How to Install a Motion-Activated Security Light

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on November 9, 2015

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Ask This Old House Master Electrician Scott Caron installs a light above a garage to illuminate a dark driveway. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

Shopping List for How to Install a Motion-Activated Security Light:
– Motion-activated security light
– Electrical tape
– Wire connector nuts
– Replacement outlet with on/off switch

Tools List for How to Install a Motion-Activated Security Light:
– Power drill
– 1 3/8-inch spade bit
– Wire cutters
– Screwdriver

Steps for How to Install a Motion-Activated Security Light:
1. Find an existing source of power near the location of the security lighting and shut off the power to that source.
2. Cut existing wire connections using the wire cutter.
3. Drill an outlet hole through to the exterior siding using a power drill with 1 3/8-inch spade bit. Run 14-gauge wire from the inside location to the outdoor location.
4. Assemble the security light fixture.
5. Attach power wires to the light fixture wires and cover with wire connector nuts.
6. Roll out flexible putty and attach around the hole on the exterior of the house. This will serve as a barrier to make it weather-tight.
7. Attach the light fixture and electrical box to the outside siding using a power drill and screws.
8. Replace existing outlet with a switch-over-outlet device that can serve as an override.

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15 Have a licensed electrician make the final wire connections in the garage and at the main electrical panel.
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