How to Hang Deck Lights With Poles8/30/2016 9:02:56 AM
This post is sponsored by Enbrighten Café String Lights by Jasco. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
As promised on Instagram, I'm finally getting around to sharing with you all how we hung our deck lights on our newly built deck space. I love the look of cafe lights strung outdoors (and indoors too!) and I have a feeling we are going to be using our deck space right up till winter. Sitting outside during the fall is more enjoyable anyways since you don't have to deal with mosquitos and other flying pests. Now if only burning leaves wasn't hazardous to your health and didn't contribute to pollution. I guess I'll just have to stick with my 100% beeswax or soy naturally scented candles instead. If anyone knows of a beeswax or soy naturally scented candle that smells like burning leaves, let me know!
We started out this summer with a set of cafe lights from Costco and although they claim to be weatherproof, they didn't hold up to our windy weather here in Rochester, MN. We'll be taking advantage of Costco's return policy and are now using these Enbrighten Café String Lights by Jasco. These lights have some features that I've never seen before..
First off, check out those bulbs. Totally unique looking yet impact resistant. These acrylic bulbs won't break if dropped, stepped on, or during windy weather when one of the bulbs might hit a pole. The bulbs are also LED which reduce energy usage by 95%. Now I won't feel overly guilty about leaving them on when we are not out on the deck. Since these are actually a commercial grade product with a lifetime LED guarantee, you can feel confident leaving them up all year long.
Now here are two features that I find very appealing. First, you can connect multiple strings! Hello! How awesome is that! It makes SO much sense to be able to do that since everyone's need is different. The heavy-duty, grounded cord plugs into any standard outlet and you can link multiple cafe lights up to 350 ft!
The second feature that I find super handy is the flexible mounting options. You can hang these cafe lights right to the wall if you want! And since they are LED, you don't have to worry about the heat from the bulbs.
Now that we've talked about how much I love these Enbrighten Café String Lights by Jasco, let's move on to how to hang deck lights with poles....
For the pipe posts we (when I say "we", I really mean my husband did all the work while I stood by observing) used pieces of 1” galvanized steel piping and cut them down to 7’-10” in length. He then put a thread on one end and left the other end plain (that's the end that sits on the deck). On the threaded end he put a 1” galvanized cap and then drilled a 3/8” hole about 1” down.
Then my husband took a fine grit sand paper and an oscillating sander and went over the whole length of the pipe to give it a more polished look. After that he installed a 5/16”x3” J-Bolt through the hole. Once the (4) pipes were assembled he used 1” 2-hole straps to attach them to the railing posts.
He ran heavy duty metal cabling in a square around all of the J-hooks attached to the poles so the lights could be strung right to the cable and not just hang from the poles.
He used wire crimping sleeves to make the loop for the J-bolt.
If you shop for these items at the hardware store, the crimping sleeves should be right next to the wire.
We decided on on X pattern for the cable wire that would connect the poles so we could string the lights across the center of the deck.
I also like the idea of being able to hang paper lanterns or banners from the wire on holidays or for parties!
We attached the lights to the wire using zip ties. If we do decide to take the lights down this winter, cutting the zip ties will be easy (and it's cheap). But chances are we will leave the lights up year round.
Because the outlet on our deck is behind our deck furniture, having this GE myTouchSmart plug-in timer is a must! It was such a pain to turn the old lights on and off. With our new timer, we can set custom times, use the preset options, or the custom countdown feature! There is even a 12-hour setting that will turn the lights on at 6pm and off at 6am.
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