You know what they say about taking the girl off the farm.

Even though I live in Boise’s historic North End now, my Idaho agricultural upbringing is still deeply ingrained. My name is Linda Whittig and I’m a new contributor to the D&B blog. I’m just starting to turn the wasteland of the alley behind my house into a vertical, edible garden. My husband, Devin, is helping me with the planning and the construction of some great DIY projects along the way so I hope you’ll follow along to find out what’s in store from this urban farm girl.

Lighting the Way

I have a vintage cruiser bicycle that is my main method of transportation in nicer weather. I can’t recall how many times I’ve hit a pothole in the alley when returning home in the dark, sending my purse and its contents flying through the air. When planning the alley renovation, lighting seemed imperative to avoiding said potholes in the first place, or at least to make looking for my lipsticks in the weeds a little bit easier.

050815_SUPERNIGHT-LIGHTS

There were lots of lighting options out there but the one that fit both the budget and the fun factor was Supernight low voltage LED lights from Amazon. At just over 16’ in a strip, they are the perfect length for most of the garages but can easily be joined together for longer applications.

050815_COMPOSITE-MATERIAL

For installation we chose an L-shaped piece of composite material for several reasons.

  • It hid the light strip so that it wouldn’t be visible during the day.
  • The shape helped direct the light downwards.
  • The composite material would withstand time and weather.
  • It provided a surface to adhere the lights to for easier installation.

This material came in lengths of 12’ so it was necessary to combine two pieces for a single light strip. Rough it up with a little sand paper and give it a shot of spray paint to help it blend in if the trim on the building where it’s being installed isn’t white.

050815_SPRAY-PAINTING

There’s an adhesive strip on the Supernight lights but it’s no match for gravity, so we used a small bead of clear silicon to attach the lights to the composite material. Now here’s the hard part (at least if you’re impatient like me) – wait overnight for the silicon to dry before moving to the next step.

050815_SILICON-INSTALLATION

Using a small finishing nail, my husband installed the light strip. My job was to lose all the blood in my arms holding it in place.

The sensor for the remote was mounted under the eaves and the power supply was fed through a 5/8” hole in the side of the garage. We installed lights on the eight garages that run parallel to the alley, and set them each up on a timer so each night the alley has a soft glow with an automated click.

Ok. So it was a soft glow until some of the neighbors discovered the disco button on the remote.

050815_PURPLE-LIGHTS

  • lauraimprovises

    Beautiful! I wonder if I should rig something like that up for the nights when I forget to take care of my chickens until after pitch dark… disco chickens, anyone?