Installing an Outside Lamp Post Part 3 Installing an Outside Lamp Post Part 3

Once the concrete that’s supporting the post has dried, use a utility knife to make a three-inch slice in the outer sheathing of the cable. Pull the sheathing back and cut away the excess sheathing and the paper insulation.

Wiring the Lamp Post Fixture

Strip ¾-inch of insulation from the ends of the individual wires using wire strippers.

Have someone support the fixture while you make the connections. Twist the ground wire in the post with the fixture’s ground wire and secure the connection with a wire connector.

Twist the copper part of the white wire in the post with the copper part of the fixture’s white wire and secure the connection with a wire connector.

Twist the copper part of the black wire in the post with the copper part of the fixture’s black wire and secure the connection with a wire connector.

Wrap electrical tape around each connection to help protect the connection from the weather and stick the connections back inside the post.

Secure the lamp post fixture to the post according to the manufacturer’s instructions and install the proper light bulbs.

Connecting to the Feed

For this tutorial, we will be picking up the feed from a GFCI-protected outlet. If you want to have the post light powered directly from the electrical panel, you should contact a licensed electrician to install the GFCI breaker and make the in-panel connections.

Turn off the circuit breaker that powers the GFCI outlet. Test the outlet for power with a voltage tester before removing it from the wall box.

With the GFCI outlet out of the wall, run your cable directly into the wall box. You may have to make some cuts in the drywall if the wall is closed in order to get the wire into the box.

Staple the cable to the center of the wall stud 12-inches from where it enters the box. Use plastic-coated staples to prevent rupturing the cable’s sheathing.

Slice the sheathing with the utility knife and strip the wires just like you did with the wires back at the pole.

Loosen the two screws on the GFCI outlet that say “Load.” Connect the black wire to the dark-colored screw on the load side of the outlet. Connect the white wire to the silver screw on the load side of the outlet. Connect the ground wire with the other ground wires in the box. Wrap electrical tape around the outlet so all of the terminals are covered.

Re-install the GFCI outlet and its cover plate to the wall box and turn the circuit breaker back on.

Once the sun goes down, the photocell will automatically turn the outside lamp post on and then turn it off again when dawn breaks.


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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