Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>How to install outdoor lighting fixtures on slanted stucco wall
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
How to install outdoor lighting fixtures on slanted stucco wall

I want to install 2 new outdoor lighting fixtures on either side on my garage. The house wall slants and in order to have the fixtures hang straight the top portion of the fixtures will have to stick out about 2 inches from the wall. How can I compansate for the slanted stucco wall?

Re: How to install outdoor lighting fixtures on slanted stucco wall

You mentioned the top would be about two inches away from the wall. If it were 1 1/2" or less I'd slant-cut some nominal 2" stock to make a plate to mount the light on. Here, you can do the same but with an extra step needed. Locate where you want the light. Now either have someone hold or temporarily fasten a block of 2X6 treated lumber about a foot long flat onto the wall. Use a level to keep it straight up-and-down (still against the wall). Now take the level to one side holding one end of it at the bottom of your block and against the wall, set it plumb, then draw a line beside the level. Now you know where plumb is. Take the block down and carefully cut along the line. If you've got a bandsaw this is easy- most folks don't, so being careful to hold the plate of a skilsaw on the narrow part cut through as far as the saw will go. Watch where the plate opening enters and leaves the board, it might drop down and bind the blade. Now turn the board over and make a matching cut from the other side.

If you're using a skillsaw chances are that the cuts didn't match perfectly. Don't despair- use this for the back where nobody will see it. Place your fixture on the cut surface and see if it needs to be larger. If it does, then pick up the scrap wood you cut off and fit in in place. That will get you about 2 3/4" thickness which is usually enough to match a slope. Here I prefer to use gorilla glue or equivalent to put the two blocks together. That stuff expands so you'l need to clamp the blocks together. You don't need a lot of this glue and keep it at least 1" from the edges so it doesn't extrude out as it expands and dries.

An alternative to clamping is to drive a couple galvanized 6 or 8D finish nails from the face side into the scrap to hold it aligned, then with a helper drive your car onto it overnight. Your car's weight makes a great 'clamp'! Once the glue is dry you can cut tie assembly to length, keeping square to the face. The part you're cutting will be the top so you can be decorative there and I would at least bevel it so rain tended to shed off the wood. Now you've got your basic spacer. You'll need to drill holes for wires and mounting screws and you might need longer mounting screws than normally come with the fixture.

When you mount the plate, temporarily place it and make sure everything will work. Plumb it with your level and draw it's outline on the wall. Remove the spacer and make an upside-down U of caulking halfway between the edge and the hole and permanently mount the light. Treated lumber is shipped wet and you'll want to let it dry a couple months before painting. Or you might like the natural color once its aged. You can use any other rot-resistant wood such as Cedar or Redwood instead. If you really want to blend the mount block in, stucco is easy as long as you can match the color.

If the light isn't heavy and you want a stucco finish you might just want to make a styrofoam block shaped as you like, then mesh and stucco over that. Just about any shape is easily acheived this way with little more than a coping saw and level. The stucco will sufficiently stiffen the styrofoam for most smaller lights to mount rigidly. One thing I like to do for any outdoor light fixture exposed to the weather is to caulk at least the top 7/8 of the fixture to keep water out and allow any that does get in to drain out the bottom. You wouldn't believe how many outside lights I've repaired or replaced because either the built-in gasket was inadequate or there was none to start with.

Good luck!

Re: How to install outdoor lighting fixtures on slanted stucco wall

think thats bad i need to make a couple for my log house... waiting till it gets nice out!!:D

Re: How to install outdoor lighting fixtures on slanted stucco wall

Phil, Thank you for your detailed answer to my question. It was very helpful and I really appreciate it. My outdoor lanterns are not heavy so instead of using stryofoam I filled the gap with expandable foam which worked really good. Also, when it dried it matched the stucco texture on the house. Thanks again.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.