Tips for Putting In the Lights

Pushing lights into the cups is the hardest part of making a sparkleball.  Here are some things I’ve learned over the years to make it easier.

  • Test the lights before you begin. I’ve finished a sparkleball, plugged it in, and nothing. Pulling lights out is actually harder than putting them in.
  •  The right size hole helps.  Thanks to Carl Boro,  I use a 1/2 ” step drill bit which makes the perfect hole.  Ever since I got it, lights are so much easier to insert.  For a standard drill bit or soldering iron, aim for 1/2″.
  • If a hole’s too small and you’re in the middle of adding lights,  use scissors to cut a slit or two out from the hole.  Bulbs should push through. Just be careful not to cut the light wire, which I’ve done.
  • If the hole’s too big and lights keep popping out, Carl’s got a simple fix.
  • Icicle Lights are easier to thread into a sparkleball than regular mini’s.  Trust me on this.
  • Two 50 strands are easier to work with than one strand of 100. One for each side. Just make sure the lights have a male and female plug–  and the right plugs end up on the outer edge so they can join.
  • Go slow so you don’t skip a cup.
  • Too lazy?  Just stuff the lights in the middle.  Still a pretty cool light ball.


helpful DIY how-to posts:
–  find the right cups
 tips for inserting lights
–  the best stapler
–  how to hang it – 1
–  how to hang it – 2
–  how to hang it – 3
–  using different lights – 1
–  using different lights – 2
–  drilling a perfect hole
–  how to get it really round
–  painting the cups
–  make The Original Sparkleball
–  make AnyCup Sparkleball
–  making Mini Sparkleballs

3 thoughts on “Tips for Putting In the Lights

  1. I always start from the middle and spiral out to the edge. That’s always the way I have done it. When the middle starts to get clogged up with wire, the outer edges are still accessible. But I have always used a lot of lights and that means a lot of wire to stuff into the ball.

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