Tools: Shovel, Cordless Drill, Level, Electrical Tools
Hardware: Outdoor Electrical Wire, Lamp Kit, Sakrete or Concrete
Material: 1 - 6 x 6 Lamp Post
Digging the Hole
After we have decided in the size and style of the Lamp Post, acquired the necessary tools and material and determined the location of installation, we’re ready to dig the hole and begin the simple process of installing the Lamp Post. In this tutorial, the depth of the hole is determined by how much of the post we want above ground level which is 6 feet. With that said we dug the hole 28 inches deep then put 4 inches of 3/4 crushed stone in the bottom to bring it to 2 feet. Adding the stone to the bottom of the hole allows water and moisture to drain away from the post thus prolonging the life of the Lamp Post. The diameter of the hole is mostly preference but recommend approximately 12 inches.
Preparation for the Wire
All the Lamp Post from S&L Spindles have a 1 inch hole drilled through the entire length of the post. There’s a few different options to run the wire through the post. 1. Run the wire through the hole before placing the post in the hole (easiest). 2. Drill a hole into the existing hole just below ground level (can be challenging to run the wire). We found it easier to drill the hole before the post was planted.
Planting the Lamp Post
The most efficient method we have found so far to plant is post is the ‘sandwich procedure’. This consists of filling the hole about halfway with dirt, a bag of Sakrete, then the balance of the hole with dirt. Here’s how we did it. Set the post in the hole and fill the hole to the halfway mark. At this point we set a level on the post to get it plumb as well as torquing the post for alignment. Once the post is precisely where you want it, pack the dirt real good, double check the level, and add the bag of Sakrete. If your new post is in a location where it won't get disturbed, there is no need to add water to the Sakrete. It will draw moisture from the ground and harden by itself.
If you have the wire installed already, you are ready to add the top layer of dirt. In this installation, we ran the wire before we put the top layer in. If you have any electrical experience, you’ll recognize the challenge of running the wire. Once the wire is in place, connect them to the lamp. For this project, we simply pulled the wire from the bottom while feeding in in the top until lamp was on the dowel of the post.
Longer post or the fear of rotting. For starters, a cedar post has a much higher life expectancy than a pressure treated post. If you really want a wood post to last a long time, don't put it into the ground at all. Instead, pour a concrete pier and embed a galvanized or powder-coated metal post base in the wet mix. Then after the concrete has cured for a week or more, bolt your post to the base. Using this method will also allow you to go up to 8 feet above ground level with the post.
Choosing a Lamp/Light Fixture for the Lamp Post. The 3 inch dowel that comes standard on all our Lamp Posts will fit the industry standard lamps. If you have a lamp that requires a flat surface on top, you can order a Porch Post and request the 1” drilled hole. Or on a side mounted lamp, use a Porch Post with your choice of Post Caps.