HELP: Icicle christmas lights

It's finally time! We are getting the house ready for the holidays and I finally get what I want, ICICLE LIGHTS! (Yes, I am that excited about them). After some trial and error with the gutter clips I got all of the lights hung this weekend. They are LED, they are awesome, and I have 6 or so strands highlighting the awesomeness of the holidays that are coming.

The one thing that doesn't seem right is that since all of the lights are bundled when you get them, the icicles aren't quite falling straight. I tried untwisting some of the wires on the icicles (anywhere between 2-4 lights on each) but that didn't do it. Is there any trick to getting the lights to fall straighter than they are? Should I just be patient and let gravity eventually make them look the way they should? I counted a total of four houses lit up on my 5 mile drive home from work today. I thought that was enough for me and I told my wife that it's time to turn on the lights. She disagrees and says I have to wait until Friday at the earliest. BOO! (hehe)

I never had any luck with them, not even after a couple winter's worth of gravity:(

Friday after Thanksgiving. Any earlier is a no-no. Retailers have thrown then memo further out the window each year since at least 2000.

Also, I don't think the icicle lights are supposed to hang 100% straight. The lights are supposed to offset a little to give it a bit more of a textured, not manufactured look.

I spent HOURS straightening out the damn things when I had them. It bugged me, what can I say
After doing that again the next year I got rid of them, and have been running blue strings since. I really like the blue LEDs, cool colour, and they have that strange property where you can't really focus on them, so it's just glowy looking.

Aries wrote:

I really like the blue LEDs, cool colour, and they have that strange property where you can't really focus on them, so it's just glowy looking.

My mom loves those. They give me an eyestrain headache.

I can't wait to decorate the house this year! We haven't had our own place for xmas for a couple years (different reasons, all based around me working)... Gonna do the outside this weekend, and the following weekend we're gonna put up our tree and whatnot. We're super stoked about xmas this year! (last 2 years have been at my mother-in-laws, ugh).

For the zigzag problem, there's not much you can do except bend the folds on each strand the opposite way, which is really time-consuming. It works better to do that in the house where it's warm, because the plastic casing on the wires won't want to flex outside in the cold.

Post a photo when you're all lit up (on Friday )!

I haven't actually tried this, but if your oven can be set to 120-140 degrees, you could try hanging them in the heat to see if gravity straightens them out.

You could probably rig up a heat box with a thermometer and a hairdryer, if the oven won't go that low.

Maybe don't worry about it?

And definitely Friday at the earliest.

LiquidMantis wrote:
Aries wrote:

I really like the blue LEDs, cool colour, and they have that strange property where you can't really focus on them, so it's just glowy looking.

My mom loves those. They give me an eyestrain headache.

YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. I really hate hate hate hate those. I drive around, thinking, "Oh, that house is beautiful. Oh, look, they must have spent forever! Oh, wow, my eyes are killing me and I can't actually focus on those. Why? Why would you do this to me?"

I actually Googled it once, apparently that is a known effect that almost everybody is more or less susceptible to. I think many people who think they aren't affected might not have fantastic vision to begin with, so the blurry haze around the blue lights seems normal to them.

I always just let them hang as is. When its dark you can't see the wires anyway.

Wife has taken to the wreath, window candle, and spotlight look though. Its fine by me cause I can get the house done in like a half hour.

Your eyes are most sensitive to green light -- from all the vegetation we evolved to move around in -- and that's where most of the 'edge detection' happens. A pure blue light is a hard thing to focus on... blue light in general is stressful on the eyes, which is part of the reason why BluBlockers work so well to make things more visible.

I ended up going up to fix one wire that I didn't like how it was hanging on the hook and spent a decent amount of time straightening and crimping the wires on the entire front side of my house. It looks a lot better now, thank you Mother Nature for a couple days of 60 degree weather so I could get it done!

One of the reasons it has to look good is because right across the street from my house, starting last year, they have the lighting of the town tree. They have one on the west side of town but it's horribly inconvenient for all of us east side people (Flashing gang sides despite me not living in a ghetto). Right out my picture window is a church that has a huge tree on the property. The town has said that every year, this would be the tree for this side of town to attend to make it easier.

It's a 50 foot tree and it's a huge ceremony. The town paper, the mayor, and lots of people. I can't have my house looking like crap with all those people seeing it! I'm tempted to go out and pick up a couple more strands to hang on the iron posts on the front of the house but I've spent a good amount today already so not sure if another $12 is worth it.

UGH ... but it sort of is

You must live in a huge freaking town for them to decide it's too far to drive for you guys to see the "other" tree!

My city announced this year that there probably wouldn't be any more Christmas lights downtown. The various business and civic organizations that fund them are pretty much out of money. It's too bad but it's tough times everywhere, I guess.

Gravity will fix it.

We usually wait until after Thanksgiving but some of our neighbors put them up the week before so my wife had us out to get a tree and some new lights

Can we complain about non-icicle lights in this thread?

Just spent 20 minutes replacing about 30-40 bulbs until I found the one that was dead... only to see that half of the chain still not light up.

Guess the socket itself could be bad? Or the wiring? Or one of the bulbs I already checked didn't get pushed back in all the way? Either way it's frustrating. I had that aha moment where I found the bad one. These things should work now, dammit!

Stele wrote:

Can we complain about non-icicle lights in this thread? :D)

I guess I could rename the thread into "Xmas Light Frustration Catch-All" if there's really a need for it. It might be quite amusing to see pics and hear stories about light frustration!

We ended up making a midnight Walmart run to buy another strand. And another 6' extension cord. But it's all done now.

Stele wrote:

We ended up making a midnight Walmart run to buy another strand. And another 6' extension cord. But it's all done now. :cool:

This is always the best idea. I wish I had all the time back I've spent trying to get the damn Christmas lights to light up.

"Now why the hell are they blinking"??!!

Thank you all for reminding me why I rent!

DeThroned wrote:
Stele wrote:

Can we complain about non-icicle lights in this thread? :D)

I guess I could rename the thread into "Xmas Light Frustration Catch-All" if there's really a need for it. It might be quite amusing to see pics and hear stories about light frustration!

How does that compare to mild frustration?

mrtomaytohead wrote:
DeThroned wrote:
Stele wrote:

Can we complain about non-icicle lights in this thread? :D)

I guess I could rename the thread into "Xmas Light Frustration Catch-All" if there's really a need for it. It might be quite amusing to see pics and hear stories about light frustration!

How does that compare to mild frustration?

It's less frustrating but only by a little bit

Dr_Awkward wrote:

"Now why the hell are they blinking"??!!

Lesson learned while hanging lights today: for some reason the replacement lights with the red tips make the lights blink.... who knew.

Yeah we learned that lesson last night too.

Radical Ans wrote:
Dr_Awkward wrote:

"Now why the hell are they blinking"??!!

Lesson learned while hanging lights today: for some reason the replacement lights with the red tips make the lights blink.... who knew.

That is intentional for people that want blinking lights or like a mix of blinking and non-blinking on their tree.

I prefer my icicles lights hanging all crooked -- for that slightly messy, casual X-mas look.

Bedhead decorating.

Question: I burried some of the jumps between bushes with mulch so you don't see a line of lights from bush to bush. Is this kosher?

Only if it's vegetarian mulch. Meat or dairy needs a certification.

this was driving me nuts also so I went out and bought 4 boxes of nuts (50 pieces each) and used a small zip tie to attach 1 nut right above the bottom light on the icicle and cutting the left over zip tie material. With the added weight it makes the icicles hang much better. I was going to use a heat gun to heat up the lines but that seemed excessive (at least more excessive than the nut thing)

Anyway, best thing is you cant even see them. It took about an hour to do but I figured I'd only have to do it once. Hindsight, it woulda been much easier to do on the ground..

Cheers!