This was the first large scale grid we created, which led to
the creation of the grass grid the following year. In 2001 it
consisted of 17 strings laid horizontally and stapled to the shingles,
almost like trying to cover our roof in wrapping paper! Since
the roof was re-shingled later in 2002 we had to come up with a design
that would allow us to setup the grid without putting any staples or
screws into the new shingles. In 2002 the grid had a total of 16
strings, each consisting of 30 red C7 bulbs. When fully lit up,
the grid consumes 2400 watts of power. Each string is controlled
individually by it's own separate channel. Descriptions
This is the grid in 2001, stapled to the
The electrical circuits consist of (2)
separate 8-channel boxes. These boxes housed the first 4-channel
PC boards that we created. Each channel is separately fused to
prevent the triacs from blowing if a bulb shorts out. The wires
are cut to exact lengths, which run to each string of lights.
In 2002, because of the new shingles, we
needed to develop a way to create the grid without damaging the
roof. We decided to cut 4'x8' sheets of ½" plywood into 2"
strips and created a grid for the lights to be stapled to. This
method worked very well, for this year at least, and allowed us to keep
the roof staple free. The grid was held in place by strings
attached at the top, connecting to the solar panel bolts on the
backside of the roof (the solar panels are used to heat the
pool). The stack pipes and chimney also helped support the
grid. This way we didn't have to put one screw into the roof!
This is the completed roof grid with
perimeter lighting. The perimeter lights look as if they have a
gap, since we have staggered them to fit on the plywood, but the
viewing angle from the road overlooks this gap and it is completely
unnoticeable. Notice the solar panels on the left of the picture.
Just another view of the completed roof
grid. Notice how perfectly spaced and aligned the lights are.
This shows the completed roof grid from
the driveway. The wood grayed out over time and blended in with
the gray shingles.