At long last, the Christmas lights display is up!

I first conceived this project about four years ago after several seasons of making numerous trips up and down an extension ladder (about 25' at the peak) to hang Christmas lights along the eaves. I have absolutely no fear of heights, but I do have a healthy respect for gravity and a keen awareness of my own lack of grace and agility. So, taking inspiration from the holiday lights displays at Callaway Gardens and Lake Lanier Island, I set out to design a display I could attach to the house from much closer to the ground.

After a year of planning, I came up with a design using PVC pipe (because it's easy to work with and adaptable to countless shapes and configurations) and 1/2" EMT conduit (to strengthen the PVC structure because PVC is so darn floppy when unsupported). What I ended up with was a ridiculously heavy, awkward structure - a complete failure in terms of radiating Christmas spirit, but a valuable learning experience.

It was about the time I went back to the drawing board that I discovered Maker Pipe. I redesigned the frame, going with 1/2" EMT (to minimize weight and reduce cost), built a few test pieces to check the structural soundness of the components, and began construction with hopes of putting the display up over the Thanksgiving weekend. Bad weather, work, and the shortening days of fall created one delay after another, but we finally put the thing up today and I am so satisfied.

I really enjoyed the build process, too. I created a blueprint in CAD to make sure I had my dimensions right and the assembly process brought me back to my early childhood when my Gilbert Erector Set was my favorite toy with my Tinker Toys in close second place.