Whether you’re switching out a light fixture to one that has more bulbs or finally want to install a ceiling fan, you have plenty of options when updating your home. Many fixtures can be updated at your discretion, but you don’t want to stumble blindly into changing your home’s electrical wiring. Keep these five essential tips in mind before beginning installation.

Check the New Wattage

New fixtures that have more bulbs or larger changes like chandeliers or ceiling fans require more electricity than smaller fixtures. Check your circuit breaker to determine how much energy the fixture can spare before installation. No one wants to deal with a circuit breaker that constantly trips or the increased potential for a house fire.

Weigh the Fixture

If you’re replacing a fixture, check the base for weight requirements. Some bases will only be able to hold a certain amount of weight, limiting your options to other similar fixtures rather than a massive upgrade like a new chandelier. There are many DIY options available that are budget-friendly and don’t weigh much.

Confirm Wiring Efficiency

Don’t add a new fixture if your wiring is showing signs of damage. Flickering bulbs, buzzing or humming, warm spots on the walls or near outlets and a burnt smell are all possible signs that your wiring is damaged. You may even have an issue with the circuit breaker. A new fixture could worsen the problem and lead to electrocution or fire. Schedule an appointment with an electrician as soon as possible.

Contact an Electrical Contractor

Contact a professional to check the safety and efficiency of your wiring before making any big changes to your home. Electrical contractors are expert technicians trained to spot issues in your wiring and identify warning signs before they develop into dangerous circumstances. Many electrical contractors can install your new fixture, saving you the worry of having incorrectly crossed wires or installed it improperly.

Plan Ahead

Let your family know when you plan to add a new fixture. You’ll have to turn off electricity to the area and block foot traffic to avoid any potential accidents, which can inconvenience loved ones if they have a schedule for the day. Keeping everyone informed will streamline the process and keep kids and pets from being underfoot and in the way of your ladder.

Maintain essential safety protocols and shop within your wattage needs to ensure a smooth and easy installation process.