Light Installation: From Single to Double Mount Light Installation: From Single to Double Mount

What You'll Need
Screwdriver
wire caps
mounting plate
new light fixture

Replacing an old porch light with a new one is a great idea, not only for updating the curb appeal of the home, but also because newer lights are usually much more energy efficient than the ones that came with the house. This isn't a difficult DIY job. However, when dealing with old light fixtures you can at times run into a few issues such as the old mount not matching up with the new one.

Older exterior light fixtures often come with a single screw to mount it into the bracket on the home, whereas new fixtures have two screws used to attach them. You can see this on the exterior of the light fixture before replacing it. If you're going from a single screw mount to a dual screw mounted fixture, you'll need to have a mounting plate that will allow you to change the configuration of how the fixture will now attach to the home. You can purchase this universal mounting bracket separately in the lighting department of your local home improvement store, or in some cases it may come with the new exterior light.

When replacing light fixtures on a home that's over a decade old, it's wise to have a spare fixture mounting plate, spare wire nuts, and spare screws and nuts in a variety of different sizes and lengths. This is will be of a lot of help since the old fixtures and new fixtures do not often match up easily even when you're supplied with new mounting brackets.

To install your new light, follow the steps below.

Step 1 - Turn the power off to the fixture at your circuit breaker—not just by switching the light off.

Step 2 - Unscrew the nuts or screws that are holding the old fixture to the wall and pull it away from the house to expose the wires.

Step 3 - Unscrew the wire caps and separate the wires.

Step 4 - Place the new mounting plate over the opening, simply setting it in place to begin the process of attaching it. This mounting plate is round and will have several openings. You may have to remove the old mounting bracket, which is likely a crossbar style plate that doesn't align to fit your new light.

Step 5 - Pull the wires through one of the large openings of the new mounting plate and adjust the plate so that the screw holes you'll be using align properly with the screw holes in your new light fixture.

Step 6 - Once you have the mounting plate in the proper position, make sure that it's set up so that the light will be level once it's attached.

Step 7 - Next, you'll need to find out which size screws you'll need. If they're too long they won't hold the fixture tight enough to the wall and if they're too short they won't be able to fasten to the light with the nuts included with the new light. Most fixtures are now mounted onto the screws extending out from the mounting plate. Place the screws into the appropriate hole in the mounting plate that will extend through the lighting fixture and allow you to fasten the nuts onto it to secure it into place. The nuts on the exterior of the lighting fixture are called ball caps. Do not screw the fixture on yet. This is just the testing phase of which screws you'll be using.

Step 8 - This is the final step to attach the wires to your lighting fixture. To do so, wrap the ground wire around the ground screw in a clockwise direction and tighten the screw. Next, attach the black wire to the black wire on the light fixture, and white to white. Add your wire caps to the end of each connected wire and twist on until secure. Push the wires back into the wall.

Step 9 - Now it's time to place the lighting fixture over the two screws that are extending outwards and secure them on the exterior with the ball caps. Make sure no wires are sticking out and that the light is level. Install a light bulb if you haven't already.

That's it—nothing more to do now except turn the circuit breaker back on and flip the switch.

When replacing light fixtures on a home that's over a decade old, it's wise to have a spare fixture mounting plate, spare wire nuts, and spare screws and nuts in a variety of different sizes and lengths. This is will be of a lot of help since the old fixtures and new fixtures do not often match up easily even when you're supplied with new mounting brackets.

Time: 45 minutes || Cost: $27-$57

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