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Install Your Own Streetlight-Style Security Lamps

(NOTE FROM NH: This project is not for beginners. You should have basic electrical knowledge and experience before attempting this project. Also, you should be aware of the requirements of the NEC (National Electrical Code) as well as any local requirements for this type of installation. The use of conduit in this project assumes that the wiring must be exposed on the outside of the building. However, you may be able to avoid using conduit if you use the proper gauge Romex-type wiring that remains within the building's walls, except of course where it exits into the fixture.)

Streetlight-style security lamps are all the rage right now among suburban homeowners. Not only do these lamps contribute to the overall aesthetics of your house's exterior, they are also incredibly functional. We all know that adequate lighting is a simple yet very effective deterrent against burglars and home invaders, and these streetlight-style lamps certainly do provide the ample lighting that your property requires. Best of all, these lamps work in such a way that they automatically turn on by themselves at dusk and turn off by sunrise.

The good news is installing these amazing light fixtures directly on a house or building is something that the dedicated DIYer can do by him/herself easily. This makes for a great weekend project, and will take an average of six hours to complete. All you need, skills-wise, are basic wiring knowledge, excellent balancing skills (so you don't fall off that ladder), and a lot of courage. The tools you will need include screwdriver, pliers, drill and bit, wrench, wire cutters, wire strippers, voltage tester, and fish tape. You will also require the following materials: conduit, streetlight lamp, conduit wire (in black, white, and green), wire nuts, electrician's tape, and pulling lubricant.

So let's get started.

1. Before you start fishing the wires, make sure to install the conduit completely. You might argue that it's a lot easier and less time-consuming to piece the conduit together as you run the wires, but it is actually a lot easier and safer to do it this way. This ensures that you do not end up pinching any of the wires while installing the conduit.

2. Using the template that comes with the streetlight lamp, lay out the holes for the mounting screws and mark them. This makes drilling the holes for the mounting bolts a lot easier and significantly more accurate.

3. Drive in the two bottom mounting screws. Do not install them all the way in, however, so you have enough room to easily slide in the fixture over them. You can also install the top screw at this point, but make sure to drive it back out. This way, it will be easier to install that top screw later.

4. Usually, the sensor that turns the lamp on and off is a separate assembly. Install it as per the manufacturer's instructions.

5. Before you hang the light, you have to connect the incoming wiring to the light in the built-in junction box located between the mounting bracket and the light itself. You can then install the conduit connector at the back prior to hanging the light.

6. A conduit can now be run between the junction box that will provide the lamp's power and the lamp's conduit connector. Put in fish tape from the lamp to the junction box, then attach the wires to the tape. Use pulling lubricant to easily pull the wires up, all the way through the conduit.

7. The conduit's ground wire can now be attached straight to the lamp's ground screw in green. Again, pull these wires into the junction box. Adequately strip the white wire, enough to easily twist them together, then use the wire nut to cover these. Do the same with the black wires. You can then wrap each wire by color with electrician's tape.

8. At this point, you can now close the junction box, attach the streetlight lamp's reflector, and install the bulb.

Et voila! You now have streetlight-style lamp to protect and prettify your home!

Note: Extra care and precaution must be taken care of, if electrical projects are getting complicated and large, friendly and reliable electricians like can always come in handy for bigger ventures.

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