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Thread: Installing outside light

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Taylor's Avatar
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    Default Installing outside light

    Appreciate some guidance on installing a light outside. Had an exterior light with raceway on the siding, want to get rid of the raceway. If I replace with an exterior box, my understanding is I will need a box on the inside connected with a short piece of conduit. However that will require an ugly visible box high on the kitchen wall inside. Alternative is to cut a hole in the siding for a pancake box on the sheathing and run cable to that, but I'm nervous about flashing. Maybe I'm overthinking this, it's an old house so there is generous overhang from the (first floor) roof and this is just a foot or so below the roof. Still curious what SOP is, for outside lights high on walls without raceway on the siding.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Where is the power originating? If a continuous cable ran from somewhere inside through the wall to the mounted outside box, that woudl be ok. If a junction is needed in the kitchen, a box could be recessed in the wall, with only a flush blank cover visible. The cover can be painted or papered to match the wall.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Taylor's Avatar
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    Thanks. The line is coming from a junction box in the crawlspace. I had the impression that you had to run power to an exterior box from a junction box on the interior connected via a nipple. If not, it looks as though the cable connector can screw into the back of the exterior box. As long as I drill a hole wide enough to accomodate the connector and screws, that should work.

    In a situation like this, how bad would it be to screw a junction box on the interior side of the sheathing, with a short nipple out to the exterior box? The junction box would be buried in the wall once it is rocked, but it's not actually got a junction, it's just to hold the cable as it's brought into the exterior box. This strikes me as a better way of doing things, smaller hole and easier to flash, even if technically a code violation (?).

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default box

    How is a box on the siding with a Romex cable coming into the back of it, any different than one on an interior wall? I have never seen ANYONE put a box on an interior wall with a stub out to an exterior box.

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  6. #6
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    The junction box would be buried in the wall once it is rocked, but it's not actually got a junction, it's just to hold the cable as it's brought into the exterior box. This strikes me as a better way of doing things, smaller hole and easier to flash, even if technically a code violation (?).
    If you have no splice in the box, then I'm not sure it's a violation. However, I'm assuming that you don't have drywall up, so just cut a hole in the exterior and mount the box through the wall and bring the wire up the wall and enter the box w/ an appropriate cable connector.

    I like to run 14/3 to the light so I can have (maybe in the futuure) additional lights to come on w/ the motion detector.

    Jason

  7. #7
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    My old dryer vent (3 inch, recently replaced with a 4" through the window) is located near by basement back door. This might be a good place to put an outside light since I'll already have the hole.

    What box do I buy and can I just put it in the hole and patch with cement?

    Any comments?

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Taylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    How is a box on the siding with a Romex cable coming into the back of it, any different than one on an interior wall? I have never seen ANYONE put a box on an interior wall with a stub out to an exterior box.
    With the cable connector on the exterior box, if you want to take off the box for any reason e.g. to repair siding, you have to pull cable out of the wall. So there must be slack in the cable. If the wall is filled with foam insulation (which is the plan here), you get a real mess in the insulation moving that cable around. Since I'll be spraying the insulation from the outside, then re-siding, this is a real issue for me.

    The alternative suggestion is to use a box in the wall to lock down the cable, then run conductors from that to the exterior box.

  9. #9
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    My old dryer vent (3 inch, recently replaced with a 4" through the window) is located near by basement back door. This might be a good place to put an outside light since I'll already have the hole.

    What box do I buy and can I just put it in the hole and patch with cement?

    Any comments?
    A pancake box is what I use for surface mounted outside lights
    In some cases I have used a full box on the inside - facing out

    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    With the cable connector on the exterior box, if you want to take off the box for any reason e.g. to repair siding, you have to pull cable out of the wall. So there must be slack in the cable.
    Look at Scuba Dave's post. Use a pancake. The cable clamps are inside the box, so if you need to remove the box, just loosen these clamps and pull the box off the wall. You could also use a gem box, if you need more depth - has clamps inside the box, too.

  11. #11
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I prefer to use armored cable, so I am tempted to use the slack approach if I need to get the (now cemented) box out of the wall.

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