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Input for installing accent lighting outside along the ceiling of front porch.

Input for installing accent lighting outside along the ceiling of front porch.


  #1  
Old 10-01-18, 05:08 AM
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Input for installing accent lighting outside along the ceiling of front porch.

Hello.

I was wondering if anyone here could give me some input on installing (decorative/holiday) lights on the underside of my porch. I am providing a link to a photo so that you can get an idea as to what I'm trying to do. I want to install inconspicuous spotlights on the underside of my porch just about 8" behind the gutters to highlight the urns and flower boxes that wrap around the sides of our porch. Basically what I am trying to do is create some fun lighting to highlight holiday decorations that I put in my urns and flower boxes during the holiday season from October through February. In past years I ran one of those bright orange electrical extension cords and tacked it up along the siding and ceiling of the porch but I want to do a more clean professional look for obvious reasons.

I can get into the ceiling and behind the siding to hide a romex wire to make this all look a lot cleaner. But I have a few questions. This is a bit of a tedious project so I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. Any input would be greatly appreciated:

1) As I mentioned earlier, I can get a romex into the ceiling and behind the siding. But since I want these lights on a timer and will need to adjust the times of operation as the days get shorter (and then longer after the winter solstice) what would be the best way to connect all of this to a power source where I can adjust the time it all turns on? There is an outlet I installed that is on the outside that you can't see because the railing is blocking it. But I thought of somehow running the wires to connect to this power source but somehow pulling the (romex) wire out of the siding near the outlet and somehow converting the romex from there to a plugin type connection to connect to the outdoor outlet. But would this be grotesquely against code? I have no idea how to make this work.

2) There are three flower boxes and one urn on each side. I plan to connect the first spotlight over the urn and then run an exterior type conduit (which I'll paint white to blend in with the ceiling of the porch) to "daisy-chain" a spotlight over each of the following three flower boxes. Do I have to install a surface-mount junction box at each point where a spotlight will be positioned? To try and keep this looking as clean and streamlined as possible I was wondering if I could run the surface mounted conduit but then recess the the junction box in some way so that they don't stick out like sore thumbs along the ceiling board of the porch.

So four lights will be daisy-chained on one side and connected to an outlet on one side (this is a duplex, by the way) and another separate connection of four lights daisy-chained will be connected to another power source on the other side. I plan to use some type of dimmable LED spotlight bulbs that use 5-6w of energy. So each side should be using no more than approximately 24w of power.

Here is the URL to a photo I took. I can't seem to attach it as it's too big of a file

Hope to get some input.

Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-01-18, 05:47 AM
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Someone on this site posted about some small LED puck lights that fit into round elec boxes that I want to install in my eves around the house.

I believe they we low voltage lamps so installation would be simple and a timer or even a photo cell (which I would use) could be added!
 
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Old 10-01-18, 05:52 AM
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Ah, yes. Puck lights sound like they would be very minimal. I'll start looking to see if I can find some that are more of a spotlight instead of creating a flood light effect. Thank you!
 
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Old 10-10-18, 05:30 PM
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Hello again.

I am about to embark on my project and I'm wondering if I could outline what I'm about to do and if it sounds bad in any way, perhaps one of you with more knowledge can let me know? Here goes.

So although the puck light recommendation was a great idea I run into the problem of wanting to temporarily install fun decorative lights in the same area for the holidays. So I was actually thinking that maybe installing one of these over each flower box along the eave using a surface mount pvc junction box such as this one:

PVC weatherproof junction box

Then I thought I would use a basic outdoor rated lampholder socket to screw in some low wattage LED spotlight bulbs. So far I found these in white which I think will work. Although they kind hang down a bit too long. But the reason why I feel like I should go with this option is because I want to then use one of these to connect some fun holiday lights which can only connect into an electrical socket. So for example, when it's Halloween I would remove the basic low wattage LED bulb and screw into place a light socket adapter to plug in my funky holiday lights.

Light socket to outlet adapter

And here are the kinds of lights I want to shine down during the holidays that I would plug into the socket adapters.

Holiday project lights for outdoor use

As far as weatherproof lampholders go this looks like my only option which is a bit longer than I would like.

Outdoor rated lamp holder in white

I would have liked very much to do a more streamlined look with puck lights but then I am not sure how I would temporarily disable them and plug holiday lights without some major changes to the electrical work. Does anyone have any suggestions?

My other question is, can I daisy-chain four lights on one side of the duplex to a source of power with a 12 or 14g romex wire that will run along a surface mounted pvc outdoor rated conduit for protection? Then of course I will run the other four on the other side in a similar manner to their power supply.

Lastly, instead of connecting these to a standard on/off switch I was thinking of using a photo cell sensor device but perhaps something that also provides a timer option and an off switch. Is there anything like this that exists or am I asking for too much?

Just to be clear, this will not be 12V since I have standard electrical holiday lights that I will be connecting at certain times o the year.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 
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Old 10-11-18, 05:55 PM
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Your plan is OK with a couple of modification:

If you want to use the screw in outlet adapters then I HIGHLY recommend installing a GFCI to protect that circuit. This can either be a device located before the wiring goes out to the porch, or use a breaker. The issue is if you do not have it GFCI protected you will have an outlet outside with no GFCI protection.
 
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Old 10-15-18, 12:35 AM
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Thank you for your input, Toyln. Much appreciated!
 
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Old 10-15-18, 03:01 AM
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NM cable is not for use with a code cap like an extension cord.
 
 

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