Rope Light Frequently Asked Questions

December 6, 2017


Here are a few of our most asked questions and they’re simple answers.

How do I assemble the rope light spool?  How do rope lights plug in?

We are currently shipping two styles of rope lights.

The older style is labeled “2017” in the product title and has -OS in the item number. These sets have compression fittings and their installation instructions are shown here.

2017 Previous Style Rope Light Assembly Instructions


Our new to the 2018 Season rope lights don’t require a separate power adapter to connect the power cord to the rope light, come with one power cord already installed and are sealed with adhesive (super glue) instead of compression.  See complete photos and instructions here:

2018 Rope Light Assembly Instructions

Can you cut a rope light to length?

Yes and no.  Rope light can be cut but only at specific intervals of minimum length ranging from 18 to 56 inches.  These intervals are marked by little white lines called “cut mark”. Different styles and colors of rope light have different distances between these areas that can be cut so you’ll have to specifically see the minimum distance for the spool you are purchasing.

What is rope light?

Rope light is a series of either incandescent or LED bulbs encased in PVC constructed with floating electrical connections that allow them to be curved and twisted in a manner similar to neon lights. Because the connections are floating, they can’t form sharp angles but are great for curving around trees, columns and some yard sculpture. Tailored for use indoors and out, this light string works as well for boat docks as it does for lighting children’s bedrooms.

How do you hang LED Rope Lights?

Rope lights are most easily hung with rope light clips.  You can see a sample of them here. They come with small screws that allow you to install them on wooden surfaces. A few mounting clips are shipped with all of our rope light spools but you might need to consider purchasing extra. If you have a longer distance to mount your rope or if you need to form your rope light into figures or words, you’ll need more clips on hand.

Do LED rope lights get hot?

No. While incandescent rope light generate light by heating a filament, LED rope light use a completely different silicon-based technology that does not produce heat under operation.

Are rope light steady on or do they flash or chase?

Standard 2-wire incandescent or LED rope light are steady-on and do not flash, twinkle or fade. Three-wire rope lights do chase along the rope light when used with a  3-wire rope light controller.

Is the plastic tube on rope lights the color of the bulbs?

On some of our rope “YES” and on some “NO”.  Check the specification of the spools you are purchasing to check on the “tube color”. This will let you know, for example, if you can expect to see a clear tube with blue bulbs or a blue tube with blue bulbs.





Shellie Gardner
Aside from throwing dinner parties that feature at least two kinds of cheese dip, Shellie's passions include travel, Mid-Century Modern furnishings and finding the perfect street taco. Has been known to snort laugh champagne.

12 thoughts on “Rope Light Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. I cant seem to find this answer anywhere. I was hoping just time would help. But I’m using rope lights to connect two santion poles. But I cannot get them to unwind. They stay coiled. Is there a trick that will make them straighten out? I don’t have anything in the middle to attach it to. I’m using plans that darren huffy gave from his christmas light display in florica. I’m sure temperature has something to do with it. I’min much colder pennsylvania. thanks

    1. Hello, Ben,

      We are having a hard time envisioning what is going on. How far of a distance are you trying to span?

      We don’t have magic advice for this situation. when we work with rope, we’ve had pretty good luck with it relaxing after being unrolled for a few hours. The temperature might definitely be a factor. As a next step, you might consider bringing the rope length inside to warm up then try installing it. You might also need to add additional supports between your anchor points.

      Sorry, we couldn’t be of more definite assistance. Good luck with that display. It sounds like it will be fun when you are finished.

  2. Well here i am one week after putting up my regular Christmas lights and again trying to figure out why some aren’t working are pulling ones that can’t be fixed for the second time already. It seems manufacturer’s are making cheaper and crappier lights each year and I’m done supporting this practice. There has got to be a better way. Do your lights last longer than the not so cheap garbage the other manufacturers are putting on the market?

    1. It’s hard to answer that question since I don’t know what kind of lights you have been using or the conditions they’ve been installed in.

      The best lights are susceptible to damage by electrical surges, squirrels, exposure to UV radiation, weather, etc.

      If too many light strings are plugged in together, they can come on for a while but the higher than rated current draw can cause the cords to fail pretty quickly. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s “maximum number of strings that can be run in series” specification and confirm that you have not inadvertantly exceeded that.

      Be sure that you plug all your lights into an outdoor rated surge protector. If your electrical company is providing electricity generated from geothermal or hydroelectric sources, there can be more impulses on the lines.

      All that being said, our products are used in retail and commercial projects across the country. We continue to hear great things from our customers.

    1. We don’t carry anything like that.

      Sorry, we couldn’t be of more assistance with your project.

  3. I just received my purple rope light and cut to about 55 or so feet but ever time I plug them in I blow a fuse

    1. Hello Brian,

      We are just now seeing your comment. Blowing a fuse on a 55-foot run is certainly unusual.

      We’ll be reaching out to you at the phone number provided with our order first thing tomorrow morning.


  4. Have a two year old rope light that went out. Purchased a replacement and they will not fit toga there the insert in the new is two large for the old. Any thoughts?

    1. Hello Greg,

      Rope light spools are not standardized so it is hard to impossible to splice in sections from different manufacturers. There is not an adapter that I know of that will solve this problem or allow you to move from one size of rope to another.

      If splices were included in with your original purchase, you might consider removing the section that has failed and shortening the failed set.

      Hope that helps.

Comments are closed.

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