Last week I spoke about switching so that this week I could move onto first fix without tripping over myself. I can’t seem to get away from the electrics these days 😉
Some might not know what is involved in the first fix. Well in simple terms, it is when the electrician first starts to lay and pull cables to get the place ready to be insulated! So they have to have a general idea as to what type of lighting, alarm system, kitchen wiring, plugs and sockets, etc that the homeowner wants. So you’d better be organised!
For us, we worked with a local guy who was brilliant. Although when he saw me coming, I think he got a little nervous about what I was going to bring to the table, having never worked with a lighting designer before!
What I found so good about Bobby (our electrician) is that he took the time to understand what we wanted. We sat together at the beginning to go over the plans, talking through each element to make sure that he understood what every room would need. There are certain details in a lighting design that need to be considered early such as driver locations. Drivers are on most LED fittings – they drive and control the power going into the light. The location of the driver is really important as there is a certain distance from driver to fitting that you cannot go beyond or else the power drops, giving you less light output. And Bobby was really on the ball with details like this.
If you remember, in the last newsletter I wrote about switching and this was also a big part of our initial discussion. We went over how many switches we’d need and whether we’d need dimmers or not. Bobby supplied most switches and sockets but not the dimmers as with dimming, you need to ensure that the dimmer is compatible with the fitting. If they are not compatible you can sometimes get a flicker effect from the light, and that’s not a look anyone is going for!!
What was not included in the lighting design plan were things such as where the TV power point went, and the locations of our WIFI routers, so I left those up to Donal. However, to keep everything neat and tidy, we did work these elements in as much as possible around where our 5amp sockets were located, this avoided having too many sockets dotted around the rooms!
There were other discussions as well such as whether we were planning for an airtight house – if we were we could not use standard downlights because they would pierce the airtight membrane so we would have to use surface mounted fittings instead. Fortunately, this wasn’t an issue for us. Bobby was also very conscious about the amount of insulation we were using and how compatible it would be with the fire rating of each of our fittings. Luckily we were using Prolicht for all our technical lighting which has very high fire standards but I had Walter, the owner, on speed dial in case Bobby blew a fuse (figuratively!)
The fun really came with the second fix though….the sparks flew if you don’t mind me using another pun (I couldn’t resist!) but I will leave that newsletter for another day!
Monica grew up with a screwdriver & bulb in her hands before she started to 'hassle' the boss! After gallivanting around the world & getting an education she worked in all areas of the business, and was a natural fit for developing Willie Duggan further. She does her best thinking struggling up a mountain, hiking a trail or beating herself up in the gym!