• In this video, This Old House features editor Amy R. Hughes explains how to create a chimney pot garden light.

    Among the simplest creative reuse projects I've done, this landscape uplight is also one of my favorites. I mean, who knew that you could use an old chimney pot to cast a warm, 50-watt glow on the undersides of a Japanese maple's leaves? Well, besides me…there was the kind lady with the landscape lighting company, who hooked me up with a low- voltage spot that fits inside the chimney pot's base, as well as the 60-watt transformer, which plugs directly into an all-weather outlet. A key feature on the transformer is a built-in timer that will automatically turn the light on and off each night, so you'll never have to flip a switch.

    Steps:1. To make your own chimney pot light, start by stripping a ½ inch of plastic insulation from the ends of the light cord, and then slip the exposed copper wires into the transformer's corresponding receptacles.

    2. Next, cut metal mesh, such as scrap tile backer, to the size of the chimney pot’s opening, using snips.

    3. Insert the mesh to keep leaves from gathering inside the pot’s base and blocking the light source.

    4. Now, it's time to get dirty. Dig a 6-inch-deep trench, in which the landscape light and the cord that leads back to the transformer will sit.

    5. Place the light and cord in the trench and then backfill with the loose soil. Leave the bulb exposed, but be sure to completely bury the cord, as the soil will keep it from getting too hot when electricity is flowing.

    6. Position the pot over the light. Plug the transformer into a grounded outlet, and then set that handy timer so the light will glow for a few hours every night starting at dusk.
    • 1 to 2 hours
    • $250 for the chimney pot, $57 for the light and $45 for a 60-watt transformer
    • Difficulty: Easy
      All you've got to do is a some simple wiring and a little digging in the garden.
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      Tools List

      • wire strippers
        Wire strippers
      • Phillips screwdriver
      • gloves
      • pointed shovel
      • wire cable snips

      Shopping List

      1. Vintage chimney pot: Chimney Pot or Recycling the Past

      2. Kichler 60-Watt transformer: Bellacor

      3. Kichler 50-watt black well accent light: Bellacor

      4. Metal mesh such as tile backer or screen