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Thread: Medium base bistro light wiring

  1. #1
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    Feb 2021
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    Default Medium base bistro light wiring

    Hello,

    I'm trying to add parallel catenary lines of medium-base bistro lights under my 9' x 21' patio, that during part of the year will have clear bulbs and at Christmas time will be colored.

    I need about 100' of medium-base bulk cable, which I found on a site. However due to the spacing between the parallel lines of lights I likely need to vary the spacing.

    Is it advisable to splice other wire between the parallel lines of lights, such that all 11 lines are electrically in parallel? Are there preferred ways of doing this to make sure it is water resistant? (I have done some house wiring before but am not sure what the norms are for this type of installation).

    Thanks for any suggestions you can provide!

    Shawn

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    You're working with 120v circuits here. It's generally not advisable to do exposed splices of line voltage outdoors. There's a few different ways you can approach this. First approach would be to enclose each splice in an outdoor junction box with appropriate cord grips on the 3 cable entries. Ive seen this done using T style conduit bodies as the junction box. They're available in plastic or metal and have gaskets.
    T Conduit Body: https://www.menards.com/main/electri...0806135&ipos=2
    Cord Grip: https://www.menards.com/main/electri...5780376&ipos=1

    Another approach would be to zig zag the parallel runs back ad forth so it's one continuous run. You can install blank socket fillers in the extra unused sockets where you don't want bulbs.

    I think the most common way is to just zig zag the lines and leave the extra bulbs in between the runs.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    This is very helpful, thank you! The conduit body approach seems like a lot of work so I think I'll go with the zig zag approach - had no idea there were caps for unused sockets, thank you so much!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    I have a few of those blank caps for the sockets in my parts bin, but they're not easy to find anymore. What may be easier to get your hands on is outlet adapters. these would screw in just like a bulb. You can put a dab of silicone or liquid tape in the blade sockets and call it a cap.
    https://www.amazon.com/GE-Polarized-...4369162&sr=8-5

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Sauk City, WI USA
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    If you look around a bit you might find those sockets that attach to spt. It would give your lights a custom look that exactly fit your space.

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