We LOVE Christmas! Who doesn’t?!
Feeling like Clark Griswold, I’m never satisfied with the amount of Christmas lights we have each year and I’m constantly trying to add more creative elements to our outdoor décor.

Well, a few years ago we visited my parents in New Mexico during the holidays. They took us to the River of Lights event the city hosts every year. It is a fantastic light display, one of the best I have every seen! (I highly recommend making a trip to Albuquerque to visit it). While there, I saw many different styles of lighting displays and it gave me an idea to try at home.

The following fall, I bought a coil of heavy gauge galvanized steel wire from local our hardware store, several boxes of LED Christmas lights, and a big bag of zip-ties.

I started by cutting several sections, joining them together, and then bending some organic shapes out of them. I used thinner bailing wire to tie the groups together and then shoved them inside PVC pipe to create a sturdy base. (I wish I had a way to weld them together, as I now know it would have been better for long term use)

The next step took the longest. I manually zip-tied every single bulb to the heavy wire to ensure uniformity. I worked from the base up to the end of a wire then back down the other side and continued along all the heavy support wires. Afterword, I snipped off the excess zip-tie and I can tell you that I had some sore fingers for a few days. I set up an indoor workstation so I could be distracted from the monotony with some television.

The end result was better than I originally thought it would be. I made four large sculptures and later three small. I hammered in short sections of rebar into my garden to support the larger displays and used camping stakes for the smaller ones. I have used them for three years now and constantly get positive comments from neighbors and friends. I hope to someday build a few more to grow our light sculpture garden.

By Nathan Filion

A full-time, married firefighter in Southern California. I'm an avid DIY'er and prefer to tackle home improvement projects myself in addition to other crafts and art projects.

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