Patio Lighting - Weekend Yard Work Series

09 October
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So how was everyone's weekend? I hope those who were near the hurricane's path are all safe and didn't suffer too much damage. I live in Washington State so we do not have to deal with things like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. At times we get some pretty high winds that can topple hundred year old trees but that's about the extent of it... I'm thankful for that.

Last weekend I shared a couple of painting projects for my patio makeover. You can see my new catnip colored door here: Painted Exterior Patio Door and my decorated planters here: Dressed Up Flower Pots.

Today I'm sharing the next phase of the makeover which is lighting!

Patio lighting

As the pictures says, I have a few new options for lighting on my back patio.

The first is a new porch light next to the new catnip colored laundry room door.

This is what the old light looked like. Ha Ha!! Yes! That IS a Robin's nest on top! They built it last year and there were 3 or 4 little baby Robin's that grew up here :o) They were so adorable, if you shut the sliding glass door a little too hard their little heads would pop up and their mouths would open wide waiting for food! It cracked me up!

They aren't using the nest this year and the lights don't work. I think it was just the bulbs that were burnt out but let's face it... the whole light is just ugly... and the bulbs it takes probably cost more than the light itself!

My dad helped me replace this light. I asked him to help me with this project not because I can't replace a light, I've done lots of them myself, it's an easy project that most anyone can handle.

I asked him to help because I wanted to show how easy it is and I can't do the wiring and take pictures at the same time by myself.

Here he is being goofy with the nest!

Today's post is simple but tomorrow I hope to have another, related post that will help you learn how to tell if the wiring is good before you go to the trouble of hanging up a new light so stay tuned for that.

So, to replace an old fixture with a new one the first thing to do is turn off the breaker. You can do it by just turning off the light switch and not the breaker but I wouldn't advise it unless you are very comfortable with electricity like my dad is.

Here we are with the old light detached from the house.

And then completely off.

Next you want to put up your new light.

It's very simple... Attach the bracket to the house. Then your new light will have a white wire, a black wire, and a ground wire. And the house wiring should have a black and a white as well. The black wire is the hot wire, the white is neutral, and the ground is just as it sounds... to ground it.

When you connect the wires from your light to the wires on the house you match colors, so black to black and white to white. Twist the exposed ends of the wires that are not covered together and then screw a wire nut (the orange do-dads) onto it to hold them together. Once you've got the wire nut on gently tug on one of the wires to make sure they are connected securely.

The ground wire gets wrapped around the colored screw on the bracket and then the screw is tightened down onto the wire to hold it secure.

Then just attach your new fixture with the screws on the bracket and nuts provided. You can see we had to do a little trimming on my light so it would fit with the siding and not have a huge gap on the sides.

Put the shade on the light, add a light bulb, and tadaaaaaa!!!

You have a new light!! Turn on the breaker and test it out!

The light I chose is the Hampton Bay Outdoor Zinc Wall Lantern.

I love how it looks!

It will be nice for this old girl too... Miss Roxanne is getting so old and her eyesight is going so now she'll have a little porch light of her own to light the way :o)

The next lighting option I added to my patio... some fun string lights! These Room Essentials Clear Globe String Lights come with different colored cords, I chose green. I used some All Purpose Light Clips to hang them.

These clips will work for gutters or shingles... I didn't have either one of those options! My patio roof is metal and I thought maybe the gutter option would work but it didn't :o( But I did manage to figure out a way to make them work. I just slid the part that would go under the shingles between the patio roof and edge piece.

Two sets (25 lights per set) of these was just right!

And finally, the third lighting option I have out here is my Chimenea! I bought mine from Amazon last year and I don't see the exact same one now but this one is similar: La Hacienda Chimenea

I made a little brick hearth for it :o)

I haven't had a chance to use this yet but soon!! And I'll take pictures!

So there are three different lighting options I can use when I'm out on my patio. The makeover is coming along great and I hope to be able to share the full reveal very soon!

To see all the past projects check these out:

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  1. I put up my outdoor light by myself straight out of knee surgery, standing on a chair which was sitting on concrete and six feet above the ground. AND, the electrician had put the light switch on upside down. Consequently, I was working with live electricity unbeknownst to me. I wondered why my fingers were tingling!

    My new light fixture was not a replacement, just an addition. It changed the look of the back porch. Yours is a very pretty fixture and a great look.

    1. Lol! Lucky you didn't really hurt yourself Linda! I hope to post something tonight that may help in the future with a situation like yours :o)


  2. Love love love! Especially that industrial light. Looks fab!

  3. Thanks for the tutorial - highly helpful.

  4. What an improvement over that other light! I love it too. I hope you didn't throw the bird's nest can probably use that in décor somehow. Love the use of the little lights too. Love the chimera...never seen that shape before. Surprised to hear you don't have tornadoes or earthquakes over there.

    1. Hi Florence! Now you know me better than that!!! Of course I kept the bird's nest! ha ha! I was looking for a small and inexpensive Chimenea when I found that one. Boy they can sure be big bucks for the regular terracotta one's we are used to seeing!

      Thank goodness we don't have tornadoes or earthquakes... they sound scary! It's relatively calm over here most of the time :o)



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