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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to install 7 post lamps for a resi customer who has a very long driveway.

The customer is in a very rural area and a long way from a cement truck.

I'm curious about any alternatives to using concrete bases?

For example, deck footings now use a platform with rods inserted at an angle. Is there anything like that for post lamps? I see something similar for solar only posts, but not electric posts.

I had a thought about using 1/2 x 48" threaded rods driven into the ground. But I feel like I'd need some kind of barb to help prevent them from being pulled up.

Precast concrete forms are a bit pricey and overkill for resi use.

Just trying to think outside the box.
 

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Without any knowledge of the height and weight of the fixtures it is hard to help you.
You also fail to give a location so what is the frost depth in the area?

Your comment on the cement truck makes me wonder how big these fixtures are.
There is always a wheel barrow and a couple of sacks of ready mix.
 

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Just buy sakrete and dump it in the hole for your backfill. It will harden up over time. If it is critical that it sets up quickly, mix water in with it in the hole. I do this to build equipment H frames. I have never gotten a concrete truck out for anything smaller than parking lot pole bases.

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If it’s just a regular post lamp, just use crushed stone or dirt. I don’t know what type of soil you have, but my post light just has dirt around it. It was here when I bought the house twenty something years ago. I know it’s dirt because I ran a new wire to it when I did some landscape lighting. The post with the light is maybe 6’ tall.
The only other thing I would use is bags of concrete mix. Don’t even mix it. Just throw it in the hole. It will harden over time. You could water it if you want.
 

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Never use concrete on an aluminum post. The chemical reactions will eat the post away at the top of the concrete.
Aluminum should never touch concrete.
 

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I’ve used these in the past. Most have been installed with a bobcat auger attachment but a friend installed several with a 10’ L channel bolted to the top and 2 people. I have 18‘ light poles on them and they have been rock solid for years!

 

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I need to install 7 post lamps for a resi customer who has a very long driveway.

The customer is in a very rural area and a long way from a cement truck.

I'm curious about any alternatives to using concrete bases?

For example, deck footings now use a platform with rods inserted at an angle. Is there anything like that for post lamps? I see something similar for solar only posts, but not electric posts.

I had a thought about using 1/2 x 48" threaded rods driven into the ground. But I feel like I'd need some kind of barb to help prevent them from being pulled up.

Precast concrete forms are a bit pricey and overkill for resi use.

Just trying to think outside the box.
Why not use 3/4 rebar? Rebar has bumps on it to prevent movement in concrete. Would probably have the same effect if you can drive it into bedrock.

Also, have you considered post set concrete? I use it all the time. Just pour the bag in the hole and add water. Done.

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What kind of poles are we talking about here? 30' aluminum light poles? 10' steel light poles? Hydro poles? Knowing what kind of pole will result in answers that will help you...
 

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Small posts I’ve used the expansion foam designed to replace concrete. It’s a 2 part mixture that chemically expands. I believe it’s called post hole foam.


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Small posts I’ve used the expansion foam designed to replace concrete. It’s a 2 part mixture that chemically expands. I believe it’s called post hole foam.


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Just saw that on some big power poles at elevation. We were hiking at 11,000 ft. and they had just ran poles to the top for a tower. My wife asked me about it and it was the first time I saw that application, they must of set them with a copter and used foam because it was on steep slope and could not get trucks in all hand work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ve used these in the past. Most have been installed with a bobcat auger attachment but a friend installed several with a 10’ L channel bolted to the top and 2 people. I have 18‘ light poles on them and they have been rock solid for years!

Now this is the kind of thing I'm looking for! But @200 pounds a piece, they are probably very expensive and overkill for small residential light posts.

Any idea how much they are? I couldn't find any mention of them anywhere except the manufacturer's website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Without any knowledge of the height and weight of the fixtures it is hard to help you.
You also fail to give a location so what is the frost depth in the area?

Your comment on the cement truck makes me wonder how big these fixtures are.
There is always a wheel barrow and a couple of sacks of ready mix.
I should have been more specific. They are looking at just resi style 8' lamp posts with a 4 hole base to bolt to a pad. They only weight about 20lbs if that.
 

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I should have been more specific. They are looking at just resi style 8' lamp posts with a 4 hole base to bolt to a pad. They only weight about 20lbs if that.
I would make a plywood pattern for the four bolts holes and use Foundation Bolts in a concrete pillar. Form the pillar with a Sonatube. Have the four foundation bolts in the concrete while you pour, held in position by the plywood pattern.
Have four nuts and washers under the lamp post and four on top. That way the nuts can be adjusted to plumb the lamp post.
This method is similar to setting lighting standards or poles.
 

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I should have been more specific. They are looking at just resi style 8' lamp posts with a 4 hole base to bolt to a pad. They only weight about 20lbs if that.
It sounds like the posts are already picked out and they are not direct burial type, they're the bolt down type.

To me it's faster to make a big hole 24" deep, set a cardboard tube, and backfill around it, than it is to make a small hole 24" deep. The first foot goes fast but then you're shoveling out spoonfuls.

I think I would buy four of the 12" x 48" tube forms and cut them in half, put the cut end in the hole.

Fill with 6" of gravel, then fill the rest with quickrete, you will probably need two 80# bags per post base.

Then you could make a plywood jig and use 4 j-bolts per base.

Add a PVC 90 to get your wire in (assuming direct burial UF or whatever) and away you go.

That's what about $250 materials for the bases, here Home Depot will deliver that whole mess pretty cheap.

It could be done a little quicker but not a heck of a lot quicker and the finished product will be very nice this way.
 
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