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Outside soffit wafer lights

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So I’m looking at a project where the customer needs lighting around her house. It’s very dark outside and the neighborhood doesn’t have many pole lights outside. I’m thinking about using some 4” wafers in her soffit.

Definitely don’t want to over power everything and make it look like Fort Knox. Probably looking for a good medium between landscape lights and flood lights. Something that didn’t overpower but lights the perimeter over the house nice and softly.

Never used wafer outside, so I want to make sure its not overkill… Whatcha guys think?
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Do it. I have , it is terrific. Also put in a GE smarty pants dimming z wave switch and your customer can control the lights while she is away from home using her smarty pants phone. And while at home she can control the same lights using her smarty pants Alexa.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do it, but put them on a dimmer. That way she can do Fort Knox if she wants, but can also dial it back.

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This is why I’m thinking 4” instead of 6”. A dimmer is not a bad option, but since it’s outside lights, I was thinking more of a time clock scenario.

Also, how do you space lights on soffits? Every picture I’ve seen that another contractor has posted, the lights are usually placed between windows and the spacing is almost never symmetrical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here’s some pictures from a guy that I stole off Facebook. Looks like a mix of landscape lighting and some soffit wafers. I’m only looking at the wafers on this project.

* DISCLAIMER - if this is your work, I’m not bashing, I’m actually very impressed and just trying to learn here. (You never know who hangs out here…) *

My point is - how did he come up with the spacing? I think it looks good, but how would you be able to figure that out without having already done this before?
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I prefer visual centering. Look for elements of the structure to center the lights on. It is less important to have them strictly equidistant apart than to have them appear to be centered on the house.
ETA: soffit recessed lights are a wall wash lighting. One of the reasons to center between windows is that there be a cone of light on the wall, and it doesn't look good to have that off center of structural elements

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I prefer visual centering. Look for elements of the structure to center the lights on. It is less important to have them strictly equidistant apart than to have them appear to be centered on the house.

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What about corners?

With interior recessed lights I often space them off corners of a room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Center between a window and the corner. It is just the end of the wall. The pictures you posted illustrate this well.

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Ok, so that works for small spans, but what about long spans? Like that 2nd picture with the 3 lights on the left. How did he come up with that spacing? It’s different than the spacing on the right side of that window.
 

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Ok, so that works for small spans, but what about long spans? Like that 2nd picture with the 3 lights on the left. How did he come up with that spacing? It’s different than the spacing on the right side of that window.
Divide it up like you would any other large area for lighting. Take the number of lights, double it, and divide the distance by that number. It is a bit of an art. Sometimes you just stand back, look at it, and do what seems to make sense. Aim for a common distance between the lights but don't get hung up on them having to be the exact distance between them.

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The left lights are spaced on 4. Four spaces with 3 between the lights and the 4th split half on each end. Say forty feet, 40/4=10. So 10 between the lights and 5 on each end. If you’re asking why not spaced on 3 or 5, then look at all the lights and see that he probably did a rough sketch and kept working the spacing until he got something that worked all the way around. You would want the spacing as close to the same all the way around to look the best.
 

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I am not sure but it looks to me like the wafers on the left in the picture up high are a narrower dispersion pattern than the ones down below, which makes sense. They are not looking for a full wall wash on that side, the two story brick face.
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I am not sure but it looks to me like the wafers on the left in the picture up high are a narrower dispersion pattern than the ones down below, which makes sense. They are not looking for a full wall wash on that side, the two story brick face.
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Might well be an illusion, but the dormer soffit lighting looks like a higher Kelvin temperature also.
 

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Now the spacing - don't get me wrong, the lighting looks nice. The spacing doesn't catch your eye which means it's not horrible. But once I noticed this spacing, it would aggravate me. Now it may be that there's some unseen structural obstruction underneath and getting them spaced evenly would have been too hard.

Adjusting the spacing around the windows makes sense to me because it's going to be a lot more noticeable inside and it's not eye catching from the outside, especially with a wall like this. The windows are not spaced evenly and geometrically so trying to space the lights that way doesn't make sense.

Still, I'd have spaced the lights from the left wall to the bathroom window evenly - one third the distance between the lights, and half that from the left wall to the first light. But again since nobody looks at this and says "wow the middle light there is off to the left" it wouldn't have mattered much.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Now the spacing - don't get me wrong, the lighting looks nice. The spacing doesn't catch your eye which means it's not horrible. But once I noticed this spacing, it would aggravate me. Now it may be that there's some unseen structural obstruction underneath and getting them spaced evenly would have been too hard.

Adjusting the spacing around the windows makes sense to me because it's going to be a lot more noticeable inside and it's not eye catching from the outside, especially with a wall like this. The windows are not spaced evenly and geometrically so trying to space the lights that way doesn't make sense.

Still, I'd have spaced the lights from the left wall to the bathroom window evenly - one third the distance between the lights, and half that from the left wall to the first light. But again since nobody looks at this and says "wow the middle light there is off to the left" it wouldn't have mattered much.

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Your post describes my exact thought process. With lighting, you want things to be symmetrical.

The outside of the house seems like there’s more hurdles to work around than inside the home. Windows, rooflines, doors, garage doors, 2nd & 3rd stories, the list goes on and on.

But with most of the pictures Ive seen people post on Facebook, rarely do the soffit lights seem to all line up.
 

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I think if you want it to be comfortable to come home to or feel safe, I don’t that’s a bad look. That house looks well lit, some of the spacing not being equidistant I can’t criticize because I don’t know what fixture is being used and what obstacles to installation the installer faced.
 

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Do it. I have , it is terrific. Also put in a GE smarty pants dimming z wave switch and your customer can control the lights while she is away from home using her smarty pants phone. And while at home she can control the same lights using her smarty pants Alexa.

Welcome to the New World Order . It only gets better and better.
Well, the New World Order Sucks.................and imprisons us all..........
 
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