A light post adds an elegant touch to your home. If the elements have taken a toll on yours through the years, or if you’re simply in need of a style upgrade, replacing it is a simple, inexpensive job that can be completed in a single afternoon. Here’s what you’ll need to take on this intermediate level project.
- Concrete chisel
- Plastic tarp
- Phillips screwdriver
- 4-foot level
- Wire stripper
- Light post
- Lamp fixture
- Fast setting concrete (One or two 50-lb. bags)
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Turn off the power. Locate the circuit breaker for your light post and turn off the power.
Detach the old fixture. Unfasten the screws at the base of the fixture and lift it off the post. Untwist the wire nuts and remove the fixture. Then straighten the cable and push it down into the post.
Dig out the post. Dig around the post and the concrete supporting it. Rock the post back and forth to free it. Lift it out of the ground, allowing the cable to slip out. Break up any remaining concrete with a sledgehammer and concrete chisel and remove it before continuing.
Feed the new cable into the post. Feed the cable into the hole along the bottom end of the post until it appears at the top.
Set the post. Position the new post and check to make sure it’s level. Once your post is properly aligned, pour in the fast setting concrete mix. This type of concrete doesn’t require you to mix it with water in advance. Simply pour it in dry and add the specified amount of water.
Plumb the post. The concrete will set quickly, so it’s important to work quickly as well. Tamp the concrete around the post with your shovel, if necessary. As it begins to stiffen, plumb the post using a level.
Re-strip the wires. Nip off each insulated wire and cable and strip off a half inch of the insulation. Install light bulbs into the new fixture while it’s easily accessible.
Wire the fixture. Follow manufacturer instructions for wiring the fixture. To make connections, pull the stripped ends of the wires side-by-side and twist a wire nut, turning it clockwise. Connect the black wire on the post to the black wire on the new fixture. Do the same with the white wires. If there’s a ground wire, connect it in the same manner. Feed the connections into the post.
Install the fixture. Push the fixture onto the post, rotating it back and forth until it’s set. Tighten the set screws at the base of the fixture. Set the top of the fixture in place, and secure with screws.
Test the fixture. Restore power at your breaker box and switch on the fixture.
Your installation is complete! Step back and enjoy your new light post.