How to Install a Light Sensor for Automatic Outdoor Lighting

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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Outdoor lighting is not only an attractive addition to landscaping and a great safety feature. Outdoor lighting with an automatic sensor provides light at the first sign of movement. Motion detectors on outdoor lighting offer peace of mind to homeowners by lighting any overly dark area at just the right time.

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  1. 1

    Turn off the power supply to the source of your outdoor lighting. For added safety, turn the main power off to the whole house just to make sure there's no power supply where you're working.

  2. 2

    Take off the old fixture and match the screw holes on the new cover plate. Knock out the holes by tapping them with the end of a screw driver. Fill any open hole with caulk to prevent air leakage.

  3. 3

    Pull the fixture wires through the silver plate and connect to the supply wires. Match white with white and black with black for the proper connection. Most outdoor lighting fixtures don't need a ground wire. If you have a ground wire coming from your house, attach it to the junction box.

  4. 4

    Attach the light fixture to the junction box and insert the right light bulbs.

  5. 5

    Set the sensory adjustment to medium and the switch on the bottom to test.

  6. 6

    Turn on the power supply and the light switch. The light comes on and then goes off in about 30 seconds. Wave your hand in front of the sensor detector and check to see that the light comes on again.

Tips and warnings

  • Adjust the motion sensitivity to a level that give you light when you need it most. If you set the sensor too high, the light coming off and on becomes more of nuisance to you and nearby neighbors.

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