Exterior light fittings have corroded


Exposure to air-borne salt, dust or dirt; inappropriate rating for location 


  • under the law, homeowners are allowed to replace light fittings within residential property they own. However, tenants cannot carry out electrical work in a rented property unless they are registered electrical workers and hold the appropriate licences. DIY electrical work is also prohibited in commercial buildings.
  • while homeowners are permitted to do this work, they should not do this unless they have the skills and knowledge to complete the job in a way that is safe and legal. If you have any doubts, call in a registered electrician to do the job
  • work must be carried it out and tested in accordance with ECP 51 – New Zealand Electrical Code of Practice for Homeowner/Occupier's Electrical Wiring Work in Domestic Installations (NZECP 51:2004)
  • cut power to the light fitting by turning off the switch as well as removing the appropriate fuse or tripping the appropriate circuit breaker on the switchboard. Confirm that power has been cut before proceeding. (The safest way to carry out this sort of work is to cut the mains and advise everyone on site)
  • replace the fitting with one with the appropriate protection. You can assess this by looking at the IP (Ingress Protection) rating of the fitting. This has two numbers, the first (1–6) indicating protection against dry particles and the second (1–8) against moisture. The higher the number, the greater the protection. For outdoor use in New Zealand, look for a fitting with a rating of at least IP65 (or IP67 for in-ground lighting.) Copper, 316 stainless steel and brass typically perform better than powder-coated metal in coastal environments. The best bulb option for outdoor lighting is a cool white (around 4000k)
  • reinsert fuse or circuit breaker
  • where corrosion is minor – for example, slight rusting on a 304 stainless steel fitting – remove rust with a scouring pad and then protect the metal surface with a clear lacquer. These products are available in aerosol cans for easy application.