I offer a complete indoor and outdoor light installation service for Cardiff, Penarth and Dinas Powys.
If you don’t know what type of lighting you need, where; I can help you decide and install it at a convenient time that works for you. And if there is no light fixture installation where you need your new lights and switch, I can help with electrical work like that too.
Click to read and see more about the light fixtures I regularly install throughout the South Glamorgan area:
Ceiling lights (flush, semi-flush, surface, pendant and chandelier)
I can install help advice on any ceiling light fixture you need.
All lights are a personal choice, but they need to be functional and suitable for the location they will be installed.
Don’t forget to check the dimensions. If hanging up in a large showroom they will be out of scale for your living room which may have a ceiling height of 2.4 metres. Equally, when looking online, lights can arrive totally different to what you were expecting!
When looking for ceiling lights, don’t be put off by lights that do not have lamps (or bulbs as most people know them!) which can be replaced. A lot of the new lighting fixtures are sealed LED lights so there is nothing to replace.
Recessed lights (downlights) are a popular choice for modern apartments and houses in Cardiff. Typically you will see them in new builds for kitchens and bathrooms, although some choose to install them (often with a dimmer switch) in living and dining areas.
They have a very focused range and are typically positioned where you need them the most. Retrofitting them can be challenging. When a house or extension is being built, the electrician can see where the joists and any obstructions (like pipework) are before the ceiling or floor is fitted.
If you want to change a central lighting system for downlights, then the limitation is the layout of your joists, if the void is filled with insulation and if there is any pipework in the way.
It’s also not a good idea to install downlights in ceilings made from lath (opposed to plasterboard) which is what a lot of houses in older areas of Cardiff still have. The lath ceilings are flat strips of wood nailed to the joists and then finished with a sand and cement finish. It’s not easy to drill them nicely to allow a downlight to be installed and can often cause more work for you.
Wall lights were installed instead of ceiling lights in some properties. Having worked as an electrician in Cardiff for many years, I have noticed some areas like Heath and Rhiwbina only had wall lights (in some properties) on the ground floor.
Some have them in addition to ceiling lights. Wall lights are great for a relaxing evening and help show off nice artwork or photos. They come in all shapes and styles (including plastic, metal, glass and plaster)
Batten lights are a perfect replacement choice for:
- Boiler rooms
- Commercial kitchens
- Summer houses
They do look a bit commercial, but give a great output for working and being LED cost very little to run.
Kitchen lighting (including track, strip, under cabinet and breakfast bar)
Popular choices for kitchen ceiling lighting are:
- Track lights
- Batten lighting
Undercabinet lighting is a great addition to ceiling lighting because they really do light up the worktop to help with food preparation. My favourite choice for under cabinet lighting is batten – essentially LED strip lighting inside a tough enclosure from the manufacturer.
I have found these last longer in kitchens. The tape can fall down and doesn’t have any protection from steam from a kettle for example.
Bathroom lighting (including illuminated mirrors)
Downlights are the most popular new light fixture for new builds in the Cardiff area. They can be positioned where they are needed, often in a square or rectangular layout.
A central light fixture is also common – depending on the size of the bathroom.
All lighting products inside a bathroom need to be suitable for the environment – suitably protected from water ingress and can be of similar construction to outdoor lights.
Mirror lights are a great addition to any bathroom. They come in a range of sizes, styles and costs. Typically activated by motion or a hand sensor underneath. Some come with shaving socket outlets, shelves and are part of a cabinet that can be used to store toiletries.
Outside lighting (including dusk til dawn and motion-sensor operated)
Panel lights (used in office and commercial applications)
Installing the best ceiling light for your room
If you are looking for a light fitting i’m sure you know there is plenty to choose from. Ceiling lights come in all sizes and styles to accompany your taste and match your diner, living or bedrooms decor. Here are five things to consider when looking for a new ceiling light.
- The size of the room. Sometimes people hire me to install lights that are too big for the room. If you are looking online; check the dimensions. If looking in a showroom – bear in mind the height maybe many more times than where you want the light to be fitted inside your home.
- The height of the ceiling. A lot of new build properties in Cardiff will have a 2.4 metre (or 8 foot in old money) ceilings. That is, the ceiling is 2400mm from the finished floor level. If your home older and closer to the city centre you may have a 12 foot ceiling. It’s best to check the height of your ceiling if you are considering a light which has a drop on it.
- How much light you want. Some light fittings look very appealing aesthetically, but customers tell me don’t generate much light output. Light output is now measured in lumens. Once upon a time lights would come with 60 watt lamps – now we have 6 watt LED instead. A good quality 6 watt LED lamp will generate around 500 lumen. Although everyone’s eyesight is different; most customers feel happy with roughly 200 – 300 lumens per square metre. So, if your bathroom is 2.5 metres wide and 2.5 metres long: A ceiling light generating between 1000 and 1500 lumens would satisfy most people’s requirements.
- Where you need the light. I often re-locate light fittings for customers, although most are replacements. That is, take one down and replace it with another. It’s worth checking the light output on your new fitting; just incase the new one is not going to provide as much light as your old one! Spots and track assemblies are popular in kitchens and bathrooms where you need light from not just a central location.
- Dimmable. Do you have a dimmer for your existing fitting, or would you like one for your new installation? Either way, you need to find out if the light fitting you are about to purchase can be dimmed and if your dimmer is compatible.
The different types of ceiling lights
- Bulkhead (or flush) lights have a low profile so don’t take up much space. Great for low ceilings, or if you want something that blends in nicely.
- Semi-flush light fittings have some depth to them, although do not drop on a chain or flex.
- Pendant lights drop on the flex or chain and more suitable for rooms with tall ceilings, or wherever you have the height to create a drop.
- Downlights fit inside the ceiling void and sit almost completely flush with the ceiling. They can be fitted in all rooms and most commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Batten Fittings. Offering a great light output with a slightly commercial appearance. Often fitted in kitchens, lofts, garages and utility areas.
- Lamp shades. If you have a plain ceiling pendant; you can dress it up with a nice shade. Available in a wide range of styles, colours and fabrics. You might not even need an electrician if you are happy with the existing ceiling rose.
Ceiling light installation is one of the most popular electrician services i offer throughout Cardiff home and business. Once you have the lights and lamps, you can book me to install them.
Zones and IP ratings for bathroom lighting installation explained
Rooms containing a bath or shower are called special locations within the wiring regulations. Lights inside a bath or shower room are manufactured for this purpose. When looking for a new light for your bathroom you will see manufacturers refer to zones and IP ratings.
Additional consideration is necessary for installing lights in a room containing a bath or shower because:
- Water is present (sometimes under pressure from a shower)
- Users are in contact with parts (including taps and pipework) that maybe connected to the earth connection the electrical system in the UK is connected to for safety.
- Our resistance to electricity is lower (and therefore the risk of shock is higher).
Light manufacturers design their fittings to comply with this. A ceiling light outside the main bath / shower area will typically be labelled up as IP44 compared to a light over the shower head which is likely to be IP65. It’s not a good idea to install any light in your bathroom without checking its suitable for the environment.
IP is an acronym for ingress protection. In this instance its the light fittings ability to keep itself dry internally and working correctly regardless of the environment. The higher the number, the better the protection to water.
The easiest way to show zones for the bath / shower room (and where you can fit which light) is in the form of a diagram which you can see below:
Three ways to get good lighting inside a busy kitchen
- Track lights allow you to install more than one fitting and aim them in the direction you need them.
- Downlights installed directly above where necessary.
- Under cabinet lighting is very effective at lighting up food preparation areas.
- White ceiling with lightly coloured walls will help the light reflect compared to darker colours.
- Good quality LED lamps
Most customers want a decent level of task lighting – especially if they prepare and cook a lot of food outside of natural light levels. I have found Astral Lighting to stock a huge range of suitable lighting. So if your kitchen includes a dining area then you may want some mood lighting as well. The shape of some kitchens and the location of wall cabinets and appliances like extractor hoods can cast shadows in some areas making it harder than other parts of the house. A combination of good ceiling-level lighting and under cabinet lights will ensure the largest of kitchens are adequately lit.