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How to Install Hardscape Lighting in a Column

May 15, 2020 April 22nd, 2021 No Comments


This instructional video shows you how to install the VOLT® Undercover Hardscape light in a column.

Video Transcript:

Today, I’m going to show you how to install a VOLT® hardscape light into a column. Before we get started, let’s review some of the tools we’re going to need for this project. Number one, you’re going to need a four to four and a half inch angle grinder and you’re going to want to have a diamond tipped wheel. When you’re cutting stone, you want to be real careful that you wear eye protection and ear protection because there’s going to be dirt and debris flying to the air and it’s real common for it to get into your eyes, so use a pair of safety glasses. Next, to get underneath our stone wall, I’ll use a piece of rod. This is a half inch piece of ground rod – you can use a piece of pipe or whatever works for you, something rigid that you can pound on to make a sleeve underneath the column. You’ll need a caulking gun and some landscape adhesive.

To mark our stone for the location of our lights, you’re going to want to have a tape measure, pencil and a Sharpie. To get our capstones off, you’ll need a selection of masonry chisels – depending on the size of your stones you may need one or you may need more, just to be able to leverage that stone off without it breaking. To pound that stone in, you’re going to want to have a masonry hammer – this is about as 2 to 3 pounder. And then to put our fixtures in place, you’re going to want to have a small cordless hammer drill with a 3/16 inch masonry bit. That’ll help us secure our fasteners to the light, to get it into the post. Hopefully you’ll learn a few things today as we get this installed; let’s get started.

I’ll show you how to install this light in a segmental block column, which is very common n landscapes today. First, let’s begin by removing the capstone. It’s not a bad idea to use two chisels together to break the glue that’s holding down the stone. Once you have broken the top stone away from the glue, you can now pry that stone up and lift it free from the top of the column.

With the capstone removed, we can now see the center cavity where our wire will run. To get our wire inside the column, we must first clear away the stone or mulch from the digging area. Begin digging straight down in front of the column; you’re going to need to clear the gravel and dirt away until you fully expose the bottom block at the bottom of the column. Then dig back away from the column – just be sure you don’t under-dig the column; you want to leave that gravel in place. Take a short bar and begin tapping it inside towards the open cavity. Angle it slightly upward; this pipe should be sliding right against the bottom stone as it goes through. You want to give it an occasional twist; this is going to help so you can remove it from the hole.

Now we need to remove the pipe from the hole. Give it a little twist and slide it straight back, being careful not to disturb the gravel. Now slip the end of your wire inside the cavity; 5 or 6 feet should do. So now you can reach down inside the hole, grab the end of your wire and pull it up to the top. Be careful – watch out for spiders. They love to live in these holes.

Now with a pencil and tape measure, mark out the location of where your light’s going to be placed. We’re marking the center point of the face the light – at this case, it’s going to be 10 inches. I’m going to take my pencil and I’m going to mark a line straight from the back of the block all the way to the face of the block. With your angle grinder and the diamond wheel, begin scoring a trough on that line that we just marked. This line’s going to need to be about a half an inch wide by half an inch deep. We need to ensure that the wire lays flat all the way inside the trough so the top cap will lay flush.

Now with the trough cut, it’s time to set our fixture in place. Be sure to slide this brass tube all the way up to the back of the light fixture; this will protect the wire as we set the fixture in place. Now take your tape measure and make sure that you’re equal distance from side to side; you want to make sure that light sits nice and even on the front of that post. Now take your pencil; in the back bracket of the light, let’s go ahead and mark out the holes where we’re going to drill for our masonry anchors. Now take your hammer drill – we’ll drill about 1 inch deep for each of these holes. In the hardware provided, you’ll have two masonry sleeves. Slide these in the hole and next tap these in so they sit nice and flush with the stone. Take your fixture, set it in place and screw it down. Apply some masonry adhesive on top of the column. After you’ve made the internal connection for your light fixture, we can set the capstone back in place. Now finish by making your home run connections outside the column.

That completes the installation of the hardscape light in the column today. As always, we trust that these segments are informative and helpful to you, and give you the confidence to install these product on your own property. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (813) 978-3700.

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