Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why More and More People Choose CFL Lights Over Incandescent Lights

Compact fluorescent lights, also called CFLs, are slowly replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs in households not only in America, but all over the world. I'm sure Thomas Edison, who introduced incandescent light bulbs to the world hundreds of years ago isn't very happy about this news. But what exactly could be the reason behind this major switch? Why are more and more consumers turning to CFL lights these days? Let us take a closer look at the reasons why more and more people choose CFL lights.
A lot of consumers all over the world have turned to CFL lights to save money. Although most consumers are dissuaded with the cost of a CFL bulb, these bulbs are replaced less often than a regular incandescent bulb. Incandescent bulbs may cost less than CFLs but CFLs last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs which could provide substantial savings on monthly electric bills and bulb replacement costs. Typically, incandescent bulbs last for about 500 to 2,000 hours while compact fluorescent lights are guaranteed to last up to 8,000 hours. If you choose to buy a regular bulb, you will just end up replacing it up to four times as compared to when you buy a bulb of CFL.
Another reason why consumers are turning to CFL lights these days is because they are energy efficient. One of the best benefits of using CFLs is that you can greatly reduce your energy consumption without sacrificing the amount and the quality of your lights. A CFL bulb only uses about 50 to 80 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent light bulb. You can just imagine how much more energy you can save from using CFLs! You can light up your house inside and out without jacking up your electric bill.
Another good thing about using compact fluorescent lights is that it's versatile and stylish as well. Earlier fluorescent bulbs have been criticized for their harsh and unflattering color tone. Well, no one looks food in fluorescent lighting especially those cheap ones. The good thing is manufacturers offer better options and greater variety these days, so you just have to test out different CFL bulbs to see what works best for you. CFLs can also be used in almost any light fixture from lamps to chandeliers.
Consumers are more cautious when it comes to spending their money these days. Therefore, it is not surprising that they will choose a product which is more cost effective without sacrificing its quality and value. Compact fluorescents may not be the best kind of light bulb in the market today, but they've surely dimmed the future of incandescent lights

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6746771

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mood Lighting For Living Rooms

living room Pictures, Images and Photos

Chances are that your living room is the biggest room in your home. It is the place where you want to impress your guests with your taste and style. You also want them to relax in a warm and cosy environment. The easiest way to create the right mood is by using the right lighting in the room.
It's best if you plan the decor of your living room with the lighting in mind. The most important fixture for creating the right mood is the table lamp. So place table lamps in strategic places like the side tables on either side of your sofa or next to the armchair where you like to sit and read. You can also place table lamps on a sideboard, a wet bar or a chest. Table lamps act like accent lights, lighting up only their surrounding areas. They create interest in the room because there are pockets of light and shadow and the different areas in the room are lit selectively. If your room only had a ceiling light, the entire room would be uniformly and, perhaps, quite brightly lit, creating an uninviting, cold feel.
If you have a nice plant in the room, try placing a small lamp near it and watch how the leaves cast interesting shadows on the walls. Lampshades too can add to the mood as they cast soft and diffused light. Sometimes the unique shape and patterns on the lamps and their shades elevate the lamps themselves from a functional purpose to an aesthetic statement.
A floor lamp with an up light can also be placed in the corner of the room to highlight a ceiling detail. If you have painting or pictures on the walls, use spotlights to focus on them.
If your living room is also where your children occasionally do their homework, then supplement the lamps with a ceiling fixture. If the kids do their assignments on the coffee table then a fixture directly above the table is a good idea as the light will also be in the center of your seating area and won't look out of place. But don't forget to use dimmers, particularly on the ceiling lights, as you can control the brightness of the light and thus control the ambiance in the room.
If you have a TV in the room, make sure there's no glare on the screen from any of the lights. This can be controlled by placing a table or desk lamp next to or behind the TV.
The next thing to do is to carefully select the bulbs. Unlike the kitchen or bathroom, the color of the light in the living room should be warm and yellow not stark white so choose the light bulbs accordingly. CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LEDs are more energy-efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs and can result in significant savings in the long run.
Finally, on the day that you are entertaining guests, use only your lamps and spotlights and perhaps light a few candles in the room to create added intimacy. The ceiling light should remain switched off.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2822913

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

LED Lighting - Whats All The Rage?


"L-E-D". When it comes to lighting, you're hearing these three letters over and over again... you see it posted all over lighting websites, and its starting to bug you. It seems to be an exciting new trend...some kind of new innovative light...but you have no idea what it is. You'd like to know what everybody's talking about- what's all the rage? 

LED's - Light Emitting Diodes - Simply put, LED's are diodes that...(huh?) hang on, I'll explain: a diode is the simplest sort of semiconductor device. (what's that?) wow, you're impatient: A semi-conductor is a material with the ability to conduct electrical current. Basically, instead of emitting light from a vacuum (as in an incandescent bulb) or a gas (as in a CFL), LED emits light from a piece of solid matter, its semi-conductor. Stated very simply, an LED produces light when electrons move around within its semiconductor structure.

They tell you when to stop and go. They have ruled your driving, saved your life countless times, and that little red man made you wait around till you were able to cross the street. That's right - the red, yellow and green on the traffic lights are Led lights right in front of your nose. In fact, Light Emitting Diodes have been around for some time, conceptualized in 1907. However, it wasn't until the 1960s that practical applications were found and LED's were first manufactured. LED used to be used exclusively for traffic signals, brake lights and headlights on luxury cars, and indicator lights on appliances. You probably didn't even know that LED lights were lighting up your digital clocks, flashlights and telling you when you've got a new voice message on your cell phone. Expensive at the start, as applications grew, benefits were discovered and manufacturing costs went down. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), lighting manufacturers have invested considerable time, effort and research into adapting this super energy-efficient technology for household use. The technology has advanced enough to win approval from the government's popular and well-respected Energy Star® program. So here's why: 

  • They do more for less. LED's are efficient-producing a lot of light from a little power. For example, one 5-watt LED can produce more light (measured in lumens) than one standard 75-watt incandescent bulb. The 5-watt LED could do the job of the 75-watt incandescent at 1/15 of the energy consumption. LED's save energy and, therefore, money. This is because in LED lights, 90% of energy is converted into light, while in incandescent bulbs 90% of energy goes to heat and only 10% to visible light.
  • They last longer. LED is virtually maintenance free - they don't have a filament that will burn out, so they last much longer. A standard "long life" household bulb will burn for about 2,000 hours. An LED can have a useful lifespan up to 100,000 hours! By some sources, LED's can last for as long as 40 years. Imagine not having to change a light bulb for years. There are LED products available this year that will make frequent light bulb changes so 20th century.
  • How it actually works... (skip this part if you don't really care) Light is a form of energy that can be released by an atom. It is made up of many small particle-like packets, called photons, which are the most basic units of light. LED's are specially constructed to release a large number of photons outward.When an electric charge strikes the semiconductor, a small electrical current, which is measured by watts (oh! so that's what they mean by 'has low wattage'!) is passed through the semiconductor material. this causes the electrons to move around, become "excited" and give off photons. Almost all of the energy emitted is light energy. In an ordinary diode, such as incandescent bulbs, the semiconductor material itself ends up absorbing a lot of the light energy so it produces more heat energy than light energy.This is completely wasted energy, unless you're using the lamp as a heater, because a huge portion of the available electricity isn't going toward producing visible light. LED's generate very little heat, relatively speaking. A much higher percentage of the electrical power is going directly to generating light, which cuts down on the electricity demands considerably. As you can see in the diagram,they are housed in a plastic bulb that concentrates the light in a particular direction. Most of the light from the diode bounces off the sides of the bulb, traveling on through the rounded end.
  • They are a better buy (in the long run). Up until recently, LED's were too expensive to use for most lighting applications because they're built around advanced semiconductor material. The price of semiconductor devices has plummeted over the past decade, however, making LED's a more cost-effective lighting option for a wide range of situations. While they may be more expensive than incandescent lights up front, a 60-watt LED replacement bulb runs in the area of $100, and even the lower-output versions, used for things like spot lighting, will cost between $40 and $80. That's compared to a $1 incandescent and a $2 fluorescent bulb.The reality is, even at $100 for a single bulb, LEDs will end up saving money in the long run, because you only need one or two every decade and you spend less money on home lighting, which can account for about 7 percent of your electric bill [source: Greener Choices]. But don't worry, the scary price you need to pay upfront won't last too long, the lighting industry in general expects LED costs to come down quickly. Lighting Science Group, a company that develops and manufactures LED lighting, estimates a 50 percent price reduction within two years.
  • It looks nice. The prime replacement for the incandescent light bulb would be the higher-efficiency compact fluorescent, or CFL. However, besides that there is toxic mercury in the design, it gives off a strange, sometimes unpleasant color that even gives some people headaches. Not the LED- its light is easy to see even in bright sunlight and can produce the same soft, white light as a regular bulb. (Although Energy Star does recommend looking for the Energy Star label when shopping for LED bulbs, since the organization tests for color stability as part of its certification criteria.) Here's the coolest part about LED's - they can be illuminated and change its light to many colors including a very recent addition of White and Blue. Other are Green, Red, Orange and Amber.
  • It's Safe. LED requires low voltage DC electric current and can run on batteries, so it's safe to the touch - it doesn't get hot.
  • It's Strong. LED's are durable - they aren't glass but small plastic bulbs.
  • It's Swift. LED's are easy to implement - they are just tiny bulbs that fit easily into modern electric circuits. Additionally, because of their size, more bulbs can be used on an electrical circuit.
  • The Rage. LED will lead and light up the future. The light bulb that has lit up our homes since the 1800s is officially on its way out. The inefficient incandescent, has fallen out of favor with the financially and ecologically concerned; starting in 2012, U.S. residents won't be able to buy one even if they want to [source: Linden]. The government is taking the little energy suckers off the market."This year 2010, will be the first year where LED's will explode in the residential marketplace," says architect Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the ALA and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky's School of Interior Design. "We are already seeing amazing LED developments in all parts of our lives, from Christmas lights to LED TVs. One area where LED's will become predominant in 2010 is the category of desk and task lamps," Rey-Barreau says. "Another major development will be in replacement bulbs, as the extreme long life of an LED bulb makes it ideal for replacing recessed lights in hard-to-reach areas such as vaulted ceilings in living rooms or kitchens". If you aren't sure yet if you want to devote a large portion of your living space to the technology, Rey-Barreau suggests trying under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, a desk or task lamp or path lighting outside to see if you like the illumination it provides before investing in an entire ceiling of recessed fixtures or a large chandelier.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5938124

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What To Consider When Installing Electric Gates And Things That You May Not Have Thought About

There are many reasons to decide on having electric gates installed, Children's safety, pets and animals safety. Security and convenience. As well as just stopping other vehicles turn around on your driveway.
In addition to the physical barrier of the gates, there is also the feel good factor of the gates always being closed. Also at being able to choose who or when you speak to the person at your gateway from the comfort of your own home, no more nuisance callers that always turn up when you are in the middle of something.
Safety is your first consideration when installing electric gates.
As well as deciding if you want swing gates or sliding gates, you will also have to cover all of the safety hazards of your gates movement.
Then go on to deciding additional safeties, access control, Who gets through the gates and how?
And finally communication to the gateway whether it be a simple door bell, a voice system or video, whether it is colour or B/W and of course CCTV.
So the Method of deciding what you want from your gates as well as what you can have from your gates is them finally decided by the costs amounting from the your needs or desires.
Decisions to be made in order from start to finish.
1. Existing post or brick piers, are they suitable to accept the gates that you would like? or do you need new post or piers?.
2. Is the gap between the posts or piers big enough for your needs and others that may use it?
3. Is the surface across the driveway level to allow the gates to swing inwards without hitting the ground?
4. Can the gate slide to one side allowing more space on the driveway?
5. Would you like Wooden gates or Metal gates?, price can be similar for either material.
6. Once all of the above questions have been answered the you can make a decision on the amount of times the gate will open per day and per hour, This will tell you how intensive the use is, above 20 openings per hour would be considered intensive and then you may want to consider either 24volt operators or Hydraulic operators.
7. The next decision and probably the most important is about safety.
a) Sliding gates, photocells possibly both sides of the gate, possible protecting the back of the gate and or maybe a photocell cage working as one beam forming a cage.
b) Leading edge strips attached to the ends of the gate that stop the gate when pressure is applied.
c) A leading edge strip fixed to the wall or post where the gate slides past to prevent a shearing action.
d) Swing gates, photocells through the gateway and possible on the end of the swing to protect objects through the swing of the gate
8. Access control, (who gets in and how?) Most gate automations are supplied with 2 remote controls, beyond that instead of buying lots of remote controls, a simple code lock or keypad added to allow access via the input of a simple code.
I. Swipe card (Proximity card or tag) allowing access via a card swipe.
II. Communication either wireless or hard wired from the gateway to the house allowing two way speech and access via a push of the phone button.
III. GSM allowing telephone speech via call unit to a mobile phone or dedicated phone from a GSM call unit.
IV. Video intercom B/W or colour hard wired only at the moment with few exceptions.
V. CCTV allowing monitoring of the gateway, some speech and some access control built in
9. In addition to access control, you can also have a simple press to exit or even a press to open button, obviously depending on levels of security, but at little cost.
10. Postman, often overlooked, a post box can be fitted on the gates, outside the gates or access can be on a timer to allow access within the specified times.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/977747

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Walkway Lighting - A Beautiful And Inexpensive Addition To Your Home

Moving into your new home or deciding to add some upgrades to your existing home is a great adventure, especially since there are so many different ideas that can make your home amazing. One of those ideas is walkway lighting, since it can make your home look great and keep it safe as well.
Even if your yard is small this kind of lighting will add to your home. It's a great way to show off your landscaping, or even to add some additional light to make your home look more welcoming. It's hard to feel welcome when you are approaching a dark house. Most homes don't have enough outdoor lighting, but adding lighting to your walkway can provide just enough light to make your house and yard look great even at night.
But adding lighting will not only improve the curb appeal of your home, it will make it a safer place as well. It is essential for homes with stairs or curved walkway, but even works great at homes with straight walkways as well. The added light can make it easier for people arriving or leaving your home, while also keeping unwanted visitors away at night.
There are two types of walkway lights you can install at your home, both of which look great and provide great safety benefits. The first type, solar, only requires the power of the sun to work each night. They charge on their own during the day when the sun is out, and turn on by themselves when the sun starts to set. They don't require an electric source other than the sun, and don't need to be plugged in or turned on each night.
Electric lights obviously do require an electric source, but can be turned on and off whenever you please. They provide more light than typical solar lighting fixtures, but this can vary depending on the type of light bulb inside the fixture. They are installed much like Christmas lights, and can even be set on a timer to turn on the same time each night.
Walkway fixtures can be found in a number of different styles and colors, which makes them easy to fit almost any home d├ęcor. They work great at almost any home, and can make your house look more appealing while providing a safe atmosphere for your entire family. Solar and electric fixtures each have their advantages and disadvantages, and they both work great for their intended purpose.
If you are considering adding something new to your home, walkway lighting really is the way to go. It can completely change the look of the outside of your home, yet can be simple and inexpensive to install.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/906689

Monday, February 13, 2012

Did You Know?

Did you know?
Your electrical panel may be in danger after 30 plus years.

Your home has probably had almost everything replaced by now; from water heater, furnace, AC, floors, doors, windows, appliances, etc.

Has anyone looked at your electrical panel?

Most people think if it's not broken, why fix it? Well, the reason is simple...

Most house fires are caused by electrical fires. Don't lose your valuables or your life! Have your panel inspected. Have peace of mind!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Dave Strenski: New Energy for Detroit

Dave Strenski searches for ways to make his small Michigan town, Ypsilanti, the world's solar power destination.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kitchen Lighting Design - A Recipe For Success

Ingredients For An Eye Pleasing Kitchen Lighting Design

When you're thinking about a lighting design there are several things you need to take into account. The main one is that the kitchen will be the primary focus of your household, in reality where most of the activities in your house will take place. All meals usually take place there or in an adjacent dining room. If you have a family, it will be very busy in the mornings as kids are preparing for school and you and your spouse are preparing for work. During the day it may be a little more quiet, but in the evenings it is busy again in preparation for dinner. On the weekends, it's likely that the kitchen will be very busy throughout the entire day.

This is why the most important part of kitchen lighting design is that it should be comfortable, practical and well-lit. During the day, you can solve a lot of the lighting issues by having large windows installed in your kitchen, but at night or on overcast days it's a great idea to think about kitchen lighting fixtures that will illuminate the whole kitchen. You may want to have one central light in the middle of the ceiling and then additional lights above counter tops and the sink, so you can work in a well-lit area.

The main light in the kitchen will usually be the one located in the middle of the ceiling and will be the centerpiece of your kitchen lighting design. For this one, you have several options, but cost and energy efficiency should always be considered. You do not need to use kitchen lighting fixtures here that are too bright, especially if you will have additional lights above counter tops, or if you have a large window to let in sunlight. This is where you can save a lot by using an energy efficient lighting fixture that has a neutral color. Kitchen lighting design options for this location are neon lights and hanging kitchen lights.

Counter top lighting design for your kitchen
Counter tops, islands, and eating areas are where you will need to have some high powered lighting. Often these can be attached to a wall at the back of the counter top, above the sink, or you can opt for under cabinet lighting. It's important that these lights illuminate the areas they are hanging over well, because you will be using these areas to do the bulk of your food preparation work. Additionally, you might want to consider using neutral light or neon light. This will allow you to see the true colors of any kitchen object so you can determine whether an item is clean, or not. This also applies to working with food - you want to make sure that the lighting shows the real colors of any food you are working with so you know that it is clean, safe to eat, or properly cooked.

Do-it-yourself or work with a designer?
Whether you do your kitchen lighting design yourself or hire an interior designer's services is completely up to your own skills and budget. If you are confident that you know what you want, perhaps all you need to do is go to a home improvement store (or shop around online) and get the parts you need and set it up yourself. On the other hand, if this seems a little daunting and you know you have the budget, then you might want to think about employing a specialist to help you with your kitchen lighting design. You can also seek help from the staff that work at stores such as Ikea, Home Depot or Rona. They will be able to help you plan out the kitchen lighting design that works best for you.

Our goal is to educate the reader in making the best decisions possible whether they are doing a complete remodel, or just replacing their kitchen lighting fixtures.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6801178

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Choosing The Best Driveway Lights For Your Needs

Good use of outdoor lighting has become increasingly popular for anyone wanting to make their home look better at night, but also for anyone wanting to add additional functionality to their home. Using driveway lights is one way to add a distinct look to your yard while also providing additional light during the evening hours. There are a variety of styles that can be used to achieve a number of different looks.

Benefits of Driveway Lighting
When driveway lighting is done well it can help increase the value of your home and increase the curb appeal. But even if you aren't planning on selling your home anytime soon it will make the yard more attractive and provide light for anything you are doing outside in the evening.
It can help provide needed light when you are carrying groceries or other items inside. It will provide additional light for any friends or relatives who are visiting. It can also be useful if you are outside with kids or pets during the evening.
Driveway lighting can also help illuminate any landscaped areas near the driveway. This way your beautiful plants and flowers can be seen at night and during the day providing a cozy look to your home.

Types of Driveway Lights
There are a few types of driveway lights to choose from, what you choose will depend on a few things. If you are building a new home you may want to add the lights to your home plans which will make it easier to choose exactly what you want as they will be built into your plans. But if are adding them to an existing home there are still plenty of options.
Paver or recessed lights are a good option if you don't want a fixture sticking up out of the ground. Paver lights are made of stone or brick pavers and are set into the driveway so they are flush with it. Recessed lights can be installed into the driveway like pavers or they can be installed along side of it.
There are various styles of post lights that are also popular for use on driveways. The height you choose will depend on the length and shape of the area where they will be installed.
Solar driveway lights are another option. They are very easy to install and they won't require electricity to run so they are very economical.
Bollard lights can also work well for this purpose. If you have a short driveway one bollard light on either side of the beginning of the drive can help light the sidewalk as well.
Look at all of your options before you make a final decision as there are a lot of fun options available. Also be sure to incorporate installation cost and difficulty into your decision.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5120182

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Commercial Clean Craftsmanship

If you are a Contractor, a Business Owner, or a Property Owner; may it be-Retail, Restaurant, Medical, T.I., High-rise, Cave, Existing or New-Vacaville Electric will help with site utility to ground up construction. From an entire Shopping Center to a Coffee Shop, we provide everything for a smooth operation.

When working with Vacaville Electric you will see the fast, smooth completion of your project with helpful insight and clean craftsmanship. Give us a call.