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Standard Height--Exterior Light Fixtures & Receptacles

Posted by mark_g (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 12, 09 at 17:52

What is the standard height for a wall-mounted exterior light fixture and receptacle -- either measured off the deck surface or doorway rough opening? Our exterior doors have transoms and are 96" tall.

Thanks for the reality check. --Mark


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Standard Height--Exterior Light Fixtures & Receptacles

We have the exact same set-up and the boxes were installed without my input and level with bottom pane of transom (they are going to change when my lights arrive). I bet a well-known manufacturer would have numbers on their site... Hudson Valley, etc. You could also cut out size of your light, tack up and see what looks right from afar. Good luck!


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RE: Standard Height--Exterior Light Fixtures & Receptacles

There actually is no "standard eight."

The height is set based on the appearance you want, including lamp fixture size and height.

If you place the outlet to high the AHJ may say it does not satisfy requirements for outdoor receptacles.


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RE: Standard Height--Exterior Light Fixtures & Receptacles

I chose to line the top of the exterior fixture up with the top of the door trim. My exterior lights are Cape Cod Onion lights. So, there is a top shepherd's hook sort of thing. I don't have transoms, however. I would copy an exterior elevation into Paint or some other program and play around with what looks good to you.


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RE: Standard Height--Exterior Light Fixtures & Receptacles

Exterior light fixture outlet heights are a matter of preference - to a point. Generally, the height is determined by the type of light and its relation to the door frame. In other words, position the outlet to place the topmost part of the light no higher than the door trim. The transom adds another variable and the best I can advise is to look at catalogs with finished exteriors showing exterior doors with transoms to determine if you want the light at the top of the door or even with the transom.

As for exterior GFCI receptacles, their position is determined by exposure to weather, snow, plants, etc. A covered porch or raised deck can usually have a receptacle at 18" above finished deck without any problem. Other locations are dictated by where a masonry foundation ends (usually at least 18" above finished grade). 6" above the foundation would be a good height.


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RE: Standard Height--Exterior Light Fixtures & Receptacles

Bumping this because this came up today. I thought the lights on our outside deck looked low. They were lined up with the top light on our exterior french doors. We have 7 foot doors with an 18" transom, so I had them move them up with the outlet box lined up with the mull between the door and transom. Now I am wondering if this is the right decision! Any thoughts?


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