Don’t feel left in the dark with your lighting project.
Enlighten yourself with advice from these highly rated Indianapolis-area electricians. To get a better handle on lighting projects, we spoke to Brian Ashpaugh, owner of Ashpaugh Electric in Westfield, Indiana; Michael Hughes, owner of Hughes Electrical Connection in Beech Grove; and Mike Inger, owner of Inger Electric in Carmel.
What types of lighting do you install?
Brian Ashpaugh: We do a lot of recessed lighting and under-cabinet lighting. We do a lot of specialty lighting in general, and also do custom design landscape lighting.
Michael Hughes: We put in any type of light that needs so to be hung, from recessed can to track lights and outdoor lighting on the house — but not landscape lighting.
Mike Inger: We do all sorts of lighting in different areas of the home, including recessed lighting, under-cabinet lighting and replacing old fixtures.
What are some of your most common requests these days, and what’s a starting price?
Ashpaugh: Most people want to add overhead lighting in bedrooms or kitchens. Pricing varies depending on installation, but about $275 for an overhead bedroom fan; you supply the fixture.
Hughes: We get a lot of calls about ceiling fans/light fixtures in a room because the house has no overhead lighting. For two switches with a fixture you provide, it’s about $225.
Inger: In the last six months, we’ve done a lot of recessed lights and ceiling fans. I don’t have a preset price. My price depends on the work I’m doing, ceiling height and accessibility.
What common mistakes do you see when it comes to home lighting?
Ashpaugh: Repeatedly, I see light fixtures with wiring melted because someone used higher wattage bulbs than the fixture is rated for. Also, in recessed lighting people put in non-internally cooled, or I.C., rated fixtures where they shouldn’t be used because they’re cheaper.
Hughes: Most track homes are only built with a switch plug instead of overhead fixtures. People hire a handyman to install a ceiling fan, but the handyman doesn’t always use the right fixture box or go to the trouble to add a 2-by-4 between joists in the attic to hang it dead center.
Inger: Many customers hire a handyman to install a ceiling fan and wonder why it’s wobbling or not flush on the ceiling. Usually, they swapped a regular ceiling mount fixture for a fan, but the existing plastic box won’t work and they didn’t install the specialty box behind the fan.
When hiring an electrical contractor, what should homeowners look for?
Ashpaugh: I’m glad when someone asks me to send them proof of my license and current liability insurance directly from the insurance company. If someone without insurance works in your house and gets hurt, you’re liable.
Hughes: Angie’s List and make sure they know what they’re doing. You want a licensed electrician and someone who presents themselves professionally, which means well groomed and in a company shirt.
Inger: Make sure they are reputable, which includes being licensed, bonded and insured. If they’re not and your house burns down, your insurance might not cover it because they weren’t licensed.