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How to Install an Entry Light

This Old House host Kevin O'Connor illuminates the key steps to lighting up an entryway.

In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor illuminates the key steps to lighting up an entryway.

Steps for Installing an Entry Light:

Turn off the electricity to the circuit at the main electrical panel.

From inside the attic, nail a junction box to the side of a ceiling joist.

Bring the existing switch cable into the junction box, then run a new cable into the box.

Secure the new cable to the joist with cable staples.

Use wire connectors to join together same-color wires: black to black, white to white, and bare copper to bare copper. Place the cover on the junction box.

Bore two 1-inch-diameter holes down through the top wall plate directly above the desired location of the new light fixture.

Check for obstructions inside the wall cavity by shining a flashlight down one of the holes. Feed a length of nonmetallic electrical cable down the other hole to the location of the new light.

Staple the cable to the joist, then fill the holes drilled earlier with fireproof caulk.

From outside, measure the mark the outline of the new electrical box on the exterior house wall.

Use a hammer drill to bore a series of closely spaced ¼-inch-diameter holes through the brick veneer around the outline of the electrical box.

Carefully chip away the brick with a 2-pound sledgehammer and ¾-inch-wide cold chisel to create a rectangular hole for the new electrical box.

After removing the brick, use a drill and 2-inch-diameter hole saw to cut through the plywood wall sheathing.

Reach into the wall cavity and pull out the new electrical cable. Push the end of the wire into a new electrical box.

Mix a small amount of brick mortar with water. Then use a putty knife to apply mortar around the opening in the brick wall.

Press the new electrical box flush into the hole in the wall. Screw the fixture mounting plate to the electrical box.

Make the electrical connections and attach the fixture to the mounting plate.

Install a light bulb, turn on the electricity and flip the wall switch to check your work.


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