How to Fit an Outdoor Sensor Light

Outdoor lighting is pretty common and has a number of benefits. Not only is it convenient as it allows you to see what you’re doing if it is dark out and help you see your front door, it is also a great burglar deterrent. As well as front outdoor lighting, back outdoor lighting and even temporary lighting is great for summer socialising.

It is important that you have checked local Building Regulations before starting any work as any work must be done in accordance with the regulations; you can find these on the website for your local council.

Before you begin it is important to make sure you have taken all the necessary safety precautions as electrical safety is important. First of all, it is essential that your switch off the mains power at the fuse box and test that the circuit is dead using a socket tester or voltage tester before starting.

Electrical safety is a serious matter; therefore, it is important you follow these steps when doing any electrical work and consult an electrician where necessary. Once you have switched off the mains power, you need to isolate the circuit you plan to work on or if possible, switch off the breaker and lock it. Attach a note to said breaker to advise you’re working on the circuit.

Installing an Outdoor Light

When installing an outdoor light on your house wall you can connect them by spurs from your existing lighting or power circuits. It is advisable to use an RCD so that the power shuts off immediately if there is a fault; some electrical units have an RCD already but some don’t so it is a good idea to consult an electrician to find out for certain if you need one. Make sure the lights you choose are specifically designed for outdoor use.

  1. Drill a hole where you want the light to go. Make sure to line the hole with plastic conduit before feeding the cable through it.
  2. Following manufacturer’s instructions, connect the cable cores to their relevant terminals using strip connectors. These should then be wrapped in PVC electrical tape in order to protect them from moisture. Next, fix the light to the wall as per instructions provided and use a silicone sealant to prevent damp and water getting in.
  3. Now you need to go inside the house to run the light cable back to a position where it can be cut back into a main lighting circuit cable using a four-terminal junction box. A junction box provides protection for electrical connections.
  4. Next, you need to install the switch and run a 1mm² twin and earth cable back to the same junction box. It is now time to isolate the circuit, and again check the power is off using a socket tester or voltage tester. Now cut through the main circuit cable and connect to the junction box.

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Sally White


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