gap between pier and post mount light

drmeow3August 14, 2010

Hi all,

I have a post mount light on a brick pier. I just replaced the light and the new light has a slightly shallower base than the old one. As a result, there is a gap between the top of the pier and the bottom of the lamp (click on the picture to see a bigger copy):

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I'm trying to figure out a way to fill in the gap (right now it's about 1/4" - it can be made bigger by lifting up the lamp a bit if there is an option for filling a larger space).

I was going to fill in the space with with a siliconized acrylic caulk and paint it but ... honestly I find caulk to be a bit of a pain to work with in a situation like this and it seems like a bit large of an area to fill with caulk (1/4" high, 3/8" deep, about 11" around). I'm also not sure how much of a pain it would make removing the light at a later date.

I thought about putting a post mount adapter there but I suspect the post mount is a bit tall and the adapter would have a huge gap, too.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to fill in the space?

I've cross-posted this on the lighting forum, too.

Thanks!

Maureen

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brickeyee

You can drill higher holes in the pole for the mounting screws and drop it down.

Try to avoid actually pouching though.

Cement is very hard on metals that touch it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:28AM
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drmeow3

Thanks for the suggestion, brickeyee.

Unfortunately, the problem is that the interior of the lamp opening narrows at a point that is shorter than the high of the pole sticking out of the pier. The only thing that would allow the lamp to sit down lower is if I was able to saw about 1/4" or more off the top of the post. Even if I knew how to do that and had the tools and capability to do that, at that point, dealing with chalk is way better. Heck, at that point just living with the gap is better :)

One think I'm wondering is if there is some sort of putty-like chalk or something that that which would be easier for me to work with than the standard chalk? Something I could mold into shape and then fit around the opening.

I was also looking at rubber weatherstripping material and wondering if I could fill the space with something like that. Since the lamp absolutely won't come down any further there wouldn't be an weight on whatever is used to fill the gap. Don't know how long weatherstripping would last in the AZ heat, though.

I guess theoretically mortar could be used but mortar would be a lot more permanent than chalk (of course, one could argue that any replacement lamp would be probably have the same issue as this one which is that I'm fitting a 2010 designed post lamp on a 1960 build pier with post so permanent filler at the bottom 1/4" of the post won't be a barrier to replacing the lamp as long as I don't mortar the lamp to the pier).

-Maureen

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 1:39PM
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drmeow3

DUH - that's supposed to be caulk not chalk in my previous post. Brain not functioning properly.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:03PM
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brickeyee

"Unfortunately, the problem is that the interior of the lamp opening narrows at a point that is shorter than the high of the pole sticking out of the pier."

Cut the pole sticking out of the pier down then.

Something just sounds strange.

The poles are usually just thin wall metal and are full bore from one end to the other.

It their is conduit bedded into the pier that is taller than needed a pipe cutter will cut it down easily.

If you end up with caulk put some backer rod in the gap to limit the caulk to around 1/4 inch thick.

If you look around you may even find a colored caulk that would be less obtrusive.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 4:28PM
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drmeow3

"The poles are usually just thin wall metal and are full bore from one end to the other.

It their is conduit bedded into the pier that is taller than needed a pipe cutter will cut it down easily."

I'm not sure what it is - I'm pretty clueless about this sort of thing. Of course, now the lamp is attached and I can't really take a look at it. It seemed pretty thick to me and I don't know that I have any pipe cutting tools. Given how much the houses in the area have been changed, I doubt what we have is what was originally built. It is very possible that there was originally a free standing lamp post there which they built the brick pier around at one point when they were renovating the house. There appears to be a very thin and very uneven layer of (presumably) mortar on the top of the pier which they may have used to bring it up to the level of the bottom of the previous lamp:

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If that is the case, the post is whatever material they used to use in 1960 for lamp posts next to houses.

I will certainly look for backer rod - I'd never heard of it.

Thanks so much for your advice, you've been very helpful and definitely helped out with my dilemma. I searched for backer rod and having now learned what it is, that might be just the solution as my biggest concern was filling in that entire gap with caulk.

-Maureen

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 5:10PM
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sdello

I vote to cut the pole down a bit. Surely there is someone you can get that has a grinding tool. reciprocating saw, pipe cutter, hack saw, etc. that could take the top of the pole off.

Another thoguht. Contact the manufacturer of the light fixture and see if they can set you up with a extention for the base.

Caulking would look worse that the gap in my opinion.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 3:03PM
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drmeow3

Thanks for the suggestion of calling the manufacturer - I just tried that and they were clueless. I guess they don't really deal with this sort of situation.

Ah - a hacksaw. Of course. That's what I'd use to cut the post. I'll have to check it ... it seemed pretty thick to me. Anyway, any pipe cutting is NOT going to happen until the temps in the area drop below 100 during the day.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 3:59PM
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