View Full Version : Replacing an Outside Light Fixture
08-07-2009, 12:26 PM
Friends, on the side of our house we have a broken flood light and I want to replace it with a standard type porch light. The procedure seems straight forward but I have never changed an electrical fixture before so I would appreciate some advice.
I make sure the power is off and remove the old light. Although I am replacing a flood light with a porch light the size seems to be the same about 4 inches between the screw holes and I am assuming the electrical box is standard for all light fixtures. The new fixture has three wires the black, white and ground. I use wire nuts to connect the black and white wires and attach the ground then screw in the fixture to the electrical box. Is this about right? What should I look out for?
08-11-2009, 06:20 PM
Sounds about right.
You may find that the mounting holes for the new fixture are spaced differently than the old one. This is revoltingly common, but it's at least easy to fix. Or, you might find that the new fixture can be screwed directly to the wiring box with no adapting needed.
The new fixture should come with a mounting strap. Screw the strap to the box, then the fixture screws onto the strap. (Or there may be a stub of threaded rod sticking out of the strap, and an "acorn" nut secures the fixture to the rod.)
Take a look at Steps 3 and 4 here (http://www.acehardware.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=1285337), to see some pix of what I'm attempting to describe. Unless you've got an old house with some oddball wiring boxes, it should be pretty self-obvious once you're working on it.
Once you have the new fixture up and working, don't forget to caulk around it so water doesn't leak in, if it's out in the open. (Caulking is a good idea, but optional, if it's sheltered under a porch roof or somewhere else that it won't get wet.)
08-12-2009, 09:31 AM
When you "make sure the power is off" do this by turning off the applicable breaker/fuse, not just turning off the light switch. While in most cases turning off the light switch should be sufficient, it is not always the case. Perhaps you already knew this, but my father who is pretty handy did not and got a big surprise when helping my brother with his old house recently.
08-12-2009, 11:43 AM
Good advice so far...if I could add...you may want to add a gasket or bead of exterior caulking to keep rain, bugs, spiders, etc. out of the fixture and junction box.
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