There’s a reason lighting is one of the first few design selections you will make during the process. Shortly after all the framing is done, an electrician will need to start wiring for electrical before insulation and drywall are installed.
Having lighting picked out prior to your electrical walk thru will help you in providing direction and location for light fixtures to your electrician.
There’s a few things you can do in advance to prepare.
Know How Many Cans You Want
Can lighting is a simple and relatively cheap way to light your home. Cans typically run around $35 a piece and can really aid in lighting areas in your home where a light fixture doesn’t make sense. Before your walk thru, have a count of how many cans you want and where you want them. Your electrician or designer may advise you need more or less, but it’s good to go in with at least an idea.
Bring Pictures and Measurements of Fixtures
It’s important to bring a picture print out of each light fixture you’ve selected along with measurements so the electrician or your designer can point out any issues they may see with your selections. In some cases, your fixture might hang too low, might not work in a certain area per codes or might be too heavy for certain ceilings. If it’s possible, it’s best to wait to purchase your fixtures until you’ve had your walk thru in the event you need to make new selections.
Think About Where You Want Light Switches
In addition to your electrician needing to know where to actually hang your fixtures, he’ll need to know where you want switches. The type of fixtures you choose will also affect how many are needed per room. Think about whether you want a switch near your bed to make it easy to turn off lights once you’ve crawled in or where you want hall light switches or entryway light switches located. Your first choice might not be an option due to space, but having already researched and thought about it will avoid you feeling overwhelmed by all the little decisions you have to make.
Consider Special Outlet Locations
There are certain code requirements when it comes to outlets. They have to be spaced so far out and located in certain locations. But, beyond what’s required, think about whether you have any specific requests for outlet locations. For example, do you want an outlet located near your mantel for plugging in Christmas lights or special exterior outlets for various uses. Come into this meeting prepared to tell your electrician if you have any specific requests so they will be sure to note and add those to your home.
Make Exterior Lighting Selections
You’ll need to think about exterior lighting for your home prior to this meeting as well. In addition to front porch lighting or wall sconce lighting for the side of your house, they’ll need to know if you want floodlights for example or any additional lighting that you might want to shine down from your roof to accent certain features of your home or lighting in your yard to do the same.
Hopefully if you are armed with what you want and are prepared in advance, your electrical walk thru will be short and sweet!
Even after your initial walk thru, it’s ok to make changes after you’ve gone home and thought about it. Depending on the timeline for your house, you may have a few weeks before decisions have to be finalized in order for them to start the electrical work.
Going into the walk thru with at least some research and some sort of plan will really help!
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