Are you looking to add new light fixtures? Great! But you shouldn’t do it
yourself! Here are seven reasons you should call an electrician for lighting jobs.
‘When should I hire a professional?’ is often the toughest question—especially when dealing with electrical work like changing light fixtures.
Changing light fixtures is something the DIY crowd often tackles, but sometimes this electrical job requires a pro. These DIYs might look simple, but certain incidents make these projects more challenging than expected.
In this article, you’ll learn why to call an electrician to install lighting fixtures! You’ll also find instructions on how to hire a professional electrician.
Table of Contents
Why Should You Hire a Lighting Electrician?
Professional electricians’ expertise goes beyond the fundamentals of using electrical components. They are trained to examine whole power systems, investigate the reasons for power outages, and resolve complex issues.
Electricians also have access to equipment such as gauges, meters, and auxiliary supplies that ordinary people can’t get at a hardware store — and even if they can, they may not know how to use them properly.
Here are the seven reasons why you need professionals to install new lighting fixtures:
1. All Electrical Work Requires a License
The requirement for a license is different from state to state. For example, electricians in Nashville, TN, require a permit, whereas electricians in the Kansas City area don’t need a license to work.
This involves both the installation of new electrical systems and the modification of existing ones. Installing new light fixtures falls within these categories; therefore, you’ll need to hire a professional if you reside in an area where electricians need a license.
2. Wall or Ceiling Support
The weight of the light fixtures may vary a lot. For example, chandeliers are the heaviest, while LEDs are the most lightweight products.
The wall or ceiling on which you’re installing your fixture should be able to sustain the additional weight in either case. If you don’t figure it out, your wall or ceiling may collapse. This may result in costly repairs while also posing a safety risk!
Professional electricians will make sure your walls or ceiling can support the extra weight of the fixtures first.
3. Taping to Existing Connections and Wiring
When you install a new fixture, It must be wired into your existing electrical system. In some cases, new cables are required so that the fixture may connect to existing wiring.
But do you know where to plug in each fixture? It might be perplexing since a switch box can contain six or more cables.
You must also understand the many sorts of wiring, such as hot, neutral, and ground wires. A single blunder in these connections may be enough to ignite a fire.
4. Measure the Proper Hanging Distance
Your light fixtures should not be hung too low or too high. Otherwise, the lights will not be able to illuminate the area entirely.
Professional electricians have the equipment to determine the proper hanging distance, especially if you wish to hang ceiling lights above the dining table or workspace.
Hanging distance is particularly important for keeping high-traffic areas, such as corridors, safe and accident-free.
5. Extra Insulation May Be Required
Extra or specialized insulation may be required for new wall light fixtures, especially if you’re making an industrial light fixture. Particularly ones that have ceiling fans, which create additional heat.
An electrician can assess if the insulation in your ceiling or walls is enough. If not, they may supply and install the additional insulation your new fixtures need.
6. Maintaining the Life of Your Fixtures
Light fixtures, whether fancy or not, sometimes come with product warranties. Many of them state that expert installation is required. Installing them yourself violates the warranty.
Professional electricians also provide their own product and service warranties. This shields you from additional costs if a problem occurs with their job.
7. Value-Added Services
Licensed electricians can also inform you whether your wiring needs to be replaced. They’ll know this when they install a new fixture. They’ll also let you know whether it’s time to replace your electrical panel.
What to Look for in a Professional Electrician?
So, if you’re convinced to call out an electrician to change your light fixtures, you need to look for someone with a mix of expertise, quality, service, and price:
- Look for Affordable Options
The amount of money electricians charge doesn’t always represent their work. Tell the electrician precisely what you need done and receive a detailed quote for how much each step will cost.
- Communication and Character
A professional electrician would never miss two service benchmarks: attitude and openness. They should show up on time and clean up after themselves, and they should always be honest about the quality of your installations.
- Look for Referrals and Experience
Like other household service providers, electricians depend on word-of-mouth for their marketing. Ask your friends or neighbors if they can refer any electrical service providers they’ve hired before. Check their history and experience with similar jobs.
How Do You Change Light Fixtures?
If you consider yourself a DIY expert, or maybe you’re an electrician looking for a guide to help you with the process, you may attempt it yourself.
We’d suggest you follow this guide only if you have previous experience working with electrical projects (like changing an outlet or light switch). You can follow these six easy steps to replace or install new light fixtures.
Step-1: Turn Off the Power of the Room
First, you must check the electrical circuit panel for the circuit breaker control of the room where you’ll be working. Turn the circuit off along with the wall switches.
Make sure the electricity is turned off using a voltage tester.
Step-2: Remove the Existing Fixture with Cover
Remove any removable pieces of the fixture, including the bulbs. Remove the cover adjacent to the ceiling/wall. You should see a green, white, and black wire with the lid off.
Disconnect the wires by unscrewing the wire caps. After that, separate the fixture and ceiling wire.
Step-3: Replace the Plates
A new hardware plate will be included with the new light fixture. Remove the old hardware plate and replace it with the new one.
Thread the cables through the new plate and attach the mounting bracket to your ceiling box.
Step-4: Connect the Wires of New Fixtures
Match the new fixture’s wires to your home’s existing wiring according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Step 5: Secure the Canopy or Base
Fold the cables into the electrical box, base, or canopy’s empty area. If you’re changing a fixture on a high ceiling, have a helper nearby if you need support.
Step-6: Place the Bulbs and Switch Them on
Ensure the wattage is correct before installing the suggested bulbs in the fixture. Turn on the circuit’s electrical panel first, then the light switch on the new fixture.
That’s it! Enjoy your new lights.
We love being able to work on home improvement projects that are on the do-it-yourself list. This post even has a short DIY guide to changing light fixtures.
However, these DIY electrical works can cause fires every 24 seconds in the United States.
So, when you don’t feel confident tackling a project alone, don’t force it. Remember that you can become a fixture yourself (pun intended)! Stuff your ego in the closet and call an electrician right now!