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 on the roof, stapled to the shingles. 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 follow.....
This is the grid in 2001, stapled to the shingles.
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.