Landscape Lighting Lanterns

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Project by Thepps posted 06-05-2012 07:59 PM 6938 views 57 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, we just installed a new pool. It’s actually not even finished yet. After researching landscape lighting, I found out that you have to spend a lot of $$$ to get a high quality light fixture. Upwards of $100 or more per light. That adds up pretty fast. So, I built my own, out of cedar with a marine finish (5 coats of Epifanes Rapidclear) to withstand the salt (from the pool) and weather.

This project came from Woodsmith #141. Sanded plexiglass is used for the window panes. Followed the instructions pretty closely except for the light. In the magazine, a 20 watt automotive bulb was used. Trying to save energy, I used an led light. Each light uses 1 watt, and very close to the same brightness.

I built a total of 18 lights. (It was a lot!) Eleven of them are installed around the pool. The other seven will be installed along a path from the driveway to the pool. Not done yet.

Thanks for looking!

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

17 comments so far

View Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop's profile

Drew - Rock-n H Woodshop

646 posts in 3741 days

#1 posted 06-05-2012 09:44 PM

Are these hardwired or solar? These are great.

-- Drew -- "I cut it twice and it's still too short!"- Rock-n H Woodshop - Moore, OK

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3274 days

#2 posted 06-05-2012 09:47 PM

Very nice looking lights. Replacing mine is on my project list – I will take at liook at that article.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Thepps's profile


140 posts in 4804 days

#3 posted 06-05-2012 10:10 PM

Hardwired. 14ga low voltage cable to each one and a 12v power transformer on the side of my shop.

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

View Lorin's profile


22 posts in 3288 days

#4 posted 06-06-2012 12:10 AM

Nice solution! Those do look good. Congratulations on the pool. Good luck getting those projects done now…

-- Lorin

View sras's profile


5946 posts in 4179 days

#5 posted 06-06-2012 02:22 AM

These look great! I’ll have to dig out my Woodsmith back issue and check this out. The LED solution is a nice upgrade!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 4233 days

#6 posted 06-06-2012 03:51 AM

Those are great! I have spent the last hour searching for the plans with no luck, Woodsmith offers a DVD that would have the plans but $99.00 is a bit steep. I thought you could get individual issues.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Thepps's profile


140 posts in 4804 days

#7 posted 06-06-2012 04:46 AM

Thanks everybody. Try ebay. You can usually find back issues if you’re patient.

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

View Tyler's profile


174 posts in 3743 days

#8 posted 06-06-2012 02:56 PM

Looks great

View timjr's profile


28 posts in 3877 days

#9 posted 06-10-2012 07:37 AM

Did you say your pool has salt in it? Wild.

View Woodbutchery's profile


432 posts in 4636 days

#10 posted 06-12-2012 09:26 AM

Great looking lamps!

Where did you get the led lights?

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View Thepps's profile


140 posts in 4804 days

#11 posted 06-12-2012 04:54 PM

View KeepOnLearnin's profile


50 posts in 2263 days

#12 posted 06-21-2015 10:14 PM

Nice work!

Unlike you, I have been buying those $30-$50 low voltage lights. Again and again. They’re broken or sagging again and I’m sick of it. I only need 4, but I really don’t want to pay triple digits for each light. They need to be able to at least handle a weed whacker and at most, falling pine cones (hopefully not a run away lawn mower).

Before I pay for the magazine, I am curious what the interior consists of? How is the wiring and fixture mounted? Metal conduit? Staked into the ground? etc… And is that info included in the plans?


-- Mark - Keep-On-Learnin' :)

View Thepps's profile


140 posts in 4804 days

#13 posted 06-23-2015 01:49 AM

Well, let me start off by saying that it’s been three years now, and they still look fairly tip-top. I brush a coat of finish on every spring and fall, and that keeps them looking new-ish.
The interior is pretty hollow, just a socket comes up with the bulb. I actually used a piece of copper (since it was easily pliable and I could squeeze the end with a pliers into a rectangle shape) to hold the socket. Works fine as long as you don’t create a short. I cut a piece of pressure treated about 1 1/2” square and about 14” long and used that for a stake. I think the plans may have used a metal stake.
The plans provide quite a bit of detail for most of it. I switched it from incandescent to led. Links above.

-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL

View KeepOnLearnin's profile


50 posts in 2263 days

#14 posted 06-25-2015 01:48 PM

Thanks for the update!

[Click] Just bought that back issue I found.

I converted my existing path lights to LED, but they already had the correct sockets. I will probably be able to cannibalize them for this purpose :) If not, I’m pretty sure I already have an account at superbrightLEDs.

-- Mark - Keep-On-Learnin' :)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3917 days

#15 posted 06-25-2015 02:10 PM

These are absolutely beautiful. They are perfect accents for any yard.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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