How to Fit hanging ceiling lights

Installing a new light fixture is a great way to instantly change a dull looking room into a dazzling one. However, with so many lighting parts available to choose from the whole fitting a new hanging ceiling light can suddenly becoming a daunting experience. The bag of parts included with some fixtures may look puzzling, for any DIY newbie as poor installation techniques can result in a potentially lethal shock or fire.

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Remove the fixture

Make sure that you turn off the power before removing the fixture to the light fixture at the main circuit panel. Remove the nut or screws securing the dome-shaped canopy and lower it. Then remove the screws securing the crossbar to the electrical box and lower the fixture

Test the wires to make sure the power is off. Move the tip of a non-contact voltage detector near each wire to make sure the power to all wires in the box is turned off (make sure the light switch is turned on). If the tester lights, switch off circuit breakers or loosen fuses one at a time until the tester light goes off. Disconnect the wires from the light fixture.

For supply connections, use wire rated for at least 90 degrees C.

If you know your wiring was installed before 1985, don't use fixtures requiring 90-degree–rated supply wires if you have plastic sheathed cable, look for the letters NM-B or UF-B printed on the plastic sheath. If your wiring is fed through conduit, look on the wire insulation for the letters THHN or THWN-2. If you're still unsure, don't just carry on; make sure that you call an electrician for help.

Check the electrical box for capacity and strength

Before purchasing heavy hanging ceiling lights make sure you check your electrical box to make sure it will support the weight. The National Electrical Code (NEC) allows you to hang up to 50 lbs. from any electrical box that is threaded to accept No. 8-32 machine screws for attaching the crossbar.

Make sure your electrical box is securely fastened to solid framing before you hang a new light fixture from it. If your light fixture weighs more than 50 lbs. check the label to make sure the box is designed to support more than 35 lbs.

The NEC dictates how many wires and clamps you can safely put in an electrical box. Typical 1-1/2 to 2-in. deep octagonal or round ceiling boxes are quite large and overcrowding is rarely a problem.

For any advice on ordering your hanging ceiling lights or for advice on how to install them call Lighting Majestic free on 0800 4080049.

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