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Outdoor Rope Lighting – Accent Lighting


Outdoor rope lights provide accent lighting which is subtle and allows the home owner to focus lighting on specific outdoor features. Rope lighting is a term used to describe the placement of very small light bulbs in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic tubes of various lengths, instead of light bulbs being placed in individual light fixtures.

The lights in rope lighting come in two different versions; 110 volt and 12 volt. The 12 volt rope light version uses a step-down transformer to bring 110 volts from an electrical outlet down to the correct voltage.

The very small bulbs in a rope light are not intended for replacement, so if they burn out they cannot be replaced. Most outdoor rope lights are designed for long wear and typically last for many years before bulbs burn out. One main advantage with rope lights is that they do not get hot to the touch, only warm. This allows them to be safely used in a wide variety of applications. Examples include:

  • Use on patios and gazebos for accent lighting.
  • The 12-volt version can be used for accent lighting near swimming pools. Caution should be taken to ensure they cannot get wet and someone cannot actually come in contact with the rope lights.
  • They can be used for deck lighting to provide a warm glow to an evening on the deck.
  • Use for accent lighting a deck bar or barbeque pit.
  • Used to accent a garden path for an evening stroll.
  • Used to line sidewalks and accent sidewalk steps to avoid tripping.
  • Sometimes these are lights are used to accent trees for special occasions.
  • The flexibility of the PVC tubing the lights are in allow rope lighting to conform to most every shape, so their use is only limited by the creativity of the homeowner.

As provided above, electric rope lighting has a multitude of uses for outdoor lighting situations. Another characteristic of rope lighting is that it comes in several colors.

These colors allow the accent of different outdoor features of a home in colorful display for those who want to avoid using just one color. The different colors available today include: Clear, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Gold, Purple, Pink, and more.

The rope lights are easily attached to objects using several methods. These include various plastic clips which can be permanently or temporarily attached using nails or glue. Long straight strings of electric rope lights can be held firmly in place with clear plastic channels, which can be glued or nailed in place. Whichever method is used, the rope lights simply snap into the holders to remain firmly in place.


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