Instructables
Picture of HUGE Light Christmas Tree
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The desire was to make a BIG lighted Christmas tree to celebrate the holiday season. So after Christmas last year, we went to Walmart and bought up all the lights that were on super SALE. I think that we paid about 1.99 a piece for the lights. And then they sat in the basement for about 11 and 1/2 months.....
 
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Step 1: Some trig

Picture of Some trig
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The lighted section of the lights was 23 feet. So that was the hypotenuse of the triangle. I figured the angle of the tree would be about 70 degrees, so I did some math to see what the other sides would be. With the angles, the center of the tree should be about 21 feet 7 inches. So I built the center of the tree with 6 2X4 studs 8 feet long.
I laid them out 8 8 8 and then backed them with 4 8 8 4 as you can see in the drawing. Initially I put them back to back, but they were too wobbly, so i put them together in a "T".

I added two 1x4 sections with a "U" cut out in the top to lay the lights in. See photo. This created two "valleys" for the light strings to go through.

When I had the 24 foot pole put together, i dug about a 3 foot hole, and put the pole in it.

Step 2: Base

Picture of Base
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The base was a 12 sided polygon, which meant that every interior angle was 150 degrees, or 15 degrees per side.

That being said, I need 12 four foot pieces of 2x4. Each one was cut 15 degrees on each end (photo).

Step 3:

I put the polygon together around the main vertical post of the tree and centered it. I then marked out every 15 inches around the outside, this would space the 32 sets of lights around the tree.
seadraggin (author) 11 months ago
They are not all connected together in series.  They are only connected 4 strands (400 lights) at a time.  (The box said don't connect more than 5 strands end to end).  So with 32 strands, there are 8  sets linked together in parallel.  They come together in 3 outdoor surge protectors and then into a heavy duty (12 guage) 100 foot extension cord (capable of up to 15 amps) and then into an outdoor plug on a 20 amp circuit.

(32 strands * 40 watts)/120 volts = 10.6 amps

So far so good

I will tell you that next year it is going to be LEDs (4 watts per strand!)


blackweb11 months ago
Isn't it a fire hazard to have so many strings of lights plugged in to one outlet. I have seen some lights that say don't connect more than 4 strings ?
Beautiful! I love trees like this :)