Low voltage lighting built into the footing of my gazebo leg. This provides a awesome unique effect and conversation piece. It also light to the leg of the gazebo for safety (no stubbing toes in the dark). I got lots of great feedback from friends so i thought I would show how I did it. Also, I'm somewhat obsessed with landscape lighting (my wife’s words not mine).
I think it turned out great and I hope this instructable conveys
Step 1: Supplies
- Shrink tube
- Electrical pliers
- Low voltage wire, and light
- Drill with a 1 inch bit (*depending on malibu light stake size)
- Bed riser (they are thick plastic boxes that are made to put under bed feet to raise it up. I bought it from a major chain store that sells "Bedroom Bathroom and ... Beyond" stuff.
- Other misc stuff depending on your design and circumstances
I already had the wireing for my low voltage malibu lighting running about 12 inches from the footing.
Step 2: Wiring
I dug a channel from the existing wire to the location of the footing and spliced a section of wire in. The additional wire used was "looped" into the system to make one continious strand.
Step 3: Building the Light
I cut the wood to a size that just fit inside the bed riser and drilled a hole in it for the spike that comes off the malibu light.
** If you happen to find the same bed risers that I did, and have a little luck (like me) you can stop by a lumber yard or lumber specialist and see if they sell samples of wood for decking. I picked up a sample of extremely hard exotic wood that fit perfectly and will last a lot longer than Redwood.There is also several kinds of artificial wood that is used for decking that would work great. Keep in mind that this piece of wood will be sitting on the
ground and maybe in dirt or wet grass.
Step 4: Wiring and Placement
I fed the wire through a separate hole and wired the light. Pushed the spike from the light into the ground below the proper location.
I left the hood off the light hood for a couple of reasons (below).
1) It didnt fit
2) I wanted the light to be even tone without any shadows
3) The bed riser isn't open at the top so it provides protection from the elements
Step 5: Finishing
Placed the footing over the light that's spiked into the ground.
I screwed the leg of the gazebo directly into the riser but will eventually cut a circle of wood to go inside the hollow footing to make a cleaner transition from bed riser to gazebo leg.
Step 6: Finished Product and Notes
That’s pretty much it!
I could talk all day about this little project and the details and options but wanted to actually complete it in a reasonable amount of time.
Here is some additional ideas and notes.
~ Keep in mind that the bed risers come in packs of 4 so it's a no - brainer that you can use all 4 and raise the gazebo up about 6” from a flat surface (good to create extra headroom if you are 6'3" like me).
~ Using LED replacement bulbs in the Malibu lights means that you can add extra lights to your existing lighting set up without having to worry about voltage requirements (Please don’t take my word for it and read
instructions with LED and existing lighting set up). This would also keep the housing cooler although temp has not been an issue.
~ Another cool idea that I considered was to put a sticker or stencil on the inside (heat resistant) of the bed riser. Would look cool with racing stripes, old English monogram, “watch your step” or any other silhouette that would only be visible at night.
~ If you have the gazebo on a hard surface you may be able to run the wire through the frame of it to the feet, however, this would use a lot of wire. Would be awesome to be able to move the gazebo and take the light up feet with it. A separate battery powered LED foot might be a better way to go for that.. Actually I think I just figured out my next intractable! I’m thinking, remote operated, color changing, battery powered (or plug in). Kind of hoping that someone out there runs with this idea (although like everything, else I’m sure it’s been done). .
If you have any questions, tips, tricks, or add-ons, let’s hear them!
I would love some feedback as this is my first Instructable.
Thanks for reading!