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Author Topic: String Lighting Rigging  (Read 785 times)

Brandon Treadway

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String Lighting Rigging
« on: May 18, 2017, 02:24:16 pm »

Hey everyone,

New to these forums and this isn't related to theatrical lighting so if needed please move to right thread.. I am trying to figure out what the best way is to hang outdoor, suspended, commercial string lights. I am considering using truss but it needs to be freestanding and at least 12' high. Approximately 100ft in a zig zag pattern. Any recommendations/advice?

Thank you!

Jeff Lelko

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Re: String Lighting Rigging
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 04:01:43 pm »

Hi Brandon,

There are a number of ways you can do this.  Is cost and portability a concern?  Both box truss and the uprights you see with pipe/drape kits can work.  Would you also need to dress and/or light the uprights so that they're corporate/wedding friendly or can just the bare metal do?  In either case, it's critical that you use sufficient ballast on your bases.  How much will depend, but the weight of the string lights isn't negligible and over the course of the run will put a reasonable side load on your truss.  Being outdoors, you also need to take into account the "everything else" that can happen such as inclement weather, birds landing on your rig, even an errant vehicle getting caught on something, especially since you'll have overhead wires in this case and won't be contained within a stage (I imagine).  Hope this helps!   

Craig Leerman

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Re: String Lighting Rigging
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 12:45:08 am »

We just recently got into Bistro aka Cafe Lighting and use 50 pound bases and 10' pipes to string the lights on when there is no place to attach the lights.  We add sandbags to the bases for stability and place a piece of drape over the base to cover the sandbags

For attachment, I bought some 1 1/2" pipe caps and drilled a hole in the center. Then I installed Eye Bolts and now have a place to easily attach the light strings.

I also made some caps that can bolt a single light directly above the pole. For our first Bistro Light gig, half of my support poles had a small LED on top providing area lighting for a walkway and I attached the Bistro Lights to the LED's yokes on that side of the area we strung the lights in.

The pipe and base stands with additional sandbags seems sturdy for spacing S of under 25'. For wider spacing between supports, I would use truss, base plates and sandbags
I'm so old, when I was doing FOH for Tommy Dorsey, to balance out the horn section I would slide their chairs downstage and upstage to mix!
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