Lighting is a big part of what we do, whether you’re looking to add lighting or replace existing lighting, we can help. Changing a light fixture is absolutely something homeowners can do themselves. Just remember to turn off the electricity at the breaker box to the area you’ll be working in.
If you’re not comfortable doing the work yourself you can certainly give us a call. While the light fixture is something you’ll need to choose and pick up yourself, here is some information to help the decision process along.
Pendant lighting looks great over a kitchen island or bathroom vanity, but the amount of pendants you should hang depends on the size of the area you’ll be illuminating. It’s recommended that pendant lights be hung 16” – 18” apart. Begin in the center of your area and space the pendant lights from there.
Flush mount and semi-flush mount
The difference between flush and semi-flush is just that, a flush mount sits cleanly against the ceiling and semi-flush hangs near the ceiling. Usually flush mounted lights are dome shaped, but both flush mount and semi-flush mount come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
Chandeliers are more commonly added to an entry way or above a dining table, but they can replace any light fixture in the house. Chandelier sizes vary greatly, for a lower ceiling a smaller diameter is appropriate. The higher the ceiling the smaller a chandelier will look. You may need to do a small amount of math here, but it will give you the perfect diameter for your space. Add the length of your room and the width of your room. If your dining room is 10 ft wide and 20 ft long, we’ll add 10+20 and get 30; your chandelier should be 30 inches in diameter. Or, you can size your chandelier to three quarters the width of your dining table. While shopping keep in mind that your chandelier hangs no less than 7 ft above the floor, unless it is over your dining room table. It is recommended that the bottom of a dining chandelier be hanging at 36” above the table top.
Determining the illumination you need requires a small amount of math as well. Now that you already have your square footage, you’ll need to multiply the length and width of the room (10x20=200). Now, multiply the square footage by 1.5 for your total wattage needed (200x1.5 = 300 watts). The chandelier doesn’t need to support 300 watts; we could potentially add some recessed cans or wall sconces to light the room.
Chandeliers over 15 pounds will need extra support, much like fans do. If you’d like to replace a ceiling fan with a chandelier there should be no problem with the weight.
For ceilings over 15 ft. we build scaffolding, for both the safety of our electricians and the safety of your light fixture.
Under cabinet lighting
LED, Florescent and Xenon are the most common bulbs we install in light bars. Xenon is a lighting source similar to incandescent. These bulbs are essentially incandescent bulbs with increased efficiency. Puck lights are also very common, rather than being long lights, these are round like a hockey puck.
The best time to install under cabinet lighting is when you’re building, remodeling or just redoing the backsplash. This time allows us to run wires where then need to be then successfully cover them up without damaging an existing backsplash.
If you’re installing under cabinet lighting under an area that stores perishable food, you may need to consider the heat output. LED are the most cool, followed by florescent and then Xenon.
Track lighting gives you changeable direct lighting. You can move the lights along their track and change their directions as you change the focus in a room.
For a single story house, the best way for us to attach security lighting is to the soffit. For a two story house, we could attach the lights to the soffit and put a switch on the second floor. Going this route puts the light a little too high to get good lighting on the ground and makes it very difficult to change out light bulbs later. For a two story house we recommend running electricity from an outlet on the second floor and adding a switch next to the outlet. This is the easiest and fastest for us. The lights give off more light at the ground and bulbs can be changed with a ladder that a homeowner would likely already own.
Have a lighting question?
Copyright © Grayzer Electric. All rights reserved.
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm
Regulated by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157 Austin, Tx 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599; website: www.license.state.tx.us/complains
Your trusted, licensed Austin Electrician