An excellent way to add lighting to your home and garden is to install a lamp post. Lamp posts are very attractive additions to any landscape and a practical way to provide safety, security and ambiance to your home. When it comes to design, there are a number of different types and styles of lamp posts to choose from. It is best to determine how much light you desire and where is the best place to utilize it.
Types and Styles of Lamp Posts
One of the first choices you have with a lamp post is the style of lamp. Some of the most popular styles available are colonial, early American, classic and contemporary. It is best to try to match the lamp post with the style of the home in order for the two to blend in together. The next thing you want to consider is the type of finish the lamp will have, such as brass, natural bronze, forged iron, aluminum and copper. All these materials are designed to hold up to the elements, so the choice comes down to personal preference and cost. Most posts are made out of wood, painted aluminum or a wood composite. While most lamp posts are powered by electricity, recent advances in solar-power technology have made solar lights a viable choice.
Ideal Lamp Post Locations
Some of the more common locations for a lamp post are at the end of a driveway, by a mailbox, at the beginning of a walkway, and by an entrance. You want to avoid adding too many, as you want the lamp post to be a focal point either at the beginning or end of a path. If you are covering a long stretch, adding multiple lamp posts may be appropriate given the distance you are trying to cover. Lamp posts are also a wonderful addition to the back yard for highlighting landscaping features such as decks, patios, pool areas or gazebos. Once again, you do not want to overdo it with too many. Besides lighting the area, you want the lamp post to blend in aesthetically with its surroundings.
Lamp Post Installation Tips
It is easiest to add a lamp post when first establishing a landscape or building a house because this will facilitate the running of electrical line to the location. If you are looking to add a lamp post to an established area, explore the options with solar lighting first to see if that can meet your needs. Normally, a post hole should be dug at least 2 feet deep to properly secure the post, but depending on where you live make sure you dig the hole deep enough for the post to go down below the frost line. This can be as deep as 3 feet in some colder locations. If you plan to run the electrical line yourself, make sure you use the proper underground wiring and that it is buried deep enough to meet your local building codes. Since the post is free-standing, it does not need to be set in concrete, as compacted dirt will keep it firmly in place. Finally, make sure you allow for enough wire to run the length of the post as well as to the light fixture itself.