Security Light Upgrade

2 Materials
15 Minutes

Some nice Senior Citizens at church needed a light repaired over their deck, so I agreed to help them out. Here's how easy it is to swap.

Here's the old security light. It has definitely seen better days. The box underneath is solid, but the fixture is screwed into the plastic soffit, not very secure at all. Bonus: The new fixture is about 1/5 the power consumption of this one bulb (28W vs 150W), so there will be energy and $$ saved after the install.

Turn off power at the breaker box! After you have flipped the breaker in question to OFF, make sure to try the light switch for the fixture. Never hurts to check.I took out the mounting screws and gently lowered the fixture. It uses two hot wires (black) and two neutrals (white) for both the lamps and the sensor. Here you can see I removed the wire nut from the hot side.

Here are the wires I'll need. The previous install didn't use the ground. I'll pull it out and hook it up as well.

The new fixture uses a push-in connector for the wires, so I'm trimming back the bare wire to 3/8" with some wire strippers. Note that I have pre-formed the two wires into an "S" curve already. This will help later when you need to push the wires back into the box.

I then installed the new 'Plate' that comes with the new light fixture. Note the pre-bent wires to the right side.

Here I stopped to configure the new light fixture. The lamps and sensor are different for this application vs a regular wall mount. Much easier to do this first before the wires are attached.

I put a new gasket (included) on the back of the fixture. Note that I have rotated the gap in the gasket from 6 o'clock (where my finger is) to help the wires have an easier exit to the side of the plate installed previously.

Here I have pushed the black hot wire into the first connector. It doesn't matter which one you do first (and remember power is still off) but your work will progress easier if you do the one in the back first. I will use one of the old wire nuts for the ground wire.

Gently guide the wires into the box. Make sure none are pinched or crimped anywhere. Solid wire can be a pain, it's ok if you have to try more than once.

Secure the fixture to the mounting plate with included hardware. Not pictured: There's a small plug to go over the screw for this brand of light to to be pressed in after it's securely mounted. That's it. You're done. Go turn on the breaker and test your new light at the switch. You may need to adjust settings for light level, distance etc, depending on the light fixture you purchase

Here's the light fixture ready to go. This one has the sensitivity controls turned off, so the folks inside can turn it on and leave it on as long as they want to.

By the way, same steps worked on over the garage door on the front of the house....

And the side entry door to the garage. We did all three of these, including figuring out which breaker to turn off (BTW Cell phones make great walkie talkies!) in an hour. $30 per light fixture is worth it. Holler or comment if you have ideas to make it easier for someone else. Happy Hometalking!

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