How to Install a Security Light in a Soffit


A security light on a home is one way to keep intruders out. The soffit, or space underneath the roof where it connects to the wall, is one spot for the placement of such a light. Its height can provide great coverage while also keeping out of reach of vandals. Securing a security light in a soffit used to be difficult because an electric wire would have to be connected to an outlet. But today's solar-powered security lights can be installed in a matter of minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Solar-powered security light with separate solar panel
  • Determine the area that will give the greatest coverage for the system's built-in motion detector. Typical locations include the approaches to front, garage or back doors. Avoid locations that will aim the motion detector directly at a tree or trees.

  • Attach the light plate to the soffitt using the system's supplied screws. Screw in the floodlight bulb. Some units might have a halogen bulb already attached.

  • Attach the battery cable to the unit and extend it under the soffit in the direction where the solar panel will receive the greatest amount of sunlight. Pay attention to the shade cast by nearby trees. Bring the panel to the rooftop just above the gutter and attach it to the roof with screws.

  • Adjust the switch on the light that determines how many minutes the light will stay on when motion is detected after dark. Adjust the switch that increases or decreases the sensitivity of the motion detector. A more sensitive selection will pick up motion from farther out, which might not be desired. This switch might have to be adjusted several times before you are satisfied with the system's performance.

  • Position the floodlights to cover the maximum amount of area under the soffit. This will have to be adjusted after darkness falls when you can see where the system's light is directed.

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