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Thread: Portable Outdoor Light Tower

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Imabass's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
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    Portable Outdoor Light Tower

    I have searched on here and I did not find a homemade light tower.

    Youtube video will be posted this weekend when I have the daylight to provide a tutorial. I also have a few wiring items to finalize and add a battery tray for holding the battery but I tested it out last night and it worked pretty well.

    I work all day then get off work and work at night at home. Always something to do outdoors and looking for a way to extend my workable hours at home.

    My plan was to build an outdoor work light like the trailer mounted lights at construction workers have. Those are quite pricy and I decided to take on my very own version.

    I scored a telescoping aluminum antenna mast on craigslist. This extends to 40’ and is the key piece to my work light. Instead of building a trailer mounted light I decided to go with a 3 point tractor hookup to keep the cost down. This limits the use of this light and but will still function quite nicely for around the farm. The mast has a hand winch and this will be upgraded to a spare 2,000# electric winch that I have from a previous project. My original plan was to use 2-7/8 pipe and 2-3/8 pipe that sleeve nicely to make the telescoping mast but the craigslist pole was worth the time savings on the fabrication front.

    The base of the pole is an old tractor wheel (34”). I had to replace the rusted out tractor wheels on my tractor and I kept the old wheel around for a future project. This was a nice use for the base. Inside the wheel I made a frame that is mounted to wheels that allows the mast to rotate inside the wheel to easily change the direction without re-positioning the tractor.

    The power unit is based on 12V system. I purchased several 12V work lights from HF and Northern Tool and used these to keep the cost down and to allow for a cheaper power supply unit. There are 2 options to power the unit, the first is connection to the tractor battery. I don’t care too much for this idea because it is unnecessary hours on the tractor. The main power unit that I am using is another tool that I have around the farm. This is a 6.5 HP side shaft engine that is hooked up to a GM alternator. I have used this for charging batteries in the field and was formerly used to power my electrolysis machine. This will provide plenty of power to power these lights. In order for it to work, it does require a 12V battery to energize the alternator coils. I have an extra marine battery that meets this demand.

    On top of the mast, I welded a grid from 1x1 and 1x1.5 tubing. I made this wide enough to accommodate 5 utility lights side by side and 4 rows tall. Currently only have 15 lights installed for testing. On top of the mast, I have welded a piece of 2x7/8 tubing that is sleeved with 2-3/8 tubing. I welded a set screw in the side to set the angle of the light head. Each light can independently be adjusted up/down left/right to achieve the desired light spread.

    The base is sufficient to hold the light tower in upright position for use while disconnected from the tractor. The mast has wire tie locations for use with guy wires that would be necessary if not hooked up to the tractor and used in the full upright position. So the light can be positioned and setup and disconnected to free up the tractor for other use.

    Total build cost is approximately $300. Pole cost $150. Lights cost $100. Pins & wire ~ $30. Other miscellaneous stuff $20. This does not include battery and 12v generator setup which would add about $250 to the build cost.

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  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Imabass For This Useful Post:

    BigDude (Jul 24, 2016), Jon (Mar 4, 2016), kbalch (Mar 5, 2016), PJs (Mar 8, 2016)

  3. #2
    Content Editor
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    Aug 2013
    Thanked 1,845 Times in 1,647 Posts
    Thanks Imabass! We've added your Portable Light Tower to our Lighting category, as well as to your builder page: Imabass' Homemade Tools. Your receipt:

    2000 Tool Plans

  4. #3
    Inspironator's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
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    Wow, that sucker is not your regular pole light, it is INDUSTRIAL!

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