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4 Need to Know Lighting Installation Tips

A large amount of the calls we go out on are for lighting fixture replacement/changes. A lot of the customers say “I usually do this myself,” but I don’t have time to take care of this right now. Another common quote we hear is “We have been working on this all weekend, and can’t get it to work.” Last but not least, a favorite quote of mine that I hear is “I am so tired of this outdated looking lighting that exists in my home. Can you please bring it up to date?” Usually this is where I chuckle and say “ElectricMan to the Rescue!” – Nick Schaeffer

If you’re planning to replace or make changes to your lighting fixtures the ElectricMan have some very helpful tips:

  1. Understand the way your home was initially wired. Usually the wiring is signified by “hot” being the black and “neutral” being the white colored wires. In older homes, this coloring is not on the wires and a top electrician should take it from there. If you are still game, even though these wires are not properly colored, you can figure out which wire is the “hot” with a transient voltage tick tester. This type of tester will tell you which wire the power is on. The other wire would then be the “neutral”. Be careful when doing this testing with the power on, you may be subject to a “shocking experience”. When in doubt, call a top electrician!
  2. If you are installing a chandelier replacement, the wiring that comes on the fixture from the manufacturer is what we call “zip cord” and is not colored white and black. The way they identify this type of wire is the “hot” is the smooth side and the “neutral” is the side with ridges. So if you feel this wire with your fingers, you will notice one side is smooth and one side has ridges. This will tell you how to hook these wires up independently. If this is not properly hooked up per side, you could potentially get a “nasty shock” when you change out a light bulb.
  3. Pendant lighting seems to be all the rage right now. This type of lighting can be used to decoratively light up kitchen islands and kitchen bar-type counters. This is a creative way to separate your kitchen from your living room. Typically, homes are not pre-wired for these lights, and wiring will have to be added before they can be installed. I highly suggest when wiring for these lights, that a new switch leg be installed for independent control. As always, installing new wiring to your existing electrical should be done by a top electrician.
  4. Recessed cans can clean up your ceiling and do away with unsightly light fixtures installed everywhere. When installing a recessed can, the type of trim is essential to maximizing the amount of light that you can get in an area. A baffled or recessed trim will turn a light into a spot, whereas a flush mount trim allows the light to start at the ceiling and move throughout the room. This gives a much more even look upon the finished product. Any electrician that has done a lot of installations should be able to guide you in the proper direction so that the style of lighting that you are looking for will be achieved. Be careful attempting these by yourself, drywall will need to be cut for installation, and you never know where a wire or plumbing pipe may be hiding.

Chandelier replacement, pendant lighting and recessed cans are cheap and affordable ways to completely change the look of your home. If you are attempting this on your own, and run into a problem, a good-hearted electrician will be happy to discuss with you where you went wrong and what it is going to take to fix it. Most electricians are happy to do free estimates, and help design a quality finished product. Whether you have a general repair or an electrical emergency, you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call!

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