My wife, Sheryl, is the festive type. She wanted some accent lights for our patio. I didn't want them. So naturally, now we have patio lights. I didn't want them because I worried that hanging lights would detract from our waterfront view, and I didn't relish the idea of seeing all of that electrical cording when I looked out. So as part of this project, I did what I could.
Sheryl purchased some patio lights at Costco for $49.99.
There are 24 lights spread out among a sturdy 48-foot cord. Our patio cover is 9 feet by 8 feet (34 linear feet) so one strand was enough.
Since we live in a townhouse that has condominium ownership, we own the inside of our unit but not the outside. Technically our outdoor patio is "exclusive use common area." So I submitted an architectural variance request to hang the lights. This was approved. Though a few other units had already requested and received approval for lights, the Design Review Committee used my request as an opportunity to publish its rules for patio accent lights.
I hung the lights so that the cords (that I didn't want to see) were hidden by the support structure yet Sheryl could see the lights.
My original plan was to use large staples to attach the cord to the siding; however, the instructions recommended against that. (Yes, I read the instructions.) Each socket had a small hole which was perfect for hanging.
I was able to install 1½" screws and then slip the rubber socket over the screw.
That made is easy. I did use a few staples to hold excess cording in place, though.
To make the cording not so noticeable, I painted it to match the siding. I didn't paint the sockets themselves as that would have been trickier and possibly would chip over time.
Though I had a long enough strand to plug into the socket and still circumscribe the patio (14 extra feet), I didn't want the lights running up the side of the wall from the outlet to the ceiling. I used an extension cord instead. To hide the extension cord that supplied power, I placed a strip of wood along the trim.
So all's well that ends well, I guess.
So Sheryl won this one. I guess that's one small step backward for man, one giant leap forward for mankind. It's like they always say: "Happy wife, happy life."
Patio lights are alive in the lab.