Are installing light fixtures a DIY project or something better left to a qualified pro? In certain circumstances, simply replacing an existing fixture with another of the exact same type and wiring is doable yourself if you’re handy and follow basic electrical safety rules. In other cases, however, a trained professional is the better choice for installing light fixtures when certain variables make the job unsafe, or ancillary issues like recessing ceiling fixtures require the expertise of an experienced installer.
Here are some typical instances where you need a pro:
Complex junction boxes
While installation to simple three-wire light junction boxes can be safe if you take care to turn off the circuit breaker to the box, some junction boxes incorporate additional wiring connected to different circuits. Even if you shut off the circuit breaker that controls that specific light, you still risk serious electric shock if you accidentally contact wiring from a different circuit routed through the same junction box. A professional has the test equipment to sort out wiring inside complex junction boxes and do the job safely.
Today’s new light fixtures may not be safe to connect to pre-1985 residential wiring which does not carry the proper rating. New fixtures display a warning label that specifies household wiring rated for at least 90 degrees Centigrade. Wiring in homes built before 1985 does not meet this specification. In this event, a qualified electrician will need to identify and recommend a different fixture that generates less heat or replace wiring to that circuit. Either way, it’s a job for a professional.
Because light fixtures recessed into the ceiling may contact insulation installed in the attic floor, critical safety measures must be observed to eliminate the fire hazard. Not all fixtures are rated for insulation contact. Only certain low-temperature fixtures are safe for this purpose, and installation of shields, as well as other work in the attic, may also be required to ensure safety.
For a professional service installing light fixtures in your Cincinnati home, contact the electrical professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.