First and foremost, you’ll want to cut the power to your exterior light source. Once you’ve done so, take down any existing light fixture. Your junction box should have two electrical cables to begin with, a white wire (neutral) and colored wire (hot).
Angie's How To Install an Exterior Lighting Fixture
Featured author: Kim Vargo is one half of the team behind the Chicago based blog Yellow Brick Home. On any given day, you’ll find her and her husband Scott renovating their 120-year-old house. They plan on turning that old house into their dream home. Alongside them are their furry companions, their four rescued pets.
This is the first full summer that Scott and I have lived in our house, and we’ve been hustling over the last three months to finally bring our home’s exterior up to snuff. Not only was it important to us, but we’ve been mindful of our curb appeal to keep our neighbors happy as well. We’ve painted our front porch, stained the deck floor, invested in subtle landscaping and grown grass from seed. One of our most recent game changers, however, has been a fresh coat of paint on our front door and two new light fixtures to flank either side.
The old fixtures we replaced were nothing to write home about, and as a result, this simple swap has made all the difference. With Scott as my hand model, we’ll show you how to install an exterior light in no time!
This won’t be terribly different for every fixture, but you’ll still want to follow the instructions that come with your new lighting fixture. Keeping the wires out of the way, we used the two supplied screws to attach our bracket within the existing mounting points.
The back of our new light also has a hot and neutral wire, as well as a ground wire. You can use a utility knife to cut a ½” off of each of the cables (on the junction box and your fixture) to expose the wire if it hasn’t been done so already. From here, connect the neutral white wires together, as well as the hot colored wires. You’ll also want to wrap your ground wire around the green screw that is a part of the mounting bracket. (Think: green = ground!)
A new light will come with wire nuts, which we’ve used to secure our cables together. If you give a gentle tug on the wires and they stay put, then job well done! At this point, we carefully tucked the cables behind our sconce and finished the assembly with the screw provided.
Our sconce lights are enclosed on our front porch, however, if your lights are exposed to the elements, make sure to apply a bead of clear caulk along the top half only. This will allow any moisture that does get in-between your house and light to escape out the bottom.
Congratulate yourself, because you’ve not only given your home’s exterior a mini facelift, but you’ve successfully tackled your own light installation! At this time, it’s safe to flip the power back on to the source, flip your switch on and enjoy your new mood lighting.