Nearly every homeowner, at some point, is going to want or need to replace a light fixture. Although it isn't exactly a difficult job, the consequences of not doing it properly can be disastrous. Electrocution from 110 volts can be fatal, although it’s usually just a slight shock. However, falling off a ladder after jumping away from the shock is dangerous. Further, an improperly attached fixture can be a future fire hazard. A professional, licensed electrician is how to assure the job is done right and not have to worry about problems.
When and Why to Replace
Old fixtures rarely wear out and stop working, although they can get to a point when they’re putting off excess heat or making a crackling sound due to electric current running through a worn out connection. Even if working, they may have been painted over the years, or eventually get stained and dirty beyond cleaning. Then again, they could be out of style or just plain ugly to start. Often, a home was built with cheap generic fixtures and the homeowner wants something more decorative, or a ceiling fan for the breeze. These are all valid and legitimate reasons for asking an experienced electrician to replace fixtures.
Light fixtures aren't that difficult to replace, although a little experience and knowledge goes a long way toward making the job go smoothly. Connect three wires, positive negative and a ground exactly as the old ones were, line it up with what is usually two screws, and tighten them until it’s securely in place. If you think it’s that easy, you just electrocuted yourself since those instructions didn't mention shutting off the power. A professional electrician has the experience to remember the details, also, how to hold the fixture while connecting the wires with one hand, and using the proper connectors rather than just twisting the wires together and wrapping with tape.
Ceiling fans are basically the same, except they require a bit more thought and planning because of the weight. Again, a professional electrician has the knowledge and experience of having conducted this job hundreds of times. The last thing you want is to be standing on a ladder trying to balance an expensive electric appliance while also trying to figure out how best to proceed. That’s an accident waiting to happen, whereas hiring an electrician is an assurance of having the job done right.