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Need Something to Replace Luminarias


jim6918
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I posted something similar last year but it didn't much response so I thought I would give it another shot.


For years (currently and pre LOR) I have used luminarias originally bought from Hobby Lobby to line both sides of my driveway. I always liked the low profile which allows for the opening of car doors and they filled an empty space quite nicely. Pics are attached. I converted them this year to hold 3 C9 LEDs for brighter light. They are getting pretty beat up and I would like to replace them with something, but for the life of me can't come up with a single idea.


I am pretty handy DYI-wise and within reason could build just about anything. I have spare LOR channels and could light something independently, or leave them as two channels as they are now. I am thinking something polycarb or acrylic, transparent, colored or clear, but can't find anything on the web. Only real requirment is that they be relatively low profile and colorful, and hold up to some years use.


Last year I saw some home-made lighted boxes about 18"x12"x4" that were filled with lights possibly stuck face up thru coro cuz the lights were lined up nicely. Not sure if the boxes were covered for the snow. They sat right on the ground so I am sure a couple of inches of snow would cover them up.


Any other ideas? Obviously this would be for 2011.



Attached files 230357=12635-rsz_img_2274.jpg
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jimswinder wrote:

bwaldrep wrote:
Giant light bulb pathway markers?

I think I suggested these last time Jim asked... lol


Boy Jim for an old fart you sure have a good memory.

I looked at these last year and the stake that holds them in the ground was pretty cheaply made for the price. I really like the look though. I might buy some and see if I can modify the base to something more substantial and long term. I was even looking at clear globes, something like an upside down fishbowl that I could run some colored LED's in. Candycanes would be too tall, can't find the round peppermint candies either. My HD didn't carry them this year, although I also like that look.

Any idea for something home-made?
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jim6918 wrote:

jimswinder wrote:
bwaldrep wrote:
Giant light bulb pathway markers?

I think I suggested these last time Jim asked... lol


Boy Jim for an old fart you sure have a good memory.

I looked at these last year and the stake that holds them in the ground was pretty cheaply made for the price. I really like the look though. I might buy some and see if I can modify the base to something more substantial and long term. I was even looking at clear globes, something like an upside down fishbowl that I could run some colored LED's in. Candycanes would be too tall, can't find the round peppermint candies either. My HD didn't carry them this year, although I also like that look.

Any idea for something home-made?

Your right about the stakes being cheap! I have about 100 in my display! This is my 3rd year using them. They have wings on the stakes that hold them into the lights. And when the wind blows the wrong way, the wings break off! I go tired of the wings breaking off the stakes. So I went to a machine shop and had the wing section made out of aluminum. I sanded the tops of the stakes flush, and I used the 5min 2 part epoxy and glued them as a renforcement on top of the plastic. And so far, its the best $250, I have spend to date!

See, http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum79/23566.html

I have to get a picture of the finished product.
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BigLots has 6' candy canes, 3 in a pack, wired in series.. $6 I think.. kinda expensive if you want to replace all those luminarias..

how abt mini-mini trees? WalMart has 2' plastic framed mini trees, $6/ea (last month) they may be less now.. pre-wrapped with tinsel. wrap them with a single set of lights. 2' high might be a bit too tall tho..

Attached files 230466=12646-walmart_minitrees.jpg

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TJ Hvasta wrote:

bwaldrep wrote:
Giant light bulb pathway markers?

I use these in my Mega tree

EDIT: Are you trying to replace with something similar, or a whole new item?

Where did you get these?  My wife wants me to find them..


I bought 5 boxes at KMart last year, each strand has 4 bulbs
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I have been thinking about translucent frosted cylinders, eight to ten inches tall , four to five inches in diameter. Put a RGB light source and a LED strobe in the bottom and have all the flash and color you will need. These could be used an any light display, any time of the year.

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Here they are sold at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/GIANT-CHRISTMAS-LIGHTBULB-PATHWAY-LIGHT/dp/B0046BXSI0

I got them from another website, but cannot remember who they were. They were selling them for $14.00 a set, and I was able to buy them for $5 a set 2 years go when I went from 6 sets to 100 sets. As long as I bought a large number of them. The other pain about them is the bulb inside is a pain to change. You have to remove 4 tiny screws. and the whole thing comes apart. Change the bulb, and then screw it all back together. But I use waterproof $10 a roll electric outdoor tape. And once I remove the screws I put it together using one or two passes of the tape around them. That way its easier to change the bulb if I ever have to later.

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Thanks for all the replies. It looks like I keep coming back to the giant bulbs. Of course now that I an considering them so strongly, especially with the modifications described by ny_yankee_25 I won't be able to find them.

TJ, I broached the subject of mini mini trees and the DW thought that we already had enough trees in the yard; 24.

Last night I was at the TSO concert in Colorado Springs and sat next to a guy who has a big static display. I told him about my luminaria issue and he told me that he made small square cages about 12" x 12" x 12" out of 2" x 2" wire galvanized fence or concrete reinforcement and wrapped them with a 100 ct strand of minis. I am going to explore that idea this summer.

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garyfunk wrote:

I have been thinking about translucent frosted cylinders, eight to ten inches tall , four to five inches in diameter. Put a RGB light source and a LED strobe in the bottom and have all the flash and color you will need. These could be used an any light display, any time of the year.


I use simply luminares - http://www.simplyluminaries.com/




Attached files 230762=12666-xmas lights 2007.bmp
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yes they are open at the top. I use a c7 to light them

I also tried one with an led and the top was covered with saran wrap, just didnt hold up to the rain. I was thinking about trying the glad/ziplock covers that are made for bowls with the rubberband (kinda like a plastic hairnet). The led that i used was too bright and I dont have enough drivers for lower powered leds.

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  • 10 months later...

Now that I can catch a breath I thought I would post a follow-up to what I came up with to replace the Luminarias in my display. Since I liked the effect of the Luminarias lining the driveway, I designed (with the help of a local plastics company) some nearly "bullet-proof" translucent plastic boxes. Starting out with a treated 2" x 6" cut to about 8 1/2" in length, the plastic company cut me sheets of 3/16 red and green acrylic that form perfect sides to the 2x6. I made short 4 count stringers using alligator plugs and sockets. Instead of 4 C9 LEDs I used 3 LEDs and 1 C9 incandescent for good fading. The only tricky part was using the special acrylic glue to glue the sides together after they were screwed to the base. It's water thin and is applied with a syringe. Once I got the hang of it the gluing went very quick. The Luminarias are controlled individually and the chasing effects are fantastic, even if I say so myself. It wasn't cheap, but they will last for years; unlike those cheap Hobby Lobby variety I used in the past. Plus they will stack in storage very nicely. Any questions, please hit me up in a PM.

Attached files 284646=15783-IMG_2380.jpg

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