An uneven surface on your house can make it difficult to install new exterior lights. Using the proper tools, however, you can hang house lights in just a couple of hours. Wiring exterior lighting is similar to wiring any other light. However, one important element of new exterior lights is to protect the wiring from moisture. Some outside light fixtures come with a watertight gasket, or you may need to purchase one on your own. It's an important element to installation to keep dew, rain and snow from seeping behind your electrical light fixture.
Things You'll Need
- Vinyl mounting block
- Watertight gasket
- Exterior light fixture
- Wire nuts
Pull the cables that run from the electrical box on the side of your house through the center of a vinyl mounting block. For homes with vinyl siding, a vinyl mounting block provides a flat surface for you to mount your light fixture to. However, the back of the vinyl mounting block has indentions that match the surface of your vinyl siding, ensuring there's a solid seal between your light and your house. Pull your home's electrical cables through the vinyl mounting block so you can easily connect the wires to your new light fixture.
Install a watertight gasket over the top of your home's electrical box. The watertight gasket still allows your wiring to poke through, but it protects the electrical box, and thus your electrical wiring, from moisture. The watertight gasket screws into your home's electrical box.
Secure the vinyl mounting block to the exterior of your home. Use the screws enclosed with your vinyl mounting block and drill through the mounting block, through your siding and into a stud. Drilling into a stud helps ensure your outside light fixtures hang securely.
Connect your light fixture wiring with the wiring you pulled through the mounting block from your electrical box. Light fixture wiring is color coordinated, which makes it easy to make the connections. Connect the two green ground wires together, the two black hot wires together and the two white neutral wires together. Wire nuts screwed over the top of each pair will help secure the connection.
Mount your new exterior lights onto the vinyl mounting block to secure the light fixture in place. Use the screws included with your new outside light fixtures inserted in the pre-drilled holes on your light fixture.
Tips & Warnings
- To install new exterior lights on a house with a brick or stucco exterior, follow the same instructions listed above without the vinyl mounting block. The watertight gasket will help protect the wires from moisture. If there are gaps between the base of your new light fixture and the exterior of your house, run a bead of caulk around the base of the light fixture to seal it.
- Photo Credit Light and Brick image by Cathy Kovarik from Fotolia.com
8 DIY Light Fixtures to Add Ambiance to Any Room
Looking to add a new vibe to your space? Try swapping your old light fixtures for one of these simple, do-it-yourself versions.