Introduction: Creating a Light Strip From Old Christmas Lights
One of the restoration projects I have taken on is my wife’s garden in front of our house. It has fallen into a bit of a mess over the last year or so. The centerpiece of the garden is a little fish pond made from an old mobile home bathtub. The tub is a monster that we rarely used and took too much hot water to heat. We took it out when we remodeled our bathroom after it sustained water damage from a leaking hot water heater. I built a little bridge over the pond after I put it in and put a light under it. The light quit working some time ago. I decided to fix the bridge up and put some lights under it. That’s when I got the idea to make this little project.
Step 1: Removing the Light Sockets
The first thing to do is remove the light sockets from the old light string. It's a simple procedure with this type of old string. Just snap the back off the socket and pull from the wire. Work the back off carefully so you don't break the plastic snaps.
I scrounged an old pine 1x4 to install the lights on. I used a chord from an appliance that no longer works for the new wiring. I drilled a small hole in the base of the socket and fastened it on the board with a small nail. Later on I decided to add a staple to make sure the socket was secure.
I put wire nuts over the ends of the chord to seal them off. It's a simple matter to snap the wire down into the socket to install it. Notice there are small blades that pierce the insulation to make the electrical connection. Press firmly on the wire over the blades to insure connection. After the base is fastened on the board just snap the socket back onto it.
Step 3: Completing the Strip.
I checked the first socket to make sure it worked. Then I installed three more on the board. Any number or spacing will work, it all depends on what you want to do and how long your wire is.
Final step, I mounted the light strip on the bottom of the little bridge and put the bridge over our fish pond. Pretty cool!