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Is it legal for me (a layman) to change a ceiling light?

In our living room we have a ceiling rose with pendant style light handing down from the rose We're looking to change the ceiling light? It's a straight replacement, in the same place.

Is it legal for me to attempt this myself? or do I need to get an electrical so they can notify the council under pat P etc?

6 Answers from MyBuilder Electricians

Best Answer

Hi not illegal but you need to be competent. You need to know for instance if the circuit contains an earth (some dont) and if it's metal unless duoble insulated will not be safe. Frankley for the sake of £50 I would get an electrician in.

I love Monday morning the phone lights up with diyers who've come unstuck trying to fit a light after shopping at the big orange shed.


Answered 21st Apr 2015

These sort of jobs do not need notification to building control, although a minor works certificate should be filled in. You say legal? What law would you have broken? if you have all the appropriate test equipment, voltage tester etc and know about safe isolation procedures.Also an understanding of how it all works and what to do if it doesn't work once you have replaced it. without all these things in place its best left to an electrician to do it. Far less hassle and less dangerous than doing it yourself. Hope this is of some help.


Answered 21st Apr 2015

For like to like or same one light to one light replacement you don't need to notify building controller.

If you are competent person : YES
If your light manufacturer instruction clearly says that this light must be installed by qualified electrician according to BS7671 : NO

Only touch electrical connection if you are totally confident and DO NOT TAKE RISK as to save under 50- 60 £ you may risk yourself and your family members.

Have a good weekend

Be safe , Always post job on

Kind regards,



Answered 21st Apr 2015

Yes! It's legal. Part P relates to notifiable work, which is certain types of work (new circuits, for example) or work in 'special locations' (eg a bathroom).
However, you do need to comply with wiring regulations, and need to be confident you know what you're doing. You also need to comply with building regs, and not just part P, Structure (part A), Fire Safety (B), Sound (E). These may apply if your making the hole bigger, it's inset spotlights etc. etc.

Follow the manufacturers instructions and if any doubt, contact an electrician who is on the competent persons register.


Answered 21st Apr 2015

Like for like replacement is fine to do yourself.


Answered 21st Apr 2015

Yes it's legal but why bother just pay an electrician if you have any doubts.
It's doesn't need building control and pat testing is only for portable appliances ie things with plug tops on


Answered 23rd Apr 2015

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