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Thread: Medium base bistro light wiring

  1. #1
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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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    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
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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.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    I am running my Lights over a Pool and NEC requires them to be no less than 20' above the pool, so I had to run wire and boxes under the soffit
    and plug them in there. the wire is powered in the Garage and controlled from the Pool Controller / Timer wirelessly.

    each run I made to fit the span.





    I has to tie a paracord to the end of the lights so I can pull them back to the house to replace bulbs,
    when in use I pull the cord and lights slide across the Stainless Steel cable and I tie the cord off at the other end.
    you can see that in the second picture at the far left.
    Last edited by 2k05gt; 03-11-2021 at 08:01 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    wow, that's way up there. Does that throw enough light to be effective?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    I am not done with them yet, still have some bulbs to put in and to stretch the strings out all the way,
    I took some pictures a few minutes ago because after you said that, it made me wonder too.

    at 20 ft


    this is what they looked like at 10 ft high


    the problem is that when I was hanging these lights, I needed a pole out on the 4th string
    I put in a 5x20ft pole in that corner 17ft from the ground to the top, it was a beast to put in by hand,
    I messed up and forgot to hook the Stainless Steel wire to the top. well I was not going to pull it back
    out, get the 6 guys back to help, so I put my extension ladder up against the pole, and just as I was feeding the wire
    through the eyelet, the pole and the ladder started to fall. I woke up on the ground in pain.
    wound up with 6 broken ribs, a punctured lung, a hemothorax and pneumonia, 13 days in the
    hospital with a chest tube. That sucked.. "pun intended"

    I guess 30 inches in the ground was not enough base to hold it until the cement dried.
    so for now it's a 20ft steel pipe with guide wires, looks like an antenna.
    this summer I may have to run a wire from the tree in the back to the tree on the side yard, diagonal
    then clamp the 4th string wire to it and pull it tight.

    so no more ladders for me for a while, I have to do everything from the ground for now.

    Anyway it's not too bad, once I open up the Pool there will be more light from there,
    plus reflection from the water. it's not bad but it's required.
    Last edited by 2k05gt; 03-17-2021 at 01:47 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Medium base bistro light wiring

    I like the look. Very nice.

    Sorry to hear about your accident. That was a doozy.

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