In this tutorial we’ll be showing you how to install a lamp post. We are using the 6 x 6 Exquisite Lamp Post, but the process is the same for all of our styles and sizes of lamp posts. Be sure to check out our size chart to familiarize yourself with actual sizes vs nominal sizes.
Check out our installation video, or keep reading for instructions.
Tools and Materials
To install a lamp post, you will need the following tools, hardware, and materials:
- Cordless Drill
- Electrical Tools
- Outdoor Electrical Wire
- Lamp Kit
- Sakrete or Concrete
- 1 Lamp Post
1. Digging the Hole
After you’ve acquired the necessary tools & materials and determined the location of the lamp post, you’re now ready to dig the hole and begin installation.
In this particular 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 crushed stone in the bottom to bring it to 2 feet. Adding 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 we recommend approximately 12 inches.
2. Preparing for the Wire
All of the lamp posts from S&L Spindles have a 1-inch hole drilled through the entire length of the post for the wire. There are two different options for running the wire through the post:
- Run the wire through the hole before placing the post in the hole (easiest).
- 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.
3. Planting the Lamp Post
One of the more efficient methods for planting the lamp 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. The process goes as follows:
- Set the post in the hole and fill the hole with dirt to the halfway mark. It’s best to set a level on the post to make sure it’s straight.
- Once the post is precisely where you want it, firmly pack the dirt.
- Double check the level, then 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 already installed, you are ready to add the top layer of dirt. In this installation, we ran the wire before we added the top layer.
Once the wire is in place, connect it 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.
Tips and Suggestions
Post Length and Life Expectancy
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 for Your Post
The 3-inch dowel that comes standard on all of 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 a 1” drilled hole. Or, on a side mounted lamp, use a porch post with your choice of post caps.