Advice for outdoor lighting safety/durability

Old 02-28-24, 01:03 PM
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Advice for outdoor lighting safety/durability

I'm building a poultry coop that I want to put electric lights in to keep the hens "on the job" when the days are short. The coop's frame is made from wood. Unless I change my mind I'm going to butt the coop up against (and anchor it to) a wooden shed that's electrified and has a 115vac outlet ready and waiting. Instead of using individual bulbs I figure to use an LED rope light that I'll snake through coop's framework.

I've got no experience with rigging outdoor electrical contraptions like and I'm only guessing at how I should pass the power cord through the wall of the shed, and whether I need to take special precautions to protect whatever connections that will be outside of the shed and exposed to rain and whatnot.

One thing I thought to try was to cut the male end off of a reasonably heavy extension cord, find a rubber grommet that suits the diameter of the extension cord, and drill a hole sized to the grommet through the wall of the shed near where I'll put the coop. Install the grommet in the hole in the wall, pass the cut-off end of the extension cord through the grommet, then solder and tape the male end back on the extension cord. That way the part that's been mended will be inside the shed and protected from rain.

I don't want to burn down the coop or electrocute the hens (or me) so the biggest question is what to do with the outdoor electrical connection(s) (of which there should only be one). Since the frame is wooden, is it "safe enough" to fasten the connection to a bit of the wooden frame where there isn't anything metal? Maybe zip-tie it to the wood?

I only have one spot on the shed where I could locate this coop, and the wall on that side faces to the west, same direction as the prevailing winds here. And the walls of the individual pens are hardware cloth so it's inevitable that this connection is going to get wet. My concern is mostly about safety but I'm also thinking the moisture could promote corrosion on the plugs. So does this connection need some fashion of water proofing? And if so, how could that be done?

If this were your project, how would you do it?
Old 02-28-24, 03:24 PM
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Use low voltage LED tape or rope. Place the transformer in the shed where it's protected from the elements. Then you've only got low voltage DC out in the weather.

Rope lighting can yellow or turn foggy with sun exposure. You can mount some gutters upside down (open side facing down) and mount your lighting up inside the gutter. The gutter will protect the LED's from sunlight and rain. Or, just let the rope light yellow and plan on occasionally replacing it.
Old 02-29-24, 06:30 AM
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would likely just use a cable clamp and grommet on an outdoor rated extension cord cut off the female end then you could have a light timer in the shed where the extension cord plugs in and from there would run to coop secure with a cable clamp and other grommet if needed to a junction box and simple ceramic light fixture and low wattage led bulb out at the coop all connections would still be in a junction box or boxes if you needed more than 1 light and I would not use the rope lights.
Old 02-29-24, 08:00 AM
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How about using a landscape lighting set? That would be set up to be in the weather and it would be low voltage.
The transformer could be plugged into the shed and only the wiring would be outside with the lights. The connections would already be weatherproof as well. You could just screw the stakes of the lights to the wood inside the coop.
Old 03-04-24, 10:41 AM
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Good suggestions so far, I'll add another.

Be sure the receptacle in the shed is GFI protected. If it was installed or upgraded in the past 20-30 years, it probably already is. It's either a receptacle with a Test/Reset button, or possibly on the circuit breaker in the house with a 'Test' button. Test it to ensure it trips and properly resets.

This will help ensure any wetness doesn't cause a hazard, and the worst case is the power shuts off before any shock can happen.
Old 03-04-24, 04:17 PM
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How serious is "on the job" ?
Lighting for poultry is not only for safety but does figure into production.
From color of the lighting to on and off time.

I installed a poultry light for my sister but couldn't find it to link to.
Similar lighting
Old 03-05-24, 03:45 PM
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Thanks to all for your advice. It's nice to have so many options (although you could equate that to being given a length of rope long enough to hang myself with).

PJmax, I've already broached those questions with another forum that specializes in the particular birds I'm intending to raise. General consensus there is that, for these birds, only the length of the day you provide for them matters. The type lighting (color temp, etc) doesn't seem to.

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