One of the easiest ways to improve security around the outside of your home is by installing outdoor flood lights. Outdoor flood lights provide security for you and your family and also insure that walkways and approach areas are sufficiently lit for your guests as well. Many outdoor flood lights have built-in motion detectors that will sense when a person or car approaches the home and will automatically turn the lights on. They can also be set to automatically turn off again after a few minutes.
There are many varieties of outdoor lighting and configurations of outdoor flood lights to choose from. You can check at your local home improvement center or lighting store to find out what option is best for you. Not all lighting is for outdoor use. Make sure to check the manufacturers recommendations carefully or consult with a lighting professional in order to make sure the lighting you choose is suitable for outdoor use.
Before you do any digging or begin installing your lights, check with your city or municipality to determine code and building permit requirements.
Consult with your utility company or energy provider and have them mark any areas before you begin to dig, if you do need to dig for your project.
It is a very good idea to install a ground fault interrupter so that you can stop the current if a hot wire would become exposed or damaged.
Be sure to disconnect power from the power source before installing your outdoor flood lights to prevent the potential of electrical shock. You can usually do this by flipping switches at the main switch or fuse box for the home.
If the flood lights are being installed at ground level and require digging, make sure to ground the cable as well as the lighting fixtures.
If digging is required, be sure to dig your trench for your wiring down at least 2 feet. This will protect the cable. Using metal tubing known as conduit or electrical metallic tubing (EMT) to run wires through can further protect any wiring that is exposed to the elements. Many cities do require you to use conduit for any outdoor electrical installations. Again, check city ordinances and building codes in order to be certain. Another nice thing about using conduit is that it is surface mounted so it reduces the need to feed wiring through walls, ceilings or soffits for outdoor flood lights.
Determine the location of your outdoor flood lights and direct them away from the house to surrounding areas. Use lower wattage bulbs for areas that adjoin the property of neighbors or the street by flooding their property in addition to your own.
Once you have determined the lights placement, and after all of the wire connections are made in the house, run the wire out to wherever you are installing your flood light. Bring the wires to the location and through the electrical box where the outdoor flood light will be installed. Using a wire stripping tool, strip the wire back at least an inch to insure ease of connection. Wiring for lights is usually color coded; white to white, red to red, blue to blue and so on. Cap these off with the appropriate electric wire connector caps to protect the connection points. Attach the bare copper wire to the green screw and set the light switch into the box. Secure it with the screws provided with your outdoor flood light kit and then attach the face plate to the unit. Again, be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions provided with your outdoor flood light as closely as possible.
When your light is installed and you have put light bulbs and faceplate in place, you can turn the power back on again and enjoy the security of you new outdoor flood light.