Outdoor lighting offers us a lot. It can stretch a day for work or fun, and make the place safer by helping us see where we walk in the dark. A well-lighted yard also deters crime. The range of outdoor lighting options runs from motion-sensing floodlights, to sodium-vapor yard lights, to low-voltage landscape lights and traditional lamp posts. Each meets a need, but it's the humble post light we'll focus on here.
We wanted a simple light to illuminate the backyard and to serve as a focal point that divides the empty yard space between two houses. For this project, we chose a black-enameled aluminum three-head post light, Model 42278, made by Globe Electrical Co. Inc. The light costs about $150 at a local home center. Conduit, fittings, switch, cable, hardware, and concrete cost another $70. As with any electrical fixture installation, check with your local building department to see if any permits are required.
This project was originally published in the April 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics
. You can find more great projects at Popular Mechanics DIY Central.