A few questions about lighting our covered portch


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Old 04-26-20, 09:42 AM
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A few questions about lighting our covered portch

My wife wants to light up the area under our covered porch.- accent lighting? A few questions:

It's about 27' long, the left area in front of dining room is something like 3' deep other than the bay window. The door area on the right is 8" deep. there was a single light over the front door that we removed and switched from right inside the front door. I'm envisioning that on/off switch being replaced with a timer so these lights are on till 11PM or so

1) We didn't know how many lights / what brightness / location to avoid bright spots / shadows. I jury rig hung some of the newer LED low profile lights (60w, 5 shades of white) from Home Depot about 1' from the front of the overhang. Surprisingly, it came out pretty good for shadows / even lighting? Do you have better idea than this? How would you have done it when it was the big cans (and old work / ceiling already in place)?

2) I put a dimmer on the system so we could play with the brightness. It needed to be turned down to get the lighting level my wife was looking for. Any idea how you would equate what 'wattage' / lumen lamps we should get to equal that brightness? Or just leave the dimmer in the loop?

3) Me personally, I think it looks a bit goofy - a dark house (maybe light from a window or 2) and the porch lit up. She likes it so... happy wife / happy life : ) but your thoughts? She doesn't want to light up the whole house. I had put 12v lights along the walk a few years ago and I think that's functional / looks good.

4) For the lights on the walk, I have a power outlet timer that powers the power pack starting at 2PM. The power pack has a light sensor that turns on the lights on the walk at dusk. Then the power outllet timer turns them off at 11PM how would you set things up so the porch lighting comes on at dusk and turns off at a set time?.... and maybe be able to override / turn the lights on at another time from that power switch on the inside of the front of the doors? So optimally, I'm looking for a dimmer, timer and on/off switch all in a 1 gang space. Does that exist?
 
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Old 04-26-20, 03:06 PM
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I've done many porches like yours and have used the old 6" Halo retrofit cans.
The LED lights you've chosen should be good for that application.

I can't tell how many you've used but it looks like you'll need at least three for a balanced installation.
I highly recommend putting them on a an electronic dimmer.
 
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Old 04-26-20, 07:47 PM
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thanks. I have 4 of them, about 6' apart. OK, dimmer in the circuit. I guess that can be tucked away somewhere - it won't be used much once the level is set and don't want to bump it anyway. So then, a timer / on-off switch where the on-off switch is now. would you put in some sort of light sensor also? So you set the timer for 2PM -11PM and the lights don't come on till it gets dark? and still turn off at same time through the year? Or are there high tech / (wifi enabled?) timers now that take into account sunset time for the start time!?
 
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Old 04-26-20, 08:04 PM
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I'd use a timer. The one I use for jobs like this is the Intermatic ST-01.
Easy to wire and install. Doesn't need a neutral. Has a battery that last 3-4 years.
A little tricky to program but only needs to be done once.
The programming follows daylight savings and sunset/sunrise.
Intermatic ST-01
 
 

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