PVC Pipe Tunnel of Light

8 Materials
4 Hours

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For the past few years, I’ve (Vicki) strung lights in the tree above the sidewalk to my front door. The branches are now too tall to comfortable reach so I needed a new way to have lights over the sidewalk. We decided to use PVC pipe to construct a structure on which to secure lights. We first used PVC pipe when we made a “tent” for grandson Tyler’s bunk bed. That’s where we learned it was pretty bendy in the smaller diameters so we thought it would be the perfect material to use. It must be noted that our final design was our second try at a PVC arch. That’s the cool thing about designing a DIY project. Sometimes it works out in the original design, sometimes it's necessary to develop a plan B! In designing the arch, it had to meet a couple of criteria: materials must be readily available and it must be collapsible for storage, so parts could not be permanently glued.

Using a miter saw (or hacksaw) make the following PVC cuts:

- Cut each 10’ pipe to 8.5’ (put aside 2 of the cut pieces)

- From the remaining cut off pieces, cut (6) sections of pipe each 4” in length

Create the top section of the arch (do this on the ground):

- Connect the two PVC pipes you set aside to the cross fittings

- Place the (6) 4” pieces into the cross pieces

- Attach the elbow to the 4” pieces making sure they point away from the top of the arch.

- *If you are concerned about the pieces coming apart, the pipe fittings and pipes can be glued into place.

Use a mallet to hammer the rebar into place.

Put the PVC pipe on each of the (6) rebar pieces. Attach the pipes on one side to the top of the arch and then the other other side.

If you are satisfied with the fit, clean the pipe with the mineral spirits and rags, let dry, then spray paint. You can take it apart and do this but we found it was easier to spray paint it in place. Be sure to protect the sidewalk and adjacent plants from overspray.

Attach netting lights using the zip ties. Cut off the zip tie tails with the wire cutter. Attach the App Lights in the same manner.

We used app lights, which are lights that can be controlled with an iPhone. With these lights, we can animate the lights for a fun Christmas light show!

If you want to see what went wrong in our first version of this project- check out our website!

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 13 questions
  • Christina Dewald Metzger Christina Dewald Metzger on Jul 06, 2018

    Wouldnt allowing climbing vine plants to grow around it help to actually protect the rebar from the sun's damage? Seems like it would help.

  • 1cs1267 1cs1267 on Jun 24, 2020

    I don't have an electrical source nearby ... do you know if there are battery operated net lights available?

  • JANET L. OTT - SNYDER JANET L. OTT - SNYDER on Sep 26, 2020

    What is the diameter of pc pipe and how long were the rebars?

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