For most homeowners, there are many hands-on tasks that are relatively easy to approach. With DIY lighting projects or even just routine maintenance in regard to lighting, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. With these helpful lighting safety tips, avoid accidents with a little thoughtful action.
- When changing bulbs, always make sure the lamp has had enough time to cool. When you consider that some bulbs, incandescent in particular, can create more heat than illumination, it makes it a priority to let bulbs cool before touching them.
- Never change a bulb with your bare hands. Handling a bulb with your bare hands can lead to accidental burns if the unit hasn’t cooled down to safe levels. Sometimes a bulb will shatter while being changed and the glass shards can end up in your hand. When changing a bulb, it is best to wear work gloves. If you do not have gloves, a cloth or towel will also work.
- Never overlamp a fixture by exceeding the wattage specifications. For instance, using a 200W solution in a fixture that is specified as a 60W maximum can lead to fixture failure, bulbs shattering, and even electrical damages.
- Use only the bulb types specified of the fixture. While some fixtures will allow you to plug in multiple types of bulbs into the fixture socket, most will specify the type best suited. For example, you can’t just plug in a LED in a fluorescent fixture that hasn’t been retrofitted to accommodate LED bulb types.
- Install GFCI for added protection for outdoor lighting and indoor lighting. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is one of the most essential ways to prevent any electrical shock accidents. Make sure if you decide to do this on you own, you read up on any safety suggestions, or you can look into hiring an experienced professional to complete this task.
- If you are attempting to deal with a wiring issue that is causing a light to flicker, make sure the power is completely off! This means not only the switch but also the breaker that controls the light.
- Make sure lights have a cover over areas exposed to heat. If you have a bulb that already puts out a lot of heat operating in an area with heat, such as over the stove, outdoor lighting, or garage lighting, the bulb should be protected by a cover. This will prevent any glass shattering in the event that the bulb shatters under the pressure of the heat. While this is rare, it has happened and it can be an unpleasant accident.