How to Replace a Hanging Porch Light

A hanging porch light provides an aesthetic boost to the exterior of the house. Having one or more hanging lights creates a visual effect similar to having lantern lights. You may want to replace the light when it has become damaged or when deciding to remodel the appearance of the porch. The replacement process should be fairly easy.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wire nuts
  • Voltmeter
  • Wire stripper
  • Ladder or chair

Step 1 – Shut Down the Power Supply

Turning the switch off does not guarantee safety. Shut down the entire power supply from the fuse box or breaker panel and leave a note stating that work is being done on the porch lighting.

Step 2 – Remove the Light Fixture

Use a ladder or a chair to access the fixture on the wall. Check the location of the mounting screws on the base of the device connected to the exterior wall. Loosen the screws counterclockwise and set them aside while holding onto the base firmly. Pull out the device away from the wall to expose the mounting straps and wires.

Unhook the ground wire connected to the ground screw. The hot and neutral wires should be connected together with wire caps or nuts. Twist the nuts counterclockwise to remove them. Loosen the connection on the wires being careful not to touch any of the bare wires yet. Remove the hanging light and set it aside.

Touch the probes of the voltmeter to the exposed bare copper on the white and black wires. If the voltmeter reads 0, they are safe to touch. Unscrew the mounting strap and remove it from the electrical box.

Step 3 – Prepare the Replacement

Check if the new hanging porch light fixture kit is complete. These devices can be bough pre-assembled or unassembled. If the kit is unassembled, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble every part. Purchase and install a light bulb as well if it is not included in the kit. If the bulb on the old fixture is still working, transfer it to the replacement.

Step 4 – Install the Mounting Strap

Position the mounting strap onto the electric box. Align the screw holes together and fasten the screws. Check the instructional manual for additional instructions if there are any.

Step 5 – Wire the Fixture

Locate the wiring harness on the replacement and find the wiring diagram on the manual to check which wire is the hot wire and which one is the neutral. Some models have different color coding so better check the manual to make sure. Pull out the connecting cable wire from the electrical box and hook the ground wire to the ground screw on the device. Connect both hot wires together with a wire nut. Do the same with both neutral wires. Ensure that no bare wires are exposed. Tuck the wires into the electrical box.

Step 6 – Mount the Fixture

Position the device onto the mounting strap and align the screw holes. Tighten the screws in place. Turn the power supply on and check if the light works.