"And God said let there be light"! That's how I felt when we turned on the new backyard lights for the first time! It was magical! Now that we're into fall, with shorter daylight hours, I'm very happy they are extending the use of our pool deck.
HOWEVER....there's one problem in this picture. Thank God I have smart, kind friends. And thank God I post lots of pictures to Facebook. When my friend Lonnie saw this picture he sent me a private message. In the kindest way he pointed out that I had an electrical wire running right over our pool. And in the kindest way he pointed out that electrical and water do not mix. Anyone else would have said "hey dumb ass do you plan on electrocuting your kids"? And he was the one and only person to point out this grave mistake despite the picture getting quite a few "likes". So I am very grateful to Lonnie. Since then we've repositioned the lights at a safe distance around the pool, not over it. I like the configuration in this picture better but aesthetics must take a back seat in this situation!
I learned a few things while doing this project, besides fully understanding the fatal combo of water and electricity. Here are a few tips if you are looking to string your own lights.
- First these lights are called "carni" or "carnival lights", "globe lights" or "bistro lights".
- I bought my lights on sale at Target. I didn't know exactly where I wanted them or how many sets I'd need so I didn't plan this entirely through. After I bought 6 sets of lights and had them somewhat in place I read the fine print on a sticker attached to one of the globes. It said these are not intended for long time external use, 90 days max. So, I would suggest buying permanent, exterior lights from a place like this. They have lights meant to stay outside and they have them in varying lengths. The Target lights only allow you to string 2 sets back to back so you are limited in how far you can go from an outlet.
- If you are stringing a big section like what I did you need galvanized steel cable to hang the lights from. You'll need this kind of kit or you can get your cable custom cut at the hardware store with the hooks and adapters that best suit your needs. You have to consider what your lights will do in a windstorm. You don't want glass globes cracking all over your patio floor.
I'm so happy to have these lights up. They really make the backyard feel special. If you've been tempted I say go for it! And for the record, Friday Night Lights is one of my all time favorite TV shows. Love Coach Eric Taylor!
Labels: lighting, outdoor living