As the sun starts to set you’ll automatically reach for the light switch, assuming the electricity is there and the light will work. This is something many people take for granted despite the fact that as many as 1.2 billion people in the world don’t have electricity.
Of course, you also have the advantage of being able to contact a qualified local level 2 electrician in seconds with your cell phone. That’s another luxury many people don’t have.
Having electricity doesn’t mean that you’ll never have an issue or want to change the fittings you have. Whether you prefer to rely on a professional or do the work yourself it’s worth understanding the basics of light fixture installation and repair.
Don’t forget there is legislation in place that prevents you from fitting new electrics in areas that also contain water, specifically bathrooms, and kitchens. You’ll need expert help if you’re handling that type of project.
Installing A Light Fixture
Assuming you’re installing this in a wet area you can install additional lights yourself, providing you know what you’re doing.
If you’re installing a new fitting you’ll need to identify the closest power supply, preferably on the existing light circuit. These are radial circuits, which means the power goes from light to light and then ends without returning to the breaker box.
You’ll need to identify a suitable life before shutting off the power.
The next step will be to create the hole for your light fitting and the mounting system. You’ll then be able to take a new piece of cable and run it from your power supply.
At this point, you should confirm that the existing light circuit can handle an extra light. If it can’t you’ll need to run a new circuit from the breaker box and you’ll want professional help to achieve this.
With the cable connected to the circuit, you’ll need to run it to a light switch first before going back to the light fitting. This will allow you to turn it on and off.
Of course, if you’re simply adding an additional light fitting to a room that already has lights you may simply want to let the original light switch control it. In this instance, you’ll need to ensure that you’re connecting your new wiring to the wiring after the original switch.
Another consideration when installing a light fitting, especially in a finished home, is how you will get the cable where it needs to go. Trunking is usually a good idea.
Repairing A Fitting
This is a much easier job as you can simply remove the existing fitting and replace it. You will need to connect the cables, in the same way, to ensure the fitting is connected safely.
Even when replacing a light fitting you must turn the power off at the breaker and verify it is off at the fitting, before you do any work. Safety should always come first when dealing with electricity and, if in doubt, contact a professional.