How-to: Build your own light poles


Our church, Redemption Chapel, has an outdoor men’s event coming up this week. I was tasked with running the knocker-ball station. If you haven’t seen knocker-balls before, here you go:

Knockerball - Knockerball Smash! | Groupon

Part of my task also involved getting some sort of lighting so that we can see who gets blasted to the moon in their knocker-ball deep into the night. The lights needed to be pretty high off the ground and out of people’s eyes, so a standard work light tripod wouldn’t do the trick. We also really didn’t want to spend a ton of money to rent some lights just for an evening. We had someone build some tall light posts out of 2x4s a few years back, but those mysteriously vanished.

My first thought was just to build some more light posts out of 2x4s. Then I looked at the current price of wood and realized it would probably be cheaper to hire a helicopter to hover over the field with its searchlight on for 4 hours.

Then my father-in-law, who ran his own painting business, came up with a brilliant idea: we’d use painters’ poles! They’re sturdy, pretty inexpensive, and lightweight. After a bit of research, we came up with this list of parts:

After 2 hours of drilling, hammering, fastening, and bleeding (we both cut ourselves) we ended up with 2 of these beauties.

8 – 16ft of lighting goodness

There are really only a couple of steps to end up with the result we got.

  1. Remove the interlocking pipes that come with the tripod from the base. We found that using a pipe wrench to twist the plastic fit ring worked nicely. Pulling suddenly as hard as you can does not (see note about bleeding above)
  2. Expand the holes that are pre-drilled in the light stand so that the paint pole top fits through them
  3. Secure the paint pole top to the light stand with a nut or set screw
  4. Insert the paint pole into the hollow tripod base and secure it with a set screw

I have no idea how well they’ll work, so I’ll just assume they’re going to be awesome. We’ll find out for real this Friday and I’ll try to remember to update this post with some pics.

Overall, I’m very happy with how they turned out. They’re super lightweight, easy to put up with just one person, and they didn’t break the bank. They should be perfect for just about any outdoor activity considering they can extend to over 16ft tall. Obviously, they could use some sandbags over the legs, or tie-downs for stability; especially if they’re going to be fully extended.

If you decide to build some of your own, please share some pics with us @corefourlife on all the socials!

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