Q: Ask an electrical safety officer: Is a permit needed to install or replace a light fixture?

Yes. Luminaire as per part 1 of the Canadian Electrical Code is defined as “a complete lighting unit designed to accommodate the lamp(s) and to connect the lamp(s) to circuit conductors.”

In simpler terms, one can consider lighting that requires permits to be any permanently-installed light fixture. For example, plug-in lamps are not considered permanently installed, but any type of light fixture whether pot light, flush, pendant, or combo ceiling fan/light that is permanently wired into the home would be, and would require an electrical permit for installation.

If you are replacing the light fixture yourself in your own fully detached single dwelling, the Safety Standards Act requires that you obtain a homeowner permit. If you are having a contractor replace the light fixture for you, the Safety Standards Act requires that the licensed contractor pull an electrical installation permit based on the value of the work. Installing or moving light switches or electrical outlets is also considered regulated work and must be done under permit.

A reminder that owners of a strata property, non-strata duplex, and those operating a business from their home, must hire a licensed contractor to perform regulated work.