More exterior lighting

16 months ago I sorted out the exterior lighting at the back of the house, and I intended on doing the same to the front soon after. This weekend, I finally got around to it. I started at 8am on Saturday, worked until dark, restarted at 10am today, and finished at around 3pm. It was cold, and it rained – a lot. Why didn’t I do this in the summer?!

This job was a little more complicated than the back, mainly because the house didn’t have any outside lights at the front when I started. Well, it had a 500W flood-lamp that some oik had mounted above the garage door in a rather ropey fashion.

I know: what a fugly house. Anyway. There’s a light in the porch, which was once upon a time outside, but has long ago been converted into dry space. It was a rubbish light, so I started by doing away with that and examining the wiring situation so I could evaluate my options.

I really wanted to achieve the following:

1) A better lamp in the porch (easy)

2) Outside lanterns like the back garden (moderate)

3) Separate switches for those two circuits (hard)

A root around in the porch ceiling space quickly revealed the ground floor lighting ring main and the to-switch loop cable. However, there was no chance of threading another control cable through the ceiling space to the back of those light switches. So I went across the ceiling, and through the wall instead.

It’s not pretty, but I’m sure we’ll find something to cover it all up at some stage. ;)

So that’s a spur coming from the lighting circuit down from the ceiling into the junction box. The control loop goes from the junction box through the wall to the back of those switches (good fun with a giant drill bit!), and then the switched power cable runs from the bottom of the junction box and through the porch wall to the outside wall.

The inside switches now look like this (note, we haven’t decorated the hall yet – there’s still a bare plaster ceiling etc – so the mismatch around the switch panel will get sorted at a later date).

Nice bright porch light – just 15W and considerably brighter than its predecessor.

That’s about as far as I got on Saturday. Today I set about getting the lanterns up and running those horrible cables, plus I removed that nasty flood lamp.

I managed to hide the cables on the garage lights under the roof flashing, but the ones on the porch are sadly far more obvious – as is that junction box under the left porch window. In the spring we will try to plant some shrubbery to hide them!

As night fell, cold, wet and shivering, I was able to admire the results of my toil.

So now night-time trips to the car and the bins are much easier! It’s not quite enough to work on cars though – I’ll have to get flood lamps on stands for that, but I’ve always wanted to own some of those anyway.

I appear to have come down with a cold – no doubt aggravated by today’s exposure to winter. Still, I’m especially pleased with the results. :)

3 comments so far

  1. Brenden on November 15th, 2010 00:34

    Well done Neil.
    They look really good.

  2. Phil Taylor on November 15th, 2010 15:50

    Nice job, though I’m curious as to how bright the new porch light is.
    Am I right in saying that the “some oik” you referred to is you about 15 years ago?

  3. Neil Mukerji on November 15th, 2010 15:56

    It’s 15W of power-saver bright – about 75W of old fashioned lighting. And yes, you’re right. ;)

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