Thursday, November 28, 2013

Call Us For Commercial Projects!

Tom shows that Vacaville Electric is a full range contractor ready to tackle any commercial job. See more at

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tips When Choosing Home Lighting!

Before you go out and buy new lighting for your home, it is worth walking from room to room to get a feel for the furniture, color scheme and existing lighting that is already in place. When shopping for new lighting you need to be mindful about where you will be placing these lamps within the room, how much lighting you require and if you will be focusing the light on any particular focal point. The focal point could be painting on the wall or a prized family airlume on the mantel piece.
The bedroom is a more informal room than the rest of the house and provides you the opportunity to add personal decorative ideas that you may not necessarily choose for the living room for instance. You may want to by lighting that is luxurious in style, rather than a more modern or minimalist look that you would see in other rooms. You have the option of buying side lamps for each side of the bed, or a free standing corner lamp. The amount of furniture and floor space you already have in the bedroom will probably be the deciding factor on whether a floor lamp is feasible.
If you do not have enough floor space, then you can buy table lamps that can be placed on either side of the bed. Having side lamps is a great way to add a relaxing mood into the bedroom as they do not tend to be very bright. You can also match the lampshades to the color of the bedding, curtains or the walls. If you have a ceiling light installed, you can also match the ceiling light shade to the color scheme within the room as well.
The dining room requires a more formal setting and therefore a more formal lamp as well. One important factor to note when choosing a light for the dining room that you may easily overlook is the height of a floor lamp. When you are in a standing position, the light will not shine directly at your face, but sitting down is another story. Many people forget that lamp shades will shine directly into the faces of people when sitting down. You may want to look at lighting that can be directed at the wall or ceiling so that the wall or ceiling reflects the light back into the room. Alternatively buy a lamp that uses a shade which fully surrounds the light bulb.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

We Do Residential

Vacaville Electric will provide all your Residental needs. With over 1,000 track homes and 50 custom homes under our belt, we bring the basics as well as all the 21st Century technology options. Whether your home is "Colonial Cozy" or the "Next Generation," we will make sure you always get the best bang for your buck.

We understand Residential including a keen awareness for the infrastructure of your home. When installing electrical devices we will meet your lighting needs while maintaining the integrity of your walls, ceilings and tiles. Not knowing what is going on is a shame when you are building. 

Call today for a Prebuild Design Consultation. If you are already in your house and you need some help making it into a home, we are just a phone call away.

Listed are examples of some of the electrical work that we do. If there is something you do not see on our list, keep in mind that we are excited to welcome new challenges!
• New Home Construction (Ground Up)
• Additions and Partials
• Lighting Design (Comfort, Effect, Security)
• Code Correction
• Fire and Water Damage
• Driveway Lighting
• Gates
• Solar

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Common Problems With Electrical Outlets

If your home is like most, you probably have numerous electrical outlets. Although most times you can simply use these outlets without giving them a second thought, sometimes problems do occur. If you are noticing any problems with one or more outlets in your home, you should immediately evaluate and remedy the problem. If left unattended to, an annoyingly problematic electrical outlet could quickly turn into a serious safety hazard. To avoid personal injuries or fires, calling an electrician at the first sign of outlet problems is usually the best course of action. Here are some common electrical outlet problems that you might be experiencing.
Overloaded Circuits and Outlets
Overloading is often the culprit behind many electrical outlet problems. Although it can be tempting to plug too many appliances or electronic devices into one outlet, it is a practice that should definitely be avoided. If you are using a power strip or an extension box to increase the number of items you can plug into a single outlet, you might be unintentionally setting yourself up for problems. By utilizing power strips and extension boxes, it often becomes possible to plug six or more devices into an outlet that was only designed for two. In some cases, you might simply blow a fuse or trip a breaker switch as a result of overloading the outlet. However, in other cases an electrical fire could be the end result.
Crisscrossed Wiring
Just because your outlet generally works does not mean there are not problems with faulty wiring or a faulty electrical outlet installation. In some cases, even if the wiring has been improperly installed, the outlet will still function acceptably most of the time. If you are experiencing sporadic problems with equipment and appliances plugged into a specific outlet, it might be a symptom of crisscrossed wiring. Sometimes when outlets are installed, mistakes are made. In the case of crisscrossed wiring, the outlet may have been installed with the "hot" and "neutral" wires reversed on the terminal screws. Although appliances and equipment often still work when this situation exists, it can be quite dangerous. Crisscrossed wiring could cause damage to your electrical equipment, due to the reversed polarity. This wiring problem will also generally interfere with the grounding of an outlet, which can also cause damage. If this issue is discovered, the wiring should be fixed immediately to avoid potential problems.
Improper Outdoor Electrical Outlets
Improper outdoor electrical outlets are actually quite common, especially in older homes. Although modern electrical codes require the use of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt receptacles, often referred to as simply GFCIs, it was common in the past to install standard outlets outdoors. This can cause a very dangerous situation, since moisture is quite common in most outdoor environments. If you accidentally touch an outdoor outlet when it is wet, the fact that it is a GFCI could just save your life. Have all outdoor electrical outlets inspected periodically as a safety precaution, even if they are GFCI outlets, to ensure that water or moisture is not leaking into them.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How To Use Lighting Controls & Switches To Help Sell Your Home

Welcome to Learn It at Leviton, your one-stop source for reliable information on a range of home improvement topics 

Are you selling your home? If so, use these simple tips to help increase the value of your home.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Solar Panel Electricity - An Affordable Energy Source

Smart consumers today are looking no further than solar panel electricity as a natural and efficient energy source. The solar panel is a component used in a photovoltaic system to generate renewable energy from the sun that is used as electrical power in residential homes and commercial buildings.

The panels actually collect solar radiation found within the sun's rays and then convert those rays into energy which produces the electricity. The first solar panel was used to power a satellite made by Hoffman Electronics in 1958 and was used as the primary satellite energy source until the 1970's.

Solar panel electricity is a clean, natural and environmentally safe source of energy. Solar cells have been used to power calculators, outdoor light fixtures, street lights, satellites, water heating systems, air conditioners and heaters. Solar panels have become a great energy source for marine vehicles and recreational vehicles since they are a portable form of energy.

There is no need to plug in to an electric source while on the road or when boating. Solar generators are even available so you can take them camping in the great outdoors. They can heat water for a shower or keep your tent warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Solar panels will produce all the electricity you need for a great outdoor experience. They produce no harmful pollution compared to fossil burning fuels that produce toxic gases. The toxins are released into the atmosphere and are a danger to animals, plants and humans.

Since these panels renew the sun's energy at no cost to the consumer, once the initial hardware is purchased and installed there will be no future charges to renew the sun's energy. The sun is actually able to produce enough energy in the space of an hour to meet the needs of all mankind for the rest of their lives. The sun is a very powerful energy source and people are beginning to sit up and take notice of it. It is affordable and healthier for the planet as a wonderful way to discontinue or reduce the use of fossil fuels.

The federal and state governments continually offer rebates and tax incentives for consumers to purchase solar panel electricity in an effort to help offset the initial costs of setting up a solar energy system. These types of panels can be purchased from home improvement stores, building, heating and air conditioning contractors, and online merchandisers.

These sources can provide you with the most accurate information regarding prices, rebates and tax incentives on purchasing do-it-yourself kits or professional installation. Contact a solar specialist as soon as possible if you want to save money and help make your environment healthier.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Electric Vocabulary

View full lesson on TED-Ed BETA:

We all know the words around electricity, "charge," "positive," "battery" and more. But where do they come from and what do they really mean? Let the history of these words illuminate the physics of electric phenomena.

Lesson by James Sheils, animation by TED-Ed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

History of Electricity - A Timeline of Innovation and Multiple Key Discoveries

The history of electricity is an interesting one. It outlines numerous inventions, key discoveries or milestones which collectively have brought us to where we are today. Understanding the evolution of the past and where we are today does contribute to what we should be doing going forward.
One of the first questions that arises when we think about the history or evolution of electricity is when electricity was invented or discovered and by who? In my opinion there does not seem to be a clear or single answer to this because electricity as we know it today is an outcome of multiple observations, inventions or key discoveries that took place over a extremely long period of time.
This timeline starts with the discovery of static electricity, invention of electric batteries, the concepts of voltage and Ohms law. From there direct current provided electricity to incandescent lights which was later replaced by alternating current. This was then distributed to homes on a widespread basis to address lighting and eventually appliances.
Returning now to today, just how do we generate electricity which we all take for granted? Electricity is generated or produced by several primary energy sources most notably coal, natural gas, nuclear power, petroleum. Some other renewable sources are hydro power, geothermal, solar, wind and biomass.
Why should we be concerned with understanding the history of electricity, timeline, discuss who invented or discovered it and how is it generated today?
The first main reason is to understand that the electricity is a secondary energy source. This means that it is generated from other primary energy sources. To draw out an example we can use the US. The Department of Energy has reported that during 2006 approximately 49% of the total electricity produced was generated from coal and about 19% from nuclear power generation. In terms of renewable sources, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal collectively generated about 5% of the overall electricity during the same period.
This helps me to introduce my second point which is the overall majority of electricity produced or generated in the US for this period was a result of using non-renewable energy sources. There is obviously a limitation further down the road which implies this course of action is not fully sustainable.
The last point to highlight is the journey or evolution of discoveries and innovations which have led us to where we are today will likely continue going forward. This implies that on-going usage of energy sources should be adapted, new or enhanced technologies that optimize electricity will ideally be deployed. The increased awareness today on energy conservation and renewable energy sources should act as a strong catalyst towards even further innovation over the coming years.
The take-away for consumers is we should collectively implement ways to conserve energy or more specifically save electricity wherever possible. In parallel to these energy conservation steps, adopting new renewable energy sources should be a key priority. The outcome ideally being to stimulate more innovation, similar to what we have see in the past.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Basics Of Electricity

Simplest model of an atom 

To ward the end of the 19th  century, science  was barreling along at an impressive pace. Automobiles andaircraft were on the verge of changing the way the world mov ed, and electric power was st eadily making its way into more and more homes. Yet even scientists of the day still viewed electricity as something vaguely mystical. It wasn't until 1897 that scientists discovered the existence ofelectrons -- and this is where electricity starts.
Matter, as you probably know, is composed of atoms. Break something down to small enough pieces and you wind up with a nucleus orbited by one or more electrons, each with a negative charge. In many materials, the electrons are tightly bound to the atoms. Wood, glass, plastic, ceramic, air, cotton -- these are all examples of materials in which electrons stick with their atoms. Because the electrons don't move, these materials can't conduct electricity very well, if at all. These materials areelectrical insulators.
Holy Electricity
In the late 19th century, electricity truly had a noble or even divine reputation -- to the extent that members of the scientific community protested the idea of the electric chair as a degradation of both electricity and the scientific breakthroughs that made electrocuting a criminal possible. What might these critics have thought of such modern marvels as the battery-powered blackhead remover or the dance-floor horror known as the electric slide?
Most metals, however, have electrons that can detach from their atoms and zip around. These are called free electrons. The loose electrons make it easy for electricity to flow through these materials, so they're known as electrical conductors. They conduct electricity. The moving electrons transmit electrical energy from one point to another.
Think of electrons as pet dogs and a negative charge as a case of fleas. Homes where the dogs lived inside or within a fenced-in area would be the equivalent of an electrical insulator. Homes where the pets roamed free, however, would be electrical conductors. If you had one neighborhood of indoor, pampered pugs and one neighborhood of unfenced, free-roaming basset hounds, which group do you think could spread an outbreak of fleas the fastest?
Dogs aside, electricity needs a conductor in order to move. There also has to be something  to make the electricity flow from one point to another through the conductor. One way to get electricity flowing is to use a generator.