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How To Fix Exterior Lighting


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Identify and Repair Problems with Outdoor Light Fixtures: Typical Light Fixture Problems to Look for.


Outdoor Light Fixture Problems

Electrical Question: I have an outdoor light that is not working right.

  • First I wired a single pole switch to the light box and this is correct because I verified the wiring using another light fixture and it works just fine.
  • I replaced the light with new fixture and it will not work.
  • I know that the new light fixture works hard wired to an outlet, so the fixture works.
  • So as you can tell I am frustrated and would appreciate some assistance.

Any help would be great!

Additional Comments: I love what I see here, I have been looking for an hour for advise, this is where I stopped.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electric wiring question Mike.
Background: Mike, a Handyman from Princeton, Minnesota.

Repair Outdoor Light Fixture Problems

Application: Troubleshooting a Problem with an Outside Light Fixture Circuit.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections.

How to Identify and Repair Problems with Outdoor Light Fixtures

  • Typical Light Fixture Problems to Look For:

    • Physically inspect the light fixture for damage and replace the light fixture if necessary.
    • Double check all the wiring connections and make sure wiring splices are made correctly using the right connector.
    • Make sure the light bulb(s) are good and the correct for the specific light fixture.
    • Check the controlling switch to make sure it is good, replace if necessary.
    • Locate the circuit breaker which provides power to the light switch and make sure it is not tripped.
      • If the circuit is tripped locate the problem within the circuit wiring.
      • Make the correction,  repair and damaged wire, or clear the fault.
      • Reset the circuit breaker.
      • Test the light fixture.
  • Light Bulbs
    • Sometimes the wire filament inside the light bulb may be broken but when it is in certain positions it will make contact and light up.
  • Electrical Wiring for Light Fixtures

motion-fixture

  • Installing Motion Detector and Security Light Fixtures

  • Installing motion detector lighting fixtures provide security and energy savings and they can easily replace an existing exterior wall fixture.

More about Wiring Light Fixtures

Light Switch Wiring
Light Switch Wiring
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

  • Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams
  • Wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1



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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
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