Project Pasture Light

I’ve yet to write about a summer project. You probably thought that I have been sitting inside, soaking up air-conditioning and waiting for the fall. You would be so wrong; this is project pasture light.

I’ve used pasture lights for several years. These lights are very small and hang on the fence and flash with each pulse of the fence energizer. When these lights flash, you know there is electricity present. That flash is what keeps the animals inside the fence.

This year, I wanted a pasture light that I could see from more locations. I also wanted something fun to do and so built a larger pasture light.

Pasture light ready for installation.
Pasture light ready for installation.

Here are the basics; the actual pasture lights were purchased from the Electric Fence Light Company of Cookeville, Tennessee and are visible up to one mile. They are mounted on 20 feet of self-supporting tower and will be placed at the intersection of two separate lines of fence powered by separate fence energizers.

My fear of heights played into this project. I was happy to have these fence lights mounted high above the ground but my concern was about replacing the bulbs in the event of an outage. The self-supporting tower is triangular in shape and has a fair amount of open space in its interior. I decided to pass the lights up through the interior of the tower on a little trolley using a mounted pulley- top and bottom-and some cable.

Pvc receiver dock with internal pulley.
Pvc receiver dock with internal pulley.

The trolley is the really interesting part of the project. When I visit the hardware store, someone will usually ask me if they can help me find something. The truth is, I don’t know until I see it. In this case, I found some pvc toilet bowl flanges and threaded rod to create my trolley. I mounted the pasture lights to the pvc flanges then kept them about three feet apart using threaded rod. I also mounted a flange at the mid-point between each end so I could house all the wiring connections in a clean, dry place.

Wiring hidden inside toilet bowl flange.
Wiring hidden inside toilet bowl flange.

Pulling the two sections of tower together was a little difficult-they fit nice and tight. I ended up laying them on sawhorses and drawing them together with ratchet straps. I also sprayed WD-40 liberally at the mounting junction-there is rarely a good reason not to spray WD-40 on one of my projects.

I had to run approximately 17 foot lenghts of insulated fence wire from the trolley/light conglomeration down to ground level. Four to five feet of the tower will be placed into a hole in the ground and filled with concrete so it’s height will be decreased by the same amount however I needed enough wire to reach the fence to receive the pulses of electricity which keep the cattle inside and power these lights.

I have not put the tower up yet. I have a couple of projects that need fairly deep holes dug and I plan to dig them all at one time with a rented hole digger. I’ve dug enough holes in my life so I have earned a little luxury like a rented hole digger.

A warning to pilots and crop-sprayers; if you see a flashing light at our place it does not mean you are clear to land. It just means the fence is working.

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