Are you including new, decorative light fixtures to your remodeling project? If so, read on to avoid some common (and often very expensive) oversights.

Remodeling projects pose some unique challenges for lighting. Since remodels typically have to accommodate specific constraints of the existing structure and/or electrical system, these limitations must be taken into account. Below we’ve suggested five lighting topics to cover with your remodeling contractor.

1.    Fixture weight limitations. Most lights mount directly to a j-box, but heavier fixtures such as large ceiling fixtures or exterior sconces may be required to mount to the building structure in order to meet UL and local codes. This will typically require your contractor to install additional blocking during construction, so the fixture can be installed correctly.

2.    Fixture size or height limitations. There’s nothing worse than discovering that your beautiful new great room chandelier can’t fit through any of your exterior doors, or that the bottom of your new powder room ceiling light gets hit every time a door opens. Unfortunately, these problems occur all too often. Your contractor can provide all the measurements needed to avoid these problems, and many Hammerton fixtures can be designed and built to accommodate existing doorways.

3.    Electrical loads and line voltage. If you’re remodeling an older home, make sure you understand the constraints of your current electrical system. If other consumers of power are sharing a line, then your new entry chandelier or that row of pendants down the main hallway may require a dedicated power source.

Also, make sure the line voltage in your home can handle your desired lamping. Homes with fluctuating voltage or voltage higher than 115 will typically require commercial grade incandescent bulbs or xenon bulbs.

If a lighting control system is part of your remodeling plan, make sure your fixtures work with the system.

4.    Mounting Surfaces. For both interior and exterior lights, it’s always smart to consider the surface you are mounting to when selecting or specifying a light. Whether it’s an existing tile backsplash in the master bath or the exterior stone siding on your entry façade, the type, thickness and contour of a surface can impact both the ease of installation and the look of the fixture. Usually just a slight modification to the mounting plate or hardware will provide an easier installation and the best look possible.

5.    Smart Lighting Planning. Lights are often the last features to be installed during a remodel, so the tendency is to leave lighting decisions until the last minute. This is usually the most costly and time-consuming mistake, and it’s also the one made most frequently. By developing your overall lighting plan and specifying your decorative fixtures early in the planning process, you’ll be much more likely to avoid these pitfalls and the associated last-minute compromises.

Part of the service we provide at Hammerton is helping our clients avoid these types of oversights during the lighting specification process. We provide detailed drawings that specify several elements of the fixture, including dimension, weight, mounting and light lift requirements. Together, our designers, engineers and service teams work with each client to ensure a smooth and successful installation.

Let us know if we can help with your next remodel project!