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View Full Version : Need advice on hanging lights on high roofline, permanent hooks maybe?



Mysterio
11-14-2012, 01:52 PM
Hi. I signed up on the forums last year then disappeared for a while, but I'm pretty sure that this is my first post... At my first house I really enjoyed hanging Christmas lights, but it was a one-story ranch and posed no problems. The house I'm in now is a whole different matter.... two stories, with a very high vaulted roofline and lots of peaks and valleys (I guess it's considered attractive architecturally but it poses some problems, traps leaves up there and you get lots of weird overhangs).

I'm not crazy about heights and definitely don't plan to get up on that steep roof to monkey around, and even with a fairly long extension ladder there are areas I'm just not able to reach. It really comes down to two main options in my opinion:

1. Pay someone to hang up and take down my decorations each year, which I don't really want to do.
2. Put some sort of permanent hooks up there that would let me hang my own decorations from the ground each year with an extensible pole.

I would prefer to go with #2, and I don't mind paying a roofer or painter or whatnot a one-time fee to mount the things for me. My question is, does anyone else use any permanent mounting hardware like that? If so, do you have any suggestions? I'm guessing some discrete white hooks wouldn't be too unsightly in the off season, but they'd need to be pretty sturdy, because if one pulled out from the upper areas I'd be pretty screwed and would need to pay someone to come back out. I would need something along the gutters as well as the non-gutter edges of the roof along the shingle line. (Could be two different products, I have no problem with that). Might consider putting some hooks into the brickwork around a couple of high windows too.

Anyone have any experience with permanent hooks? For better or worse?

Thanks!

kwajtony
11-14-2012, 02:44 PM
I feel your pain. I cannot walk safely on the roof of my single story due to the shingles breaking too easily, so I'm going to use PVC with 'T's to hold by roof line lights and secure them on either side to the inside of the facia boards.


The key in my mind is to keep the hardware in place (so I don't have holes in my wood) and as out of plain view as practical.

When I had the two story home, I often thought of renting a lift so I could decorate the roof line.

XmasInGalt
11-14-2012, 07:14 PM
I've been decorating my 2 story house for 19 years and I absolutely understand how you feel. I have a couple (4 to be exact) of ladders that I use to put up/take down my Christmas display. Like your house, mine has many different roof lines so some areas are a greater challenge than others. I decided many years ago that I needed to do something the make the process easier and faster. I ended up installing white cup hooks on the 2x6s behind the fascia boards. I cut 1x2 boards in various lengths to accommodate the roofline. I painted the boards to match the trim of the house and protect the boards from the weather. I installed eye hooks on the top side of the board to match the cup hooks then drilled a number of holes along the bottom edge of the board so I could run twist ties or zip ties to mount the lights to the board. I have metal frame scallop lights that are 6 feet long that I mounted to the boards and each scallop would be one channel on the controller. Once all the scallops were mounted to boards, I take each section and hang them on the cup hooks. This meant less time on the ladder and fewer times I'd have to move the ladder. I've been doing this for most of my 19 years here. While my method doesn't really help you install your lights from the ground, it does make it a little easier and safer (you don't have to go so high on the ladder) to put lights up. In some areas I would hook the board on one side then use a Christmas light pole (plastic pole sold in stores) to raise the other side of the board to the cup hook. Things are a little different this year as I've moved to pixels for my roofline but I'm still using the boards to mount the pixel strings. On one side of the house I have a roof line I can't reach by ladder. I needed to raise a single string of pixels (40) at the same time and the roofline is 36 feet long. To accomplish this, I created a 1/2 PVC form that is roughly is the same pitch of the roofline. I went on the roof (hopefully only once) to install large white cup hooks that the PVC would rest in and a small pulley at the peak of the roofline. I attached the clips for the pixels (I'm using GE Color Effects pixel strings) to the bottom of the PVC. I raised the PVC (without pixels attached) to the roofline to make sure I could get it up there and then get the PVC into the cup hooks. Once raised and tied off, I used a 8' 1x2 with 2 screws on the top to position the PVC pipe into the cup hooks. It worked but not with out a few challenges. Tomorrow I'm going to clip the pixel string to the PVC and raise it into position. I sure hope it works because I have no other way to get that pixel string up safely. I hope this info provides some value to you. Good luck.

corytcline
11-14-2012, 09:12 PM
Scaffolding is surprisingly cheap to rent. You can get the type that stacks I think they are in 6'3" tall by 8' long sections with metal scaffold boards. In my experience it usually takes four sections one on top of the other to reach the roof line on most 2 story's. the peaks will Probably take another section.
Not sure if a roofer or a painter would mess with something like that or not. I'm not sure who to call to Install hooks. I'm on my phone and can't see where you are from but if we were close I would be willing to help.

fathead45
11-15-2012, 09:31 AM
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.381094458640674.91349.348594108557376&type=3

those are how i did mine, but they wont be ready til next year after i see how well they do.

Slite
11-15-2012, 09:41 AM
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.381094458640674.91349.348594108557376&type=3

those are how i did mine, but they wont be ready til next year after i see how well they do.

Where did you find those clips for the tubes?

Mysterio
11-15-2012, 01:53 PM
Thanks for the ideas guys. XmasInGalt, do you have any pics? Cory, I wouldn't be opposed to using scaffolding, but unfortunately the highest peak in front of my house is right over a garden area with a bunch of stones and a fairly large Japanese maple. I think someone would have to be up on the roof or at the very least maneuver a very tall ladder in there to get to it.

Fathead45, are those clips for icicle strings or are you using something else? I'm intrigued, but I'm wondering if they'd grip well enough... at the old house I'd occasionally have a strand drop down from the conventional plastic clips if we had a windy night, and I thought those gripped pretty well... Of course, with those clips I guess if a strand hopped out you could just use a pole and lift it back into place...

lightman
11-15-2012, 02:19 PM
Have you thought about getting a bucket lift? Home Depot rents them for about $150 for 4 hours.....a little more for all day.

Unfortunately, the unit at our Home Depot is out for repairs. I was going to rent it for the day to do some eave repair work in addtion to hanging the lights...so it would have been worth the $$.

Oh well... back to the extension ladder....

Lightman

XmasInGalt
11-15-2012, 09:49 PM
XmasInGalt, do you have any pics?...
I don't but I'll take some tomorrow and post.

fathead45
11-16-2012, 02:44 PM
they hold pretty tight, hope to start putting pixels up today on them. i found a supplier of them but you have to buy in qty to get them so that is why i was wanting to run a group buy on them. got enough for a sample to try.

timon
11-16-2012, 03:01 PM
they hold pretty tight, hope to start putting pixels up today on them. i found a supplier of them but you have to buy in qty to get them so that is why i was wanting to run a group buy on them. got enough for a sample to try.

I've been looking like crazy for that clip and have not had much luck and now I really need them bad. What diameter PVC pipe do the ones you got hold, please say 3/4", and how much is qty? Really don't have time for a group buy unless it's soon "Today" or Monday.

timon
11-18-2012, 09:49 PM
Found these clips at my local ace. These have been proven by Kevin on his house for several seasons. They will take 1/2 or 3/4 PVC pipe.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1291997

You can find the cheaper on the Internet but I needed them now. Going to spray mine white first so the don't show as much.

John

DanHouston
11-19-2012, 11:45 AM
Found these clips at my local ace. These have been proven by Kevin on his house for several seasons. They will take 1/2 or 3/4 PVC pipe.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1291997

You can find the cheaper on the Internet but I needed them now. Going to spray mine white first so the don't show as much.

John

I used something very similar to those to hold my pumpkin faces on the house....I did end up runing a zip tie through them and outside over the PVC so it could not pop out (one of my faces haging on a porch popped out after some string wind blew it from the back).

fathead45
11-19-2012, 12:46 PM
timon, they do have 3/4 but all i have is for 1/2in

michaelc
11-19-2012, 01:40 PM
xmasingalt, I'd love to see some pictures also. I have the same setup that is described by the initial poster. I'm permanently installing some superstrips but I also need a method to get c9's up there every year. I've already created custom spt2 wire an bulb spacing runs for each section but I'm thinking of mounting them to some pvc and need to snap the pvc in.

plasmata
11-28-2012, 02:53 PM
I've been kicking around the idea of using pvc pipes, like fathead suggests, for the last couple years but still haven't got around to it. The peaks on my house are very high and the cheap xmas light clips don't hold very well. I've found some other clips that should work for fathead's method:

Beckson Clip-Mate (http://www.shipstore.com/SS/HTML/BEC/BECCM34.html) 16667
Seachoice Storage Clip (http://www.iboats.com/NAVIGATION-LIGHT-STORAGE-CLIPS-7-8-WHITE-2-CD-Seachoice/dm/cart_id.666053145--session_id.712945088--view_id.938537) 16669

Any opinions on how well these would work and which would hold up better with repeated use and weathering? I want to mount these under my eaves. Do you think they'd be strong enough to hold this way? Fathead, do you think yours would?

fathead45
11-28-2012, 03:02 PM
well so far so good on the ones i have up and setup was a snap. its looking like i will end up doing a group buy on mine after the first of the year.

michaelc
11-28-2012, 06:47 PM
I'm trying to figure a way to get the wires to run inside the PVC so they will be hidden and the only thing seen is the bulbs. Unfortunately, the bulbs and sockets are already connected to the SPT2. I have 4 SPT2 wires running together (1 for each color) so the wires are quite bulky. I thought hiding them in the pvc would work but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Any ideas/pictures. Worst case scenario is I can just ziptie them but this has 2 issue:

1) The lights are sideways and not up/down
2) You can see the wires

danolgb
11-28-2012, 06:57 PM
The only way I can think of is to rip the pipe down the middle, drill holes for the sockets, put in the lights and glue the two halves back together with clear pvc cement.

kwajtony
11-29-2012, 11:31 AM
I'm trying to figure a way to get the wires to run inside the PVC so they will be hidden and the only thing seen is the bulbs. Unfortunately, the bulbs and sockets are already connected to the SPT2. I have 4 SPT2 wires running together (1 for each color) so the wires are quite bulky. I thought hiding them in the pvc would work but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Any ideas/pictures. Worst case scenario is I can just ziptie them but this has 2 issue:

1) The lights are sideways and not up/down
2) You can see the wires

I did the zip tie on my lights, (two days ago) and have them on my roof line, all I can see is the pipe and the lens of the bulb. So far they are straight up because I have tee's at each joint with a short piece of pipe running down opposite sides of the ridge to hold the pvc in a particular position.

michaelc
11-29-2012, 11:44 AM
I did the zip tie on my lights, (two days ago) and have them on my roof line, all I can see is the pipe and the lens of the bulb. So far they are straight up because I have tee's at each joint with a short piece of pipe running down opposite sides of the ridge to hold the pvc in a particular position.
do you have pictures?

My latest version of my idea is to drill holes every 4 inches along one side of the pvc pipe. I would then run two passes of that side down my table saw an basically cut a channel that connects the holes. I would then lay the wires in the pipe and insert the sockets in each hole. The holes would be snug but I'd run a bead of caulking around the part of the sockets that come in contact with the pvc. My ONLY concern with this aproach is that I have now created a bowl for water to accumulate that the wires are sitting in. This is not a concern on the dormers but on the straight, flat runs, I'm a bit concerned. I too would cut the top of the dormers at angle such that the left and right side hold each other.

kwajtony
12-01-2012, 03:11 PM
I need to make the angle of the supports 45degrees and support the joints by dowel inserts.
Picture yesterday.
16736

Materdaddy
12-01-2012, 06:00 PM
I need to make the angle of the supports 45degrees and support the joints by dowel inserts.
Picture yesterday.
16736

Wow, that looks awesome. I need to do something like this to get my lights installed on the roofline much quicker!

timon
12-01-2012, 09:22 PM
I'm trying to figure a way to get the wires to run inside the PVC so they will be hidden and the only thing seen is the bulbs. Unfortunately, the bulbs and sockets are already connected to the SPT2. I have 4 SPT2 wires running together (1 for each color) so the wires are quite bulky. I thought hiding them in the pvc would work but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Any ideas/pictures. Worst case scenario is I can just ziptie them but this has 2 issue:

1) The lights are sideways and not up/down
2) You can see the wires

You can always wrap the PVC with white, or whatever color you want, tape which will hide the wires. Try to find UV resistant tape. You could even find some of the thin handle bar tape which is UV resistant and comes in many colors.


I need to make the angle of the supports 45degrees and support the joints by dowel inserts.
Picture yesterday.
16736

I'd add some T's along the ridge with 1 to 2 foot sections of PVC going off each side about every 8 to 10 feet which would add stability. I'd also think about black UV resistant tie wraps when those white ones get brittle in the sun.

But other than those suggestions it looks great and it's easy to convert to pixels.

michaelc
12-01-2012, 10:17 PM
It's nice how you have the tile roof and a nice channel to hold the pvc. I thought of doing a lay across like that but wasn't sure how to secure it from blowing off the roof. I wouldn't think the weight alone would hole it up there on a windy night.

michaelc
12-01-2012, 10:19 PM
btw, did you drill holes in the pvc for each light? They look like they are going into the pipe

kwajtony
12-02-2012, 12:53 PM
You can always wrap the PVC with white, or whatever color you want, tape which will hide the wires. Try to find UV resistant tape. You could even find some of the thin handle bar tape which is UV resistant and comes in many colors.

I didn't think of the tape idea, thanks. I chose the Gray Electrical PVC Conduit to be as close to my shingle color as possible. I used standard zip ties (white) and I drilled two 5/8ths hole per bulb similiar to what I did for my gutter lights (before I painted my house). I also paint the white PVC pieces gray to approximate the color of the PVC conduit.



I'd add some T's along the ridge with 1 to 2 foot sections of PVC going off each side about every 8 to 10 feet which would add stability. I'd also think about black UV resistant tie wraps when those white ones get brittle in the sun.
I have to have the angle steeper for the ridge T's, the existing T's approximate the roof's slope and doesn't hold the light as closely as I would like. I have changed the configuration for the ridges on the front of the house to be like this.
16750

But other than those suggestions it looks great and it's easy to convert to pixels.
That is part of my objective, that and easy up/down next year.
The configuration does well in wind with the storms we have been having the last couple of days, no movement since the first storm and that is only a piece of pipe that came off the ridge (hence the move to change to the angle of the T's).

michaelc
12-02-2012, 02:06 PM
So you fished the zip ties in each hole through the pipe and back out to wrap around the bulb socket? That must have been tedious. What did you use? or did you just drill all the way through the pipe?

timon
12-02-2012, 10:12 PM
Here is how I'm mounting mine. Each segment is around 7' long, so they are easy to store, and there is a clip about every 3.5'. I ended up one LED too long on the last segment but I might be able to push them all up just enough. If not I'm just cover the one LED with black tape. Next year they will all be Pixels so I will correct it then. The red tape is there to partially hide the wires and to give it a peppermint stick look.

Don't worry about the bare wires. I'm running everything on 48VDC so there is no hazard and they will get sealed up.

Checkout my Facebook page for more picts. Shooting to go live on Tuesday the 4th.

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/60832_305590629551040_1248019467_n.jpg

BTW, I'm going to spray the clips white when I take everything down and see how they look without the PVC. If not too bad I'll leave the clips up all year.

kwajtony
12-03-2012, 01:18 AM
So you fished the zip ties in each hole through the pipe and back out to wrap around the bulb socket? That must have been tedious. What did you use? or did you just drill all the way through the pipe?

See attached photos
16768 16769 16770 16771

Hey Timon, like you adaptation.

michaelc
12-03-2012, 08:30 AM
Very nice.

plasmata
12-26-2012, 04:46 PM
Fathead, do you think your clips would hold PVC with some M5 icicle lights attached if they were mounted under the eaves with the opening facing down?

timon
12-26-2012, 10:57 PM
Here is another clip one can use. I didn't use them since I didn't have time to way for them.

http://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=Pipe-Mounting-Clamps

kwajtony
12-27-2012, 02:17 AM
http://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=Pipe-Mounting-Clamps

I thought they were a little pricy >$2.00 per clamp for 1" PVC. I'm going to try the other clamps first since I can always put a zip tie across the the pipe to stabilize it. I have learned that the PVC needs re-inforcement more than at the joints (stretched the inter-bulb wiring on two strands of leds to the point the string quite working), putting the appropriate size dowling seems to do the job. Will let you know.

plasmata
12-27-2012, 07:07 PM
Here is another clip one can use. I didn't use them since I didn't have time to way for them.

http://flexpvc.com/cart/agora.cgi?product=Pipe-Mounting-Clamps
Wow, those really lock the pipe into place. The only issue I see is that it looks like you'd need a screw driver to pop the clip open when removing the pipe.

timon
12-27-2012, 09:06 PM
I used 1/2 pipe to mount my light on this year and it worked just fine. Used a clip about every 4' so no sags, I was using class 200 pipe. If you use schedule 40 you can stretch that out maybe to 8'. When I get my pixels I may adjust the lengths.

I'm just trying figuring out my spacing will be with pixels strings. I was thinking about pixel strips but I think that make everything look too neon like for me. My standard light strings were spaced at 3" and they looked good. I think going to 4" would look too loose so I'm think I'll stay with 3" on my pixel strings for the eaves and windows.

overflowhank
10-23-2014, 04:25 PM
Take a look at: HolidayLightHooks.com

vincerules
10-23-2014, 06:03 PM
I skimmed through the thread and didn't see these posted. I think I am going to give these a shot for an under eave project. Also prety cheap. If anyone wants to split a bag let me know :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231080494377#ht_1387wt_1167

25233

Those are 1/2" they have other sizes:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=snap+in+clips&_from=R40&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xsnap+in+c lips+pex&_nkw=snap+in+clips+pex&_sacat=0

mschell
10-23-2014, 06:26 PM
I skimmed through the thread and didn't see these posted. I think I am going to give these a shot for an under eave project. Also prety cheap. If anyone wants to split a bag let me know :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231080494377#ht_1387wt_1167

25233

Those are 1/2" they have other sizes:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=snap+in+clips&_from=R40&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xsnap+in+c lips+pex&_nkw=snap+in+clips+pex&_sacat=0
The question will be - how will they hold up in the weather? Not as concerned about rain/snow, but more about how long they last in full sun throughout the year...

Skunberg
10-23-2014, 07:43 PM
I skimmed through the thread and didn't see these posted. I think I am going to give these a shot for an under eave project. Also prety cheap. If anyone wants to split a bag let me know :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231080494377#ht_1387wt_1167

25233

Those are 1/2" they have other sizes:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=snap+in+clips&_from=R40&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xsnap+in+c lips+pex&_nkw=snap+in+clips+pex&_sacat=0
I know Fatheas45 has used these and is very happy with them. I think he used them every two feet for the roofline and house outline.

vincerules
10-23-2014, 07:46 PM
The question will be - how will they hold up in the weather? Not as concerned about rain/snow, but more about how long they last in full sun throughout the year...

That's a good question. I plan to get some after the holidays to hang some strip under my eaves for security lighting. I may put a couple out in the sun to see how they hold up for the year

randyr505
11-14-2014, 04:12 PM
I am considering pex for my roof lights since I am making some pixel arches with pex tubing.

What about these:
25651
1/2 in. Half Talon Clamps with Nails (10-Pack) (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sioux-Chief-1-2-in-Half-Talon-Clamps-with-Nails-10-Pack-HD556-2PK2/202273968)?

A few other thoughts:

25652
Clips with Fasteners (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-UnderFloor-Clip-Fastener-RF2UFC/203353980)

25653
1/2" Conduit Hangers (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Halex-3-8-in-1-2-in-Conduit-and-Pipe-Hangers-5-Pack-26780/100130865)

overflowhank
11-15-2014, 01:58 AM
Check out Holidaylighthooks.com

overflowhank
11-15-2014, 02:00 AM
Check out holidaylighthooks.com

rednelb
11-15-2014, 02:43 AM
go for the bucket or boom lift once a year. You can clean your gutters/valleys and mount your lights. I have one a tall peak that i mounted pex clips to, it is still a challenge mounting the strips of pvc.