Post Lamp in the Yard

After some shopping on the internet. A very stylish lamp-post arrived with instructions. Well to install a lamp-post you need electric and you need a foundation. If you follow my articles you might have read that I installed a glass block window and brought the electric line out of the house in the corner of one of these windows. I was thinking ahead. So that line, using direct burial cable. I brought that forward to the right front corner and put up a plug, in a water proof box.

So from that point to the lamp-post at about top of the head height I needed 35 feet of cable. Well they sell 50 foot lengths so I purchased 50 feet and a foundation tube 4 ft long 10 inches around or 12 inches and 3 bags 80 lbs of concrete mix. If you use a flat shovel at the right time of year you can cut the sod and lift a section at a time. So I would do 4 shovel widths at a time. Working my way along and taking a lawn tool to stuff the electric line under the sod. If you get the hang of this you can bury the cable 4-6 inches down all across the lawn and tamp the sod back into place in just a matter of about 30 minutes.

It seems the hard part was digging down to 24 inches with a post hole digger. I did not have a spike or long bar with a sharp tip to break up the soil. Below about 12 inches it was clay. I needed about a 14 inch hole in the ground to put a 10 inch tube in and fill with cement. You can find more detail about installing cement foundations in other places. I’ll just say that you pour an upside down T shape in the ground so the T bar is at 24 inches and the foundation tube is the long part brings you up to soil level. This really took me a long time like 2 hours in the heat.

Before pouring cement I placed the electric line and made sure 7 feet was left on top of the ground once the foundation set. Then into the whole went half a bag of cement to for the T shape upside down. Then in goes the foundation tube. Cement is added until you get up to the top. I filled it right to the top. The base to the lamp-post had 3 aluminum spikes with an L shape on the bottom. That get set in the wet cement. Notes on the online purchase said some people had trouble getting the bolts to align with the holes. So I created a plywood template to hold them. And when it was hardened and I removed the template my bolts too were off. I Screwed the nut down all the way but not tight. I Held a 2×4 up against it to protect it. I struck the 2×4 three times to straighten out the bolts to fit in the base. Then assembly was easy the line goes up and you assemble the post, my post came in three sections.

Lastly the lamp goes on top. Note the holes are not drilled, so that you can square the light with the street. You can mount it with any orientation you like. I put mine in and was planning to add a day night sensor but I found a socket sensor for just $7 bucks. So I installed this one for simplicity and cost.

Home projects can be fun and add value. Even if you have no experience I write to assist you with some of the pit falls that may come up in your project. Bill

Mary J. Gibson

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