When I shared our vintage guest bedroom, I think I said I would share the other guest room that recently got a “shop-your-house” makeover. The pics didn’t turn out so great, so I retook them. Once again they came out lookin’ not so great. So, I just had to come to the realization that maybe the whole bedroom is just not as cute as I thought. Which is fine because we always keep the door shut. Anyway, I’m dealing with my OCD issues of only sharing things chronologically and just leaving that room out for now. It’s gonna drive me nuts but if I don’t get over it, I’ll be stuck forever. So here’s a DIY deck lighting project I did a few months ago.
Ignore the actual deck, it needs some serious love. Back at our old house in Texas, we had a couple strings of lights from our wedding on our back patio and I loved it. When we moved to Atlanta, I took the lights and just strung them around the edge of the deck but wasn’t in love with it, so this is what I came up with. The best part about this is that the lights are connected to a light switch so we don’t have to mess with plugging/unplugging the lights every time we want them on/off.
Home Depot sells the copper in 10 ft lengths, so I bought two and just cut it into three 3 ft pieces (and used the leftovers to make this drink caddy). I used E6000 glue to attach the pressure cup male adapter to the pipe.
Then I put a wooden dowel rod inside the copper tube and cut it to fit the entire length including the male adapter.
The dowel rod inside seems redundant now but it’ll make sense in a minute.
Next, I took the copper caps and held them in place with some pliers while drilling a hole in the top.
I glued the cap onto the top of the pipe and then screwed the cup hook into the wooden dowel rod and squeezed the cup hook almost-closed with pliers.
Then I attached the floor flanges in place on the deck railing and screwed the male adapter into the flange.
The wooden dowel rod on the inside not only gives a place to screw in the cup hook, but since it runs the full length of the pipe and the adapter, it gives it some extra strength at the bottom. This makes up for any weakness where the pipe and adapter meet, just in case the glue fails.
The lights are attached to the house right under the roof line on the second floor. This took a lil’ thinkin’ on my part. These light strings are 100 ft (affiliate link – you can find them here ) so I started by doing a little math to get my configuration right. I started by screwing in a light socket plug adapter (*affiliate link) into the flood light socket on the second floor. This is what makes this so magical. Just flip a switch and boom, lights!
This is right outside of our master bathroom window and, lemme tell ya, I was definitely scared standing on top of our toilet and hanging out the window on the second floor. There was already a cup hook screwed into the overhang, so I used that to take the tension of the lights off of the socket/plug. I plugged the lights in and slowly lowered all 100 ft of the lights from the 2nd floor window down to the deck. Then I ran down to the deck, looped the light string into the cup hooks on all three pipe-poles. Then I went back upstairs to lower some twine down to the deck, ran back to the deck, tied the string around the end of the light string, then back UP the stairs to use the twine to pull the lights back up to the cup hook. The remaining length of lights was long enough to swag it back to the middle pole. Whew! It was a workout but the whole project took only an hour.
I love that you can barely see them in the day. The floor flanges have since rusted and match the copper and it just all kinda blends into the trees.
If you look closely behind the middle pipe post, you can see where there is some extra length there. The leftover length wasn’t long enough to run to either of the other pipes and it made me crazy to think about just letting them dangle there. These lights aren’t like janky Christmas lights and will still function if several are missing, so I just unscrewed the extra bulbs and let the excess hang down. You can barely see it.
The absolute best part about this is the socket/bulb adapter. We used to have to plug them in and unplug them every time we went out there but now it’s just as easy as flipping a switch. We’ve had several windy days and a few storms in the few months since I put these up and they’ve held up wonderfully. Haven’t budged. I’m honestly kinda surprised but I’m not gonna question it.