How to Build a Pathway Lamppost
Pick up some stock cedar and a hanging lantern to construct a custom garden fixture
If you're looking for a stylish and original way to spruce up your home's landscaping, well, look to the right. This outdoor lighting project is deceptively simple to build. Made of rot-resistant western red cedar, the fixture consists of a 2x4 center post to anchor it, a horizontal arm to hold the lantern, and 1x6 cladding that yokes the 2x4s together and creates attractive shadow lines. Fitted with a handsome copper-and-glass candle lantern, it exudes Zen-like beauty day and night.
This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers installed our lamppost along a garden path but says its proportions would complement virtually any outdoor space, from a patio to a water feature. Turn the page to see how it comes together. And if you'd prefer to wire the lamppost for low-voltage lighting, he shows how to do that, too.
Day 1: Cut to size and shape the cedar boards (Steps 2–8).
Day 2: Assemble the lamppost and install it (Steps 9–18).
Pathway Lamppost Cut List
2x4 post: 1 @ 6 feet
2x4 crossarm: 1 @ 12½ inches
2x4 crossarm: 1 @ 3 inches
1x6 post cladding: 2 @ 4¾ inches with a 45-degree beveled top
1x6 post cladding: 2 @ 36 inches
1x6 crossarm cladding: 2 @ 27 inches with 1-inch noses and 45-degree angled ends
2x10 base trim: 2 @ 6 inches
2x10 base trim: 2 @ 7½ inches
Both pieces with a 45-degree beveled edge at the top and measured between long points of the mitered ends
Download and print the cut list