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    Installing an exterior wall light

    Summary: Wiring an exterior wall light: Learn how to wire an exterior wall light, prepare a new lighting circuit, fit a boxed light fitting, fit a bracketed light fitting, install an inside switch, and fit an outside switch.

    This is a non-notifiable project providing the spur is not run from a circuit in a kitchen or special location. Installation must conform to Electrical Regulations.

    The safest way to install a wall light is to run a spur from the indoor lighting circuit. It is also possible to run the spur from a socket outlet on the ring-main via an FCU. The switch should be placed on the inside of the wall and you will need weatherproof light fittings designed for mounting on an outdoor wall.

    Preparing a new lighting circuit

    The lighting circuit for a new exterior wall light.

    Fitting a boxed light fitting

    If your wall light consists of a bulb between a base and transparent cover, you can fix it to the wall by the base.

    • Hold the base of the light in position on the outside wall and draw around it, marking the screw holes.
    • Drill and plug the screw holes.
    • Feed the cable through the hole in the wall from inside and thread it through the hole in the light base.
    • Screw the base to the wall.
    • Prepare the cable and cores for connection and sleeve any bare earths in green-and-yellow insulation.
    • Connect the live and neutral cores to separate terminals in the bulb holder and the earth to the earth terminal.

    Fitting a bracketed light fitting

    If your light is fixed to the wall with a bracket as in many lantern-style fittings, it will already have flex protruding from the bracket.

    • Connect the flex tails to the terminals in one half of a connector block.
    • Connect the supply cable cores to the terminals opposite so that lives (brown), neutrals (blue) and earths are opposite each other.
    • Fit a gasket around the base of the bracket to prevent water contact with the conductors.
    • Screw the bracket to the wall and apply silicone sealant around the base to make a watertight seal.

    Installing an inside switch

    • Feed the switch cable through the hole in the back of the switch mounting box and screw the mounting box to the wall. To install a flush-mounted mounting box, follow the instructions in the project on installing sockets.
    • Prepare both ends of the switch cable and the cores, insulating bare earths.
    • Place a piece of brown insulation tape around the blue core to label it as live.
    • At a four-terminal junction box connect the live (brown) core from the flex or lighting fixture and the brown-tagged blue core (tagged live) from the switch cable to one terminal; connect all the remaining live (brown/red) cores (from the spur cable and switch cable) to one terminal; the neutral (blue/black) cores (from the spur cable and flex) to another terminal; and the earths to the last spare terminal.
    • If you are installing a new switch for the light fitting, at the switch, connect the cores to the face-plate terminals: live core to the top terminal marked TOP or COMMON, neutral core either of the bottom terminals and earth to the earth terminal in the switch mounting box.
    • If you wish the light fitting to be controlled by an existing switch, replace the existing switch face-plate with a two-gang switch. Connect the cores in the new switch cable to the first gang terminals and the original switch cable to the second gang in the same way as for a new switch.
    • Screw the switch face-plate to the mounting box.

    Fitting an outside switch

    To fit an additional switch outside, make the inside switch a two-way switch and place a one-way weatherproof switch on the outside wall. It should be positioned back to back with the inside switch.

    • Drill a hole to pass the cable between the switches.
    • Thread a short length of three core and earth cable through it.
    • Follow instructions for installing two-way switches.

    Author: C J Mills Google+

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    Tools Needed
    • Insulated screwdriver
    • Wire cutters/strippers
    • Trimming knife
    • Power drill
    • Masonry bit
    Materials Needed
    • Exterior light fitting
    • Wall plugs
    • Cable
    • Gasket
    • Silicone sealant
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