Lighting basics


Hi - I have a small spot light out the back of my house that has a broken casing. So I wish to replace the entire unit. Problem here is that I have little electrical experience. Now I have taken the unit off the wall and can see 2 wires going into the existing light (blue and brown). So all I really need to do is unscrew the wires and screw them into the new unit.
Before this point I have turned off the power at the switch box and also ensured the light switch is turned off (just in case). To be safe, I'm just checking here because as far as I can see as long as the power is completely off I should have no problem completing this small task without electrocution.
Do i really need to use an insulated phillips head screwdriver for this job? So i wear rubber gloves or something? any other tips?
Thanks Luke
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I think it was bellamy snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com who stated:

That's all you really need to do. If the wires that were there match the wires that ARE there, you're good to go.

What I do is leave teh power ON at the light switch, just to be sure that the circuit I turned off was the one at the light I wanted off.

I think you're OK . . . .
One more thing you can do is to short all the wires in the box together before you actually touch anything metal. That will reassure you that there are no live wires left anywhere.
--
"Trust me, there is NO way to nonchalantly conceal the fact that you have a
power tool in your head, no matter what you do." -- El Gato
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Thanks. Do you reakon I'd need to use insulated tools for this sort of job?
When you say "short all the wires in the box" do you mean tap the 2 wires together and see if it sparks? How safe is this if you use your fingers on the insulation to do this?
Is there any chance once you turn off the power that a charge is still in the wires?
Thanks again, Luke
Don Fearn wrote:

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I think it was bellamy snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com who stated:

No. If the power is off, insulated tools are unnecessary.

Correct. But if you've identified the correct circuit and the attached light is unlit, you won't get sparks.

If you're touching only the insulation you're safe, even if the power was on; only the metal parts will conduct electricity.

If the power is off, there will be no charge on the wires.
--
"Trust me, there is NO way to nonchalantly conceal the fact that you have a
power tool in your head, no matter what you do." -- El Gato
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Don Fearn wrote: ..

A good idea, it it would not save you if the lamp burned out at just the wrong time, which once happened to me. Now I turn it off, check to see if the lamp is off, turn it back on and recheck to make sure it is on then turn it off again. I did not get hurt, but I did get a shower of sparks. :-)
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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yes because the previous homeowner ran another circuit wire nearby which is still live. with the level of expertise being low, then increase the safety level by turning off the MAIN breaker. electricians have helpers with cellphones and flashlight; they know how to keep water from coming in thru the wall around the fixture, know what adapter plate and stainless steel screws to choose, how to select a photo-eye fixture for your job, how to measure for the hot voltage on one of the wires to go to the center light bulb terminal of the light socket, and whether to recommend a GFI outlet nearby for your convenience in the backyard. they can recommend wiring repairs and updates to you and give you written estimates for them.
bellamy snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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What is THAT all about?? The OP asked about swapping a spot light with a broken casing . . . .
--
"Trust me, there is NO way to nonchalantly conceal the fact that you have a
power tool in your head, no matter what you do." -- El Gato
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Don Fearn wrote:

America the live wire is likely to be black (or occasionally red). The OP did not mention a green or yellow/green ground or earth wire? So maybe that cracked fixture is plastic and therefore does not need to be grounded.
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Tag the switch something like "do not turn on - work in progress" Lock the switch in the open position if you have this feature. People get zap or kill because someone decided to flip the switch - happens on job sites or at home.
Have an extra person around to get help or have a cell phone in you pocket for a 911 call. My scaffold collapsed a few years ago and I landed on my back. Couldn't move for 10 minutes - a phone or an extra person around would have been nice.
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If you are gonna trash the old liht fixture I would twist the two wires together just in case there was a capacitor in it and someone ( maybe your kiddos ) dont pick it up and get their bell rung
On 20 Dec 2006 19:07:38 -0800, bellamy snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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An electrical "sniffer" is a handy tool for the unsure.
They only cost a couple of bucks and can identify a live wire without touching it. Yes, tools can fail, but they can also really help make sure that everything is off.
RickR
Tazz wrote:

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