Electrician Jargon Buster

As a professional electrician it’s sometimes easy to use technical terms or phrases which can leave our customers a little bamboozled! I like to keep communication clear and simple, so here’s a handy guide to some terms you may hear an electrician using but not fully understand:

Accessories – This refers to outlets such as sockets, switches and adapters.

BS7671 – This is a document published by the Institute of Electrical Technicians. It outlines the requirements for Electrical Installations. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Regs’ or ‘Regulations’.

Conduit – This is a type of piping which is used to protect cabling – usually used outside or in areas where the cables are likely to be damaged or bumped such as a garage or shed. It can be plastic or metal, and can be white or black in color. It can also be painted.

Consumer Unit – This is another term for your fuseboard or fusebox

Daisy Chaining – This is a way of adding multiple appliances to a single socket – we always advise against this, especially with larger appliances as it becomes a real fire risk.

Earthing – This is a method of protecting people and property from the risks of electrical shocks. It provides a safe route for a fault current should one arise.

Earth Bonding – Generally speaking your water and gas services should be electrically connected to earth to minimise the risk of electric shock. An earth bond should be visible next to your gas meter and next to your main water stop-cock.

EICR – This stands for Electrical Installation Condition Report, it fundamentally involves an inspection of an electrical installation to ensure that it is fit for purpose and safe.

Electrician – A professional person who safely carries out electrical projects in your home – works especially well when topped up with tea and biscuits!

Fault Finding – This is the process of identifying an electrical problem in a property. It can be a time consuming process to carry out properly, we use our vast knowledge, experience and equipment to carry out this process as effectively as possible.

Fuse – This a simple method of protecting against electric shock and fire – a thin strip of wire ‘blows’ when a fault happens.

Insulation Resistance Test – This is an electrical test which reveals any breakdown in insulation of cables. It is a good indicator into the state of an electrical installation and its suitability for continued use.

Junction Box – This is a housing which contains an electrical connection. It should be located in an accessible place.
Lamp – this is the correct term for a ‘bulb’.

Lathe and Plaster – this is a traditional method of constructing walls and ceilings in traditional properties in Edinburgh. Thin wooden straps (the ‘Lathe’) are lain across a wooden frame. A heavy plaster is then fixed to this. It can become quite brittle and is often difficult to route cables in.

Main Switch – The switch which cuts all of the electrical power in your property, usually red and located in or next to your consumer unit.

MCB – A more modern type of fuse with a switch which can be reset. This stops you from overloading an electrical circuit. It can often be referred to as as a ‘Circuit Breaker’. These are located within your Consumer Unit.

NICEIC – The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contractors – Contractors who operate under this scheme (like us!) are regularly assessed and advised to ensure that we are working to the current standards and requirements of the industry.

Overloading – too many electrical appliances in use on a circuit

Raggle or Chase – this is the cutting of a channel into a solid wall to allow the routing of cabling. This is often necessary in older properties

RCD – This is a device which operates in milliseconds should an electrical fault occur. It is usually located in your fuseboard and a lifesaving device.

Rewire – This is the process of fully replacing the fixed electrical system in a property. Where practicable the old cable and accessories are completely removed and replaced with new ones. Generally speaking a rewire should be considered every 30 years.

Ring Circuit – Often sockets will form part of a ‘Ring Circuit’. It is a traditional method which works well however can become dangerous over time. It is important to have a ring circuit checked as part of an EICR to ensure the the ring remains intact and that the circuit is safe.

Spur – This is a method of taking power from an ring circuit

Trunking – This is a material used to house cabling – it is a length of plastic which is rectangular in profile. When installed correctly it can help keep cabling discreet and tidy as well as protected from damage. It can be painted.

VIR Cabling – Vulcanised Indian Rubber cable refers to cabling which is insulated with rubber. This was common place around 50 years ago and can still be found in many older Edinburgh properties. The rubber becomes very brittle over time and is a fire risk. As a rule of thumb this cable will be well beyond its serviceable life and should be replaced ASAP.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote or call us direct on 0131 661 1181.

Lumen Electrical are Fully qualified NICEIC approved Edinburgh electrician located in Edinburgh.

Find an approved contractor https://www.niceic.com.

electricians edinburgh

Easy Steps to Finding a Great Electrician

There are lots of electricians operating in Edinburgh – but how do you find an electrical contractor who is a cut above the rest?


It’s common knowledge that electrical work can be a dangerous business. The first point to check that your electrician is suitably qualified to plan, complete, test and certify the electrical work you have in mind. At Lumen Electrical all of our electricians are fully qualified and we are members of the NICEIC, who are the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting. In short – you’re in safe hands with Lumen.


Word of mouth can be an excellent way to find a good tradesperson and online reviews from credible websites can be an invaluable resource. At Lumen we pride ourselves on our reputation – we have outstanding reviews on The Edinburgh Trusted Trader website, Google and Which? Trusted Traders website. If you are still unsure we would be happy to provide references before any works take place.


What are your feelings on the contractor? Do they have a pleasant manner and do they turn up on time? Do they respect you and your home? At Lumen we are quick to establish trust with our valued clients – from a courtesy calls before the electrician arrives to carry out the work, clear communication and tidy work you can rest assured that you are dealing with trusted professionals who you will be happy to have in your property whenever you need a trusted electrician.

Pricing and Payment

A clear estimate should be presented to you before any work commences – any changes to the estimate should be communicated to you to avoid any nasty surprises when the final invoice is received. At Lumen we send written estimates for all works and in the unusual event that unforeseen costs arise we will keep you in the loop. Whilst we not be the cheapest electrical contractor in Edinburgh you can be assured that our pricing is competitive and clear and that our workmanship and reputation are second to none.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote or call us direct on 0131 661 1181.

Lumen Electrical are Fully qualified NICEIC approved Edinburgh electrician located in Edinburgh.

Find an approved contractor https://www.niceic.com.

electricians edinburgh

Stair Lighting Repairs and Servicing

Since the 1st of July 2016 the responsibility for lighting in Edinburgh’s communal stairwells has been passed from Edinburgh City Council to homeowners.

There is a legal responsibility to ensure that the stairwell is adequately lit to ensure the safe passage of both owners and visitors. Aside from this legal requirement, a well lit stair makes for more of a welcoming environment for residents as well as serving as a deterrent to uninvited visitors.

At Lumen Electrical we have established ourselves as experts in stairwell lighting repairs in Edinburgh.

We have a firm grasp on which replacement parts work best and understand exactly how the control mechanism for these lighting systems operate. We have a clear, good value pricing structure for the maintenance of existing stair lights – A visit from an electrician which includes calibration of the stairwell lighting timer is charged at £40.00 (VAT included) with each light to be serviced charged at £10.00 (VAT Included).

For example, if you have 3 lights to be serviced the cost would be £70.00 (£40 + £10 + £10 + £10 = £70).

Here is a list of the popular services which we offer relating to Stairwell Lighitng in Edinburgh:

● Recalibration of Stairwell Lighting Timer (From £40.00 VAT Inclusive)
● Replacement of Stairwell Lighting Timer (From £220.00 VAT Inclusive)
● Service of existing Stairwell Light (From £10.00 VAT Inclusive)
● Upgrade of Stairwell Light to LED (From £144.00 VAT Inclusive)
● Upgrade and Repairs of Wiring associated with stairwell lights
● Testing and Certification of Stairwell Lighting Systems

Our stairwell lighting service is completely contract free – we have a proven track record in providing a reliable, value for money service for homeowners across Edinburgh. Written no-obligation estimates can be provided in advance of the works taking place for you to share with your neighbours.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote or call us direct on 0131 661 1181.

Lumen Electrical are Fully qualified NICEIC approved Edinburgh electrician located in Edinburgh.

Find an approved contractor https://www.niceic.com.

electricians edinburgh

Upgrading your Fuseboard

A Fuseboard or Consumer Unit as it is otherwise known can be found in every home in Edinburgh.

Upgrading your Fuseboard can seem like an expensive, invasive job however many people are relieved to hear that upgrading to the current standard is usually straightforward.

A Consumer unit is the heart of your home electrical system – it is what keeps you, your family and your home itself safe should an electrical fault occur.

Generally speaking a consumer unit comprises a main switch which isolates power to the property, and individual circuits which control specific parts of your home, for example lighting or a cooker. Modern Consumer Units offer a much higher level of protection and safety mechanisms than their predecessors and this is the primary reason why it is such a good idea to invest in the upgrade.

Common times to consider an upgrade would be when moving into a new property to ensure you and your family are as safe as possible in your new home – an outdated consumer unit should be noted by your surveyor and detailed in the Home Report. Another time to seriously consider the upgrade would be when electrical works are being carried out elsewhere – for example the addition of a new kitchen appliance, outside socket or addition of outdoor lighting.

A standard upgrade usually costs around £350.00 – £450.00 and takes a qualified electrician around 6 hours to complete properly. Part of the process involves testing the new consumer unit and each of its circuits to ensure that it has been installed correctly and that it is as safe as possible – an Electrical Installation Certificate is then emailed to you.

At Lumen Electrical we are fully qualified Electricians registered with the NICEIC and backed by their Platinum Promise. Our reputation precedes us and you can be confident that your project will be completed to the highest standards.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote or call us direct on 0131 661 1181.

Lumen Electrical are Fully qualified NICEIC approved Edinburgh electrician located in Edinburgh.

Find an approved contractor https://www.niceic.com.

electricians edinburgh