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How they put Christmas lights on Seattle cranes

Seattle still has the most construction cranes in the nation.

Seattle still has the most construction cranes in the nation.

“There’s a lot of cranes in Seattle,” said Joe Sadler of Exxel Pacific. “And this time of the year, just about every one gets lit up.”

Exxel Pacific is the general contractor of an office building project in Renton called Southport. One of the company’s subcontractors, Garner Construction, gave KING 5 a demonstration of how its workers put the holiday lights up on cranes.

Garner’s Executive Vice President, Brita Nykreim, said teams of three workers could spend as much as three days on some of the more elaborate decorations.

She explained the lights are not like the typical lights you put on your house. They are rope LED lights. Each rope is 150 feet long.

Crane operator John Gift explained the tricky part is when he needs to connect the ropes with prongs. The lights are fastened and sealed together. Then Gift uses a small blow torch to heat shrink a wrapping that ensures the lights are safe from the elements.

Sadler said decorating one crane costs $10,000, which he said is built into the price of the project. He said building developers enjoy the lights.

Sadler said you don’t want to have the one crane without Christmas lights.

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