Lamp Posts for Outdoor Lighting
When looking for safety and security for your home, lamp posts for outdoor lighting powered by line voltage will give you both. As a permanently placed item in your landscape, you should know what to look for when choosing your fixture.
Choosing the right location
When looking for a location of your post light, you will have to consider the electric run, how it will be mounted and what style will look best for you. The round post with fixture on top are OK for most locations, if you what something that will stand out look at the all in one kits that are available in many styles and colors.
Types of post lights
There are two major styles of post lights. Both will require the same wiring from a ground fault circuit to your fixture and be run under the ground. One will be mounted in cement the other will mount on a concrete base.
Pole with separate head unit
The solid pole set in concrete will have a light fixture placed on top of it. This is just a round pole made for the post light. The wire for the light will come up through the middle and will have to run before setting the pole. To see some pole sets look at my post here.
You can choose the style of pole, then choose the style of light fixture that will go on top. Most of the poles will just be a round steel or aluminum pole that will be hollow. Please check before purchase that the fixture will fit the top of the pole as some are different when purchase separately.
As the wiring will have to extend to the top of the pole when set in concrete, you will have to just wire the head unit to the wire that extends out the top of the pole. The single light fixture will require little or no assembly. You can change the look of this type of fixture by changing the head unit only, I have a post on contemporary head units here.
Complete set with base
The pedestal type will sit on a pad of finished concrete. It will bolt to the foundation with anchor bolts. This type of light will come as a kit, some kits will come with the mounting bolts. You will have to add the concrete base and wiring. The conduit will need to extend at least one inch above the hard surface. The electric wires will extend out of the conduit far enough to connect with the light cord from the head unit.
A good deal of assembly will be required with this kit as the pole and light fixture will come in several parts that will need to be assembled. Some wiring will be done when you are putting your light together. An extension wire will be connected at the bottom and will be connected to the head unit at the top.
When finished this type of fixture will give the best look for your outdoor space. The many styles and finishes will fit any outdoor decor.
Wiring for your installation
If you are not comfortable with the installation and codes for your power run for your light, getting a qualified electrician is the way to go. If you have some skills in this area you can do this with some caution. Knowing the local codes for outside electric service is needed at this point.
Several items will be reviewed before you start with the wiring for your post light. The location of your fixture will be the first item you will need to check off. The wire run will need to be reviewed at this time. Obstacles that will have to be run around or under will have to be determined at this time. Running a string from the power point to the fixture location will give you the best location for your power run.
Local codes will vary on how deep and what kind of protection your wire will need to get from you house power point to the location of your fixture. If you do not have any codes, running the wire inside PVC conduit that is water proof will be needed. This will keep underground guest from chewing on your wire and giving you a short that will be hard to find.
Managing the illumination of your post light
Most lights will not come with any type of switch to turn the light on or off. Before running the wire you should decide on how the light will function. Several methods are available, regular on and off switch, dusk to dawn sensor, a timer or a motion detector with a timer. I will cover each of these in a separate post.
When looking at a lamp posts for outdoor lighting powered by line voltage, several options are available. This type of fixture can be simple or very stylish. You have a choice. The wiring and base setup is something to consider before picking out a style and finish. Having your light completely installed by a professional is another option as local codes are to be followed for your safety.
As always if you find you need more information or have a comment on this post, use the contact form below and I will get back with you if needed. Thanks for reading.
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