Friday, May 6, 2011

Lanterns, Carriage Lights... Call Them What You Want

In a previous post I mentioned how our section of the neighborhood looks very “cookie-cutter” and I’m working to break up the monotony of the street. We all had the same plants, same roof lines, same driveways, same everything!! The builder got smart with the last seven houses and changed the roof lines and angles of the houses. I like them a lot better! My only wish is they would have gotten the hint long ago before the neighborhood was almost finished.
I love to look at the larger homes and grab details I like from each one. I noticed the yards I liked have flowerbeds all along the base of the house and in weird shapes. They weren’t straight lines. I also noticed the outside lighting they had. One detail I loved were the carriage lights on either side of the garages. Depended how many garages they had as to how many lights they have.

I just think the look adds character and lights up the house a little bit more. I started investigating what our house would look like with carriage lights on our garage. Our house could definitely support it. There was plenty of room on either side of the garage.

The next step was to research the lights I wanted. I’m not a traditional light girl. I had my eye on onion lights.


However, I am picky with onion lights and I could not find one I was in love with. However, I found a light I loved.

There was an added bonus to this light. It had a dusk-dawn feature! I would never have to turn these lights on and off. They would come on when the sun went down, and turn off when the sun comes up! It couldn’t get any easier.
This was a good thing. The light switch I was planning to use to control the lanterns was located in the garage. I really didn’t want to have to go into the garage to turn these lights on and off each and every night.
The light switch in the garage also controls the spotlight that is on the corner of the garage. When we first moved in, we realized the pain of this switch location and added a motion sensor to the spotlight that way we could leave the light switch on. I don’t know why the builder did this, but I’ve noticed a lot of my neighbors don’t use their front spotlight because of the switch location.


This was my first time playing with electricity; at least in regards to adding lighting. In seventh grade I had an electricity course in our Technology Lab, so I thought I knew something.
Power was shut off. I then removed the switch plate and connected one end of the wire to the switch and the other end to the light.
I had a time getting the light to come on. The sensor was throwing me off and you’ve got to remember, seventh grade was a long time ago!!
I was glad I was doing this test before drilling holes in the walls and installing the light and nothing working. I finally got the light to work, but I don’t remember what was wrong.
Next step was to measure the location for the lanterns and start drilling. I drilled from the inside of the garage first. Then I moved outside to create the hole through the brick. I went through a lot of drill bits on the brick! Usually when I drill through brick, it is not all the way through. These holes not only had to go all the way through, they had to be wide enough for the wiring to fit through.

I connected the lights to wire before I hung them up. I pre-measured the wire length I’d need and fed it through the hole. The two wires from each lantern were then joined at a junction box.

A wire from the junction box then fed to the light switch.

The wiring could have been prettier, but the good thing about this project was that it was inside the garage and no one would be looking to critique. The outside was all that matters. I was not in the mood to fish wire through the wall. Especially for my first electricity project!

The finished product is outstanding! I could not be happier... and I did it myself!

In This Post:
Lanterns:  Portfolio New England Carriage Lantern in Antique Bronze, Lowes, $60.62
Wiring: 100 ft, $25
Masonry drill bit

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