Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DIY Solar Post Lights

Last year we added on to our deck and upgraded
the decking material and redid the railings.

Josh and crew of Koontz Construction
did a wonderful job for us.

This year I wanted to focus on lighting for the deck.
I had thought that solar post lights would
be a wonderful addition.

I found that these can be difficult to find
and when found,
they are not cheap.*

I, though, am cheap.

*I recently found solar post lights
at Wally World (Wal Mart) for $30.

And I have 12 posts on my deck.
Time to rethink this.

Wally World did have these solar lights,
meant to be stuck in the ground with the
stake provided.
These lights only cost $5 each.

Now, how to make this work?

After measuring the hollow metal post for the light,
I determined that I needed a dowel that was 1-1/4 inch thick.

I had hoped that the dowel would be like dimensional lumber
in that a 2"x4" is actually 1-1/2"x3-1/2".

No such luck,
so I got busy sanding.
And sanding.
And sanding.

Then I had to cut the dowel into 1/2" thick disks.

I do have a circular saw and a jig saw,
but it seemed that a hand saw and the miter box
would be the better way to go here.

Hey, I said this was DIY,
not easy.

I located the center of the post and drilled a hole**
straight down.

I decided to place a washer between the top of the post
and the dowel so that water couldn't
wick up into the dowel.

I drilled a hole in the center of the disk
and then used a deck screw to fasten the dowel to the post.

The hollow metal post on the light slips over the dowel
and is held securely in place.

**Use a drill bit that is just smaller than the screw being used.

And the job is done.

Time to pat myself on the back.

And just think,
I saved my husband $300
by doing it myself.

Let there be light.

Looking good.

Next project, please.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

You need to come stay with me for a week or two. I'll feed and entertain you and you do my list of "projects."

It's a win-win.