Installing an Exterior Light

Installing Exterior Light

Installing Exterior Light

Exterior lighting can provide style and security to your home. They can be mounted to the exterior of your home, mounted on a post, or installed in the ground itself. Many different types of outdoor lights are available. They can be made of metal or plastic, come in many different colors, and can also be solar powered! Some exterior lights are equipped with motion sensors that will active the light! These are great of less used entrance ways and for added security to your home. Consider your needs when choosing a light to install.

Mounting an exterior light on the side of your home is one common way of adding light to an entrance way. Some local building codes require entrance ways to be illuminated. When looking to install an outdoor light there are several things to consider first. What kind of light to mount? What type of surface is the light mounting onto? Where is the light switch going to be installed? Is there a power source nearby?  Finally before your start check your local building codes if you are unsure about anything!

outdoor lights

outdoor lights

There are several items needed to mount your light:

Light w/hardware
Cable
Waterproof receptacle box
Waterproof switches if exposed to the elements.
Caulk
Basic tools: flat or Philips head screw drivers, drill, wire cutters, wire strippers, electrical tape

Once you determine the mounting location, installation can begin. For new installation a waterproof receptacle box is needed. One should be added if replacing a light that does not have one. This provides support for the light as well as housing for the wiring. There are many types of receptacle boxes available. For brick exteriors installing the receptacle box can be done in two ways.  Cutting away a portion of the brick can be done to make room for the receptacle box or an exterior ‘pancake’ box can be used. The exterior box may not be completely covered by the light once installed, and may be exposed. Painting the box the same color as the exterior light will help hide it.

Exterior Light Wiring

Exterior Light Wiring

After the receptacle box is installed, the wiring can be run. Be sure to turn off the power before making any connections to existing lines. Basic wiring skills are needed for this part of the job. If you are unsure of your skills, contact an electrician to complete this part of the installation. Once the wiring is complete the light can be connected and mounted to the receptacle box. Use the hardware provided with the light.

Caulk around the base of the exterior light will help provide a water tight seal and prevent leaks. The job is now complete!

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