This turned out to be the year of lights.  I originally bought the lantern (top) portion on sale at the end of the season last year (2008)  with the intention of turning it into a lamppost.  Here's how it came out.

Update: Let's start off with a picture from the new house; the rest of these are from the old place.  Note that the house is on a (haunted?) hill, so the sidewalk is low and it makes it look like the lamppost is taller than it really is.  I think it's only about 8'.

There's a better picture at the end of the page, but this puts it in perspective.

The top was an end-of-season markdown from Target.  This year they had a new lantern that looked even better than this, but this one was was so thin and cheaply-made that I felt free to experiment.

Here I've attached a PVC pipe to a wooden base (all of which is upside-down) that will then attach to the bottom of the lantern... so.

I connected a series of PVC fittings to try it out and to get a sense of the height I'm looking for.  In reality, I don't want it nearly this tall.  The fittings aren't glued together; I'm just looking at where I'll need to cut it.

(The scattered bits of insulation are from an in-progress home improvement project that was delayed by the endless rains.)

Since I want a bulb wired through the base, I'm going to need a hole.  Problem was this ultimately was too narrow once I tried to screw the pipe back onto it and the screws crossed into the hole.

The final version is going to be black (as you can see in the first pictures on this page), but I had a can of leftover green paint a friend gave me when he moved, and I used that as primer so I'd have enough black for other projects.

Here you can see the individual components.  The lengths are simply cut to my preference except that they have to match up to make the crooked path return to plumb with the lantern.

The important thing here is the turns.  There are two 90° turns and two 22.5° turns.  In other words, the complimentary angles cancel themselves out to restore the original path.

The result is this sort of Tim Burton or Dr. Seuss-inspired zig-zagging lamppost that fits with other elements such as the arm on the Halloween Countdown Clock also in the front yard.

I've got the wiring going through here now as well.

At the top is a conventional lamp fixture (~$3) and a 3 Watt flicker (also ~$3).  They don't come much more powerful than that.

Here's the lamp in the front yard.  (I'm in the process of setting up the skeleton in the background at the moment.)

Another look at it at night.

That's just too cool.

Copyright 2009, 2012 the Ale[x]orcist.