If you’ve found the perfect light fixture for your home, you may be thinking about installing it yourself. While there are some DIY electrical projects that can easily be tackled by handy homeowners, electrical light installation generally isn’t one of them. Not only can one installation error make an otherwise affordable job much more expensive, it can also be dangerous. Here’s why you should rely on a professional electrician to install your new light fixture.
All electrical changes should be performed by a licensed professional
In many states, making any changes to existing electrical systems needs to be done by someone who holds a valid electrician’s license. Even though you may think that electrical light installation seems like a simple job, it’s actually categorized as a significant change to your home’s electrical system, so you need to hire a licensed electrician to handle it.
Improper connections can start a fire
Your new fixture won’t work without a steady source of electricity, which means it needs to be correctly integrated into your home’s electrical wiring. In some cases, new wires may need to be added to the system to carry energy to the fixture.
Unless you’re very familiar with electrical work, it can be confusing determining which wire should attach to the fixture. Your switch box may have several wires coming out of it, including hot, neutral and ground wires. Using the wrong wire could result in flickering lights, and improper connections can even start a fire. Don’t take the risk and have it installed by an expert.
Evaluating ceiling and wall support
Ceiling and wall fixtures can be very heavy, and the installation area needs to be able to support the weight of the fixture for your safety. A licensed electrician has the tools and experience to evaluate the structure around the installation area and ensure the walls or ceiling can bear the weight of the new fixture.
Determining whether your fixture requires extra insulation
Many homeowners don’t realize that new wall or ceiling light fixtures may require extra or specialized insulation, especially fixtures that include ceiling fans. These fixtures generate more heat, not just from the light itself, but also from the fan’s movement. A professional electrician can help you determine if your current insulation is enough and can install extra insulation whenever necessary.
Maintaining a warranty
Whether you’ve purchased a top-of-the-line fixture or not, most new lighting options come with product warranties. Look carefully at the information that came with your fixture—it usually will indicate that you can only maintain the warranty if you had the fixture installed by a professional.
Keep in mind that electricians offer warranties, too. Good electricians stand by their work, and a warranty protects you from incurring any additional expenses if a problem arises from the work they’ve done.
Even something as seemingly simple as electrical light installation requires attention from a professional electrician. Whether you’ve got a new sconce or a chandelier that needs to get up and running, contact Walsh Electric today and we’ll get you the service you need right away.