Basic kitchen and bathroom safety advice for using lamps and installing lighting
Installing the correct lighting in your bathroom or kitchen can at first seem to be a difficult task, but if you follow some simple guidelines then your finished room should be just what you want whilst also adhering to some basic health and safety rules. There are several good stores both online and on the high street where you can find a huge selection of light fittings that are suitable for use in specialised places in the home such as the kitchen and bathroom.
If in doubt seek the advice of a trained expert before you make a final decision. The first thing to consider with rooms where there will be a high footfall, like the kitchen, is to install lighting that is safe and secure. It would not be good sense to have trailing leads or difficult to reach light switches in a room with a great deal of movement and usage like a kitchen. If you have children or pets it is especially important to also consider that light switches, light fitting and cables should be kept out of reach of small children for the sake of safety.
Generally in a kitchen there will be several sources of light used to create the overall desired effect. For example the main overall light fitting perhaps spotlights in the ceiling or halogen recessed lights will be the base light source. Added to this perhaps some under the counter lights to create a halo of brighter light for cooking and preparing food. As well as these in many kitchens there will also be mood lighting over the dining table or directional lighting onto a cabinet or breakfast island.
Whatever your desired design for your lighting it must always be remembered that your lighting uses electricity and this means that it must be installed correctly by a qualified electrician. There is a high usage of water in the kitchen and electricity and water do not mix. Failure to understand this basic principle could be disastrous for all concerned.
When installing your electric lighting system it is vital that all cables and fittings are kept away from water as ingress into your fittings will cause them to short out and possibly even explode. Light fittings, electrical appliances or electric sockets must never be placed near sinks or taps. You should also never place your electric lighting near a heat source like your cooker, fire or hob as excessive heat could melt cables and destroy fittings.
Keep your standard lamps in areas where they will not be knocked over and any table lamps should be carefully positioned so that there is no possibility of them getting in the way. If you need to have a trailing lead for your lamp then make sure it is concealed in a safe manner and check regularly that it is secure. Remember that the kitchen is considered the hub of the home and is usually one of the busiest rooms in the house so planning a good safe lighting system is vital. Your bathroom also is an area of the home where your light fittings should be placed with great care.
When adding light fittings to a bathroom it is necessary from a safety point of view to only fit electrical fittings that are correct for the type of room. The bathroom can be an area with high levels of condensation from showering or bathing and the drops of moisture could be very damaging to your light fittings. If water should penetrate your fittings unplug them and leave them to dry, if in any doubt consult an expert. Never use a fitting that is damaged in any way and never immerse lamps in water, not even to clean them.
That said there are many types of specialised fittings that can be used in areas of high condensation like your bathroom. There are lights designed for inside showers or over sinks and these will be manufactured to resist the ingress of water. These can be found in many different designs, styles, colours and sizes to suit your needs and your decorating motif. As in the kitchen, the bathroom lighting must be installed safely because of the possibility of water damage. If in doubt consult a qualified kitchen designer or qualified electrician. Never take risks, electrocution can seriously injure or kill you.
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