This may sound like the opening line of a joke but electricity is no laughing matter. It is responsible for nearly 3,500 deaths in work-related incidents between 2003-2016. There were also 55 home deaths in a two year period thanks to electrical injuries.

That’s why you should treat electricity with the utmost respect, it has the power to kill you.

So, how do you install an outdoor light?

Check For An Existing Fixture

If you have an existing fixture that needs to be replaced then the job will be much simpler. You’ll need to shut off the power to this specific circuit and remove the fixture from the wall.

This will leave cables exposed which you should verify are not live, just because you’ve turned the power off doesn’t mean there is no power at the circuit! Of course, if you’ve re-wired the house he circuits should be properly labeled and this won’t be an issue.

You can then connect your new fixture to the existing wiring and screw it to the wall.

It is important that you check the wiring code to ensure the cables are up to date, if not you’ll need to think about replacing the cables, which is covered in the next section.

Installing A New Fixture

If there is nothing already wired in then you’ll need to follow these steps:

Decide where you would like the light, or lights to be. This can be anywhere on the outside of your home.

You’ll then need to decide your cable run. Outside lighting should be on its own circuit, this means you’re going to need to run a cable from the new light to the fuse box.

Take some time to evaluate the best route from one to the other, the more hidden the cable is the better.

Only after you’ve decided the route can you run the cable into position. Don’t forget that the cable from the fuse box needs to go to a switch, a second cable runs from the switch to the light fixture. Otherwise, you won’t be able to turn it on and off.

It’s a good idea to have the switch inside your home.

You’ll then need to drill the necessary holes to secure the light fitting in place. You should be able to use the light or a template supplied with the fixture.

Once you’ve fastened the light in position you can attach the cables to the light and close the fixture up. At this stage, you haven’t added a breaker switch to the fuse box so the cable cannot possibly be live.

Your outside light must be rated to withstand the elements.

Get It Checked

The final stage of your installation should be to have a level 2 electrician check the connections, or even make the final connections for you. This will help to ensure that the fixture is safe and that you have wired everything correctly.

This stage involves adding a breaker to your fuse box. You’ll need a spare space in the box and it is advisable to shut off all the power while you’re doing this. The live and neutral attached to the other breakers will need to be extended to the new fuse and your cable, that runs to the switch, will need to be connected to the other side of the breaker, with the earth going to a common point inside the fuse box.

If you have any doubts regarding this stage you must get a qualified electrician to help you.