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Our house has some directional external lights (the mount allows us to pivot the fixture).

I just tested out one of them today by putting in a bulb. The bulb flickered (it's a good bulb) when I turned it on and it did not stay on.

I'm not going to fix it right now.

Do I need to worry about rain shorting out the fixture if I don't put a bulb in the socket?

It would only short out if the switch is in the ON position right?

Do outdoor rated light fixtures mitigate against this?

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Normally, old style exterior flood lights are mounted under the eave of the house protecting them from the rain. They also had a rubber gasket to seal against the flood lamp.

If yours are mounted on the gable wall of a house/garage they should be pointed down anyway which keeps the socket from collecting water even if it's empty.

Unless the socket fills with a considerable amount of water it won't short out. And if it does it will most likely trip the circuit breaker before anything bad would happen.

Rest easy.

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