How to Install a Floodlight – Part 2

How to Install a Floodlight is continued from Part 1.

Floodlight Mounting and Wiring

After pulling new electrical cable from the attic with fish tape, about two feet of wire is left exposed.

New NM 14/2 Wire for the Floodlight

New NM 14/2 Wire for the Floodlight

The weatherproof flood light is a Thomas & Betts CS212WH kit. See Part 1 for details about the kit.

Thomas & Betts CS212WH Floodlight Kit

Thomas & Betts CS212WH Floodlight Kit

The kit consists of these components – not really much to it! Assembly is simple and the Thomas & Betts instructions are easy to follow.

Floodlight Kit Components - CS212WH

Floodlight Kit Components – CS212WH

The first thing to do is apply sealant to the plastic plugs and install the plugs in the sides of the base and the center hole in the cover. The extra holes in the base are accommodate side wiring applications using conduit. The center hole in the cover for an optional motion detector that is purchased separately.

Floodlight Base and Cover

Floodlight Base and Cover

The base is centered over the hole in the soffit and mounted with two wood screws. The NM 14/2 wire is stripped and cut leaving about 8 inches of wire exposed as shown.

Floodlight Base Mounted to the Soffit

Floodlight Base Mounted to the Soffit

Project Update / Correction

As pointed out by diligent reader “Joe” (see the Comments section below), I forgot to install a 3/8″ NM cable clamp connector in the floodlight base box to secure the cable as required by the National Electrical Code (NEC). NM clamp connectors are widely available at home improvement stores. See these other wiring projects which use an NM cable clamp connector:

The required 3/8″ NM clamp connector for the floodlight is shown here:

3/8" NM-B Cable Clamp Connector in Floodlight Base Box

3/8″ NM-B Cable Clamp Connector in Floodlight Base Box

To install the 3/8″ NM cable clamp connector:

  • Remove the lock ring and screw the clamp connector into the floodlight base until tight.
    The lock ring is not needed in the thick metal base. (Aside: The lock ring is required for thin-wall steel junction boxes.)
  • Insert the NM-B 14/2 cable through the clamp connector.
  • Tighten the two clamp screws until snug on the cable.
    Do not overtighten the clamp to avoid damaging the cable insulation and/or crushing the wires.
3/8" NM Cable Clamp Connector for Thomas & Betts Floodlight Junction Box

3/8″ NM Cable Clamp Connector for Thomas & Betts Floodlight Junction Box

Interior view of the NM cable clamp connector mounted to the floodlight base box. Notice the clamp lock ring is not used or needed for the thick base box:

Floodlight Base Box with 3/8" NM Cable Clamp Connector

Floodlight Base Box with 3/8″ NM Cable Clamp Connector

Now back the regular program…

The two lamp units are threaded into the cover part as shown. The two lock nuts at the base of the lamps are not tightened – leave that for later when aiming the lamps.

Tip: Remember to place the weather gasket over the wires as shown here before nutting the connections together.

Lamps attached to the Floodlight Cover

Lamps attached to the Floodlight Cover

The lamp wires are nutted to the electrical supply wires from the attic. I prefer to use a larger wire nut instead of the small orange nuts supplied with the kit. The wiring connections are:

  • Two lamp black wires (hot) to the black house wire.
  • Two lamp white wires (neutral) to the white house wire.
  • Ground wire (bare) the green ground screw in the floodlight base.

Remember at this point, the NM 14/2 supply wire from the attic isn’t connected at the other end, so there’s no power on the circuit. Note – I normally wouldn’t let a fixture hang by the nutted wires as shown here, but the lamp unit is fairly lightweight and I needed both hands for the camera. I rechecked my connections before attaching the cover to the base.

Floodlight Wiring Connections

Floodlight Wiring Connections

Carefully fold the wires into the base, align the weather gasket with the rim and attach the cover with the provided two screws.

Finished Floodlight Installation

Finished Floodlight Installation

Wiring the 120 Volt Circuit

For the supply side connection with the house mains, I chose to wire the floodlight as a slave unit with my home automation system as described here.

Alternatively, you could install a junction box in the attic and wire the light into a simple on/off switch.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

I prefer the new compact fluorescent light bulbs whenever possible. The bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescent lights, but use 2/3rds less power for the same amount of light output and last 6 years. The newer compact fluorescent bulbs give off a “warmer” light too like traditional bulbs. After replacing most of my light bulbs with compact fluorescents, I’ve noticed a real drop in my electric bill.

For the floodlights, I installed GE 47483 26-Watt (90-Watt equivalent) Outdoor Floodlights. These particular bulbs take a few seconds reach full brightness and work really well.

Floodlight with 26 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Floodlight with 26 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

Aiming the Floodlights

Leave the ladder outside until dusk to aim the lights to cover the areas of interest and tighten the lock screw and lock nuts.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

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4 Responses to How to Install a Floodlight – Part 2

  1. Jason May 29, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Bob,

    Thanks for the tutorial on installing floodlights. It was very helpful. One question: how do you mount a floodlight when your overhang has vinyl soffit? I guess the better question is, how do you remove the soffit? Everytime I’ve tried, I ended up bending the outer track that holds the soffit in place.

  2. Joe May 1, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Hey Bob,

    Any time you install Romex, MC-Light, etc, to a Main Panel, Sub-Panel, any type gang box or in this case the base to a floodlight you need to use the correct fitting to secure the “Romex cable” Just leaving the Romex hanging loose in the base or box is a code violation. You can purchase a 3/8″ fitting for under $1.00 at any local hardware store.

    Also, It’s always a good idea to apply a generous amout of waterproof caulking to the base before it’s attached to the building.

    Joe

    • BobJackson May 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Hi Joe,
      Thank you for pointing out the omission of the 3/8″ NM cable clamp connector as required by the NEC. It was an oversight and I’ve updated the project showing the proper installation of the clamp connector in the floodlight base.

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