A couple month ago, because I didn't have a 26 foot ladder, I came up
with this hair-brained scheme to replace the floodlight outside my
house, while inside the attic. Actually, people here were pretty
kind to me.
Wasn't so hair-brained after all. It's up and working.
1) In the attic, I disconnected the romex from where it was attached
to an on/off switch. Twisted the ends together and tied string to
2) From the attic , I removed the winged nut from a big molly bolt.
Naively thinking that was the only thing holding the light to my wall.
3) But the electrician who installed the lightk must have known that
in houses like mine, an end of group towhouse with a pitched roof, a
2z4 runs vertically up to the crest of the roof.
3) I used a Wonderbar, a flat prybar, to rip the screw out of the 2x4.
(It didn't rip through the siding becuase the electric box outside was
like one big washer.
4) Lowered the fixture to the ground below, first by the romex and
then by the string.
5) Outside, realized I'd ripped a screw out and no way to replace it
without a ladder. Used a long screw, a lockwasher, and a nut and a
couple oblong washers to mount a screw facing the wall through the
center hole. Also used a new nut to hold the molly-bolt screw in
place on the electric box where it was.
6) Replaced the fixture with one that worked better.
7) Back in the attic, pull up the fixture with the stringe, and pull
the wire through the hole. The wire didn't want to come so I
lowered the whole thing and bent the wire and two feet of romex so it
would point in. Still wouldn't come and went outside to see that all
my bending had straightened right out. Used needle nose to pull in
8) Pulled all the wire in and then used a long thin screwdriver to
move the fixture around outside until the longer of the two screws
entered the right hole. (The holes I found there were at least 3/4".)
9) Put a big washer on the big screw and an oblong washer on the
center screw, and nuts. Attached the wiring, and used it for a few
10) Lights not very bright, realized I'd forgotten to see if they were
150 watts or not (they turned out to be 75 watts!)
11) Kept going on in the wind. This model has a thing that plugs in
inside and beeps a few times when the light goes on. It will also turn
a lamp on for 10 minutes. Cooper MS249R or W.
12) Had to lower the fixture again, replace the bulbs with 150 and set
the sensitivity to Low. It still goes on in the wind, but maybe they
all do and I just don't know about it.
13) Pulled up and mounted everything again, this time tightly and with
a bigger washer. All is good.
The fixture was only 2 feet above the floor so not worth lowering, to
reach a ladder I can borrow, but had I done so, I also had a plan to
caulk the holes in the siding from the inside. I was going to take a
small piece of siding, both layers, drill holes of the same side and
spacking, grease the inside edges of the holes, back the boards with
a backer board, caulk the holes I had just drilled, smoothing the
caulk off even with the "outside" surface, let it dry, then remove the
two boards that match the house, place the backer board with the caulk
cylinders against the inside wall, and glue in place.
The floodlight had to be replaced because after a short power failure,
the light would stay on forever. They made better lights at the time
the electrician installed it, but he wasn't working for me but for the
HOA, so I think he palmed off old stock.
I was going to call the electrician this time and tell him what I
wanted, but my friend told me the only way to get what I wanted was to
do it myself. Maybe so. I'm happy.
Thanks for the encouragement before.