We were looking for something to light the grass space in front of the Pixel Trees, but it had to be low so as not to block the trees. We wanted to be able to chase it with the trees, so there had to be ten of them. We decided a yard grid would meet the objective.
Manufacturer: A PierceLights Custom Creation
Material: 1/2" Rigid Wall PVC
Power: 12 Volt
Light Type: Ribbon
Light Quantity: One Ribbon per Grid Element (50 Triple Pixels)
Both of us being anal retentive, we required the lighting solution to be perfectly straight. For that reason, we chose to use ribbons and attached them to PVC (with cable ties) to accomplish the straightness we required. We painted the PVC dark brown so that it would virtually disappear at night. We could have gone with black but our grass is brown during the show period and it looked better during the day.
Since a standard ribbon comes in a length of 16 feet 4 inches, we used two pieces of 1/2" PVC (1 x 10 feet and 1 x 6 feet 6 inches). We use a 1/2" slip-to-slip connector to connect the two pieces. We glued it only to the shorter piece so that we could easily store the PVC parts over our garage doors but not lose the connector. We drilled small holes in opposite ends (top and bottom) of the assembled pipe so that we could insert a small stake to keep them in place in the grass.
Our ribbons did not come with connectors, so we added an X-Connect Pigtail at the start of each ribbon and terminated the other end. We did not need a pigtail at the end because we ran each ribbon from a separate output on our controller.
Construction (One Time)
Our initial construction included the following steps for each of the 10 yard-grid elements:
Cut one piece of 1/2" Thick Wall PVC at 10 foot. Note: We bought 10-foot lengths but a few had an extra inch or two.
Cut one piece of 1/2" Thick Wall PVC at 6 feet 6 Inches.
Using a fine sandpaper, take off the finish on the PVC. This will ensure that the paint adheres better in a later step.
Glue a 1/2" Slip-to-Slip PVC connector to the 6-foot 4 inches piece of PVC.
Paint the PVC using a quality spray paint that indicates it works on plastic. Pay a little extra so you won't have to paint them again every year.
Connect the two pieces of PVC together (no glue), and drill a small hole (appropriate for the stakes you will use to secure the pipe to the ground) at opposite ends about 1 inch from the end.
Assembly (Every Year)
We repeat these steps each year when setting up the show.
Connect the two pieces of PVC (no glue).
Stretch out the ribbon and attach to the PBC with cable ties at regular intervals. Use more or less cable ties based on your level of anal retentiveness.
Place the assembled elements (PVC with Ribbons) in the yard and stake in place using the holes at the beginning and end.
At the end of the season, reverse these steps and store the components.
Attention! I have to give Julie credit for this one. She did all of the original construction and the assembly for both the 2019 and 2020 shows. She did curse me for the idea but she forgives me when she sees them in the show.
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