How to Install an Exterior Light Fixture Box

outdoor lights
  • 4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 85
What You'll Need
Light fixture
Fixture (junction) box
Hole saw
Tape measure
Voltage meter
Stud finder
Wire stripper
Wire cutter
Wire nuts
Safety glasses

A fixture or junction box is essentially the housing unit for an electrical device such as a light. If you want to add a new light or change the current exterior lighting, then a fixture box may need to be installed. Many electrical jobs require the aid of an electrician but replacing or adding a fixture box is not that difficult of a job to complete. The following article will show you how you can install an exterior light fixture box yourself.

Step 1 - Pick the Location

Where you place the new fixture box is important because you need it to be close to wires and studs or joists. The best location is where, or close by where, a current lighting fixture is installed. Use your stud finder to locate the studs in the exterior wall or the joists. The voltage meter will be able to detect the electrical current through wires close to the surface. Use your chalk pencil to mark the studs. Look at your fixture box and measure its dimensions. With these in hand, you can plot the area where the fixture box will be installed. Use the tape measure and the dimensions of the fixture box and draw the diameter of the fixture box onto the wall between the marks you made previously.

Step 2 - Be Safe

When working around anything involving electricity, you need to take precautions in order to avoid injury. Now that you know where the fixture box will be placed, you will need to turn off the electricity in the area at the circuit breaker inside the main panel. Make sure to wear safety glasses and use your stud finder and voltage meter so you can make sure you will be consistent in your installation process.

Step 3 - Cut a Hole

Use a drill with a hole saw that is slightly larger than the junction box you are installing. Center the hole drill bit next to the stud. Apply firm pressure to the handle of the drill while your other hand holds the shaft firmly in order to keep the drill steady. Go slowly and stop periodically to check your depth. Continue until you penetrate the inside of the outer wall. Remove the circular piece you cut.

Step 4 - Install the junction Box

Cut the wires inside the wall and strip away the plastic casing. Pull the wire from the opening and through the cable connector in the fixture box. Place the fixture box inside the hole and screw it in place. Cut and remove the insulation from the wire from the lighting fixture and connect to the wires within the wall and place the wire nuts on them. Depending on the fixture box you are using, you may have to use brackets or screw directly to the joists or studs. You can now finish installing your lighting fixture.