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 February 2

by LearnStageLighting.com

Should You Install Lighting Yourself, or Hire a Integrator?

Welcome to Episode # 116, we have a co-host today Troy Wiggins who has joined us in a previous Episode # 101. Troy will be joining us more as a co-host to help give a different perspective on various lighting topics.

Today’s episode, we’re going to be discussing if you should install lighting yourself or hire someone to do it instead?

Main Segment (1:45)

When we talk about this, the first part of the discussion is what and how big of a project are we talking about. If this was to be a project that is hanging items from a ceiling then yes it absolutely needs to be hired out for safety and liability reasons.

Troy: I haven’t been working in the industry very long and most of my installation projects have been more focused on LEDs. For the large projects and setting up a rig in the air, that type of work needs to be installed by professionals.

You can install lights yourself and there’s nothing saying that you can’t but you want to weigh your options both considering the cost and safety. Definitely, consider the safety precautions and what type of rig you are trying to set up.

David: With some projects and installers, you may be able to work with them on determining what pieces you can install yourself and what would be best to have installed professionally.

DIY Projects

David: At Learn Stage Lighting, we do offer some DIY tutorials and information on consoles and fixtures. However, there are some certain rigs and venues that I’ve walked into and scratched my head wondering why they went with that option.

Troy: I’ve definitely had scenarios like that and something I’ve learned is just because you have a certain budget doesn’t mean you have to use that entire budget for a particular item. When I first began in the lighting industry the amount information was overwhelming and there is no shortage of opinions and styles.

On the opposite side, I’ve seen venues that went on the cheaper end for lights and consoles that don’t perform the way they would have hoped. It’s hard to find a balance in between spending to much and others that wasn’t enough.

You don’t have to spend a large amount of money for a good rig but you don’t always have to go on the very inexpensive end.

Older Units VS Newer Inexpensive

David: A question I’ve been hearing come up more often is should you go for the older well know unit or should you go with the newer but slightly less expensive unit?

Troy: That’s a fantastic question. It always depends on what you’re looking for but a few key factors I personally check is the reviews, the customer support, replacement parts, and the company background.

If it is a newer unit, be sure to check their customer support, is easy to get a replacement, or do you get ignored? Is this a unit you can easily send in and get repaired?

Condition of Used Lights and Repairing Lights

One aspect to think about if you are considering buying a used fixture is that you may not really know what that fixture has went through. You have the usual wear and tear but what if those fixtures were transported and were they tossed around, packed well, or did they take on some damage while being moved? It can be really hard to know this before hand.

I have seen some venues that have a maintenance or repair person that has a specialty in repairing electronics. If that’s something you have access to then buying used fixtures wouldn’t be as much of a risk. But if you don’t have that skill or know someone who does then you may be in a better position to purchase new or lightly used fixtures.

To bring this discussion home, there are some installations that you can do on your own. But remember to always be safe about it. Unless you are an electrician, I recommend hiring one to do the electrical work for you. If you need to hang things, then hire some professionals because it’s safe and worth the cost.

Closing (24:08)

At the end of the day, be smart and practical. Remember safety first and there are some instances you can do it yourself and other instances that you need to bring in some help.

Thank you for joining us today and we will see you again in a couple of weeks!

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