Outdoor string lighting - picking source of power

Old 03-25-23, 07:05 AM
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Outdoor string lighting - picking source of power

Installing this string light set from costco: https://www.costco.com/feit-electric...100405061.html

24 lights, 24 total watts. 48' of total string. Shown in red below.

Trying to decide best source of power (see pictures below)

1) Existing outdoor light (blue circle): Switch just inside door. Could I replace light with one that has a receptacle built in, and then plug the string lights directly into that? Or I can just cut the plug off the string light and wire directly into the junction box behind the light. Not sure how waterproof that will be long term. Will require both lights to be operated together.

2) Run a wire to my pool panel (green arrow/circle): Have extra relays on my pool panel and can then control the lights from my phone (along with my landscape lights which also go into the pool panel). Is there an outdoor rated extension cord I could just run above the door, down the fence and wire into the panel? Want to avoid having to install a new receptacle above the door and run a conduit around door to panel.

suggestions welcome


Last edited by petesamprs; 03-25-23 at 07:43 AM.
Old 03-25-23, 04:22 PM
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You could mount a surface box with receptacle above the light and fish from that box to the new box thru the wall.

You could also install a receptacle off the pool control box but you'd have the same issue with getting the wiring up to the lights.
Old 03-25-23, 04:48 PM
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I would lean towards #2. While extension cords are allowed only for "temporary use", I'd consider the lights to be similarly rated. So a black or tan 16ga outdoor extension cord would be perfect and blend in just fine.

Run it down to your pool panel where you'll install a new receptacle (smart receptacle or standard). It will need to be GFI protected (which your pool panel may already be) and will need an in-use weatherproof cover.

If you ever decide to remove them, I agree, having a receptacle over the door might be odd.
Old 03-26-23, 05:33 AM
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PJ - good point about adding receptacle above light. But will still have the issue of the door light and string lights having to be operated together.

Zorfdt - So my pool panel already has a GFI receptacle attached to the side of it - I could just plug into that, but I need to check if it is connected to a relay or has constant power

Old 03-26-23, 05:55 AM
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door light and string light operated together
could be avoided by using a smart plug and a smart bulb. Switch left ON for continuous power to smart devices.

GFI may still be an issue.
Old 03-26-23, 06:38 AM
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What are the items above the light in blue, speakers?

Either way you want seperate power, having the string lights and porch lights on at same time will get old very quick.

What I did for our string lights was to get power from upstairs room, it had knee wall so very easy, installed a remote control switch then fished the power out to a box under the eve, installed a outdoor weatherproof receptacle with cover and plugged them in.
Old 03-26-23, 07:16 AM
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I've got 3 doors with exterior lights, I did a string-light setup on one of them.
I simply got a Edison-bulb to plug adapter, replaced the glass globe with a similar sized mayonnaise jar with a drain hole in the bottom and an x-slit int the side for the plug to run into.

This particular light fixture only really needed to light up a small 10 x 20 side patio, and the string lights loop around all 4 sides of the area, so they provide an equivalent amount of light to a regular bulb.

If you're looking for 'high tech' solution, there are both wifi-enabled light bulbs & wifi-enabled plugs- so you COULD go with a wifi bulb and a wifi outlet.

Finally, there are now lots of exterior light fixtures that add GFCI, outlets, dusk/dawn, motion sensors, and WiFi.

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