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Project Guide

How to Install a Flood Light

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Turn Off the Power
a circuit breaker box against an unfinished wall

Safety should be your main concern when installing outdoor flood lights. 

  • Before beginning your installation, turn off the electricity in the installation area. 
  • Flip the OFF switch in your home’s circuit breaker box that connects to the outdoor power sources.
  • Double check and make sure the electricity is off by testing the appropriate wires with your voltage tester
Remove Existing Light Fixtures
a man removing an existing light fixture from the exterior of a home

To replace an outdoor light with new motion-sensing flood lights, you must first remove the existing fixture, while following proper safety protocols. Flood lights should be installed a minimum of 9 feet above the ground so they function at their most efficient. 

  • Begin by carefully unscrewing the light bulbs from the existing light fixture.
  • Unscrew the fixture from the wall plate and gently remove everything from the wall.
  • Once the existing light fixture has been removed, use your voltage tester against the exposed wiring to ensure that the power is off.

Tip: Before installing your new outdoor flood lights, make sure your electrical wiring is up to code. If you’re uncertain about your current wiring and/or if you require an electrical installation permit, consult your local permit office for more information.

Wire and Install the New Flood Lights
a person's hands wiring new flood lights on the exterior of a home

To install your new flood lights, it’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instruction manual. Here are the basic steps:

  • Begin by placing the new flood lights where the existing light fixture was affixed and attach the mounting strap.
  • Once the mounting strap is in place, you should have full access to the electrical wires. If everything looks good, it’s time to begin the wiring process.
  • Match the light fixture’s wires to the home’s electrical wires by color and fully attach them with electrical tape and wire connectors. The white supply wire goes with the fixture’s white wire, the black supply wire with the fixture’s black wire, and the unadorned supply wire with the fixture’s unadorned wire.
  • After all the wires are connected and secure, screw the flood lights to the mounting strip using your screwdriver. Then, twist the light bulbs into the fixtures.

Tip: Never use light bulbs with a higher wattage than compatible with your chosen flood lights, and double check that the bulbs are designed for outdoor lighting.

Seal the Junction Box
a junction box on the exterior of a home

Keep precipitation, like rain and snow, out of your flood lights’ junction box by sealing around its perimeter.

  • Use your caulking gun, filled by a tube of waterproof silicone caulk, to seal around the wall plate where it meets with the wall.
  • If you’re new to caulking, learn the basics with our how-to guide.
Test and Troubleshoot the Flood Lights
a set of flood lights on the exterior of a home near the front door

Once your new flood lights are installed, check to make sure they’re working properly.

  • Turn the power back on in the installation area by flipping the circuit breaker box’s switch to ON.
  • Once the electricity is flowing, create motion below your flood lights and see if the lights respond.
  • If the lights do not turn on, switch off the area’s power using the circuit breaker box and double-check your work for misplaced wires or other installation issues. 
  • When your flood lights are fully functional, angle their light bulbs as needed to achieve the maximum light coverage.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the new light fixture’s basic function, set any associated settings like the timer, smart features and sensitivity levels. All specific directions should be found in the manufacturer’s instruction manual.