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How to Position Flood Lights on Your House

hallogen floodlight

Floodlights can be a boon to any homeowner if they are installed properly. However, a floodlight is only as good as its positioning. Floodlights that shine on unimportant areas or are obstructed by things that block the light are borderline useless. So how do you position floodlights to get the maximum effect out of them?

Here are 7 expert tips about how to properly position and install floodlights on your house so that they work night in and night out.

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Preparation

Before you dive into a floodlight installation project, there are some things you need to consider. First, determine if your floodlights need to be hardwired into your home’s power source. If your lights require wiring, you will need wiring experience and extra equipment and tools. If you do not have the necessary electrical experience, you might need to call a professional to help you get them placed properly.

Second, you need to figure out if your home’s exterior is suitable to attach lights to. If not, you might need to put in a post or pole to hold your floodlights in a separate area. That will also require extra material and time.

What you will need:

  • Floodlights
  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Drill
  • Post or pole (situational)
  • Electrical experience (situational)
Time 3-6 hours
Experience Basic – Intermediate

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What Is Your Goal?

There are two main reasons that people install floodlights on the exterior of their houses. First, they want to use them for general lighting. Floodlights excel at illuminating dark areas, and they can be a godsend for treacherous paths or dark driveways. The second reason people turn to floodlights is for security purposes. Floodlights can be excellent at lighting up an area so your cameras can capture the scene with detail and clarity. Floodlights can also help deter criminals, scare animals, and give you a heads-up when something is moving outside. Your goals for your floodlight will determine the best place to install them and what type of floodlight you should purchase.

1. Identify Spots to Illuminate

The first thing to do is to determine what areas around your house you want to be illuminated at night. The best thing to do is to walk around the house at night, in the dark, and find the areas that you feel need extra lighting. Make a note of these areas because they might look different during the day.

old estate house
Image Credit: RonPorter, Pixabay

2. Identify Potential Mounting Locations

Once you have identified the spots you want to be illuminated by your new floodlights, you need to identify potential mounting locations for your lights. If your lights need to be wired, you have to make sure that the locations are able to be connected to your home’s electrical system or have a nearby junction box.

Good spots for floodlights include flat areas, like the area over a garage door, and corners. Make sure there is ample space for your lights, and make sure that the light will not be obstructed by an object like a tree branch. Make sure the lights are accessible in case you need to adjust them or replace them as time goes on. Also, make sure that the location can adequately target the spots you want to be illuminated at night.

young couple standing and hugging together looking happy in front of their new house
Image Credit: Travelpixs, Shutterstock

3. Install Mounting Location If Necessary

In some cases, you might need to install a mounting location. Some people opt to put up a tall post or pole to attach their lights to. This can give you extra height and allow you to light up an area without suitable mounting locations. If you decide to go this route, you need to install your mounting location before attempting to mount any lights.

Led floodlight
Image Credit: Phakorn Kasikij, Shutterstock

4. Mount Lights

After you have identified a suitable location and prepped the area, it is time to mount your lights. Every floodlight will come with its own set of instructions for mounting. Some floodlights are as simple as putting in two screws and hanging the fixture from the screws. Others are more complicated, with solar panels, cameras, or wiring that need to be configured during installation. Follow the instructions for your individual lighting system carefully.

woman fixing floodlight camera
Image Credit: Joy Horton, Shutterstock

5. Check Angles

After the lights are up, it is time to check the angles. The angles of your lights are crucial to the proper positioning of floodlights on your house. Many floodlights have adjustable lights. After installation, these lights might be facing downward or upward or could be cock-eyed. Adjust the lights so they are facing the areas you want to light up, and visually check the angles. Look for obstructions as well.

LED flood light
Image Credit: Chatchawal Kittirojana, Shutterstock

6. Test Lights

Now, you should test the lights. Wait until it is dark outside so you can see how the lights look in the dark. Test the lights by turning them on and seeing the illumination. If you followed all of the steps, the light should look good, and the positioning should be on point. Make sure the lights are illuminating what you want them to and that they are not bothering anyone inside or leaving out areas you want to be covered.

If the lights do not look the way you expected, you might need to go back and make some adjustments so that they are functioning properly. Adjust and test until you are happy with the position of your lights.

floodlight
Image Credit: anystock, Shutterstock

7. Secure Power Source

Lastly, you want to secure your power source. If the lights are hardwired, make sure that there are no exposed wires and that the connections are all sealed. If the lights are solar powered or battery powered, make sure that the panels are in the right place and the battery compartments are closed. Hide any wires if possible and keep the power sources out of reach. If you leave wires out or leave solar panels within reach, it is possible for people to disconnect your floodlights which will nullify their benefits. That is why it is a good idea to put floodlights up high and out of reach of people so they cannot be tampered with.

Ring Floodlight
Image Credit: Martin D Brown, Shutterstock

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Best Places to Install Security Lighting

Security lighting helps keep your home secure from criminals. That means lighting up key areas is important for success. For security lighting, you want to light up potential entryways into your home as well as potential entryways into your yard or property. Keeping these pathways lit up will help deter people from coming onto your property in the first place.

  • Around your yard’s perimeter
  • Near backdoors or side doors
  • By dark corners
  • At the head of your driveway

Best Places to Install Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting is designed to add aesthetic features and soft light. It is also meant to illuminate dangerous areas. You want landscape lighting to highlight nice features after dark and keep dangerous areas safe. Focus on uneven pathways, outdoor areas that are frequented after dark, and water. This will help keep people from tripping, falling, or getting lost in the dark.

  • Along frequented pathways
  • In parking areas
  • In or around large trees
  • Near water features
  • In garden beds

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Conclusion

Proper positioning of floodlights on a house comes down to two things. You need to consider your goals for the lighting and choose the ideal place to mount the light based on your goals. If you nail these two things, installing and adjusting the lights will be a breeze. Lights should face outward, target the areas that you want them to, and be free of obstructions for the best results. Do not settle for poorly positioned lights or badly mounted fixtures.


Featured Image credit: ClimbWhenReady, Shutterstock

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