If you’re worried about security or simply want the convenience of having automated lighting, you should consider replacing your existing floodlight with one that is equipped with a motion sensor.
Motion sensor flood lights are fairly inexpensive. You can find them at most home improvement stores for around $35 – $50. Unless you plan on replacing all of your floodlights, I would recommend that you purchase your new one with the style of the existing flood lights in mind.
When installing, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, you should be aware that some states require you to use a licensed electrician.
Most flood lights are installed beneath the roof-line of a home, so it’s likely that you’ll need a sturdy ladder and possibly another set of hands (to hand you tools and make sure the ladder doesn’t tilt). Also, be sure and turn off the electricity at the switch box to avoid electrocution.
Once you are certain there is no electricity being supplied to the existing flood light, climb the ladder and unmount it. Most new models are attached with just one long, central bolt. Take caution as once the supporting bolts have been removed, the only thing holding the flood light up are the connecting wires.
Most wires are connected with a wire nut, which is just a plastic cap that has metal threading on the inside. To disconnect the wires, just unscrew the wire nut in a counter-clockwise motion. Once this has been done, you should be able to remove the old flood light freely.
Now you’re ready to install the new unit. If your new motion sensor flood light comes with a hanger, you will be able to use both hands while connecting the wires. If not, it may not be a bad idea to rig something similar on your own. With both hands-free, you’ll be able to finish the project in half the time.
When connecting the wires together, follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Though, it is usually pretty obvious which wires to connect together (usually white to white and black to black). To help things along, I recommend taping the two wires together (on the insulating coating, not the exposed copper) so that they stay together while you twist the exposed copper together and apply the wire nut. I applied more electrical tape around the wires and the base of the wire nut for additional weather-proofing. This is probably not necessary, but it made me feel better!
Once you have the wires connected according to your instructions, stuff the wires back up into the housing and line up the holes for the bolt(s). Tighten the bolt(s) to secure the flood light. If everything has been connected correctly, it should operate normally when you turn to flip the breaker switch back on.
If for some reason your light doesn’t work as you expected, check the troubleshooting section in the provided instructions. If the light doesn’t work at all, check the breaker box. If it has flipped back off, there’s a good chance that the wiring for the flood light is faulty.