Introduction: Repair an Outdoor Floodlight

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

When the church youth group began to set up the outdoor manger scene, the floodlight they use for nighttime illumination was broken. The socket for the bulb on the right had broken away from its internal support. The floodlight is made of plastic and several winters weakened the plastic so that it broke.

Step 1: You Recognize This

This is the portion of the socket that receives the base of a standard screw-in bulb. Two screws come out of the bottom to mount the socket. At the time I did this fix I was only concerned about getting the floodlight to work quickly. Only later did I think of making an Instructable of it.

Step 2: The Internal Structure of the Floodlight

This could at best be called a weak design. Two narrow posts of plastic support the bottom of the socket. Screws go down from the socket into the posts.

Step 3: What Was Broken

Plastic becomes brittle with age and this floodlight is probably about five years old. Part of one post had broken off.

Step 4: The Other Post Broke, Too

When I began to work with the screw in the other post, its side broke away.

Step 5: The First Step

The connector for the white wire was held between the bottom of the socket and the plastic post. With both posts broken I needed to find a screw small enough to use the hole in the bottom of the socket and with a small enough head that it would not keep the bulb from screwing down as far as necessary to make contact with the center terminal. I found a suitable screw and nut in my small parts bins. I did not worry about corrosion much because that requires oxygen (for the most part) and this was about to be encased in hot glue.

Step 6: Hot Glue Makes a Solid Support

In this graphic I added the fins that give side support to the bulb socket. There are six of them you could see if looking from the top down, rather than from the side.

I drilled three 1/4 inch holes through the outside of the floodlight and pumped hot glue in through them. I also pumped hot glue down from the top. Be careful that the hot glue does not run over and into the inside of the bulb socket. If it does, do your best to remove it while it is still a liquid. I also tried to watch that the socket was not significantly higher or lower than its original position. The bulb needs to screw in far enough to be held well, but the tip of the bulb also needs to reach to the center terminal.

Pumping hot glue in from the side forms locking bumps that act like rivets to keep the whole assembly from moving upward or downward after the glue has hardened.

Step 7: The Finished Product

You can see the hot glue that fills the holes where I pumped the glue into the floodlights. Even though the other side of the floodlight was still intact, I drilled holes into it and pumped hot glue into it with the hope the extra support from the hot glue will keep it from failing in the future.

Yes, it was probably a very inexpensive floodlight. But, we needed it right away. And, my fix saved a few dollars.