How to Install Streetlight-Style Lamps
Adding these to the front of your home can brighten your nights and bring safety to your family.
Streetlight-style security lamps cast light over a broad area, turn on automatically at dusk, and turn off at dawn. Mounting a light on a utility pole is more work than a home electrician can undertake, unless you're willing to install a pole and able to run overhead wiring. Mounting the light on the side of a building is simple, however. Code does require two things: The light must be 10 feet above finished grade or 15 feet above a driveway or parking area, and the wires running to the light must be housed in conduit.
Install the conduit completely before you fish the wires. While it might be tempting to piece the conduit together at the same time you run wires, it's against code because you might pinch one of the wires while fastening conduit. Besides, it's no harder and perhaps even a little bit easier to do it the right way.
What You Need
- Drill and bit
- Wire strippers
- Wire cutters
- Fish tape
- Voltage tester
- White, black, and green conduit wire
- Pulling lubricant
- Electrician's tape
- Wire nuts
Step 1: Drill Holes for Mounting
Drive at least one mounting bolt into the building's framing. You may have to locate the studs from inside the building and measure to mark them on the outside. Lay out holes for the mounting screws using the template that comes with the light. Drill holes to match the mounting bolts as specified in the manufacturer's directions.
Step 2: Install Screws
Install the two bottom mounting screws but don't drive them all the way in. Leave enough room to slip the fixture over them. At this point you also may want to drive in the top screw and then back it out. This makes it easier to install later.
Step 3: Plug in Sensor
The light sensor usually is a separate assembly that plugs into the top of the light. Align the plug in the base of the sensor with the slots in the light, making sure the largest prong is over the largest slot. Push down to plug it in and turn the sensor clockwise to attach it.
Step 4: Install Connector and Hang
The connection between the light and the incoming wiring takes place in a built-in junction box between the light and mounting bracket. Remove the cover to the box and install a conduit connector on the back. Hang the light.
Step 5: Run Conduit
Run conduit between the conduit connector on the lamp and the junction box that provides power to the light.
Step 6: Feed Wires
Feed a fish tape from the light back to the junction box. Attach the wires to the fish tape, apply pulling lubricant, and pull the wires up through the conduit.
Step 7: Attach Wires
Attach the conduit's ground wire to the light's green ground screw. Pull the wires from the light into the built-in junction box. Strip the white wires as needed, twist them together, and cover with a wire nut. Wrap electrician's tape around the wire nut and a short section of wire. Repeat with the black wires.
Step 8: Install Reflector and Bulb
Replace the junction box cover and attach the reflector to the light. Install the bulb and attach the globe to the reflector.
Step 9: Connect Ground Wires
Turn off power to the junction box that powers the light. Connect the light ground wire to the cable ground wire and run a pigtail to the grounding screw on the box. Connect the white to the white and the black to the black. Put caps on all three and cover each cap and a bit of the wire with electrician's tape.