Introduction: Garden Lighthouse Cape Hatteras Light House

About: Retired master electrician

The Red White and Blue one on the left was one of many I built , I also made the Cape Hatteras ,my favorite .I found the picture of my Cape Hatteras light house ,so this has been updated to show what it came out like.Very simple design,can make this in a weekend,a few tools require, not much skill required here

.Materials Needed:

Safety glasses


Sheet metal snips

Pencil or marker

Straight edge

Drill for pop rivets or to drive sheet metal screws

Plywood 1 piece 24" X 24"

Exterior plywood 20" X 20"

Skill saw or some saw that allows you to cut out a circle


Sheet metal screws or pop rivets

2" X 10" Pressure treated lumber , you will need 4 pieces each 16" long

2 sections of 8" X 5' duct work

1/4 X 1/4 Screen (to create railing around the Beacon) Cut 2" strip approx 24" long

Rivets and or screws

Paint of your choice (colors)

Masking tape

Optional :

Light bulb

Light fixture

Spray paint of your choice.


I purchased from local hardware store outside light fixture and used it as beacon light

I also have a small circuit that uses a ic chip to chase led's in a circle for effect.

Step 1:

Ok so I will walk you through the steps, quite simple.I had some CDX material around so I used it instead of Plywood. I basically drew a 6" diameter circle and cut it out using a saber saw, this is used as the top of the light house,I also did the same for the base 12" diameter.I added a 10" diameter piece of plywood for the top because I put a light fixture on it.

Step 2:

The sheet metal I purchased from a local hardware store, I used 8" x 5' length x 2 circumference of an 8" is approx25.1". Once you unroll them and flatten them out , you want to mark out a trapezoid. The top of the light house cone is 6" in diameter so on each of the unrolled sheet metal pieces you need to mark out 10" making sure you are on top center. On the bottom of each you want to do the same but this time use 20" . The idea here is that the circumference of the 6" circle is 18.85" and the base 12" circumference is 37.7" .You need to have at least half for each piece with a little overlap approx 3/4" to assemble the cone.That was the hard part ,once you have this done all you need to do is assemble the sheet metal to the top and base circles.There will be some trimming to be done on top and bottom but don't worry about that, it is quite simple once the metal is screwed to the wood.You can use pop rivets or sheet metal screws , your choice here.I used stainless steel pop rivets ,aluminum would also be a good choice. One thing I learned is that the galvanize of the sheet metal is sometimes difficult to paint because of the coating used in production so either use something that has been weathered or what I did was use a mild acidic wash to etch it.I sprayed several coats of vinegar/water 50/50 mixture,then washed and painted .

Step 3:

I wanted to make a railing to go around the 12" circle that would hold the light fixture ,I had some 1/4 x 1/4 wire mesh floating around so I used it cut it 2" wide x 24" in length. You can go to your local hardware store and purchase a small roll if you don't have any garden material lying around as I did.Also note here that the material you purchase may well be coated so no need to paint it:-).

Step 4: Light It Up

I drilled a 3/4"hole in the center of the top and bottom pieces of plywood for wire to get power to light. I basically used some solar fixtures I had around and placed the lights around the base and also took a wire up through the center to light up the led i installed.Here is a bonus , pictured is a simple LED flasher that can be created and installed in your light fixture.I built this circuit from a few components to sort of replicate the appearance of a rotating beacon.I used an old CD because of it's reflective quality and mounted the cd on standoffs with components on underside ,led pushed up through the center of the CD.Have fun with this, make your neighbors jealous maybe as I did end up building several for them.;-)


Old CD recycled AOL disk ;-)

555 timer

R2,R3 1K

R4 270 ohms

C1 47uf

Q1 2n222

Led any color, I used red but its up to you here

R1 100K will give you .2hz

47K = .6hz



you get the idea here , change in resistance will create change in rate

Step 5: Build the Base

Make base out of 2" x 10" pressure treated wood. Outside measurements are 16" x 16". Top cover is 3/4" exterior plywood. Outside measurements are 20" x 20". Nail/Screw together base and base top.I painted my base Black but again , your choice of colors.

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