Be Proactive!

photo-11Save yourself from headaches down the line and do your research first. That is really good advice for almost any investment that you are making. Be proactive! Whether you are replacing a single light fixture, doing a remodel, or building new; doing some research first and asking the right questions will make your project go much smoother. You can’t avoid every pitfall when it comes to construction, there will always be unforeseen issues and delays, that is almost a given!

Here are a few trips and traps to take into consideration before you begin:

Before hiring the contractor – interview them and check them out on-line. A good place to start is your State contractor board. Here is the link for Oregon.

Do some shopping – have in mind what types of lighting you want, get a budget and print spec sheets. This is good information to have on hand for the contractor interview.

Tips for LED lighting – all LED light fixtures use an LED driver to drive the LED modules. LED technology will vary from fixture to fixture, even within the same manufacturer. The LED driver may or may not be dimmable. Dimmable LED drivers can require different dimmers. Keep that in mind if you are mixing different fixtures on the same circuit / dimmer. Go over this with the contractor. Are they up to speed on dimming LED and the different dimmers and wiring required?

Traps with LED lighting – if the dimmer is not compatible with the LED driver the light may strobe or flicker when dimmed. If the LED driver requires 0-10V dimming, the contractor must pull two extra control wires. This is important to know ahead of time.

Tips for low voltage lighting – low voltage light fixtures require a low voltage transformer to operate. Low voltage transformers are either electronic or magnetic and they require different dimmers. Be sure to ask your contractor if they have installed low voltage lighting before. You don’t want to pay them extra to figure out how the system goes together.

Be aware – once you have selected the lighting, be wary of any contractor suggestions to substitute products. They may indeed have a suggestion that you like, just be sure that the substitute is compatible with the other lights and dimmers that you already selected.

With a little research before you begin your project you will know what questions to ask during the contractor interview. Plus the more you know beforehand the better equipped you will be when those unforeseen issues arise. For more information on these subjects plus more, please visit our FAQ page

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