Adding Light Fixtures and Other Electrical Objects to a Plan

Reference Number: KB-00608
Last Modified: February 14, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors


When I select Build> Electrical from the menu, I have a choice between a 110V and a 220V Outlet, a Light, a Switch, and a Rope Light. These choices are generic - how do I add special application outlets and switches, light fixtures with different styles, or other objects such as smoke detectors and fans? 


A wide variety of electrical objects, including related items such as cable and telephone jacks, doorbells, thermostats and intercoms, are available in the Library Browser. You can place objects directly from the library, and you can also specify which objects are placed when you use the Electrical Tools. 

To place electrical objects from the library

  1. From the menu, select View> Library Browser to open the Library Browser if it's not already open.

  2. Browse to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Architectural> Lighting to find additional light fixtures, or browse to Chief Architect Core Catalogs> Mechanical, Electrical, & Plumbing> Electrical to find other types of electrical objects.

    Cable Jack selected in the Library Browser

    • Once you have found an object you'd like to place, click on it within the library to select it.

    • When you move your cursor into the drawing area, it will display the Electrical icon

  3. Click once in the drawing area to place the selected electrical object at your desired location.

To set electrical tool defaults

  1. Select Edit> Default Settings from the menu.

  2. In the Default Settings dialog, expand the Electrical option, select General Electric, then click Edit.

    • In Chief Architect X11 and newer program versions, a Rope Light tool was introduced and can be accessed by navigating to Build> Electrical> Rope Light . You may notice that you can specify the default settings for this tool, separate from the other general light, outlet, and switch tools.

  3. In the Electrical Defaults dialog:

    Specifying a different library symbol to be used for the Light - Wall option

    • In the list at the top left, click on the type of electrical object that you  want to select a default object for.

      Notice that there are varying default options for lights, outlets, and switches, depending on the location they're originally placed at in your plan - for example, if you click along a wall while the Light tool is selected, it will place whatever object is specified for the Light - Wall option.

    • Click the Library button, and in the Select Library Object dialog, browse the library for an object that suits your needs, select it, then click OK

    • Make any needed changes to the Default Heights of lights, outlets, and switches.

    • When you are satisfied with your selections, click the OK button to close the dialog and apply your changes.

    • In the Default Settings dialog, click the Done button. 

  4. Select Build> Electrical from the menu and choose an electrical tool that you specified a default library object for.

  5. Click in your plan to place the library object at that location.

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