Straighten Out Droopy Rope-lights
Ah…the ambience of lighting on a patio or deck. I always love that!!! Until…….it falls and droops:) We have some rope-lights that we put up around the top of the gazebo last year. The lighting is my favorite feature of the gazebo. Over time though……
If you like the random wavy pattern, then welcome it! For us, it was an annoyance that continued to get worse. The rope-light looked completely straight when it was originally put up, but within the year, the clips that came with the rope-lights had all broken or snapped. These rope-lights are at the top of the METAL gazebo where it gets very hot. The constant exposure to heat and cold has made most of the clips break. This has resulted in droopy rope-lights. The lights are still going strong, but the clips that always come in the box are super cheap. Instead of buying expensive store front or restaurant quality patio lighting, we decided to keep the lights and look for clips that would be a lot tougher through drastic temperature changes.
The hunt for better clips:
Ed and I went on the search for some metal clips in the electrical or plumbing departments at home depot. We wanted the light to be seen without any part of the clip obstructing the glow……and metal would ensure it not breaking. Amazon was where we found the exact clip he was envisioning, just not in metal.
Snap in Clips for 3/8″ PEX Tubing (200/bag)
It is a clip for plumbing that is made from PVC. Unfortunately it’s not metal, but I think PVC will hold up a lot longer to the elements. Metal in the end may rust, so perhaps this was a better option. As you can see from the AMAZON title, we had to order in bulk! $25 a bag. Oh gosh, I guess I will just have to add more lights throughout the yard;)
He painted the clips an oil rubbed bronze to match our gazebo. This will blend in and hopefully the clip will be camouflaged.
Ed screwed in clips every 6 inches at the top of our metal gazebo. In the second picture, you can see how it droops even if 1 clip is skipped at 12 inches.
But now with the better clips, we can continue to buy our cheap rope-lights. Score! If they burn out in another year, we can just make our way back to Big Lots for another cheap rope-light kit for $12. It’s been over a year already and the lights are still going strong. Maybe the only reason the rope-light kit is so inexpensive are the horrible clips that come with it. Who cares, if the lights work…. ditch the crappy clips!
Our backup plan:
We had an idea I wanted to mention in case the rope-light is too thin for the clips. We would have boiled water and dipped the PVC clips for just a few seconds at which point they would become pliable allowing us to pinch them to create a tighter fit. In the end we did not need to do this. The rope-light fit fine and really didn’t pop out. This was the backup plan…..gotta have one!
Check out the pics! I am loving the lights now! Ed put them on dimmers. This is why the lights are brighter in some of the pictures.
Where did we get the hanging lantern?
Check out how I made the outdoor lantern which hangs in the center of the gazebo (also on a dimmer). It was my OLD BIRDCAGE RE-PURPOSED! or click on the image here:
When all lit up, I have to say the lighting might be my favorite feature of the gazebo. Now that the lights are straight it won’t be bugging me all summer long when I sit out on the patio. I will have to update this post to let you all know how the PVC clips have lasted through next year. At least for this season, no more droopy rope-lights!! Until next time!
UPDATE: It has been over 2 years since we did this and these rope-lights HAVE NOT MOVED under our Gazebo. NO droop……just sayin! 🙂
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