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Best Dallas Electrician | Dimmer Switch Installation and DIY Electrical Tip

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

Everyone is looking for ways to save power.  Whether to save money or the planet, one of the best and most popular ways to save power on lighting is by installing dimmer switches to control your lights.  Besides saving power, they’re also great for setting the mood in your home.  More and more dimmer switches are being installed in American homes every year.

Dimmer switches are easy to install, even for an everyday person. Of course, even an easy installation can be problematic, so you should always contact the best Dallas electrician to ensure that you’re doing things right, or to perform the dimmer switch installation for you if you don’t want to take a chance of making a mistake.  Either way, here are some important do-it-yourself electrical tip to keep in mind about dimmer switches:

  • How many lights does the dimmer control? As simple as they may be, dimmer switches are a piece of electrical equipment just like any other, and there are limits to the amount of load they can handle.  Depending on which switch you buy, your dimmer can handle up to 600, 1000, 1500, or even 2000 watts of power; you can add up the wattage of all of the lights to make sure you’re not in danger of overloading the dimmer you’ve purchased.  It’s not a good idea to have the dimmer running as many lights as it can, either; running a dimmer switch at more than 80% of its load output (480W, 800W, 1200W, and 1600W, respectively) can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your dimmer switch.
  • How do I know if something’s wrong with the switch? Dimmer switches that are overloaded heat up as the excessive current heats the wires.  It’s OK for a switch to be warm, but if your dimmer switch is hot to the touch, it’s overloaded and is a potential hazard.
  • What other switches are connected here? If you’re installing a dimmer switch on a circuit that already has dimmers or other kinds of switches installed, the potential load the dimmer can handle will be decreased. It’s easy to overload the switch without realizing you’re doing anything wrong.  Always check the documentation included with the dimmer switch for more information before completing the installation.
  • What kinds of lights am I running with the switch? The best Dallas electrician knows that when a call comes in about a dimmer switch not working, I save a lot of time by first asking what kind of bulbs the switch is running.  Because of the way they work, fluorescent light bulbs can NOT be run by dimmer switches!  (Fluorescent bulbs that work with dimmers do exist, but are generally really expensive.)  You can save yourself a lot of time and effort by remembering never to use fluorescent bulbs in any fixture a dimmer switch controls.
  • What other kinds of devices are being run by this switch? A standard dimmer switch should never run any device that has a motor in it.  This includes things like ceiling fans that don’t always have obvious motors.  Motors can’t run on dimmer switches because all motors are designed to operate at a specific voltage at all times, which your electrical system is normally very good at providing to it.  A dimmer, on the other hand, works by slowly progressing through voltages from low to high as you turn the dimmer up.  This is fine for lights, but a motor running at an incorrect voltage will have a much shorter lifespan and will make a loud whining noise.  If you have a motor-driven device that you want to run with a dimmer, ask your hardware store or part supplier for a specialty dimmer switch, like those designed to run ceiling fans.
  • Do I have sensitive electrical equipment? Dimmer switches, especially older styles, can affect your sensitive audio equipment, even if they’re not on the same circuit.  The dimmer will cause the equipment to produce a humming or whining noise.  If this is happening to you, you basically have two options:  replace the dimmer switch or install a noise filter.  If it’s installed correctly at the audio equipment, the filter can eliminate the noise.  Try to buy a noise filter that covers as many frequencies as possible. If you try to go the cheap route with noise filters, you may discover that the interference is occurring on frequencies the cheap filter won’t cover, and the sound may suddenly return without warning over time.

For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue. 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.

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Plano Electrical Service Tip | What You Need to Know About LED and Fluorescent CFL Lights and Saving Money

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit http://www.nationalnewstoday.com

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 acElectrican-LED-and-Flourescent-lights-Saving-Moneytually 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:

  1. LED lights don’t need time to warm up like CFL bulbs do.
  2. Dimmer switches don’t work with CFL lights, but LEDs dim just like an incandescent bulb.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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