Light up the Night

21 Aug

Both my neighbors and I have  trees in our backyard, but they are VERY tall, VERY old trees that don’t allow for the stringing of white lights or lanterns or candles or any of those lovely backyard lighting options that look so great in magazines and in photos on Pinterest.  I owe the inspiration for this project to my neighbors Chris and Melissa who created their little oasis in their backyard last summer.  After seeing their lights come up next door, I ran out and purchased the supplies, only to let them languish in my yard and garage for a full year.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to see these lights go up!

It took my boyfriend Fred to help make it happen. I DID assist with this project, but he got to be the model for the step-by-step photos. First step pounding in the rebar. Last summer I had already determined how many pieces 4 ft. rebar and 10 ft. EMT conduit I would need. I used 8 pieces total.  The rebar now costs about $3.00 a piece for the 1/2 inch 4 ft. section and the conduit is $1.69 for a ten foot 1/2 inch diameter section.

First, we hammered the rebar with a sledge hammer about 18 inches into the ground  in each location we wanted the poles.

Then, we worked the conduit over the rebar.

Some of them went on very easily and others took some coaxing. Typically we could twist and turn them on, but here is Fred is imitating his best George of the Jungle Swing.

Along with the rebar and conduit I had also purchased pipe clamps to attach to the top of each pole.  These allowed us something to wrap the lights around. They were less than a $1 a piece.

While I hope one day to buy bigger round bulbs, I chose to use white holiday lights I already had on hand.  We strung these between the poles and wrapped the lights around the fastener at the top of each pole. Did I mention we completed this project in less than an hour with dinner guests arrival impending?  At least that is how I remember it and the excuse I use for the various heights of the drape of lights you’ll see below.

Pardon the bright safety light and crazy reflections in the grass, but you can get the sense of what it looks like.   They lights also need to be restrung to have a better (and more equal) drape between poles.

One safety note- You can see the light shining off see my electrical lines to the house on the right side.  They are several feet above the lights, but in close enough proximity that we were VERY VERY careful about placement and working around the electrical lines.

All in all, they create the soft light perfect for a party or a quiet dinner at home on the patio.


4 Responses to “Light up the Night”

  1. Debi August 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Fun, are you hiring Fred (& his funny antics) out for this gig?

  2. Lindsey F August 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    I love this idea! We have no trees in our back yard to hang things from, but this is a great idea. I could even accomplish it (with a little help) and it isn’t a crazy expensive alternative!

  3. Nikki Berg Burin August 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm #


    • Gail Weisenburger August 21, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      It is really lovely with the lights at night!

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