In the summer of 2013 with the help of my brother in law I made my first leaping light arches. After 5 years of use I felt it was time to remake all five of them but sadly my brother in law was “unavailable” to help. The process of making the arches is pretty simple. I started by taking 1 inch PVC pipe and attaching it to a motor from a “tater twister” that I found on eBay.
I took a piece of sheet metal and fabricated a bracket in the shape of a U. Then I mounted it to the motor and then attached the other side to the pipe. Next I supported the middle and other end of the pipe using saw horses and pieces of High-density polyethylene (HDPE). I used the HDPE to support the pipe because it is very dense and smooth material and I wanted as little resistance while the pipe turned so to not put unneeded strain on the motor.
Once the pipe was supported I was able to start the tedious task of wrapping the lights around the pipe.
To start and stop the motor I used a household power strip as a simple on / off switch. Once I had a few feet of lights wrapped around the pipe I would turn off the motor and push the lights together. After repeating the process numerous times I was done.
Once the arches were all wrapped I worked on wiring them up. The arches are divided into 8 equal sections with each section requiring its own cord. To accomplish this I used SPT wire with female vampire plugs. Each section of lights plugs into a female vampire plug and then the SPT wires all runs back to single multi pin connector.
Each multi pin connector contains 16 pins…two for each of the eight sections on the arch. The main advantage of the multi pin connector is that for five arches I only have five connections to make as apposed to the forty connections that I had to make in the past.
Here is a short video of the arches running in my basement.