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The first thing you do before you start to install the fireflies is to take a walk around the area in mind at night, or with the lights turned down or off. Picture where you'd like to see them, but look first for the shadows of a bush or tree where they will look their best. Inside the house, find areas where the lighting can be dimmed.

TIP: Lighting nearby the viewer in the foreground will help to darken the background, putting the fireflies in the dark. You have no doubt seen this occur when in the house at night with the lights on: the windows appear black, with the exception of outside lights.

Having found the suitable locations for your fireflies, it is time to hang them. The fireflies are constructed very similarly to Christmas light strings, and will hang in the same manner. Simply put in hooks or nails from which to hang them from, or use tree branches---anywhere you can suspend them with enough area to fly: around 3 feet. This may require the slight trimming of nearby bushes or leaves. Unwind the main wire, leaving the fireflies in their attached coils. Suspend the main wire over the hooks or branches you've chosen. Sometimes it may require some string to tie on. Black string is best.

TIP: For fireflies that hang out in the open, away from tree or bush, use a black filiment string to tie it to and suspend it from. A strong braided filiment that is used in the film industry for similar purposes can be found at your local fishing tackle shop. I suggest 80 test black, made by Izorline International in Gardena, CA. The nice thing about this filiment is that it is almost entirely invisible against a background in the daytime.

Next, carefully unwind the thin firefly wires, and straighten them out. Plug in and check for foilage in the way and trim where needed, as I mentioned before.

TIP: Try to hang the fireflies at different heights for a more natural random look.





All of the above applies, but if you have an electrical background, or know how to solder things together, you have the advantage of being able to permanently place your fireflies exactly where you want them around your entire yard on a single line.

You will need:
solder
black wire shrink wrap
black tool dip
a spool of speaker wire
wire strippers
nail-on wire fasteners
a hammer
black filiment
ladder

First, tie in a half knot the top wire at the very end of each firefly onto their support exactly where you'll want to see them.

Next, cut the exiting plug from the 12 volt power supply, put a shrink wrap sleeve on it and solder it together with your power, or bus wire, using the staggered length technique: each connection is away from one another. Slide the black shrink wrap down and heat it down to size.

TIP: Extension cords and soldering irons in a yard are not very convenient. I suggest a mini butane torch. Wrap the solder around your connecting point and apply the heat, melting the solder into the wires. It also works great on the shrink wrap, but be careful not to hold the flame too close.

Now wheel your wire around the periphery of your yard near your hanging fireflies, taking care to hide it in bushes and under earth when you are done.

Cut the far end of your wire, and plug in the power supply.

Cut the power wire at the logical place beside the firefly you want to get power to. Strip the wires and re-connect them, cut a new length of wire to reach the firefly wire from the power wire, taking the necessary length to go around the backside of trees or the most hidden route. Tack down the wire with a fastener on the backside of a tree or post.

The fireflies are polarized and will only work when the current flows in the right direction: negative to negative, and positive to positive. You have a 50-50 chance of getting it right, since both wires are black. When you get the connection right the firefly will come on. Don't expect to see the light yet, but the fan will be operational. Dab some tool dip over the connection place for a fast seal.

The procedure follows the same, up to 14 self-propelled fireflies to a single power supply.

TIP: Should you choose to have the filiment suspended firefly, you will need a finer power wire to wind around the filiment to the firefly for esthetic reasons. My technique is to use black 30 guage wire, doubling up the length required to reach the firefly on the filiment and tying it to a point in front of you and using a ruler or stick to turn it, winding the wires together with your finger on the ruler or stick like the toy airplanes with the propeller and rubber band. After several minutes you should have a fairly wound wire. Add the necessary lengths together using the method you used to solder the power supply to your main, or bus wire.

It is far more advantageous, when wrapping the resultant 30 guage power wire around the suspension filiment to tie one end where it is going to go, and the other at a low point so you can stand at the far end, pulling the wire around and around all at once, each time pulling your arms apart to make it tight. When you've wound it to reach the firefly connection, cut off the excess and solder them together the same as the others. Lastly, you raise the filiment at the lower end up to the point you want it to go.

Please feel free to contact me at any point and as often as you need so I may assist you at any point.



HAPPY BACKYARD IMAGINEERING!