Light Pole

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Cameron Fields, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Recently I have been given the task of designing a relatively cheap light pole that will light up path ways etc. These are a couple pictures of my finished product and I would like to here input on the design.
    lgia1.jpg snfdkfngk 2222.jpg
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    27,301
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It would be "stronger" if you bent the PVC into a "U" shape instead of using elbows. You would also have to use "sunlight resistant" PVC electrical conduit and then paint it white.
  3. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    How do you bend it? do you mean heat it up? because that would change the integrity of the pipe.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Location:
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    Unless you have a suitable oven, careful use of a heatgun can easily get PVC soft enough to bend into many shapes. PVC is thermoplastic, not thermosetting. As long as the bend is not tight enough to cause kinks or to thin the outer circumference excessively, it works. I bent a (smaller OD) piece for the drain on my a/c with a heatgun...worked fine. I figured it would be less likely to clog up verses an elbow (but that's not an issue for what you're dealing with). I do question the ability of the tall fixture to not bend under the weight over time...pvc is not structural.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Heat it and then bend it around a mandrel. The pipe's "integrity" will not be compromised.
  6. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok thanks I will try that on the next lamps I build.
  7. Glennsparky

    Glennsparky New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Oviedo, FL near Orlando
    Sorry to be a wet blanket. PVC (any kind) is not legal for this use. The National Electrical Code regulates 120 volt circuits. It sets out how long pipes can go unsupported and whether they're allowed to hold fixtures or not. The rules for low voltage are much looser.

    After a few hot sunny days your light poles will wilt. They'll bend right over till the lamps touch the ground and start grass fires. The wind is going to mess them up too. With age the PVC gets brittle and they would snap, but the other stuff will happen first.

    You may be able to use Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC) or Intermediate Metal Conduit (IMC). Someone would have to confirm that in the code. But you wont like the price or the hassle.

    If what you built is PVC, and 120 volts, it is dangerous. It is either going to destroy property or it's going to kill someone. Take it down now. It wont just be a lawsuit. It will be jail time for reckless disregard.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  8. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    FULLY agree here.
    You have NO place "designing" and building light fixtures for sale or installation. You need certification and testing. You also need to use the right kind of materials, which technical and legal knowledge of the field would have told you.

    I completely agree, TAKE IT DOWN and buy a proper fixture assembly.
  9. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Not Sure

    I am not sure if you are right. I have other lights with the same design, I personally made them my self. And they have survived hurricane after hurricane and the wind it really unpredictable. I also have some pull in local government and law enforcement in my county and I literality just installed four of theses lamps at no charge to the mayor of my town. I will definitely ask her if it is illegal and if it is I really don't know what I will do, probably petition the government for their ignorance like I have done in the past or have the law mended. However I really appreciate you telling me of this, its always better to here this before it becomes a problem. rest assured the problem with be quickly dissolved.
    and it is around 40 volts not 120.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  10. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    SO you would look to have a law amended just so you can do what you want? Sounds very American.


    Care to explain what "around" 40 volts is? And just where are you getting this odd voltage? And what exactly are you running on around 40 volts?
  11. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok so you are saying its American to have a law mended?? It sounds non American and dictatorship not to change laws, for the good and better of the people in which it governs. And the 4 Volts strange outlet was professionally installed by an electrician. I had him install four low volt outlets 1, for my small pond, 2, for these precise built lights 3, Driveway alert system 4, out door siren. These outlets are on different ends of my house and are on the same breaker. And not for you but the commenter above what would make you think the PVC would wilt. I mean they make PVC fences, PVC siding, etc.? and PVC gutters are of the same gage in fact I think the PVC fences are that of a thinner gage!


    “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
    —John F. Kennedy
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  12. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Is it raining on the parade here ?

    Not all PVC is made of the same formula.


    The Rocket test should be later tonight or tomorrow...
  13. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    I do not know what rocket test you are referring to. But PVC, gutter is the same as PVC pipe which is the same as PVC fence. now I do know that you are correct indoor paneling is a different compound of PVC. But as far as I know PVC gutter, fence and pipe is the same to my current knowledge of it.
  14. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,570
    Location:
    North Carolina
    410.6 Listing Required.

    All luminaires and lampholders shall be listed.
    What his means is that one cannot just throw some pipe together and call it a light. It must be evaluated by a NRTL
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Location:
    Houston, TX

    It is the difference in the UV protection mostly.
  16. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    Ah. I knew it was something like that I forgot, thanks.

    Ok NTRL is a testing laboratory that is nationally recognized? What is stopping me for going to Avomeen. My point it is doesn't have to be evaluated by NRTL and that's only if I want to sell it which I don't. I would like you to tell me what 410.6 Listing Required that really interests me. Moreover I do not which to sell just create a good cheap light that can light pathways etc. in the process a few people have seen it and asked if I would build them one, and like DonL said about UV resistant's , which is the only problem I might face they are not a hazard to anyone. Oh and I am not installing them on commercial and or public land only private if that helps.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  17. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Or the FAA if it is a Chinese lantern.
  18. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    What rocket test?
  19. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    NO, it's typically American to want to change a LAW simple to benefit one's self, which is what you are proposing.
  20. Cameron Fields

    Cameron Fields Implementer/Inventor

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Florida
    I feel very sorry for you.
    ¡Qué pena que sea que pienses eso.
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