Installing Light Fixtures on Vinyl Siding

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One way to improve your home’s appearance at night is to install exterior lighting. A vinyl mounting block, or J-block, designed for light fixtures replaces a section of the vinyl siding. The vinyl mounting block adds stability to the electrical fixture to support it in all types of weather. A do-it-yourselfer with electrical and carpentry skills can complete this project. If you don’t have the electrical skills, you can still do the carpentry portion of the installation and hire an electrician to finish the wiring.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • J-hook (vinyl siding removal tool)
  • Tin snips
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Drill and drill bits

Mark on the siding where you plan to install exterior lighting, using a pencil. Remove portions of the vinyl siding on either side of the installation location to install the vinyl mounting block.

Slide the J-hook under the piece of siding you need to remove to set the J-block in place. Gently pull up on the vinyl siding to release it from the piece below it. To avoid cracking the vinyl, work on a day that’s warm enough for the vinyl to be flexible.

Cut out a notch in the vinyl slightly larger than the J-block, using tin snips or any other sharp cutting instrument. Depending on the placement of the vinyl mounting block, you may have to cut the bottom half out of one piece of vinyl siding and the top half out of another.

Pull off the top section of the J-block and set it aside. Nail the J-block in place, using a hammer. Either nail it to studs or make sure the nails go all the way through the sheathing. Put the siding back into position, using the J-hook.

Drill a hole in the wall big enough to run the electrical line through. Thread wiring through the hole. Allow enough extra to allow you to wire the light fixture. Put the J-block cover back in place.

Complete the wiring connections to the exterior wall light. Attach the fixture to the exterior wall, using the mounting holes inside the J-block. Add the light bulb to the fixture.

Turn the electricity off in the house. Wire the exterior light into the circuit you chose. Turn the electricity on and check that the light works properly. Adjust the light fixture if necessary so the lighting does the most good.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can directly attach some exterior lighting to vinyl siding without the J-block. A J-block does provide more stability to the light fixture.

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