Pier mount light o stone

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Some rotten person crashed into my brick column and took off.:rant:

When its rebuilt, I'd like to add a pier mount light like this pierlight.jpg to the limestone pillar cap.

I am not familiar with how to do the install on one of these. I already have a mc power whip inside the brick, but what size box should I use for (what I assume is) a 5 1/2" square base like this? pierbase.jpg

When I order the limestone pillar cap, should I request they pre cut a 4sq hole, or would I just chisel it out with masonry bits and insert a pancake box?

How would you go about this?
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
It's probably illegal, but you could rebuild with the center of the column a bollard sunk 4' in the ground. Next person to crash into your post won't take off!

I think there are regulations about building on the public right-of-way, including posts and columns that must be built to yield to a moving vehicle.

Now, my driveway is more of a causeway on fill-- a gully on one side, and a steep embankment down to the creek on the other. Tends to prevent drive-offs!
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
I am not familiar with how to do the install on one of these. I already have a mc power whip inside the brick, but what size box should I use for (what I assume is) a 5 1/2" square base like this? View attachment 23172

First piece of information you need-- exactly how big is the base? There are holes through the base, are they intended for a square box? A waterproof box of some sort?

Based on that information you can determine what size box you need.

If you have a hole for a full-sized box excavated, how will the box be anchored in the cap stone? I'm assuming the square base mounts to the box as the main anchor for the lamp, so the box will need to be firmly anchored. Epoxy? Construction adhesive??
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
If I am not mistaken no box is required for that type light. If so just put a pancake box-- there is so much space there that using a box is inane, IMO. There are usually 4 mounting holes at the corner of the fixture base. Just use anchors into the column
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
Some rotten person crashed into my brick column and took off.:rant:

When its rebuilt, I'd like to add a pier mount light like this View attachment 23171 to the limestone pillar cap.

I am not familiar with how to do the install on one of these. I already have a mc power whip inside the brick, but what size box should I use for (what I assume is) a 5 1/2" square base like this? View attachment 23172

When I order the limestone pillar cap, should I request they pre cut a 4sq hole, or would I just chisel it out with masonry bits and insert a pancake box?

How would you go about this?
I would run the MC through a hole in the pillar cap and into the back of a plastic pancake box. Just make sure the light is anchored to the cap instead of the box. That's how I would go about it.

Good luck, don't forget the pic when your done. :)
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
On some units there is a threaded entry for 1/2" or 3/4" pipe so the wiring is inside the head of the light. Now that I think about it I believe that is correct
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
Your "I want this" picture looks like it is supposed to fit a 3" diameter pole. :huh:

I suggest that you get your fixture first or, alternately an instruction sheet and determine how it's supposed to be mounted before you rebuild your column.

And by the way, MC is not an allowed way to wire something like this unless it's the plastic covered stuff for direct burial/wet locations. Normally we would use UF.

-Hal
 

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Ok, very good points raised! I was thinking i had to have the box in-beded into the stone flush with surface.
It'd be much easier to surface mount it and the shroud base will cover that.
Right. I will just go out and buy the fixtures and then i'll know for sure the clearances. I thought one of you guys might know off hand.

From what I've read, these bases are for either pole mount or deck/pier mounting of a fixture. Originally, the light fixture was under the column cap but i plan on shortening it and putting a larger fixture on top. The MC cable was there for 40 years and I plan on leaving it although i wished they used Sealtite.

No, it wasn't a baseball bat. I see tire marks where someone turned on my driveway and swerved onto the grass and nailed it... and my bush.:rant:
Instead of fortifying the column, i plan at some point installing cameras to catch the next drunk. The only challenge is that my driveway is about 400 ft long which i believe exceeds the allowable run of a cat 5 cable.

Anyway, thanks for the good advice.
 

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
I do have a trail cam that I plan on mounting to a nearby tree. Thanks for reminding me.

The limit is 328ft and I'd be about 30 ft over that.
I thought about adding a switch,but its not feasible doing all that trenching work and such.

This is a whole other subject that I digressed to, and a project that I don't have time for at the moment.

Thanks for your guidance about the light fixtures. I feel much better about tackling it.

Talking to you guys about electrical stuff must be what it's like to have a break through session with a psychologist.

Regards, John
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
Location
Union, KY, USA
No, it wasn't a baseball bat. I see tire marks where someone turned on my driveway and swerved onto the grass and nailed it... and my bush.:rant:
Instead of fortifying the column, i plan at some point installing cameras to catch the next drunk. The only challenge is that my driveway is about 400 ft long which i believe exceeds the allowable run of a cat 5 cable.
Telephoto lens from a camera within the legal limit??
 

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Ok, Here's the deal.

Ok, Here's the deal.

Telephoto lens might cost more than fiber optic camera, and trenching. ?

I did just pick up a pair of column lights for $50 so I will share the exact dimensions for anyone who might want to know.
Side bar: The wife says they are ugly. While I don't disagree, they were only $50 instead of $500 for new ones.

Here is one of our lovely semi-new lights: 20190627_163333.jpg

Here is the base: 20190627_180914.jpg

Here is exact measurements: 20190627_175952.jpg

Yes, you have to use a 4" pancake box because at the edges there is very little room.

Also the fixture wires hang from bottom of light and there is no internal hub or box.
 

S'mise

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
Well I would never had thought to use MC in a post like that. We always use 3/4" pvc as a slleeve or for direct piping
Well in their defense, there is a receptacle outlet at the base. So I think they fed the column with uf and a mc whip that runs 3ft up the hollow chase inside the brick to the box for the light thats inbeded in concrete. (not the mc)
This short piece of mc doesn't get wet other than humidity or a small amount of rain water that occasionally drips down from under the light fixture.

Technically it's probably not code compliant because a brick column is not considered a structure is it?
I would consider it a damp location but not a wet location. I've learned to overlook some minor deviation from the code over the years. Its certainly not worth ripping it all apart for something essentially fine the way it is.

Btw, this was done 45 years ago when I was a young lad in short pants. I don't think they even had pvc conduit back then.
 
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