3 people.When splicing your SPT1 wire pairs, make sure they are at least 1” apart to eliminate risk of ever shorting together. So cut one wire longer than the other. Then you can solder and wrap with electrical tape or use heat shrink tubing.
15 Here’s our 15 foot long, 5’ tall arch…Each Channel: 2 strings of 100 White LED lights (Costco)2 strings of 60 Blue LED lights (Sam’s Club)Total # Lights Per Arch: 2560 Lights
16 Each Channel:2 strings of 100 White LED lights (Costco)2 strings of 60 Blue LED lights (Sam’s Club)Total # Lights Per Arch: 2560 Lights
17 Alternative Method For Wrapping Light Strings: Tater Twister Some people use the base motor from the Presto tater Twister instead of a power drill.The base motor turns at a slower pace, and you can rig it up with a foot switch for single person wrapping of lights. No longer sold in stores, you can only get from sellers on eBay or Amazon.
18 LauderdaleChristmas.com controller hookup solution for 2 arches You can use the same controller to control multiple arches, just plug them all in parallel!Arch # Arch #232 Channels Total8 White Channels8 Blue Channels