Recessed porch lighting - X-post

2ajsmamaMay 13, 2010

We're redoing our porch ceiling (vinyl beadboard was run the length of the porch in 12ft sections just nailed to joist 16" OC so it sags). We're putting plywood up on the joists (hate to lower it 1/2" but carpenter says it's faster, easier, cheaper than blocking) and then reinstalling the vinyl cut to run front to back instead of side to side. While we're at it, I wanted to add recessed lighting. I got a contractor 6-pack, rated for damp locations. We have 48ft to cover, but the middle 8 ft is where the stairs/door/coach lights are, so I'm thinking 3 recessed lights to the left and 3 to the right, over the seating areas, none in the middle? The joists are 16" on center, so should be 36 of them though they may not be centered on the front door, but they should fall roughly 6ft 8in apart, and they are 6" cans. So about 6-7ft apart, depending on where the joists are (centered say at 7'1", 13'7", 20'3" from garage, then about a 6'10" gap, then start again on other side of the front door).

Maybe not the best pic, but shows the whole porch

I was thinking since it's 6ft 3in to the inside edge of the columns, we should put the lights about 3ft from the wall so centered (give or take 1.5") b/t the columns and the house? Or should we move them out toward the front edge a little more? How much? And finally, separate switch or can we tie them into the coach lights (easier)? Dh thinks there might be times when we'd want to turn on the coach light only, but I don't know if it's worth the hassle of fishing wire through insulation and rewiring a switch (I'd steal the one for the garage coach lights since we never turn on the garage lights from the front door, I want to put a switch in the mudroom for the garage lights, but it would be easier not to have to get the new lights run to the inside switch, just tie them into one of the exterior lights).

I have 12/2 Romex (and also 14/2 somewhere if I can find where DH put it). Says for interior use. That's what electrician put in our (full-soffited, uninsulated) garage, so would that be OK to use in the porch ceiling?

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Actually, someone on Home Dec brought this up and I rethought it. If we're putting up plywood backing anyway, why can't we just reinstall the vinyl running the same way it is now so no cutting no waste? All the neighbors (smaller porches) have it running the short way, but is there really a "right" way and a "wrong" way to run the grooves as long as it's supported and not wavy?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 2:20PM
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How funny. I could have written this. Same screw up except my vinyl bead runs as you described but on 24 inch centers over 1000 sq ft of a full wrap around porch. Unfortunately I have a rule that nothing gets redone before I complete some yet executed phases like the screen porch, finished basement, etc etc. so I am stuck looking at it for now and explaining it to everyone who comes to see the house.

You will want to rehang the short way. By going the long way you can't allow for the vinyl thermal expansion and contraction which contributes to your (& my!) sag. It gets very hot between you dark shingles and that porch ceiling. You may want to consider nailing up a radiant barrier before the plywood goes up and adding some venting. Or consider since you're nailing up plywood just get the painted beadboard plywood and be done with the vinyl. You can skip the venting in that case.

As to the recessed lights, I have them as well (wired with romex which will be fine as it is protected under the roof) I centered mine between my posts which are about 8 feet apart. The result is nice "pools of light" at night. I would suggest you include the one in the center and then use lower wattage bulbs in the coach light as accents. That's what I did.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 9:40PM
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Thanks klabio - OMG I can't imagine a full wrap porch done like this. Would have helped if builder had actually nailed in flanges every 16" but he just snapped them together and face-nailed every 10-12ft!

We have to see if we can get more, not sure how short we'll be turning it 90 degrees. Have gable vent on end. Don't want to have to paint (well, have to paint door trim) that's why everything is vinyl so no painted V-groove. I looked at Homer's yesterday and nothing outdoor rated and rigid.

DH and I stood out there tonight and decided 5 cans, centered b/t columns (app. 9.5 ft) incl one in front of door, separate from coach lights, and on dimmer. Just trimmed out skirt and it looks better (finished!) already.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 10:05PM
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