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Icicle Lights - Taming and Storage

18 posts in this topic

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I often get asked why our icicle lights hangs so nice and straight, and don't tangle. The answer is in my attic. We store the lights so that the icicles hang down throughout the hot summer months. The attic heat does a great job of relaxing the wire. Here are some of my new lights for next season, and my storage scheme for them. Not finished hanging them all, but it gives you a good idea of what I am up to.

The first one is a look at the four new racks before I install them in the attic. The second picture is a close-up of the racks, made of 3/8" plywood. The last picture is the racks installed. I am hanging four strings per hole, for a total of 60 strings. They look like a tangled mess right now, but will hang straight by the end of the summer.

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Posted · Report post

I did that exact method...but only with new lights. Last year, I put them out for the year in the attic. This year, I put them in boxes, and we'll see how they look. I liked how the heat just automatically straightened them! I can remember sitting on the lawn attempting to straighten them...what a mess!

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I have a solution that requires a whole lot less room and still accomplishes the same thing. I have a 3ft peice of 4" PVC drain pipe. I then have a piece of 1/2" copper tubing, about 2' long, run though holes drilled toward one end of the PVC. On that same end I have a hanger that I created, and I drape my icicles around the PVC and over the copper "arms". I then hang it in my attic. I get about 15 strands of 150ct icicles per wrapper. I can take pics when I get off this business trip later this week.

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Posted · Report post

Check out my post "turntable for icecycle lights" posted Apr 11, 08 under lights,lights,lights.

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Posted · Report post

Check out my post "turntable for icecycle lights" posted Apr 11, 08 under lights,lights,lights.

In case anyone has trouble finding this really cool invention, the thread is here.

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Posted · Report post

I know this is an old thread, some excellent ideas here. Ours may be a little less expensive, less labor intensive, but works great.

Start with a long board or boards. We use 8' lengths. These could be plywood also or just use the 2x4 studs in your shed or attic. I snap chalk lines down the length of the boards about 2-3" apart. You can use any width of board you like but I recommend nothing less than 3/4" thick. Every 6" or so along the chalk lines, drive in a 3" drywall screw or nail so that the tip is not protruding through the back of the board or plywood. I like to use screws since if you get them in too far, you can back them out much easier than a nail. You will end up with what looks like an Indian Guru's bed of nails, in strips and with the heads up instead of the points up. Attach these boards horizontally in your shed, attic or where ever you want to store you icicle lights. We have ours about 16' long.

Start with the bottom row of screws and hang your lights on the screws down the length of the board. You can hang 4-6 sets per row of screws. Move up to the next row and repeat.

We have six rows of screws on each side of our shed. We hang all of our chasing icicles on one side and all of our standard icicles on the other. We also hang our tree wrap net lights, our arch net lights and all of our rope light ornaments on the screws.

These could be made to hang on dowels, nails, or eye hooks. Then you could take an entire length off of the dowels for transport right to the place you need them.

Just some ideas to think about. Inexpensive, easy, quick, no moving parts, one or multiple person usage.

Good Luck,

Terry

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I've bought a bunch of icicle lights after Christmas, haven't used them before, should I take them out of the box now and hang them (someplace)so they'll be straight?

TIA!

Joe

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Back in the 90s we had a store building down town and one year all the stores had icicle lights put up with little plastic hook strips (looked beautiful, mostly 2 story antique buildings). Over the next few years the UV caused the hooks to fail and of course some of the people didn't take their lights down so it just got tacky and they're gone now, except for on our building. We had a flat roof so I was able to go up and take them down each year. About the second year of use, I did a total restoration of the outside of the building and took down the plastic strips. I mounted 4 metal trap door rings on the (flat) roof (6" back from the edge), I then took 3 10' lengths (30' wide building) of 1/2" conduit, put an eye bold on each end of the conduit with a 6" chain and and snap shackle, then I zip-tied the icicles to the conduit. Each year I just walked out on the roof and hung them from the rings and then after the holidays brought them back in and hung them off hooks in the stock room (took about 10 min to put up and take down 6 sets). We sold the store about 8 years ago but the new owner still puts them up and they still look great (starting to get some dead sections, he does no bulb maintainance). This year I bought new icicles for my house and plan to make the same conduits (4 8' sections) but will add c9s to the to the rig and just put screw hooks inside my gutters to hang them from.

Just my solution for reducing time consuming setup and storage.

Jerry

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Joe,

Yes, take them out and hang them now. They might not be completely straight come decoration time, but they will be better than if you left them in the boxes. Besides, it's nicer weather now, than it will be in November.

Good Luck,

Terry

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Joe,

Yes, take them out and hang them now. They might not be completely straight come decoration time, but they will be better than if you left them in the boxes. Besides, it's nicer weather now, than it will be in November.

Good Luck,

Terry

Thanks Terry. I think I have a place in the basement where I can hang 'em.

Joe

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Instead of using conduit like Exitfourxmas, I tie wrapped the icicles to PVC pipe; it

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Ernie,

I like the PVC idea for rust reasons, but what about sag, how far apart are your hangers?

Jerry

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I tie wrapped the icicles to PVC pipe; it’s only a couple of buck for 10 feet. I also used PVC to hang them in the attic. Setup and tare down take very little time. I even use PVC clips to attach the PVC pipe to my eves.

I do the same. My icicle lights are zip-tied to PVC pipe and the pipe is handing in the roof rafters right now. When I put my display up, I hang the PVC pipe on the gutters and peaks. I never remove the icicle lights from the PVC and each year they get a little straighter. By doing it this way, my setup time is greatly reduced. See this post: http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?p=268255#post268255

They (the lights) might sag a little on the PVC pipe because I did not put enough zip ties on the lights, but you can' see it at night. The PVC itself does not sag at all. One day I'll get to fixing it, but it goes up so quick, I just don't really want to fool with it.

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I have two tie wraps per icicle. I have a clip on each end and one in the middle; there is no sag. The clips hold very tight. I think the house could blow away and these would still stay attached.

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I have to stop being so lazy and put a few more zip ties around the lights and PVC...

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I'm going to try this storage method. Thanks for the idea!

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Well, to get back on thread a little bit, I ended up here from a Google search trying to figure out a better way to store my icicle lights.

At a previous house, I simply cut a small piece of plywood in the shape of an "H" (the middle bar being very wide), then wrapped the lights around it. This was OK, but obviously I was looking for a better way to store my new lights for our new house. Well that leads me to my solution.

I ended up creating a quick version of the "turntable" that was built by a previous poster. I built mine out of some scrap PVC and a couple of screws. I didn't even glue the PVC, as the natural tension is more than enough to keep the rig together. The basic "improvements" on the original design is: 1) it's PVC...cheap and easy!; and 2) it's flat and can store against the wall.

All that being said, next year I might make some PVC frames to go under the eaves (like some of the other posters have done). Great idea, probably less stressful on lights and super fast setup/teardown...just takes a little more room to store.

BTW, the brown pipe was just some smaller diameter stock I had laying around that I used to jam in the ground and let the rig spin. I could further compact the unit by removing the center PVC when storing...but why? :) Anyway, 15 minutes of construction=a great solution.

Thanks to you all for your inspiration!!

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Here is what I made. It is a 1x6 and 8ft long I believe. a pack of "cup holders" from wal-mart. I made several rows that are about 3/4" apart. I made it able to hold 4 sets of icicle lights. The whole thing is set up pulleys and is held up by j hooks in the rafters.

Kent

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