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Dulahey

Lights Across Ridgeline?

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Hi all,

 

I searched for this but it seems the search function isn't willing to give me any results.  I'm sure this has been talked about on here before.

 

Anyway, I'm a noob.  We just bought our house last year right at Christmas, so this will be the first year to decorate.  I'd like to get into animation in the future, but for now I'm just sticking to static while I build up my inventory of lights.

 

We have a one story ranch-style home.  I'm looking to just get some white icicle lights for around the edge and then I'd like to do something for the ridgeline. However, I really don't want to slide the clips under the ridgecap shingles, and I definitely don't want to use staples.  Is something like THIS the only other option?  I actually like that option, but I'm just curious if a lot of people use that system.  And is there any other variations on that?

 

Also, feel free to pass along any other tips you guys have for starting out.  I'm thinking of using C6 lights everywhere for everything.  I'm trying to get my wife to choose color(s).

 

Thanks!

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I had multiple strings that I stapled to painted strips of wood.  It gets zip tied to a shingle clip about every 4 feet.  Same could be done with PVC. Works great because you can put your clips on shingles where they fit the best without destroying your roof in the process, plus the wind won't blow them off..  See here.
 

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I use the same idea as in the link.  I do use the PVC pipe to hold my lights along the ridges and also along the top of the gutters. 

 

In your link the user attached the light rope with flex-ties.  I would suggest to use the removable flex-ties.  Can be gotten at Monoprice DOT com. 

 

For my gutters- I have most of my light strings pre-attached to the PVC.  I use small plastic hand clamps clipped to the front lip of the gutter and just have to lay the PVC into the upright "V" of the clamp handles.  Very quick instal and take down.

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One thing I'm really wanting to do is make sure all the bulbs are upright and uniform.  I'm kind of worrying that will be near impossible with C6's on PVC.

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Dulahey,

 

There is a similar post to yours regarding installing lights on the roof.  Here is the link 

 

I didn't want to duplicate uploading pictures due to the space limitation.

You didn't say what type of lights you are planning on putting on the room..........

 

The link to the option you presented is along the same lines as mine. 

 

A couple things worth noting.  The legs on my pipes consist of two (2) "TEEs" which are cheaper than using a "CROSS" and two (2) 45s

 

you can't see it in the pictures, but I do have a piece of 12-14 ga wire that runs up the leg, comes out the back of the TEE and into the other TEE and then out the leg.

I do use the same type of clips for the lights to keep the pipe aligned.  At each leg, I put the clip under the shingle and pull the wire through the bif loop area.  Trust me, these will move, the slightess movement and it will start to snake on you.

 

I  currently have red, green, blue and cool white C9s along the hips and ridges.  I would never have lifted all of those shingles for all of these lights.

 

I didn't catch where you were located and  there be merit in having the pipe sit higher off the ridge and hip for snow.  Just remember that the higher the lights sit, the more opportunity to catch the breeze.

 

Good luck with which ever set-up you go with

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Thanks for the link Dave,

 

Search feature didn't turn up any appropriate threads.  

 

I think the PVC pipes are definitely the way to go.  I wasn't sure how to attach the lights to the PVC pipes as I want to keep them all upright and uniform looking.  I was planning on using C6 bulbs for everything, so keeping them upright and uniform will be very challenging... but I think attaching the plastic clips to the PVC is the way to go.

 

The front of my house is about 70' from the street.  Do you think C6's will be drastically different than C9's?  I'll try to get a couple pictures of the house up here.

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Here's a link to a few shots of my house.  I actually took them this afternoon so I could have them with me while I'm thinking about light design.

 

http://imgur.com/a/TMf94

 

Just looking at my house, I think it's very important that I outline the ridges of my roof.  I can outline the 3 windows out front and the 3 windows around the door.  I can outline the garage doors and put lights in the cherry tree.  I'm thinking a star over the entry way, and of course could wrap the columns.  So C6's for EVERYTHING sound okay?

 

EDIT:  Oh, I live in Oklahoma.  Snow/Ice are usually of little concern.

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Great roof lines, don't forget to put lights in the valleys also.

 

Yes, you will notice a difference between the C9 and C6.  If using the retro C9 and standard stringers, then your spacing will be 12".  The C6 spacing will range from 4" to 6" depending on brand and style.

 

I'll try and post a pic from last year that had a mixture of C9 on roof and fascia, M6 around windows and shrubs and C6 on dancing trees.

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I do believe Creative Displays (and other online vendors) offer bulk C9 strings with 6" spacing if that is what you are looking for. 

And IMO 12" spacing would be just fine on OP's house.  You do have a great canvas to work with there.

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Well I had been planning on C6 everywhere but it sounds like C9 is definitely the way to go...  Very unfortunate that the sale for the C9 lamps and cord has already passed.  The wife is thinking Cool White / Blue LED's. 

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Call the vendor you were going to buy from and ask if they can honor the old sale price.  I know I was buying in one of those "new sale each week" scenarios and I was granted the sale price on the items yet to come up so I could put everything in one order.  They may be willing to go backwards as well.

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If you live in a windy area you still have to secure your pvc to your shingles at least at each end. I did something similar. I used 2 inch furring strips (wood) and stapled my lights to it and had metal strips that I think are used in rafters and I bent them into an inverted V shape and attached on each end. I originally just had them sitting on the ridgeline but we get strong winds in Oklahoma and the wind kept lifting them up off the ridgeline. So I attached a string to each end of the V and tied the other end to a shingle tab so it is anchored at each end of the furring strip.

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Just to make sure I know what I'm doing here, I want to buy THIS, then fill it with THESE of the appropriate color(s).   Toss in some of THESE, so that I can cut the spool to my needed lengths (does 100' max apply for LED?).

 

I think right now we're thinking about Blue/White alternating lights.  Is 12" spacing fine with 2 colors?  Remember, I'm just a static display person.  Going for a VERY nice static display.  Perhaps one day I'll get into animation, but even then it probably wouldn't be to music.  Maybe just some color changing/fading.  

 

Then I just have to decide if I want to build the frames out of PVC/Zip Ties or Furring strips/Staples.

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It's hard to tell from the pic, but if that's a socket spool of spt 1 wire, make sure you get spt 1 plugs.  Twisted wire will not work with vampire plugs, you need spt wire.  Otherwise, looks like you're pretty good to go.  The 100 ft limit applies to incandescents due to high amp draws and voltage drop.  LEDs will allow you a lot more length than that.  I think your alternating colors will look great.

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Hey all,

 

I might be a little bit late to this thread, but what I am doing this year is different enough that I figured I would at least throw it out there as another option.  Maybe not any better than the others, but in my mind it is much easier for my roof.

 

Two words:  Snap tees

 

All of the links and pictures shown above seem to require the lights being attached to a central PVC pipe that has had tees or crosses spliced in, probably permanently with PVC cement.  By doing so, you have to know the roof angles perfectly and you would not have much flexibility from one ridge to the next (assuming the angles are slightly different from ridge to ridge).  The approach I'm using still involves attaching a bunch of C9-type lights to long central PVC pipes, but the stability on the ridge line is created using laterally-attach PVC pipe elements that snap into place and can be rotated to fit the many different ridge angles that can exist on a house.

 

So what is a snap tee?  Here is a picture:

464-130-4.jpg?1375262648

 

I started by taking a length of 3/4" PVC pipe and attaching some number of lights along the length.  In my first example, it was 50 lights along 15 feet of PVC.  For my test, I only used a couple of snap tees, one at the beginning and one at the end of the 15 foot length, although, when I go to do this for real, I will be putting the snap tees every 4-5 feet I think.  The snap tee can be left installed on the central PVC pipe during storage in the off-season.  The next thing you need are some "legs" to screw into the snap tee's threaded tee section (see picture above).  For my first test, I chose 5' lengths of 1/2" PVC and glued a simple slip to thread adapter on the end.  Those legs can be stored in the off-season quite easily and brought out when it is time to install the lights.  Screw the leg into the snap tee, rotate the snap tee so that the leg fits snugly up against your roof and you're all set.  By straddling the ridge line with several decent sized legs, I believe you will achieve the stability you're looking for.

 

Some comments:  If the leg is not heavy enough and you are worried about the lights blowing off the ridge (something that has not happened over the last several weeks that I have had mine up), then you can take the hollow legs and fill them with something cheap... sand?  water?  Those are a few ideas I have had.  Again, the legs are straddling the ridge line, anything that adds weight will prevent that central PVC pipe from moving.

 

Here are some pictures of what I did:

 

20131011_184934.jpg

 

20131011_190232.jpg

 

I even had a ridge cap vent to deal with and it still hasn't budged.  The C9's are angle perfectly vertical and attached to the central pipe using a ton of zip ties... get 'em in bulk off eBay...

 

As you will see from the first of my pictures, I had attached the lights at first to 1/2" PVC not knowing that they didn't have snap tees in 1/2" PVC size at Lowes.  That is the reason I only had my legs at the beginning and end of the pipe... I had to basically glue on a 3/4" PVC section to the front and end of the pipe to do this test.  That is all this was, a test.  When I go to finish this task, the lights will be snipped off this 1/2" section and remounted to a 3/4" pipe with the other 500-600 lights that are still en route from China...

 

One other thing... yes I used a ruler to measure the spacing of my lights... I am very weird like that... they are 3.75" spaced because I had 50 lights and I wanted them mounted to a 15' pole for that section.  My entire roof has been measured and mapped out and I will utilize variable spacing to keep the light count to 50 and the PVC lengths manageable.  I think the I have some PVC pieces that are 13' and some that are 18'.

 

Here is a video that I put online showing what it looks like lit up (these are RGB pixels).

 

https://vimeo.com/76739348

 

Take care, and let me know if you have any questions.  If you don't hear back from me, send me a personal message.

 

-Louie

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That's what my roof system looks like except I didn't use the snap tees.  I used the standard tees and then filled the PVC pipes that acted as braces on the ridge with cement to give them some added weight.  I outlined the entire roof with PVC and then used it to cover the ENTIRE roof in lights.  Worked perfectly and when it was time to take everything down I didn't have to climb up on the roof.  I stood on the ladder and pulled and it all came down nice and easy.

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Nutz-  Those snap T's are a great idea.  I use the same PVC pipe idea on my roof outline.  The snap-on T allows me to match the slope of the roof whereas using stock 45's and T's sometimes don't allow that.

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Thanks everybody.

Keith, I'll have to come out your show. I'm just down in Newcastle/Tuttle.

I wasn't able to do a show last year and wont this year. Both my parents are in ill health and my spare time is taking care of them. In fact I am selling my Yukon home to try to move closer to them as I am half an hour away from them in an emergency. I probably wont do a show again until they either improve in health or pass away and maybe not even then. I try to stay on the forums to keep up with the technology.

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Awesome work, looks great.  Have you thought about painting the PVC pipe black?

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Awesome work, looks great.  Have you thought about painting the PVC pipe black?

Would be easier to grey electrical PVC and only deal with painting the fittings

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The pipes on the roof will probably get spray painted a color that is near the color of the shingles.  Black would stick out too much.  The pipes that will mount to the gutters or fascia/soffit will stay white since those are white.

 

Here is the roof and fascia (note, I ran out of lights, the fascia picture only has one light that I had snipped off the other string when it went bad!).... and yes, I will use white zip ties where the pipe is white!

 

20131006_111315.jpg

 

20131014_171735.jpg

 

-Louie

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Call the vendor you were going to buy from and ask if they can honor the old sale price.  I know I was buying in one of those "new sale each week" scenarios and I was granted the sale price on the items yet to come up so I could put everything in one order.  They may be willing to go backwards as well.

 

He must like you better, because he isn't going to grant me the discount.

 

I guess I could just get the C6's coming up and just do windows this year and go for roof next year.

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We also do a mix of pure white/blue LEDs and we use nothing but C6 on the house.  I have no issues with them.  However, my house is smaller than yours and closer to the street.

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I ended up going ahead and getting the C9's.  I really want to do the roof!  My biggest question now is if I want to go through the major headache of painting over 500' of PVC....  or just leave it white.  I fear the white PVC will look ridiculous during the day lol.  Shingles are a dark gray.

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