How to Remove an Outdoor Light Fixture From a Wall

Written by thomas west
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Outdoor light fixtures are convenient for lighting up the entryway to a home as well as brightening porches, patios and decks. An outdoor light fixture can also be a necessary safety feature. Many new homes may come with inexpensive builder-grade lighting that many homeowners can upgrade themselves to better quality fixtures. You will need to remove he old light fixture for replacement or possible relocation to another area.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Metal coat hanger
  • Pliers
  • Phillips screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Turn off the electrical power to the lighting fixture by shutting off the breaker at the main electrical panel. Ensure the power is off by turning on the light switch to the fixture.

  2. 2

    Remove the globe to the light fixture by loosening the thumb nuts that hold the globe in place in a counterclockwise direction. Hold the globe with one hand while loosening the thumb nuts with the other hand. Lower the globe, and set it aside.

  3. 3

    Remove the light bulb by twisting it by hand in a counterclockwise direction, and set it aside. Remove the thumb nuts that hold the light fixture to the mounting plate. Hold the fixture in one hand as the wiring may not support the weight of the fixture. Fashion a hook out of a metal coat hanger to hold the fixture up until the wiring is disconnected if desired.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the fixture's wiring by twisting off the plastic wire nuts in a counterclockwise direction. Untwist the bare wires with a pair of pliers. Remove the light fixture and set it aside.

  5. 5

    Remove the fixture's mounting plate by twisting out the holding screws with a Phillips screwdriver in a counterclockwise direction. Leave the current turned off until you have completely installed a new light fixture or have checked local electrical codes for information about terminating live electrical wires.

Tips and warnings

  • You can terminate live wires temporarily by screwing a wire nut onto the wires to cap them. Carefully push the wires into the electrical box cavity. Install an electrical box cover plate and gasket over the box. Turn the electrical current back on at the breaker panel.
  • After removing a light fixture, under no circumstances can you cover an electrical box with live wires with siding, sheathing, drywall or similar covering. Call a licensed electrician if you need help with electrical wiring.

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