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With this instructable, you can create your own lighting design for your garden with using concrete. Concrete is a cool material to work with, also a good choice for garden lighting because of the natural look. So just keep reading this instructable and start to create your own concrete lighting. Good luck!

Step 1: The Design

First of all, you need to design a 3d shape. I designed mine in SketchUp based on my earlier sketches. But you need to keep in mind that concrete is a heavy material which is also fragile, so you should be thinking these facts while designing. My design is a triangular prism with another rectangular prism connected to each other and combined into one shape. Spotlights are placed on both top and bottom sides of the rectangular prism.

Step 2: Materials

  • 10 kg’s of cement
  • 10 kg’s of thin sand
  • 7 pieces of wooden boards as listed;

1 x 48x24 cm

24x24 cm

26.8x24 cm

16.8x24 cm

10x24 cm

2 x 15x24 cm

  • 2 x (46 mm radius) spotlights and min. 3 m’s of electricty power cable
  • 20 cm’s of (50 mm radius) plastic pipe
  • 1 m of (10 mm radius) plastic hose
  • 1 pack of soft soap (or any other material to rub inside to the mold, for making mold removal easier after pouring; butter, motor oil etc.)
  • Various tools for preparing the mixture (a mini shovel, a spatula, a bowl etc.)
  • Styrofoam cubes (to decrease the weight)

Step 3: Preparing the Mold

After the design process, you have to build a wooden mold shaped as your design. (After the pouring; when you remove the mold your design should appear.) According to the shape (for example for my shape) you should put together the wooden or hardwood boards as shown by the image.

Before putting together the wooden pieces; you should decide where to put the spotlights and drill holes for spotlights’ bodies, accesories and cables. Also another hole for the power cable. (from behind if possible) This step is when you use the pipe and the plastic cable. Because you need to create a tunnel inside the concrete block. Only possible way to do this, is to place the connection before the pouring. Connection and placement of the pipe and the plastic cable are shown by the image. Important: Cut a hole through the midpoint of the pipe and connect the end of the hose to this hole. It will create a space inside which allows you to place both spotlights from sides of rectangular prism and power cable from behind the block.

If you screw the wooden boards to each other, it will be easier to remove after pouring.

The other important thing is, to not to forget rubbing soft soap to inside faces of the mold. It will create a layer between concrete and the mold and removal will be much easier.

Step 4: Preparing the Mixture

According to the volume of your bowl, pour the amount of cement and sand equally. Mix it. After the cement and the sand is completely homogenized, you should start to pour water and keep mixing until the mixture reaches to the correct consistency. The correct consistency is pretty much the same consistency as mayonnaise.

Step 5: Styrofoam Cubes

If you wish, you can cut a few amount of styrofoam cubes to put inside the mold while pouring. Concrete itself is a really heavy material so it is an easy way to decrease the weight. Using a hotwire foam cutter is the easiest way for this. You can also cut different sized cubes for tighter spaces in your mold.

Step 6: Pouring

After the mold and the mixture are ready, it is time for pouring. Make sure you rubbed soft soap inside of the mold and created a layer. This is the easiest part: just pour the mixture into the mold with a spatula. (If you decide to put styrofoam cubes into the concrete block, start placing them insideafter pouring at least 30mm.'s of concrete mixture. You should avoid placing them too close to the surfaces otherwise they will be visible after you remove the mold.)

After pouring, you should wait for 2 days to remove the mold. Concrete block gets completely dry after minimum 15 days, but it starts to dry up from surface to core so waiting for 2 days is enough to remove the mold. Concrete material wants to absorb water while the drying process, so you should pour water on it at least twice a day otherwise it will crack from inside. This is the main problem to avoid.

Step 7: Mold Removal

After waiting for 2 days, your block is dried on the outside. You can remove the mold by using a drill. This is the advantage if you screwed the boards to each other. Next step is to wait for 5 more days, you can observe the change and the color difference through days. Just don't forget to pour water twice a day. 5 days later pouring water won't be necessary and you can start to use the lighting if you want then.

Step 8: Sanding & Flattening Faces

After 5 days, you'll realize the color of the block has changed. It means it is dry enough to use it. For sharp egdes like I designed, you should use a sandpaper to flatten the faces and sharpen the edges. Also you can remove the plastic pipe, you won't need it anymore. You can try to blow into hose from behind and make sure air goes to spotlight holes. Your concrete block is ready for the last step.

Step 9: The Result

Send the power cable in from behind all the way to spotlight holes, connect spotlights to power cable and place the spotlights into holes. Plug it into socket. And that's it! You made your own concrete lighting. All you have to do is carrying it all the way to your garden. Enjoy!

<p>This is my result. Envied by the whole Neighborhood. I used a bit larger spotlights.</p><p>Thank you for the idea and instructions!</p>
<p>You're welcome! It actually looks better and more efficient with larger spotlights.</p>
Is this waterproof??
<p>where did you get the spotlights, can't find them on ebay</p>
<p>Sorry for late reply, I bought them from a local store. They're highly obtainable in almost every lamp or electricity stores.</p>
<p>Thanks, hadn't had the time to do it yet so it still helps!</p>
<p>Great design! Quick question: are those led spots weatherproof or did you do something to protect them?</p>
<p>Thanks and sorry for late reply. I don't have any information about if they're weatherproof or not, but my concrete block seems to be protecting the system inside.</p>
<p>owww ww amazing now i have to try it :))): p </p>
<p>The design hints at a chair. Knowing that people will do what they do, i'd reinforce it with rebar and get ready for anything. </p>
<p>very cool :)</p>
<p>Great project! You have created a very informative ible too. You could also incorporate a solar charged light very easily into this design.</p>
<p>You've achieved to attract people with your nice work. Continue the good work on more sustainable products ;)</p>
dig it! looks like a high end garden deco. will definitly attempt this around the yard. may try for a solar version too.
<p>This is impressive. Earkier today, I was thinking about making concrete lights to replace the cheap plastic ones lining the walk to our front door. I am thinking about a simpler design because I plan on 8 lamps. This is a great design and a great set of instructions. </p>
Nice!
<p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Very modern and cool :)</p>
<p>Thank you! :)</p>
<p>Very cool!</p>
<p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Very nice write write-up, and very nice end-product! </p>
<p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Ottima idea per un cimitero... Certamente chieder&ograve; di fare questo per te.</p>
<p>Grazie!</p>
Interesting unique idea. Just wondering, because they are concrete, how heavy are they?
<p>Well, honestly it is heavy. But I haven't measured how much does it weigh yet, I don't know. More than 10 kilograms for sure, less then 20 kilograms I guess. :)</p>

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