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If you’re planning a major lighting retrofit or electrical construction in your home, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the light installation process, or the numerous choices available. With so many types of light fixtures in a house, installing bay lights, strip lights, can or recessed lights, lamps, bulbs, flat panel ceiling lights, lenses, etc. can leave you in a cold sweat. That’s why it’s best to hire a licensed lighting contractor for a hassle-free lighting project.
Truth be told, while most homeowners may be able to replace a lightbulb, install low-voltage lighting, pendant lighting, or a new ceiling fan — they are no lighting experts.
Especially when it comes to complex installations such as adding outdoor lighting, replacing all the existing lights with energy-efficient lights, or changing the entire lighting design of the house. Therefore, hiring a lighting contractor who has the right expertise is extremely important.
What does a lighting contractor do?
A licensed lighting or an electrical contractor works with electrical equipment to power both residential as well as commercial lighting, perform maintenance and repair tasks, and is qualified to hire other electricians as subcontractors for a home remodeling project.
An experienced lighting contractor uses the best tools and hires the best people to complete the task while keeping the logistics and schedule of your lighting project convenient for you.
Questions to ask your lighting contractor
Before your home improvement project begins, you need to ask your lighting contractor the right questions so that you know that the person you’re hiring is the right one. And, you know exactly what you’re getting into. Here are some vital queries you need to be answered.
Who is doing the light installation, and how?
You need to know who the person in charge of your lighting project is, and if they’re qualified enough to handle the task. Also, you must convey your scheduling needs. After all, you cannot have your electricity shut off for hours when you need it the most.
If your lighting contractor is worth their salt, they’ll know how to install the lights without causing much disruption.
How many lumens do the lights put out?
The unit lumens determine the brightness of a light. That is, how much light it will produce. A good contractor should know the exact lumen rating and output, and how it compares to your current lights. Keep in mind that the lumen output of the new lighting should be roughly similar to your current lights — or else the change will be too disorienting for you.
What’s the new light’s temperature?
A light’s temperature determines its color. Lower color temperatures (2000k – 3000k) give out a warm light such as orange or red, while higher temperatures (4500k – 6500k) give out a cool light such as blue or white light. You can choose the right kind of lights according to their placements in your house.
How do the lights turn on and off?
While this question may seem a simple one, it’s not. Keep in mind that the new types of LED lights or smart lighting are not all controlled in the same way. The on/off or the dimming hardware is different depending on the bulb type, application, fixture, and manufacturer.
Some lighting systems are binary — on and off through a wall switch while others may be connected to motion sensors or daylight sensors.
Will the new LED lights work within the larger lighting system?
Your contractor should understand how and where the new lights will be used. If you’re looking to replace your home’s entire lighting system with green installations, it should be easy enough for your contractor. But if you’re using different kinds of lights in your home, they should be compatible with each other. Make sure your contractor helps you with that.
Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to make high-efficiency LED upgrades and retrofits. They will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also lower your energy bills and prevent expensive maintenance costs in the future. And, they come with longer warranties.
Will they clear your home after the installation?
Make sure the workers clean up after the task has been completed. In fact, all the equipment and materials must be cleared away every evening so that before you open your doors in the morning, your house doesn’t look messy.
Lighting contractor insurance
The lighting contractor you hire must have an insurance cover tailored to the kind of risks they face. For example, general liability insurance protects general contractors from lawsuits or claims arising due to property damage and bodily injury on the construction job.
Electrical contractor insurance protects contractors against potentially devastating financial losses caused due to any injuries, property damage, or any other common risks pertaining to their electrical work.
Read more: General contractor license requirements
When it’s time to hire a lighting contractor, make sure that they understand what you need from your light. The lights that go into your home’s basement will be different from lights that go into your living room or are put up in your outdoor spaces.
Whatever type of lighting you want, your contractor should be able to illuminate your house safely and beautifully. A good lighting professional will use efficient lighting and their expertise to infuse life into your home.