Everyone wants to save money. With the economy, still slow and unemployment high, family and business budgets are tight. Thus, we’re all looking for ways to lower our bills, and there aren’t many bills more devastating to budgets than the electric bill. Not to mention those bills during a brutal Texas summer.
At the same time, people are finally beginning to understand that the damage we do to our environment is harmful in the long run, and are trying to find a way to reduce our impact on the planet. A lot of the time it seems like we must choose between saving money and helping the earth. That is simply not the case when we’re talking about options for lighting your home or business. The employees of my Plano electrical service tell you that you can actually do both at the same time, and that it‘s as simple as changing a light bulb!
Light bulb shopping has changed a lot in the last ten years. Our choices are no longer limited to the incandescent (and sometimes halogen) bulbs we all grew up with. Today fluorescent CFL lights are available in almost every store, and LED lights are starting to become more widely available as well. These bulbs use far less energy to create the same amount of light, which ultimately means less energy you have to pay for. The savings can be seen with a single bulb.
For example, if you replace just one 60-watt incandescent bulb you use four hours each day with a 12-watt LED equivalent, you’ll wind up saving almost $10 a year on average! These bulbs can save you money and hassle in ways you might not think of at first. For instance, LED and CFL bulbs produce very little heat when compared to an incandescent bulb which means that they don’t attract insects, and that your air conditioner doesn’t have another heat source in your house to cool down.
There are electrical benefits to having cooler bulbs too: less heat being generated by light bulbs means that there’s less heat stress being placed on the sockets and fixtures they’re attached to. Less stress on the fixtures means that they have a much longer life, and that you’re saving money you’d otherwise have to spend on repairing or replacing them.
All these choices beg the question of which type of bulb is better. From an electrician’s view, they’re both superior to the old kind of bulbs. Personally, I think LED lights are superior to fluorescent CFL lights right now. The technology that makes CFL bulbs work is still primitive. Think of what cell phones looked like in the 1980‘s compared to today; right now, the CFL bulbs you can buy are the fluorescent bulb version of those old brick phones. LED lights have very distinct advantages:
LED lights don’t need time to warm up like CFL bulbs do.
Dimmer switches don’t work with CFL lights, but LEDs dim just like an incandescent bulb.
Probably the biggest issue I have with CFL bulbs right now is their impact on the environment. They’re full of toxic mercury and lead compounds which can be very hazardous to the water supply, which means you can’t just throw them away.
Fluorescents can’t be changed while warm, either. They’ll break off at the base, and cleaning up a broken CFL bulb can be a nightmare, with the potential threat of mercury poisoning of you and your loved ones if you’re not careful.
These reasons are why I generally recommend LED bulbs; they’re more earth-friendly, easy to dispose of, use less energy than even CFL bulbs, and last a very long time. They can be more expensive than other bulbs, but you’ll save enough money on your power bills in the long run to come out well ahead!
For Plano, electrical service or questions about what type of lights are best for your needs you can trust ElectricMan to help and get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
Every summer, more and more homes experience outages in their electric systems. As a top Dallas Electrician, my electricians and I see the effects of these outages every day. They can be devastating, and cause a lot of damage. In fact, the insurance industry pays out over $1 billion in damages annually in claims caused by outages and power surge damage. Most outages are caused by the weather, but there are different kinds of weather can cause an outage. This even includes weather that doesn’t produce lighting damage like the massive ice storms we saw during Super Bowl week this year that left hundreds of thousands without power (and, more importantly, without heat!) during one of the worst winter storms in years. Summer storms can produce devastating tornadoes that can knock out power for miles around the area they touch down in, and many hurricanes begin to build in the summer and early fall, causing catastrophic results even outside of the disaster zone. Hurricane Ike left over two million people without power when it hit southeast Texas in 2008, and not all of them were in the impact zone.
Not every outage comes from something as dramatic as a hurricane or tornado. A lightning strike, even as far as half a mile away, can potentially cause damage to your delicate electrical equipment and appliances. Often, large-scale outages can occur when lightning strikes a transformer.
Learn how to protect your home and appliances from lightning strike and power surge damage.
Outages don’t just occur because of bad weather: many outages are caused by power equipment switching to accommodate the heavy load people put on the power grid. Our power grid is already having trouble with its current load, and the problem only grows as more and more people use more and more electricity. Summer in Dallas and Fort Worth is the perfect examples. It’s when people are running their air conditioners constantly. This puts an incredible load on local and state power grids. This leads to government agencies putting out warnings almost every summer about potential power outages, threatening brownouts and blackouts unless people conserve energy.
These outages aren’t damaging in themselves, but they leave open the possibility for electrical power surge damage. You’ve probably noticed that when the power comes back on after an outage, it often flickers on and off quickly as the power grid attempts to get the electricity flowing back into your lines. This stop-and-start action creates surges that can easily damage unprotected electronics or appliances. Having a nice TV damaged like this is a very expensive hassle, and you can imagine how much more expensive and uncomfortable it could be if the surge takes out your air conditioner and refrigerator!
So, what can you do to keep power outages and power surges from affecting you?
It’s extremely important that you use surge protectors on outlets with electrical equipment to help protect from the effects of outages and lightning damage.
It’s also important that your electrical panel is wired correctly with a built-in surge protector at the panel, and that your wiring is up to code. Top Dallas Electricians can make sure your home or business is prepared for the effects of these outages, and that your valuables are protected.
Even better, there are generator options that can allow your home and business to keep their power on even when the grid fails, avoiding the problem of outages and surges entirely!
Some of these options can even help you save money on your electric bill without the hassle of gas, fumes, or noise pollution.
For more information about a generator solution for your home or business, check out ElectricMan’s blog post on indoor generators. When needing to know how to prevent power surge damage or electrical assistance with power you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
A large amount of the calls we go out on are for lighting fixture replacement/changes. A lot of the customers say “I usually do this myself,” but I don’t have time to take care of this right now. Another common quote we hear is “We have been working on this all weekend, and can’t get it to work.” Last but not least, a favorite quote of mine that I hear is “I am so tired of this outdated looking lighting that exists in my home. Can you please bring it up to date?” Usually this is where I chuckle and say “ElectricMan to the Rescue!” – Nick Schaeffer
If you’re planning to replace or make changes to your lighting fixtures the ElectricMan have some very helpful tips:
Understand the way your home was initially wired. Usually the wiring is signified by “hot” being the black and “neutral” being the white colored wires. In older homes, this coloring is not on the wires and a top electrician should take it from there. If you are still game, even though these wires are not properly colored, you can figure out which wire is the “hot” with a transient voltage tick tester. This type of tester will tell you which wire the power is on. The other wire would then be the “neutral”. Be careful when doing this testing with the power on, you may be subject to a “shocking experience”. When in doubt, call a top electrician!
If you are installing a chandelier replacement, the wiring that comes on the fixture from the manufacturer is what we call “zip cord” and is not colored white and black. The way they identify this type of wire is the “hot” is the smooth side and the “neutral” is the side with ridges. So if you feel this wire with your fingers, you will notice one side is smooth and one side has ridges. This will tell you how to hook these wires up independently. If this is not properly hooked up per side, you could potentially get a “nasty shock” when you change out a light bulb.
Pendant lighting seems to be all the rage right now. This type of lighting can be used to decoratively light up kitchen islands and kitchen bar-type counters. This is a creative way to separate your kitchen from your living room. Typically, homes are not pre-wired for these lights, and wiring will have to be added before they can be installed. I highly suggest when wiring for these lights, that a new switch leg be installed for independent control. As always, installing new wiring to your existing electrical should be done by a top electrician.
Recessed cans can clean up your ceiling and do away with unsightly light fixtures installed everywhere. When installing a recessed can, the type of trim is essential to maximizing the amount of light that you can get in an area. A baffled or recessed trim will turn a light into a spot, whereas a flush mount trim allows the light to start at the ceiling and move throughout the room. This gives a much more even look upon the finished product. Any electrician that has done a lot of installations should be able to guide you in the proper direction so that the style of lighting that you are looking for will be achieved. Be careful attempting these by yourself, drywall will need to be cut for installation, and you never know where a wire or plumbing pipe may be hiding.
Chandelier replacement, pendant lighting and recessed cans are cheap and affordable ways to completely change the look of your home. If you are attempting this on your own, and run into a problem, a good-hearted electrician will be happy to discuss with you where you went wrong and what it is going to take to fix it. Most electricians are happy to do free estimates, and help design a quality finished product. Whether you have a general repair or an electrical emergency, you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.
If you want to be festive this holiday season while avoiding a stress fest, it’s time you learned tips from a certified electrician about holiday lighting. Here are the top six ways to make holiday lighting a smooth, safe experience.
Know decoration wattage: Before you purchase items for your house or yard, know how many watts the decorations require. Compare that with the wattage you have available in your home; a certified electrician can help you determine what that is. Keep in mind that low-wattage items consume less electricity and cost less to operate.
Install a circuit: If you plug all your holiday lights into a single circuit and then use your appliances like normal, you might end up blowing a circuit. The best way to handle a whole bunch of Christmas lights is to have a Dallas electrician install a dedicated circuit.
Use a timer on the dedicated circuit: This makes it so you don’t have to turn the circuit on and off manually. A timer adds security and makes sure the lights turn off in the middle of the night.
Check the lights: Inspect the strings before putting them up to make sure no bulbs are broken or missing, no wires are bare or frayed, and no connections are loose. Certified electricians also recommend inspecting the area where you plan to install the lights; ensure the gutters are clear and tree branches are stable.
Take care of extension cords: If you position any extension cords outside, wrap them up in a plastic enclosure, such as a grocery sack, to protect them from water damage. Never put more than three strings of lights together. If you need too, start a new string of lights using a different plug.
Be safe: Keep children and pets away from cords. Use LED lights that emit much less heat than old light strands to ensure combustibles don’t catch on fire. Speak with a certified electrician for safety tips regarding outdoor lighting if you have any concerns.
For more information about holiday lighting, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is your trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience. Visit the Electricman website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Chandeliers look beautiful when installed in your Plano home, but the process of properly installing them should be left to a qualified, experienced electrician Plano homeowners can trust. Proper installation of a complex electrical fixture like a chandelier is best left to a licensed residential electrician who understands the intricacies of adding a chandelier to your home and who can make sure that the process is carried out safely and efficiently so that your fixture has a long life with little need for repairs.
Tips for Chandelier Installations
Instead of finding an electrician Plano homeowners sometimes opt to do a chandelier installation themselves. What they don’t realize is that chandelier installations are very difficult and complex, and as a result it’s always best to contact local electricians who are experienced to do the job. installation chandelier that is installed incorrectly can mean many costly and dangerous complications in the future. Follow these important electrical tips to ensure your chandelier is properly installed in your home.
Hire an electrician who is experienced with this type of installation and its wiring, as it is very different from many of the other fixtures in your home. Homeowners are often unfamiliar with the proper wiring for a chandelier; as a result, they end up damaging the fixture when doing the installation themselves. Experienced electricians know that the side of the wiring with the ridges and bumps is the “power out” side and the smooth wiring side is the “power in.” Getting those mixed up can cause serious damage to your wiring and your equipment.
Make sure that your electrician follows the manufacturer’s order of instructions for fixture installation. Steps missed or skipped can cause serious problems and result in wasted money and time, as well as risky complications. For example, it’s important for your electrician to remember that, when installing a crystal chandelier, the fixture must be installed before hanging the crystal. Otherwise, the fixture will be too heavy and fragile to install.
Be mindful of weight limits when it comes to chandeliers and your ceiling. If the chandelier weighs over 100 pounds, chances are you’ll need an additional complex support installation in your ceiling to ensure that there’s enough support to hold the weight. Not being aware of these weight limitations can cause major problems with the installation.
The residential electrician you hire needs to make sure that the canopy cover is properly installed and adjusted to the correct depth before hooking up the chandelier’s wiring. Placing the canopy cover flush to the ceiling may result in twisted wiring and a bad connection.
Your electrician should know that chandeliers are hung from their chains, not the wiring itself. Hanging the chandelier from the wires can stretch them, causing a fire hazard. Chandeliers, in any case, are not designed to hang from anything other than the chains they come with.
Electric Man: Electrician Plano Homeowners Can Count On
With 27 years of experience, Electric Man offers quality emergency and routine electrical repairs for residential and commercial applications. Whether you need a chandelier installed or you have an electrical emergency of any sort, Electric Man can send a licensed and experienced electrician Plano homeowners can count on. Call us today 972-792-7270 and connect with us online. If you have questions for Electric Man, leave in the comments section of our blog, and we’ll get right back to you!
Remodeling lighting can be one of the most impactful elements when changing the look and feel of your home. As a Top Dallas Electrician, we know that whether you are remodeling, or starting fresh, some of the most versatile lighting options available are recessed can lighting, and pendant lighting. These types of lighting offer you the most flexibility, and the most visible improvement over unsightly light fixtures installed throughout your home.
Recessed can lighting allows you to fill a room with light, or highlight a particular area depending on your needs, and pendant lighting can accent a space beautifully such as a kitchen island, bar style counter, or eating area. Using these lighting styles in conjunction can help you recreate anything from a clean, modern kitchen, to a comfortable living room, or an elegant dining area, and anything else in between!
If you are looking for some help, or consultation for Remodeling Lighting in your home, feel free to reach out to Top Dallas Electrician ElectricMan Inc. by phone at 972-792-7270, or contact us through our website at www.electricmaninc.com
Landscape lighting can add beauty to your home as well as provide increased safety on your property. Lighting design can be used to light pathways, highlight your homes architecture, and deter intruders. When considering adding lighting to your landscaping, it is important to find the right balance of lighting. Focus on adding lighting to main activity areas like driveways, entrances, pathways, dark areas around windows, and stairs and main focal points such as fountains, trees, or statues. The following landscape lighting basics can help make the most of your lighting.
Up-lighting: Up-lighting is placing a light facing upward toward an object to illuminate it. This works well for highlighting the focal points of your landscape or home. Use it sparingly to highlight objects around your yard like statues, trees, flag poles, and fountains.
Down-lighting: Down-lighting is used to illuminate large areas. It works well for illuminating entertainment areas such as a patio or a deck. It also helps to deter intruders.
Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is an excellent choice for lighting paths and stairs by placing lights along both edges of a path or a staircase. This looks beautiful and has the added safety feature of helping prevent people from tripping and falling. Accent lighting can also add focus to low-lying flowers, shrubs, and ponds.
Advantages of Low Voltage Lighting: As part of your basic landscape lighting, you have the choice between using 120v and low voltage 12v lighting. Low voltage has a lot to offer in terms of landscape lighting safety as well not having to dig 18 inch trenches into your yard. Low voltage lighting can be neatly tucked away, just below your yard’s surface. It is safer in wet conditions, and it offers more precise lighting effects. Because the lamps (light bulbs) are smaller, it allows for smaller, less obtrusive fixtures. It can also save you money by having lower energy costs. Low voltage lighting requires a transformer to convert 120v to 12v which can cause voltage drop (dim lights) if it is improperly engineered. For this, it is a good idea to ask a professional electrician for help.
These tips will get you started. For more ideas, ask a lighting consultant for suggestions, and for any questions, don’t hesitate to contact www.electricmaninc.com to find the answers you need!
ElectricMan Inc. is one of Dallas’ most trusted electricians. Nick Schaeffer, Mr. ElectricMan himself, has quite the resume for a master electrician. He started the company by himself in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since! For more information about Electricman’s list of electrical repair services, please visit www.ElectricManInc.com