Get down from There! Why You Should Hire an Electrician to Install a New Light Fixture
The United States saw 364,300 residential fires occur in 2016 (U.S. Fire Administration (fema.gov)). Of this, electrical malfunctions accounted for 6.5 percent, almost 24,000 fires.
That's good enough reason for you not to give all electrical work at home a go. Yes, there are some DIY projects you can take on, like replacing bulbs or changing wall outlet covers. It's a different story when you need to install a new light fixture.
One wrong step can make an otherwise affordable job a lot more expensive. In fact, it's risky, even dangerous, to do the installation yourself.
That's why you should hire an electrician for this specific job.
Ready to learn why exactly you need to experts for new lighting installations? Let's get right into it then!
Licensure Required for all Electrical Work
In Texas, anyone carrying out electrical work needs to have a license. That includes installing new electrical systems and making changes to an existing system.
Installing new light fixtures fall under these, so you need someone licensed to do the job.
Installing New Wiring and Tapping to Existing Connections
To make that new ceiling or wall light fixture work, you need electricity to run through it. That means you need to connect it to your home's existing electrical wiring. Some cases even require adding new wires so that the fixture can tap on to existing wiring.
The question is, do you know which wire should go into which? Considering that a switch box can have anywhere from six to more wires, it can be confusing.
There are also several types of wires you need to know of, like hot, neutral, and ground wires. You need to connect the light fixture to the right wires to get it installed and working right.
Confusing, right? But flickering lights or having trouble getting your new fixture to light up isn't the only issue here. A single mistake in these connections can be all that it takes to start a fire.
Ceiling or Wall Support
Light fixtures vary when it comes to weight, with chandeliers being some of the heaviest. Lighted ceiling fans are also heavy, especially those that have metal blades.
Either way, the location installation should be able to support the extra weight. This applies to both wall and ceiling light fixtures.
Failure to determine this can lead to your wall or ceiling giving away or even collapsing. Not only can that result in expensive repairs, but it's a safety hazard! Especially hanging light fixtures, installed in places where people are right under them.
Licensed electricians have the proper skills and tools to ensure this won't happen. They'll first make certain your walls or ceiling can bear the added weight of the fixtures.
Special Fixtures Need Special Hardware
Fixtures that weigh more than 15 pounds require special electrical boxes. If you don't have this, a licensed electrician can install one for you. These boxes can often hold and support fixtures weighing up to 150 pounds.
If the fixture you want to set up is heavier than that, it needs specialized mounts. This will keep your heavy and expensive fixture stable and secure. Again, your trustworthy electrician can supply and install these for you.
Correct Hanging Distance
You want your light fixtures not to hang too low nor too high. Otherwise, the lights won't be able to illuminate the area properly, or people can bump their heads on it. Both are ineffective and a waste of electricity, not to mention a safety hazard.
Pro electricians have the tools to measure appropriate hanging distance. Especially for ceiling lights that you want to be mounted over the dining table or work area. Proper hanging distance also helps keep high-traffic areas, like hallways, safe and accident-free.
Keeping Your Fixtures Under Warranty
Fancy or not, light fixtures often come with product warranties. Many of these indicate that their installation requires a professional. Unless you're a licensed electrician, installing them on your own voids their warranty.
Professional electricians also provide their own warranty on their own products and services. So, entrusting them the installation of your light fixtures gives you even more peace of mind. In case a problem arises with the work they've done, that warranty protects you from more expenses.
A New Light Fixture May Need Extra Insulation
New ceiling or wall light fixtures may need extra or specialized insulation. Especially those that come with ceiling fans, since these generate more heat. That increased amount of heat comes from the light and the fan's movement.
An electrician can determine if your existing ceiling or wall insulation is enough. If not, they can provide and install the extra insulation needed for your new fixtures.
Value-Added Services from Pro Electricians
A pro electrician can advise you on other aspects of your home's electrical system.
For instance, they can help you determine how much savings you'll get from LED light fixtures. LED lighting is the most energy and cost-efficient lighting, as they use up to 75 percent less energy! Also, compared to incandescent lights, their lifespan is up to 25 times longer.
Furthermore, licensed electricians will tell you if your wiring needs an overhaul. They can discover this soon as they connect your new fixture to your home's electrical wiring. They'll also inform you if it's time to get your electrical panel replaced.
Your Safety is Priority
Some electrical projects are okay to perform on your own, but not if they involve wiring. Many of these DIY jobs cause some of those fires that occur every 24 seconds in the country.
That said, have a licensed electrician install that new light fixture for you! It's the fastest and simplest way to enjoy your new lights. It's also the safest method, which should be enough reason for you to hire a pro.
Ready to have that chandelier up and running? Then please feel free to connect with us! We can get you the service you need ASAP.