Outdoor Light Fixture Repair: Tips and How-tos

Outdoor Light Fixture Repair: Tips and How-tos

As autumn days grow shorter, homeowners depend on their outdoor lighting for increased safety after dark. Furthermore, attractive outdoor lighting creates a warm welcome when family and friends drop by.

Here we’ll cover outdoor light fixture repair and how you can freshen up your outdoor lighting fixtures!

How do I clean the glass in my outdoor light fixture?

When it comes to light fixtures, they’re unfortunately bound to get dirty. Dirt, dust, bug debris, spider webs, you name it!

Although cleaning the glass panes can be challenging, it’s an easy way to make your outdoor lighting fixtures look new again. Not only will they be clean, but the light will shine brighter too.

Here’s how to clean the glass panes in your outdoor light fixtures:

What you’ll need-

  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Two foam paintbrushes (2-inch wide or a narrower width work well)

Steps for cleaning-

  1. Before you start, make sure the light fixture is turned off and the bulb inside is cool to the touch.
  2. Then, remove the light bulb.
  3. Spray glass cleaner on a foam brush. Rub the inside and outside of the glass panes until clean.
  4. Finally, wipe the glass with the remaining dry foam brush to remove any leftover glass cleaner.

Get rid of spiders with Miss Muffet's Revenge!

How do I get rid of spiders around my outdoor light fixtures?

Since light tends to attract insects and insects are a spider’s favorite meal, it may be best to limit or eliminate the spider’s prey to prevent spiders from setting up shop.

Not only will this help to reduce the number of crawlers around your home and lighting fixtures, but also reduce the spider webs around your home and fixtures.

A quick spray of Miss Muffet’s Revenge around your outdoor lighting fixtures will get rid of nuisance spiders. And, it keeps them away for up to a year.

Miss Muffet’s Revenge is equipped with a high-powered trigger sprayer that sprays up to 10 feet! Therefore, it’s easy to target overhead light fixtures and hard-to-reach areas like covered porch ceilings, ceiling fan blades, or under eaves. So, there’s no ladder climbing required!

How do I replace the glass in my outdoor light fixture?

Has a wayward branch or flying debris cracked the glass in your outdoor light fixture? Although it may take some effort, it’s possible to replace a broken glass pane in an outdoor light fixture.

Here are a few tips-

  • If you know who made the fixture and the model number, you may be able to get replacement glass from the manufacturer. Try to contact the company for replacement glass.
  • If the fixture has removable glass panes, remove an adjacent pane and take it to a glass shop. They will measure and cut a new pane for you. If the pane is square or rectangular, your local hardware store may be able to measure and cut a new piece.
  • Call a lighting retailer for information about local glass shops.
  • If the fixture is old, it may be easier and cheaper to replace it with a new one.

outdoor light fixture repair

How do I paint my outdoor light fixture?

Over time, the weather can cause outdoor lighting surfaces to look dull and faded. For this reason, make your light fixtures look new with a fresh coat of paint.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on applying a fresh coat of paint:

Step 1: Remove the fixture and mount from the wall

First, turn off power to the light fixture and remove it from the mount to take it down. Unscrew the mounting plate from the wall and disconnect the fixture from the mounting plate.

Unscrew the wire connectors. If possible, remove the glass shades. Next, cover your workspace with a drop cloth.

Step 2: Clean the fixture and mount

Clean the fixture and mount using an all-purpose cleaner or a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. Additionally, use a microfiber cloth and/or nylon bristle brush to remove dirt and grime.

Step 3: Remove rust and flaking paint

Remove rust and any loose paint with a stiff wire brush, emery cloth, or an electric drill with a sanding pad. But for tough jobs, a paint scraper works well.

Step 4: Apply primer

Spray cleaned metal surfaces with a primer made for metal.  However, for best results, apply two coats.

Finally, allow the primer to dry thoroughly, which usually takes about 24 hours.

Step 5: Apply topcoat

Before you paint, decide on a finish.  Aerosol paint is available in flat, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finishes. With this in mind, consider how the color will coordinate with the rest of your home’s exterior.

To apply, hold the can about 8” to 12” from the light fixture. Then, move the can slightly, from side to side to avoid excess paint and drips.

For best results, apply a second coat of paint within 1 hour of the first coat. Finally, let the paint dry for at least 24 hours before reinstalling the fixture.

What type of paint should I use?

A high-quality enamel spray paint is recommended for outdoor light fixtures.

What are the best light bulbs to use for outdoor lighting?

To minimize harsh blue light, use warm white bulbs (Kelvin range 2000K – 3000K) for exterior lighting. The bulbs should be no brighter than necessary and just enough to light the space sufficiently.

Does your city impose a lighting ordinance? Lighting ordinances are legislated to conserve energy and to minimize glare and light trespass (light that reaches the neighbor’s property).

A few often-imposed lighting ordinance rules include-

  • Limiting the bulb color temperature (Kelvin) and bulb intensity (Lumens) that may be used.
  • Bulbs for outdoor lighting should be fully shielded to minimize glare.
  • Bulbs should be no brighter than needed. Some lighting ordinances require motion sensor lights to be 850 Lumens or less.
  • Outdoor light fixtures should be pointed downward to light only the area that requires it (no spillover).

If you are replacing an outdoor light fixture, a fully-shielded fixture is best to minimize glare and light trespass.

Outdoor light fixture repair, a new coat of paint, and a thorough cleaning will enhance your home’s curb appeal. It will also highlight your home’s architectural features and the surrounding landscape.