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How to mount fixtures in stone rubble?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by starry night, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,267

    I will be uplighting this limestone wall along a private boat dock. I have already tried out spotlights across the walkway. It was a very nice effect on the wall. With the spotlights right at walkway level there was no glare for pedestrians. I plan to space the 45 degree spots 20 feet apart with pathlights between them.

    As you can see in the one photo, just outside the walkway is about 10-inch-deep stone rubble in which I need to mount the fixtures. The rubble is in small-to-medium irregular chunks which will not hold the fixtures (brass) in a permanent position.

    Help me out with any ideas you have for mounting.

    (Yes, I know the whole area needs cleanup.)

  2. LLC RI

    LLC RI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    If you can't dig out the stone in the spots where your fixture spike needs to be, then you can try an alternative. Use a 1 1/2 inch masonry drill bit and drill a straight down hole into the rubble... For your stake... use a 1 inch PVC pipe with a 1 x 1/2" female adaptor on top.

    You can start with a piece of the pvc longer than you need, bang it in with a rubber hammer or a block of wood... so you don't shatter the pipe. then make a clean cut at the desired height to which you use PVC cement and glue your cap on. Make sure you have a small hole drilled into the side, just below grade ideally, for your fixture wire to exit. You could also make two holes in the pipe to allow for the supply line to enter, make your splice and then exit off to the next fixture.

    The fitting I'm talking about will glue on to your 1 inch pvc and the other end of it has a female 1/2'' thread.

    Paint the exposed PVC to match the fixture or surroundings.

  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    The pipe is PVC and the fitting is ABS so be sure to use primer/conditioner and transition cement to mount the DW adapter to the PVC schedule 40 pipe. I would encourage you to use long shroud bullets and glare lovers so as to reduce the sight line angles into the fixtures as you walk past them.
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865


    What's under the rubble? Is it on top of soil and just there for looks or is it sitting directly on top of bedrock?

    If you can dig down, I'd do so and set the stake in concrete with a copper or brass riser coming through the rubble and put the fixture on top of that.

    If it's hard stone, maybe drill and put some anchor bolts in to mount a surface mount directly to the stone and use a riser.
  5. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,267

    I don't know how far down the rubble goes. But however deep it is, there would be another limestone ledge under it. This marina is in an old quarry on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie. If you are interested in history Google it.
    The island was the site of a Union POW camp for Confederate officers during the civil war. In modern use, there was a causeway built to the island and it has been developed for seasonal homes. (Many in the multi-million dollar class.)
    Attached is another photo of the quarry side from out on the docks.

    Thanks for the ideas. The PVC posts with adaptors sounds like it will work. I first thought of putting brass stakes in concrete but it seemed like a waste of a brass stake.

  6. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I would core the walkway and set flush well lights (a style similar to a Nova from Unique) with glare guards, washing straight up. Just me. :)
  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Tommy I agree with you, if money were no object of course... I suspect in this case, there is a budget for the work and the designer is probably struggling a bit to get as much as they can into the design. Coring and boring under that walkway would be no easy nor cheap task. Do-able, but not easy.
  8. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Wouldn't you need to be pretty close to the wall to do that (within 10-16")? Not knocking the idea, but how would you fish wire to it efficiently?

    As for the PVC idea... It's really going to depend on how dense that rock is (either in pieces or big sheets), you won't be banging schedule 40 through there and staying remotely plumb unless that stuff is fairly loose aggregate. Just food for thought, but you could use a bracket mount coming off the edge of the walkway (much like a gutter guard style mount), and then bring a few loose rocks up to grade to disguise the mount.
  9. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,267

    Thanks Tommy for your input. James is right about trying to do as much as I can with this project while controlling costs. There is more to do here e.g. a patio area above the docks and some walkways leading to the stairs.

    Green Light, I hadn't thought of the gutter-style bracket; worth thinking about.

    MEXANDME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Can you get to the edge (thickness) of the concrete?

    If so, you could mount a galvanized floor flange (vertically) with a nipple and a threaded tee. your fixture screws into the top of the tee and your wire exits out the bottom of the tee. The length of the nipple would dictate how far off the edge of the walkway the fixture would be.



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