Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Light Up The Yard!

This weekend we tackled a relatively small project, but it's one that was sorely needed.  When it gets dark up here, it gets really dark.  Our back porch opens out onto our side yard, and it is our main entrance.  When it's dark and we're letting the dog out, stoking the boiler, or going out for any other reason we had to use a flashlight.  We have other exterior lights already in place, but nothing mounted in our single most used area.  Brilliant, huh?

We're fortunate in that our back porch is unfinished, which made running the new electrical a whole lot easier.  Still, this wasn't going to be as simple as just running new wiring and installing the boxes and fixtures.  We also needed to clean up some home improvement sins of the past.  You know...things like pieced together extension cords used as permanent wiring and ground wires secured with drywall screws into wood.

Two extension cords, taped together...

...and permanently attached to the existing fixture.

Why?  We stopped asking that a long time ago.
In addition to these fine examples of home improvement know-how and craftsmanship, we also found that none of the outlet boxes had cable clamps.  We cleaned up all of the wiring, grounding, and clamping issues, and below is the finished installation.

New wiring tied into existing outlet, with proper clamping.
Wiring run to existing light fixture on rear of house,
with proper stapling and grounding.
Wire run from new light fixture, over and down to the new switch.
New switch, again with proper clamping and grounding.
The new dual halogen exterior fixture.
The end result of this?  See for yourself.  :)

Before.  Yes, this is an actual picture.
I even had the camera set for "Night Shot" to capture all available light.
After.  Same picture, but with the new light turned on.  
In just one evening of letting the dog out and stoking the boiler, this little project made a HUGE difference.

Talk to you all again soon!


  1. nice! Kinda scary that just a few feet from you when going out with a flashlight could be a bear or something. Now you will know for sure whats lurking. Good electrical work too! I know who to call if I have any more

  2. LOL. Yeah, that wasn't lost on me...walking out into the yard armed with nothing more than a Mag Light. ;)

    That first set of Time Life Home Improvement books we bought for our first house continues to pay dividends! :)


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