How You Can Mount Lights on Vinyl Siding

Updated: May 08, 2024

Mounting blocks make installing a light fixture on your vinyl siding easy and worry-free.

Vinyl siding is durable, attractive, and relatively inexpensive compared to other siding choices, such as brick and wood. It lasts, too. Once it’s up on your house, it’s staying there for about 30 years. But what if you want to add lighting on your porch or above the garage? Do you have to rip off a section of siding? That sounds like a major hassle.

Luckily, no large-scale demolition is necessary. All you need to do is drill a hole and use a handy mounting block specifically made for vinyl siding. I’m a licensed electrician, and I’ve spent many hours on punch lists and change orders. Returning to a project to add stuff that wasn’t on the original prints can be frustrating, but vinyl siding mounting blocks make the process much easier.

Below, I’ll introduce you to the concept, and give helpful tips so you can tackle the project yourself.

What Is a Vinyl Mounting Block?

A vinyl mounting block provides a flat surface on which to mount a light fixture. Vinyl siding, just like wood clapboard and aluminum siding, is attached to your home in “laps,” or long horizontal boards that overlap each other to keep out the elements. This uneven surface makes it difficult to install a light fixture without leaving gaps or causing the siding to buckle. Vinyl mounting blocks are available for almost any lap and securely hold lights upright.

When Do You Need a Vinyl Mounting Block?

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A mounting block is needed anytime a light needs to be attached to the uneven lap of the siding. Here are two likely situations, the only difference being whether the electrical wiring is ready and waiting for you or you have to pull it later.

In an ideal scenario, when your house was being built, an electrician would pull wire or run pipe through the walls to every place you’d like a light and mount an accessible electrical box on a stud behind the siding. The siding installer would work around the box so that a light could be installed later. The electrician would come back after the siding was up and install the block and light.

There is another scenario (perhaps one you’re facing now) where you won’t have the existing wiring or box. Don’t worry. It’s more labor-intensive than just mounting a light, but it’s still a doable DIY project. Once you know where you want the light, you’ll bring a cable from a nearby electrical source to the location, poke it through to the outside, and mount the block and light.

How To Install a Vinyl Mounting Block

First, ensure you buy a block with the same lap size as your siding. Mounting blocks come in multiple lap sizes and colors to match your existing siding. According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), lights have to be secured to an electrical box. So if you don’t have one at your new location, make sure to buy a mounting block with an integrated box.

If you already have a light or wires at the location, say, you’re replacing an old mount that’s cracked or an ugly color, rejoice. All you have to do is turn off the electricity to the circuit (always test with a non-contact voltage tester to be sure), remove the light and block, and replace it by threading the wire through the new block, seating it on the siding, and making the connections.

If you’re starting from scratch, decide where you’ll get power first. A single light fixture uses very little juice — half an amp with a 60-watt bulb — so the easiest way is to tap into an existing lighting circuit. See if you can access a garage light or other nearby light fixture, turn off the power, and bring a same-sized Romex cable from the light to your new location. Fishing wires can be a little dicey, but believe me, there’s always a way.

Drill a small (half-inch or so) hole through your siding, and pull the cable through. Protect the cable by installing a connector in the block, and feed the wire through. Attach the block to the stud, if present, or the wood sheathing behind the siding, adding a bead of sealant to prevent water intrusion. Make the electrical connections at the light, attach the light to the block, and turn on the power.

FAQ

How do I maintain the light fixture after it’s installed?

Periodically inspect the light. If you see sagging, gaps or loose caulk, turn off the power before attempting to re-seat the fixture. If you experience flickering, buzzing, weird smells or sparks, turn off the power and call a licensed electrician.