Installing exterior floodlights is a great way to add security, safety and nighttime curb appeal to your home. Whether you need extra light in dark corners of your yard, or around walkways or entrances, flood lights are a great choice to illuminate and accent your property.
Choose Floodlight Locations
Electrical Fish Tape
Decide where you need more light at night. Lights installed near home entrances or garage doors are ideal, both for car and foot traffic. If you have a utility shed in a dark corner of your property, install a light there to deter any potential intruders looking for an opportunity. Or light up a walkway with a motion-activated floodlight that snaps on when someone approaches. Many floodlight models have either motion-activated sensors, or they have light-activated sensors that turn the lights on when the sun goes down.
Use a ladder to reach the location where you will install the floodlight (the fixture should be installed high—for example, near the roof—to provide effective coverage) and mark it with a piece of tape or a marker or pen.
Flood lights may not be anything new but LED flood lights are – only having gained significant traction on the exteriors of warehouses and commercial entities over the last few years. In a nutshell, outdoor LED flood lights have become a popular alternative to incandescent flood lights for the same reason that the 40 watt incandescent bulb is being replaced by LEDs in the home – for all of the technological benefits that have come to be realized (i.e. longer lasting, energy efficiency, cost savings, weather resistant, safe, etc.).
But purchasing an LED flood light from one of your trusted LED lighting suppliers is just the beginning – next comes the installation. And it’s the installation that can be a bit tricky. With that in mind, here’s a look at 5 tips for the functional installation of your outdoor LED flood light…
Power Before Installing Outdoor LED Flood Lights
We kick things off with a tip that many DIY’ers – whether it’s in the home or commercial setting – fail at, and that’s connecting the power only after they’ve installed the flood light. It should always be the other way around – connect the power before you install it.
The reason for this rule is simple. Think about it: If you connect the power after you install the light, you may realize you incorrectly positioned the light and it’s not doing the job you wanted. You may also realize that you’ve wired the lighting incorrectly. Connecting the power before installation allows you to essentially see where it will do the best job prior to installation and ensure that all is OK with the wiring. And that brings us to our next point…
Generally speaking, the placements where outdoor LED flood lights will do the best job are in the corners of a building and close to the roof. Installing too close to the ground, although it will translate to an easier installation, won’t provide a wide area of coverage for the facility. Corners, on the other hand, tend to be a favorite lurking spot for wrongdoers, largely because these areas are normally left darkened.
Know Your Limits – Ask for Help When You Need it
In many commercial applications, flood light installation may not be for someone who fears heights. That’s because often times a ladder is necessary to complete install (although if you’re able to gain root access and can adequately install it that way, that is a viable option too).
In most circumstances, a standard ladder won’t be enough to get the job done – your best bet is likely an extension ladder with the capacity to lengthen up to 20 feet or so, depending on the size of the building. Make sure that your ladder is set on even ground and that it can be locked into place.
It’s also never a bad idea to have someone hold the bottom of the ladder as you’re up there doing the install for extra stability. Lastly, if you’re not cut for heights or just don’t have confidence in yourself, it’s important to know your limits and hire someone to do the install for you. As far as professional installation goes, it’s fairly easy, fast and inexpensive.
Know Your Electrical Current
LEDs have a low energy draw, so issues with the circuit breaker aren’t a huge issue when it comes to outdoor flood light installation. What may be an issue, however, is if you have more than one flood light and are attempting to connect multiple incandescent and LED ones together. So why is this such an issue?
Because incandescent bulbs draw more power than LEDs, so there’s the potential for the power draw to essentially overload and destroy any LED lighting. So make sure that incandescents and LEDs are run out of separate outlets.
Safety First – Test Before Sealing
Before you finalize the project and caulk the space between the wall and the flood light mount, it’s important to test all functionality of the flood light to ensure other features, such as motion detection, are working properly.
Once you finalize installation, it’s a lot more difficult to make any changes or adjustments to the electrical wiring. Just as we mentioned in tip No. 1, you want to preview the final product before you finalize anything.
For more information on the installation of your outdoor LED flood lights, contact us today.