Author Topic: Christmas tree made from light strings  (Read 6759 times)

Offline Christmasaddict

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Christmas tree made from light strings
« on: January 08, 2010, »
For several years I have had a static display with a central pole holding up strings of lights making up a tree.  (I'm not sure if there is a technical name for this but if there is would someone please share it!)  My static tree is about 12 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter at the base with each standard 100 miniature light string going from top to bottom twice.  My goal for 2010 is to make a tree twice as tall so each string goes from top to bottom only once.  I want to use different color lights and animate it.  Anyway, the reason for the post is to ask for opinions as to how to make such a tree.  Assuming the tree is approximatly 24 feet high what is going to be the best way to support it.  I've been tossing around some ideas in my head.  Being that tall I would probably have to use some sort of metal pole.  It would be nice to have some sort of pully system that would enable me to be able to attach the lights and then hoist them to the top of the pole.   I know a lot of people have trees like this so maybe someone will have some ideas to share.  Thanks in advance.

Offline tbone321

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2010, »
What you are talking about is called a mega-tree and there are many places on line that talk about them including how to build them.  Planet Christmas has a lot of information on them.
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Offline meman

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, »
There are a lot of different designs, but one common component that seems to have emerged as a standard is the use of a PVC reducing coupler. That gives you a lot of area for attaching lights and reduces down to a diameter that will "travel" the pole without too much slop.  It will allow you to attach the lights at ground level, then pull them all to the top of the pole at once.

I have a much shorter tree so I just use PVC topped with the reducer full of hooks and string it with a ladder.

I used this guys tutorial and just modified the design to fit my needs:
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Good luck and most of all, have fun with it!

Offline Christmasaddict

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, »
Thanks!!  Great series of pictures.  I can take these ideas and run with them.  The basket of tomatoes took me by suprise and I wondered what that had to do with a Christmas tree but he must have been demonstrating that he was doing this in the summer thereby making the statement that you can't wait until Thanksgiving to make a display like this...

Offline coachers

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2010, »
MeMan.

 Thanks for the link! one of the best I have seen for the M Tree.
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Offline jnealand

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2010, »
I have a pdf file with verbiage from Larry on his megatree build.  If you want it, PM me with your email address and I can send it to you. It is about 5mb.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA

Offline magic8192

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, »
I built the 3 stage JUMP mega tree
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It works great and is tough as nails, but the next one will be the 2 stage.

I used a steel topper with the hooks welded on.  We had 45 MPH winds this season and it worked great.

Maybe I will get some pictures if you are interested.

Offline Christmasaddict

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, »
Thanks to everyone who commented on my questions about a megatree.  I have been to Planet Christmas and looked there.  Anyone with other thoughts, ideas or pictures feel free to post.  Now, if it will just warm up above freezing so I can take down my lights from last Christmas...

Offline Kwajtony

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, »
Quote
Now, if it will just warm up above freezing so I can take down my lights from last Christmas...

Here Here!

Actually, my issue is rain.  I'm going to model my mega tree off of the one of the trees from "that other website" (diyc) and see if I have better luck with it staying standing (wind took it out).
R,
Tony "C"

Offline voyageurs60

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, »
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I built the 3 stage JUMP mega tree
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It works great and is tough as nails, but the next one will be the 2 stage.

I used a steel topper with the hooks welded on.  We had 45 MPH winds this season and it worked great.

Maybe I will get some pictures if you are interested.

Pictures are always appreciated... how about a video set up on a tripod of you taking the tree down using the "jump jack"... both have features I would like to combine into on system... Dan
Light in Peace - voyageurs60 (Dan)

Offline bittig

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, »
Throwing out an idea for your Mega Tree.  Has anyone ever tried to make a Mega tree using solid acrylic rod as a light pipe?  For instance, can you place 16 solid acrylic rods around a central pole to create the tree.  At the base of each rod would be a single light.  The light would light the rod up as a waveguide creating a light pipe.  At the top, one could put a different colored light which could be turned on or off to create different effects.  Therefore, you could have two light channels in each rod.  Thoughts? 

Offline Christmasaddict

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2010, »
Interesting idea about using the acrylic tubes.  I may have to do some experimentation...

Offline Garrison

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, »
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Has anyone ever tried to make a Mega tree using solid acrylic rod as a light pipe?  

I've seen what was dubbed a Light Saber Tree using a D-Light Firefly RGB light string with sixteen 6' foot long 1" diameter plastic rods placed over each pixel. There is a video of it in action here:You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login


Offline bittig

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2010, »
That is a sweet looking Mega Tree!  Thanks for the video.

Offline BrianO

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Re: Christmas tree made from light strings
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2010, »
anyone have any diy instructions on how to build that?  it's pretty cool...