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Old 05-03-2012, 01:21 AM   #1
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Hello everybody! First things first..I don't know much about wiring besides there being a positive, negative and a ground.

I am in the process of gathering information about installing two lights on the soffit of the corners of my house. There is an outside light by the sliding glass door that I was going to tap into for power, since the switch for it is in the kitchen.

My question is will this be possible if I was to run two twin head flood lights off of the same switch. ( http://www.lampsplus.com/products/br...ht__h9572.html )


What would be the easiest way to run the wiring for this? Through the soffit or just through the attic? The problem with the attic is there is vaulted ceilings in a few rooms of my house so it is pretty much impossible to walk in the attic to the far side of my house...actually I don't even think it is possible with the amount of insulation and how the ceilings are.

How would I go about mounting the light to the soffit? A junction box? Will I have to run conduit?

Here is a picture of what I am trying to do. Excuse my art skills in paint.


Thank you!
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Last edited by tazman7; 05-03-2012 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:15 AM   #2
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


I say old boy! if you try to run wires thru the soffitts, you probably will encounter studs (2x4, etc.) extending from the house frame. These studs are what the soffitt panels are fastened to. You would probably have to drill thru each to run your wire. That means removing the soffitt panels to access the studs.
Lots of hard work there.
If you go thru the attic, a primo choice except where you encounter the cathedral ceiling, you'll have to fish the wire through between the studs/rafters/joists, and probably encounter places where the run between joists is blocked.
I just did some prelim research via Google on wireless lighting systems. These are actually wireless switches to remotely operate fixtures. You could wire the floods into nearby (hopefully) unswitched circuits in the attic, and use remote receivers at each fixture actuated by the radio freq. switch.
Check out Heath/Zenith, Lutron, GE and others on the web. Maybe you can do this without tearing up panels and ceilings.
I do hope you've had training in electrical work. You could kill yourself or burn the place down.
Lotsa Luck.

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Old 05-03-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tazman7 View Post
Hello everybody! First things first..I don't know much about wiring besides there being a positive, negative and a ground.
In an AC electric system there is no positive / negative. It is refered to as hot (black or any other color except white and green) and neutral (always white) with the ground being either green or bare. Positive / negative is used for DC electric.

Most advice given in post #2 is good. As long as you do not exceed the load on the circuit you should be able add the lights. Make sure you use the proper size wire for the circuit and install it per codes.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:22 AM   #4
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Excellent! I will look up wireless systems. I never thought they had them for flood type lights.

Red, black, green
positive, negative, ground
hot, neutral, ground

ehhh.... thanks for clarifying though.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:16 AM   #5
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


errr no
DC power: black - red +
AC power black, red, blue = hot, white =neutral green= ground
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


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errr no
DC power: black - red +
AC power black, red, blue = hot, white =neutral green= ground
Cool.

Can you explain to me how I should do this? I understand the colors.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


I am thinking of running UF (waterproof gray) Romex type cable, stapling it to the undersides of the eaves and gables, following the path you have drawn in orange. It would be tied into the existing light fixture to get power. Match the colors; connect all the black wires together. Connect all the white wires* together. Connect all the bare and green wires together.

With a 3 conductor cable you could have individual motion detectors at each fixture that will turn on all of the lights at once. After connecting all the black wires together as above, you wil need to open up the light fixtures to attach the red wire(s) of the cables you strung to the lamp socket center contacts where most likely there will be more black wires attached that should stay. (Make one connection per fixture)

* (added later) It is possible that in the light fixture box you find one white wire (going to a switch) attached to a cluster of black wires. That white wire should stay where it is.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-07-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Wow...I would never think to suggest that type of installation.

It appears that there is a basement. I would fish up the walls and install the lights on the walls vs exposed UF on a new house.

If they NEED to be on the soffet, hire a siding company to remove the soffet material and reinstall it after you do your work. You could just remove the area that has no attic, then jump into the attic where you have access.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Yes there is an unfinished basement but I do not understand how I would go about getting the switch into the kitchen without having to put in another switch.

I guess I was thinking of running them in a series because isnt that how every series of lights is done? What would be the downfall of putting it in the soffit? Nothing will be exposed then
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:12 PM   #10
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tazman7 View Post
Hello everybody! First things first..I don't know much about wiring besides there being a positive, negative and a ground.

I am in the process of gathering information about installing two lights on the soffit of the corners of my house. There is an outside light by the sliding glass door that I was going to tap into for power, since the switch for it is in the kitchen.

My question is will this be possible if I was to run two twin head flood lights off of the same switch. ( http://www.lampsplus.com/products/br...ht__h9572.html )


What would be the easiest way to run the wiring for this? Through the soffit or just through the attic? The problem with the attic is there is vaulted ceilings in a few rooms of my house so it is pretty much impossible to walk in the attic to the far side of my house...actually I don't even think it is possible with the amount of insulation and how the ceilings are.

How would I go about mounting the light to the soffit? A junction box? Will I have to run conduit?

Here is a picture of what I am trying to do. Excuse my art skills in paint.


Thank you!
Look up X10.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tazman7 View Post
Yes there is an unfinished basement but I do not understand how I would go about getting the switch into the kitchen without having to put in another switch.

I guess I was thinking of running them in a series because isnt that how every series of lights is done? What would be the downfall of putting it in the soffit? Nothing will be exposed then
I wasn't addressing your OP, I was referring to the suggestion of UF surface mounted under the soffet.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #12
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Yeah, I thought about that after mentioning wireless switches. Just use exterior grade wiring and staple to the inside edge of the eaves.
And oh, yes, you will need terminal boxes, preferably weatherproof. Although the builder of my house didn't concern himself with that. (After all, it's out of the weather under the eaves, right?)
I'm still concerned about the lack of expertise. I wired up a little device years ago and got the black and white backwards. The guy who came to fix an unrelated problem much later got one H... of a jolt, and expressed some interesting thoughts. I kept my mouth shut on that one.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:23 PM   #13
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Lets really get the terms right, there is:

an ungrounded conductor (hot or line ) red, black commonly or any color other than white, grey or green

A grounded conductor (neutral) white or grey

A grounding conductor (ground) green or bare
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #14
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


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Originally Posted by tazman7 View Post
Yes there is an unfinished basement but I do not understand how I would go about getting the switch into the kitchen without having to put in another switch.

I guess I was thinking of running them in a series because isnt that how every series of lights is done? What would be the downfall of putting it in the soffit? Nothing will be exposed then
very rarely is anything run in series in an AC circuit in houses. the lights go in parallel of each other or else your going to have super dim lights lol.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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Installing yard lights on corners of house.


Any other answers to this question??

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