Light Up Logs

Amanda C, Hometalk Team
by Amanda C, Hometalk Team
9 Materials
1 Day
If you have a dark walkway to your front door (or even a dark porch), these will be perfect for you! These light up logs are outdoor ready and can illuminate any path to help keep you from stumbling! They can add a nice rustic touch indoors as well... All you have to do is hollow out a log with a Speedbor bit and chisel and then place the slit log on top of some LED lights!
SUPPLIES: -Logs (cut to about 15" or so... I used 3) Getting this in the city was certainly a hunt and I spent more than I would wish on others, but almost anywhere else you can get them for next to nothing! -Circle Saw / Chain Saw -Mallet -Sander -Drill (a strong one) -PolyUrethane or an alternate form of outdoor sealer for the wood -Chisel -Outdoor Battery Powered Lights (Make sure they are nice and bright!) -Speedbor Spade Bit (1")
STEP 1: Mark where you're going to drill Draw a circle around the top of your log about an inch in as a guide.

STEP 2: Drill holes int your log Take your spade bit and drill holes around the entire circumference of the circle you drew. I first tried doing this with a regular spade bit (which is pictured), but then switched to the speedy spiral one that is pictured in the supplies.
STEP 3: Chip away the remaining chunks Once you have drilled enough circles around, you can take your chisel and mallet and chip out remaining chunks between the holes out of the way. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until you have reached the depth you need. Go as far into the wood as possible. *I strongly suggest the spiral bit considering the holes go much deeper and you can get through the wood much faster!! This will take time and can test your patience, but at the same time is somehow therapeutic. I must say I have a new found respect for people who hand carve wood. Also be sure to use protective wear such as gloves and goggles just in case!
STEP 4: Saw slits into the wood Take your circle saw (or a chain saw) and saw the slits so that they are more open and there is a gap from the outside all the way in. This is needed so that the light will shine through. *Once I took these things outside I realized I DEFINITELY should have made the slits larger to get more light gleaming through. Don't be afraid to make them a good 1/2"-3/4" thick.
STEP 5: Sand the wood Sand the top and the sides a bit so it is nice and smooth.
STEP 6: Seal the wood Seal the wood with an outdoor capable sealer such as a polyurethane.
STEP 7: Add your lights Once the sealer has dried, place the log over the lights and place them where you wish. I first tried one out inside and thought it did make a cute indoor light as well.
Clearly I need to cut some larger slits in these, but they give a nice warm glow and do help to illuminate the stairs. I was also disappointed with how bright the lights I bought were. I got them online and they said they were 3" in circumference but they were not even a full inch, so that was one problem, and they weren't as bright as indicated either. Just keep this in mind while shopping for the lights to go beneath the logs.
These do add a nice touch in the daylight too, but they are certainly more useful at night ;)
If you want something with just a bit of a glow you can keep the slits small like these, but honestly I can't wait to make them larger and let the light really shine. A cute little touch to any dark doorway!
I took these to my friend's house as they have a much more epic entryway and their mums paired quite nicely I must say!

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Frequently asked questions
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  • Ray Bakes Ray Bakes on Sep 22, 2017

    What if...We drilled a larger hole in the top center, and fit a garden light in the top?? That way during the day, the sun will hit the top and during the evening the light will shine through the sides???

  • Lillian Lillian on Dec 01, 2017

    How much of the center did you have to take out. These are awesome

  • Cathy Cathy on Oct 27, 2018

    Really cool idea! I’m not sure, you drilled all the holes and where ever there is a hole you cut a slit through to the hole?

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