Outdoor Soffit Lighting: How To Do It Yourself

An image of outdoor soffit lighting.

Outdoor soffit lighting has become a very popular commodity in homes. You can do it yourself and it doesn't have to be hard. Learn more on how you can start.

3 min read

Security lighting is a necessity for any homeowner. Not only does it deter burglars from breaking into your home but it helps to reduce crime rates. About 60% of convicted burglars reported that outdoor soffit lighting deters them from targeting a home. Apart from preventing break-ins, exterior soffit lighting fixtures illuminate your backyard and driveways. This prevents injuries for you and your family especially when it snows.

Looking for tips on how to install exterior soffit lighting?

Read on and learn how to install outdoor soffit lighting using the DIY method.

1. Materials and Tools

Before you get started with installing outdoor soffit lighting, have the right materials. With materials, you can fast track your progress and ensure a quality installation. Here are the materials needed for the project.

  • Hardwood trim
  • Recessed lighting fixtures and rope light
  • Electrical remodeling boxes
  • 2X2s and 2X4s
  • Non-metallic cable
  • Tearaway edging
  • Half inch drywall and plywood
  • LED bulbs, photosensor, and an electrical box

For tools, you need a circular saw, clamps, framing square, drill bit set, cordless drill, and chalk line.

Other tools include:

  • Drywall sander
  • Level
  • Paint roller and tray
  • Miter saw
  • Lineman’s pliers
  • Stapler
  • Stepladder
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Stud finder

Buying tools is expensive. To save, lease the tools from a local store. After installation, return the tools in top condition.

2. Turn the Breaker off and Connect Your Wiring

To prevent electrocution, turn off the breaker at the main. Next, find a nearby circuit which will power your outdoor soffit lighting. Makes sure the circuit has extra capacity for your LED soffit lights.

Locate a place to connect your new wiring to run the soffit lights. If you have no existing electrical box, install a new one. At this stage, it is the best time to install your photosensor.

This will turn your lights on when it's dark and off when dawn approaches. Want to manually turn on and off the lights? Start by connecting to a switch that controls your existing flood or porch lights.

You also have the option of buying a double switch designed to fit into a single gang form factor. Install a new box and switch or install a larger box where you have the light switches. Run the wire down the wall to a box.

Remember, you also have the option of a smart switch.

3. Installing Your Outdoor Soffit Lighting

Drill a 3-inch hole for the soffit lighting and avoid the joists in the eave. Reach in through the hole, grab the wires and pull them out. If you find it difficult, use a coat hanger to grab the wires.

Connect the black, white and ground wires together. Close the exterior soffit lighting. Adjust the aim of the exterior soffit lighting fixtures later in the evening.

Installing Outdoor Soffit Lighting like a Pro

Now that you have finished installing outdoor soffit lighting, test the lights. If everything is ok, you should see the light coming down from the ceiling. In case one of the lights does not turn on, switch off at the breaker and confirm the connection to be ok.

Did you enjoy our post on outdoor soffit lighting: how to do it yourself? Check out our post on soffit repair.

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