How to Install an Outdoor Security Light

Outdoor motion lights and security lights can help keep your home secure. There are strategic ways to place these lights. You want to install them near every entrance and near your garage.

You also want your lights nine feet above the ground. If your lights are lower criminals could potentially tamper with the lights. At nine feet, they’d need to get a ladder, which would attract plenty of attention.

You’ll need the following tools to install an outdoor security light:

  • A motion detector light kit.
  • A screwdriver.
  • Connection caps.
  • A circuit tester.
  • Caulk.

You also need to make sure that your home already has existing flood lights. If it doesn’t, or if they’re in the wrong spot, then you can’t complete this project without talking to a professional electrician. You don’t just need a new fixture at that point. You need new outdoor wiring.

If you do have floodlights you’re good. Go to your circuit breaker and flip off the power.

Stop long enough to read the instructions on your new light fixture. Once you feel confident that you understand the fixture’s requirements you can remove the old fixture.

Use a circuit tester to be absolutely sure that no power is flowing to the wires. Now, look at the old screw holes.

It is highly unlikely that the screw holes on your new fixture will match the screw holes on your old fixture. Thus it is vitally important for you to caulk up the old holes. This keeps water out of your house.

Once you’ve caulked the old holes you can mount the new fixture’s mounting plate. The wires come through the hole in the mounting plate.

You can then attach the wires with the connecting caps. These wires will all be color coded, so just match black to black, white to white, and so-on.

Once you’ve got everything mounted you can then attach the fixture to the mounting plate, tuck the wires in, and screw it all into place.

Add bulbs per your kit’s instructions. Now flip the circuit breaker and test your light. If it comes on when you walk past it you’re in good shape!

You can watch this video to see how to install an outdoor security light:

This is the same basic process that you’d use for timed outdoor lights or simple floodlights, too.

As always, we’d urge you to call a professional electrician if you find that you’re uncomfortable with any stage of this project. If you’re in Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill or anywhere else in the Raleigh-Durham area, call us. We offer free estimates and 24/7 emergency service.

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