Good source for cheap aluminum channels, at least 5 meters?

I’d like to mount my lights on my house eaves, but putting tiny screws every 6 inches is going to be a lengthy pain in the ass, especially on the high parts. Anyone know of a place that has long aluminum channels, so I can mount long sections at a time? Or perhaps have an easier method of doing this?

Oh, here’s a good idea. I think I’ll try this:

The added bonus is I can run electrical wire for the power injection through the PVC.

And use these to hold the lights:

1 Like

The video itself is meh, but the concept is good. I like the idea of using pex tubes (you can potentially also use thin wall PVC pipe) and those clips from Amazon are nice.

Technically, the thin-walled version is schedule 20, and the thicker version is schedule 40. I’ve learned my lesson with using S20, lol.

Actually there is a whole series of “schedules”, smaller and larger, the thickness of the wall being larger as the schedule number gets larger.

Sounds like a story about S20, glad to share?

From the earlier picture of your house, it looks like you’re in a place that gets some sun. If that’s the case, and your installation is to be more-or-less permanent, paint your PVC before you install it! UV light yellows it and turns it extremely brittle in a hurry. After a year or two, minor flexing from wind can shatter it.

Not sure about PEX – I’ve never used any above ground.

Incidentally, LEDs are fairly visible through sched 20 PVC, though it’s a little more diffusion than you probably want. At one point, I used my table saw to cut a few half-depth slots along the length of a pipe, and ran lights inside the pipe.

It actually looked good, except that I realized if I didn’t want the whole pipe to light up, I’d have to paint it before cutting the slots, at which point the project went back into the queue…

1 Like

Well, my house faces north, so the front doesn’t get a LOT of direct sunlight, but painting the PVC is a good point. Then again, I’m planning to use the PVC clips not only so it’s easier to put up, but also because I can take it down if necessary (strip goes bad, etc.), so not quite as permanent as using the screw mounts.

Putting the strips INSIDE the PVC is an interesting idea…especially since you could look for a thin material to put OVER the slot (or, if possible, behind the slot) to diffuse the light.

This would probably be well beyond most people’s abilities, but imagine being able to sand down one side so that the PVC was thinner than S20. You’d still get a semi-rigid PVC pole, but with diffusing abilities. Maybe build a wooden jig to hold the pipe in place… Hmmmmmmmm…

Oh, back when I first bought my house, I put in a rear sprinkler system. Didn’t know much about S20 and S40, so I just bought S20. Well, the stuff breaks easily when you cut it, and decades later when I’ve had to make changes, it’s a pain in the ass because it’s so brittle. Wish I’d use S40 way back then.

I think there’s a thin wall and a thick wall sched 20, and the thin wall is much harder to find now. Or maybe they just changed the spec. My house’s sprinkler system came with the old, thin wall stuff, and yeah, you can’t even cut it easily without breaking it. Seems like regular sched 20 from Home Depot is thicker now.

Here’s a piece left over from what I’ve come to think of as the “two-slit experiment”. I was thinking about lighting a greenhouse frame this way.

I built a jig so I could control the angle and not remove fingers, and played with the tablesaw until I got the right depth. Tried the router for this too – it threw hot plastic chips everywhere, partially melted the pvc and made a huge mess!

1 Like