Installing Outside Security Lights

Installing an outside security light is one of the best things a homeowner can do to dissuade would-be criminals from breaking in to the house. Security lighting normally runs off of a motion sensor device that triggers a bright light to illuminate any darkened areas. Also, timers and an override switch can be used to activate a security light.

Vulnerable places to consider installing outside security lights are facing your driveway, in your backyard, and your patio or porch. These are the most common avenues a thief may approach your home. This guide will help install a security light so wrongdoers can be caught in the act.

This project can be done by anyone if you already have an existing outside light that you’re looking to convert into a security light. If you need to install a security light from scratch, consider a trained electrician.

One quick tip when deciding a good place to place the light: be sure the light can’t be reached without a ladder of some kind. Even if the light switches on, a thief could simply walk up to the light and unscrew the lightbulb if it’s too low to the ground.

Installing Outside Security Lights

First, shut off the power to the house. Without this step, your job will be over before it starts. Take out the screws that are securing the old light to its outlet box and pull the box apart to expose the wires.

Take the time to be absolutely certain the power isn’t still flowing through the wires by using a voltage tester. If there’s no reading, you’re good. Remove the wire connectors, untwist the wires, and pull out the old light completely. Set it aside, then clean out the interior of dirt or cobwebs.

Install the new outdoor security light by positioning the light’s gasket over the outlet box. Now, you can begin reconnecting the wires. Match the black wire in the box to the black wire on the light. Do the same with the white wires. Connect these two wires using wire connectors.

The old ones are fine as long as they’re not damaged. If there is an extra wire coming out of the outlet box, this would be the grounding wire (sometimes green or copper). Attach this wire to the grounding screw found on the light (if there is one on the model you’re using).

Reinsert the wires back into the outlet box being careful not to disconnect any. The connectors should be tight enough so they don’t pull apart. Line up the new security light’s base plate over the outlet box and screw them together. It is now safe to turn back on the power. Now, all that’s left is to adjust the motion sensor.

Settings for a Motion Sensor

Setting the motion sensor could be something that takes some trial and error. Different security lights have different settings for the motion sensor. Most can be adjusted to distance, direction, sensitivity, and the length of time the light will remain on after it’s been tripped. By reading the manufacturer’s instructions, you will be able to know what your light’s capabilities are.

Whatever your light’s sensor options, you’ll need to test out each of the options so that the light is pointing where you want it to be and so the neighbour’s cat doesn’t set it off every night.

See Also: External Home Security