We’ve all become DIY buffs in recent years with the plethora of TV programmes about how to change X, Y or Z about our homes.With the financial pressures really biting, there is even more temptation to try it ourselves when it comes to fixing domestic problems without calling in the (often expensive) professionals.
Most of us could turn our hand to a little decorating – paint and a brush/roller can transform a room in a short time. Wallpapering needs a little more skill, time and patience to achieve the desired effect.
But electrics are serious – potentially dangerous – business and should not be undertaken by an amateur unless he or she is absolutely clear on what to do.
If you are feeling brave and understand the basics of electrics, here is a brief ‘how to’ guide on changing a ceiling light.
Before you do anything, switch off the electricity to the light in question and also at the mains to avoid any danger! The box will usually be found in the garage or a cupboard.
Climbing a secure stepladder, take out the lightbulbs and then remove the cover to the existing light base using a screwdriver. Slide the base away from the ceiling and you will expose the wires – black, white and bare copper or green.
Take a few moments to check which wires were connected to each other and their position within the unit.
Push the black and white wires from the new light fitting through the bolt on the mounting bracket and remove the wire sheathing from the wires.
Twist together the black wire from the ceiling with the black wire on the new light, and the white wire from the ceiling with the white wire on the light.
Attach the bare copper or green wire to the green screw on the mounting bracket and check that all the wires are securely in place. Next secure the mounting bracket to the electrical box in the ceiling – just as the old one was before you detached it.
Screw in the mounting screws, place the new light base onto those screws and slide the unit onto the bracket. Tighten the unit so it is flush to the ceiling and then insert the appropriate lightbulbs.
Return to the mains box and switch the system on, then turn the new light on at the lightswitch in the room. If all procedures have been followed precisely, bingo! Light will stream into the room!
Depending on the style of the new light, you might then find yourself with a simple filling and painting job on your hands to make good the area where you’ve been working – or you might have chosen wisely and picked a fitting which is the same size as the previous one!
If you have a steady hand and follow the picture guide in the fittings, changing a ceiling light does not need to be an arduous job – but if in doubt, call in the experts…better to be safe than sorry!