DIY Network

How to Install Security Lights

Follow these steps to install a motion-activated light for added security around your home's exterior.

More in Electrical

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Pick a Location

Determine where you wish to install the motion-activated security light. If you pick a location that has an existing light, be sure to turn off the power at the circuit-breaker box before installing this new one.

Step 3: Remove the Existing Lighting

Unscrew and remove the existing light fixture (image 1). It's a good idea to remove the bulbs to prevent breaking them.

Carefully disconnect the wires (image 2) and double-check with a circuit tester to make sure the current is turned off.

Step 4: Assemble the New Light

Assemble the new light on an uncluttered surface. Feed the wires through the base and screw the base onto the fixture. Then, feed the wires through the rubber gasket, which will provide a seal that keeps moisture out.

Step 5: Connect the Wiring

Connect the white wire from the house to the white wire of the lighting kit and secure with a wire nut. Then connect the black wires and finally the grounding wires. If there's no ground wire, you can ground it to the electrical box.

Once all the connections are made, push the wires back up into the box and screw the fixture into place.

Step 6: Adjust the Motion Sensor

Turn the power back on, aim the light in the desired position and tighten the screws. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to adjust the sensitivity and motion path of the sensor, as well as how long you'd like the light to remain on once it's triggered.

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