Hang and mount a new lamp yourself quickly and easily
Lamps are also subject to fashion and wear; occasionally a lamp needs to be replaced. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple job, but it does require the necessary safety measures. Incorrect installation can cause an electrical shock or even a short circuit. Therefore, always put safety first when hanging a new lamp yourself. This means, among other things, switching off the power and checking whether the power is actually off.
Safety when hanging a lamp
Work during the day
Hanging a lamp does not have to be a complicated job if there is already a central box in the ceiling, or if a lamp has already been hung there. In such cases, it is not so much about connecting the wiring, but more about mounting the lamp on the ceiling itself that can sometimes cause problems. The most important thing before starting to hang a new lamp is to switch off the power. It is also for this reason that it is wise to hang a new lamp during the day; it is then possible to work in daylight instead of the light of a flashlight or work lamp.
Turning off the power
If there is still an old lamp, it can be switched on to find the right switch in the meter cupboard if this is not clearly indicated. Switch the groups off and on again one by one to find the group the lamp is connected to. If the lamp goes out, leave that group off. Then remove the old lamp from the ceiling.
Check for voltage with a voltage detector
If there is no lamp, a voltage detector can be used. A voltage tester is a screwdriver with a light. Hold the screw side against a thread and push the end of the voltage tester with a finger. When the light comes on, there is still voltage on the wire and the power is not yet off. If the light does not come on, you can continue working on the lamp.
The colors of electric wires
There are two to three wires in the central box in the ceiling. Older houses often have two wires, new houses often three. The wires are marked with colors. There is a black wire and a blue or brown wire. Blue and brown are different colors for the same thread. In some cases black and brown have been used and in some cases black and blue. The third thread that is often present has two colors; green and yellow. This is the ground wire, an extra piece of safety. If this wire is present and the chosen lamp allows mounting of a ground wire, it is wise to use this as well.
To be able to mount the wires, a piece of about one centimeter must first be stripped. If there has already been a lamp, it has probably already been done. If not already done, use wire strippers to free an inch at each wire. If the ground wire is not used, it does not need to be stripped. If it has already been stripped, use some electrical tape to neatly tape the end.
Mounting a terminal block
When the wires are stripped, they can be mounted in a terminal block. This is usually already included with the new lamp, but is also available separately at almost every DIY store. Turn the screws of the terminal block slightly outwards, so that the wires can be tucked into the openings. Then tighten the screws and check that the wires are secure. The earth wire does not go into the terminal block, which is later mounted on the lamp itself.
Hanging a mounting plate for the lamp
Many lamps work with a mounting plate that must be hung to attach the new lamp. These mounting plates usually have slots for the screws to pass through, which fit into the central box in the ceiling. If this is not the case, holes must be drilled and plugged. For weaker ceilings it is wise to first investigate which plugs or mounting method should be chosen. For example, if it concerns a plasterboard ceiling, it is wise to opt for an umbrella plug or plaster wall plug. These expand at the top of the drywall, making them hold better. With these plugs it is always stated how much weight they can handle, compare this well with the weight of the new lamp.
Connect the lamp and mount it on the ceiling
If the mounting plate is attached to the ceiling, the lamp can be connected to the terminal block. The easiest is if a second person can hold the lamp or rest the lamp on something, for example on a staircase. The wires of the lamp can be connected to the terminal block, in the same way as the wires from the ceiling. The colors must also be opposite each other, so that black is in contact with black, and blue is in contact with blue. The ground wire must then be connected to the lamp itself. For this, there is often a screw on the metal of the lamp with a sticker of an arrow. When everything is connected, the lamp can be attached to the mounting plate.
Lamp operation and troubleshooting
Once the assembly is complete, the power can be turned on again to test the operation of the lamp. If the lamp works, the assembly is successful. If not, disconnect the power and check that the wires are properly attached. If the lamp still does not work, it can be checked whether another lamp needs to be turned in the lamp or whether the lamp itself is defective. If no lamp has been installed before, it could also be that there is no current on the wires from the ceiling. To test this, a voltage detector can be used.