Leaping Arches

Leaping arches are used by many Christmas light animators to provide another motion element to the show. We use four arches in ours; each arch consists of eight segments. Each segment contains a string of 100 M6 warm white lights. The arches themselves are constructed with PVC pipe that has been spray painted with flat black spray paint.

Each arch uses the following pieces (seen in the “Individual Pieces” photo below). All PVC pipe is 3/4″ Schedule 40:

  • 1 x 10-foot (full length uncut) PVC pipe
  • 4 x 3 foot, 3 inch sections of PVC pipe
  • 1 x 13 3/4 inch section of PVC pipe
  • 4 x 6-inch sections of PVC pipe
  • 1 x 8-inch section of PVC pipe (used for plug area riser)
  • 3 x 90-degree PVC connector
  • 1 x 90-degree three way side output PVC connector
  • 5 x 3-way “tee” PVC connector (1 used for plug area riser)
  • 2 x PVC plugs (used for plug area riser)

Each arch was assembled completely and made permanent with PVC cement. They were then spray-painted black with two coats of flat black spray paint. Once dry, the lights were wound around the arch and the short extension cords from the segments to the plug area were installed. From start to finish, each arch took 6-7 hours to construct.