Installing an Outside Lamp Post Part 2 Installing an Outside Lamp Post Part 2


Backfill the Trench and Pour the Concrete (Cont.)

Mix the concrete and start shoveling it into the light post form. Try not to get any inside the open end of the conduit sticking up out of the hole and use your shovel to help eliminate air pockets in the concrete by chopping into the concrete lightly after it's set in the hole.

Once the concrete is at the top of the form , use a piece of scrap wood to smooth the top of the concrete. There should still be about six inches of conduit sticking up out of the concrete.

Setting and Stabilizing the Post

When it comes time to set the post, remember that the concrete is hardening as you’re working, so don’t waste any time between pouring the concrete and setting the post.

Measure 12-inches up from the bottom of the lamp post and make a mark using a marker.

Lay the light post on the ground with its base next to the concrete and slide the electric cable through the lamp post so it comes out of the upper end. Bend the cable over the lip of the post and wrap electrical tape around the cable and post to prevent the wire from falling back down the post once it’s raised.

Lift the light pole up and slide it over the conduit until 12-inches of the pole are in the concrete (use your mark as a guide). As you are lowering the pole into the concrete, give it a twist to  help it make its way through the thick mix.

Wrap straps around the post and stake them in the ground at various locations around the post (usually four straps, one in each direction will do). This will keep an even pressure on the post and prevent it from leaning one way or the other. Before you tighten all the straps, continually check the post for plumb and make any adjustments necessary.

Allow the concrete to fully harden (which takes a minimum of four hours) before you remove the straps.

Feeding the Wire Into the Garage/House

Ideally, you want the conduit to enter your home or garage as close to the power source as possible. If you’re planning on picking up the feed from an electrical outlet, it needs to be a GFCI-protected outlet. If you’re wiring it direct to the panel, then a GFCI breaker is required. You will also have to determine if you want the lamp to be operated manually by a switch or automatically by a photocell. If the lamp post fixture head has a photocell installed on it, then the circuit can be wired direct to the feed source and no switch is needed.

Find the location you want to enter the garage or home and check the other side for any in-wall wires or pipes. Use a drill and hole-saw to cut through the siding.

Dry fit the conduit from where it comes out of the ground next to the foundation to where it enters the building. Once you have everything sized properly, slide the cable through the pieces of conduit and into the building, then glue the conduit together.

Back To Part 1 | Continue to Part 3
Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.

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