Outdoor lighting

Old 02-26-04, 11:28 AM
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3way switches

Thanks guys .. It's great to have the ability to get input from those who know ( the Sege's of the diy boards). I have one other project: This being outside lighting. I have an stucco home with 4/12 pitch roof and coverd soffit. I want to put lights (coach type, surface mounted) in four locations on the front of the house. My problem is how to get wire through the stucco (old type) up through the outside wall and into the attic ... I'm 6'4" at 297# not able to get out into that tiny area near where the top plate and rafters meet, the wire would have to enter the outside wall about 24" down from the soffit. I had thought of, as an alternative putting these 4 lights on a low voltage line and merely running a low voltage line in behind the J-channel on the soffit and using 12volt 50amp bulbs .. If so what kind of transformer would pull the 4 bulbs .. would a landscaping light transformer type work or is this low voltagr idea feasable??? Again thanks Jess

Last edited by ccsm; 02-26-04 at 12:05 PM.
Old 02-27-04, 04:39 PM
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I wasn't even aware that there were 12 volt, 50 amp bulbs! If so, two comments.
Amps is amps! Look at the cable on your car battery. Whether it's 12v or 120v, you're still going to have to run #6 wire or better for a 50 amp circuit, which will be infinitely harder than wiring conventional fixtures.
As far as sizing a transformer....they are rated in VA (volts x amps) or KVA (Kilo-volts x amps). A 12v, 50 amp circuit would be
12 x 50= 600VA or .6KVA. Normally you would oversize the transformer slightly if the load was going to be continuous.

If it was a typo (ie-12v, 5 amp) then that's 60 VA (but not much light).
Old 02-27-04, 10:46 PM
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CCSM probably means 12v @ 50 watt lamps which would only be about 4.2 amps per lamp. Four lamps = 200watts therefore upsize the transformer to around 250watts. Fairly common size for landscape lighting.
If you can get into the main part of the attic, you still may have a chance of getting a romex wire into the wall. Ever heard of a d'versi-bit? They are long flexible drill bits. Here is a pixture of one... http://www.daleelectric.com/pdf/page133.pdf ) They come in various lengths and also have extensions. Available at the orange box, or most electrical supply centers.
Cut your hole in the outside wall for the box, and insert the bit in there. The only tricky part is to make sure the bit is centered under the top plate before drilling. You have to do this by feel. Drill through the top plate, leave the bit up through the hole. Since you can't crawl out to the eave, go into the attic with some string and a pole. Tie a slip noose on the end of the string, and use the pole to reach out to the eave and drop the noose over the protruding bit. Pull the string to tighten the noose, and have a helper ready below to pull the bit back down through the hole. Then use the string to pull the wire in. Just be careful with the long bit and don't let it go on out through the roof, or side wall!

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