Category: Electricians

Starting An Electrician Business

How to Find a Good, Reliable Electrician

Although there are many home repairs you may be able to do on your own, electrical work is best left to the professionals. Faulty wiring can lead to fires, shock, electrocution and other hazards. It is important to hire a good, reliable electrician who is able to guarantee the work. Instead of making your decision solely on price, research and confirm the electrician’s credentials before making a dangerous mistake

Request recommendations. Contractors, builders and developers can often provide a list of reliable electricians they recommend. Word of mouth is a great source of advertising. See if any of your friends or co-workers can recommend a good electrician from experience

Discuss the electrician’s area of expertise. Electricians typically specialize in one field or multiple fields. Some may handle new construction site projects, and others may specialize in service calls or commercial buildings. It is important to make sure the electrician has the experience necessary to handle any issues or complications that may arise.

Ask to see a copy of the electrician’s license. In California, every individual who performs electrical work needs to be licensed, not just the contractor. You can verify the electrician’s licensing status by using the search tool on the State of California Department of Industrial Relations site

Verify that the electrician carries insurance. Although it is not a state requirement, you may want to choose an electrician carrying liability insurance in case there is an accident or damage done to your home. If the company has employees, it is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance on all electricians. For added assurance, call the insurance provider to ensure the policies have not lapsed.

 

Tips for Hiring a Good Electrician

When you seek the services of a professional electrician to perform electrical repairs in your home or workplace, you want to ensure that the person you engage is of course qualified, certified and insured, but also highly skilled and experienced in carrying out electrical services and electrical repairs. However, it is difficult to know whether this will be the case just by speaking to someone on the phone.

Licenses and Insurance

It is absolutely essential that you ensure the electricians working in your home or workplace are licensed and appropriately insured and that the electricians willingly provide you with details of these. If an electrician works for an electrical company, it may be possible to chase up these details through the organisation, but for independent electrical contractors, these checks are still vitally important.

References

One of the best ways to know how good an electrician is, is to obtain references from others. Without such recommendations or warnings, how can you know whether others have been satisfied and impressed with their work?

Obtain an Initial Quote

Never let electrical work begin in your home without a quote being obtained and agreed. In fact, you may obtain quotes from several electricians before deciding on the one that will carry out the electrical repairs necessary in your home or workplace.

Permits and Permission

It may be the case that the electrical work to be carried out requires particular permission and/or permits. A great electrician will never attempt to cut corners by carrying out work without the necessary permission and will always seek approval.

 

How to Find a Good Electrician

Finding an electrician is not difficult, it’s finding one that is qualified, won’t rip you off and will do a good job. Going by price won’t work, because however much you pay you can never guarantee good quality workmanship. So we’ve put together a guide to help you find a good electrician.

Word of Mouth

The first port of call to finding an electrician is to ask around. Whether it’s your friends and family or a shout out on social media, a recommendation from someone else is like gold dust. If someone you know has used an electrician and they were good enough to warrant a recommendation, then you know they’re good, especially if you can go and look at their handiwork themselves.

Electrical Competent Person

If you nobody has anyone to recommend, then you need to head to the Registered Competent Person Electrical search facility here. All electricians on this register have been assessed for the quality of their work, so this should be the next step in your search for a reputable electrician.

Get a Quote from at Least Three Electricians

Obtain at least three quotations from at least three different electricians, and make sure that your quote is broken down into the actual work that the electrician will be doing, the amount of time it will take to do the job and the material costs for any parts.

Leave Them Feedback

If you’ve found a great electrician, make sure that you leave them a good recommendation, both online and in person. This means that when someone else is need of a good electrician, they’re more likely to choose the same one you did.

 

A Guide For Choosing The Right Electrician

Whether you need electrical installation or repair in your home, it is good to hire the best electrician to handle it. If your electrical system is not working in the right way, you can be sure that your entire home will also be dysfunctional. You need a good electrician with knowledge of how the system and appliances work so that they can work on your project in the right way. With the many electricians, you can get confused on the one that you can work within your home. The following are the important tips to follow as you look for an excellent electrician to work on your project

Get recommendations

One of the ways that you can get the best electrician in your area is to ask for recommendations from other homeowners who have worked with professional electricians. By doing this, you will gather the information that will guide you in selecting the one that will offer you satisfactory services that will ensure that your system will not fail you. What you should do is to list three of the best recommended and take time to consult with them so that you get the best among them. Note that you will require their electrical services for a long time so you should also choose the one you can develop a long term relationship with them.

Verify insurance and licensing

You cannot make the mistake of entrusting your electrical project to an electrician who is not licensed – EJ Electrical Gold Coast. In case you work with such a professional, you will have nowhere to run to in case there is a problem because they are not recognised by authorities. Besides, it is good to know that there are also some risks involved in working on an electrical project, so they should also have an insurance cover. So, as you do the consultation, it is vital you request them to show you their license and insurance cover. With an insurance cover, you will not worry when the professionals are working on your project because you know that you are fully protected from any liability that might occur

Training and credentials

During your search, it is paramount you only work with those with the right qualifications. They should have a strong education background in the industry. Besides, they should also be undergoing continuous training so that they get equipped with recent techniques in the electrical field. It is also important to look that they are certified and accredited by the relevant institutions to work on electrical projects.

Reputation

When you hire an electrician, they will be working inside your home. This means that if you work with someone who does not have a good reputation, you might end up losing some of your items. This is why it is good to check that your potential electrician does not have a criminal record. The reviews and rating provided by past clients will show you the reputation of the different electrical professional in your area, thus guide you to choose the right one.

 

Expert Tips To Find A Professional Electrician

Whether it is home remodeling, new electrical wiring or a faulty wire, you’re wise if you’re considering to hire a professional electrician. While we have already discussed why you must go for a professional, we wanted to compile the expert tips to find a professional electrician so as to assist you in your endeavor.

Don’t cut corners while hiring an electrician

Electrical work is highly dangerous, and it is crucial that the work gets utmost care. All the safety precautions must be followed so as to avoid dangerous on job accidents as well as to ensure that your house remains safe from electrical damage in future.

Conduct a walk-through of your home

Why is it important? Probably you’re paying the electrician for a home visit, and if that’s the case, you must make the most out of it. There are chances that you’re hiring the contractor for a major electrical work at present, but that must not stop you from getting a quote for all the tasks that might need to be done

Electricians are not do-it-all gurus

Electrical work requires highly skilled professionals and most of the trained electrical contractors specialize in different fields. Some may work on commercial wiring projects while some may handle only simple domestic tasks.

Ask for recommendations

Asking your friends, family and neighbors must be the first thing you should do to find a professional electrician. Look for a contractor who has already worked on a project for someone you know. It will give you the first person account of what is it like to work with that particular serviceman.

Must Know About Switches Installation For Your Safety

things to consider before installing smart light switches

When turning your old, dumb house into a smart home, one of the best places to start is with lighting. For starters, you can test the waters with a single smart bulb or set of lights — letting you dip a toe in the smart light pool before diving in head-first.

When it comes to smart lighting, one of the most seamless and natural ways to upgrade your home is with smart switches. They work as intended, even when the internet goes out and you can hardly notice them once they’re installed

Smart bulbs

or instance, not only let you remotely control the lights or put them on a schedule, they often also let you change the color of the lighting on the fly

Smart plugs

keep things simple while letting you turn an existing lamp with a regular light bulb into one you can turn off and on from anywhere. They sometimes let you track energy consumption, as well. Both of these options come with a plug-and-play installation. If you don’t like it or want to move it later on, you can with little to no effort.

Smart switches

on the other hand, are the modest midpoint between the other two and the most natural to use. You can still control the lights from the wall switch like you always have, but you’ll get some added benefits, like dimming or a pop-out remote that will still give you easier manual control of the lights. But they’ll also work with existing light fixtures that may not accommodate a smart bulb. That said, installation is much more hands-on and permanent

 

How To: Install a Dimmer Switch

I like mood lighting as much as anyone, particularly first thing in the morning when the full blast of light from a 100 watt bulb makes me scream like a vampire at high noon. Could be that I’m just not a morning person. Regardless, I like to be able to adjust the brightness in a room, and installing a dimmer switch is a pretty easy way to get control over your lighting.

GETTING STARTED

Before you go around ripping switches out of the wall, there are a couple of things you should know about wiring and dimmer switches

Not all dimmer switches are compatible with Compact Fluorescent Lights.  If you have CFL bulbs you will need to go with one of the newer varieties, like those from Lutron.

Check to see if the switch you want to replace is a single pole (one switch) or three-way (can be turned on/off from multiple locations) switch—that too will determine the type of dimmer you need

Some dimmer switches use resistors so you’re paying for the electricity even though you’re seeing less light. Newer dimmer switches will actually conserve energy when you’re not lighting the bulb at full capacity

 

How to install a smart switch

The process of installing a smart switch is no different than replacing any other type of electrical switch in your home. You’ll want to take the proper precautions (we’ll help you with that, too), but you don’t need to hire an electrician, and you won’t need any special tools. You can do the job with a screwdriver and a pair of pliers or wirecutters. A non-contact voltage tester is handy if you want to be extra safe, but you can buy one of those for less than $15 on Amazon.

There are many types of smart switches, and while this story isn’t intended to help you decide which smart switch is best for your needs, it will guide you through the process of installing any one of them. That’s because they’re all essentially the same in terms of their wiring

There are a few important distinctions you’ll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, an on/off switch will do just that: In one position, it will send electricity to the socket your light bulb is screwed into, turning it on. In the other position, it will stop electricity from flowing to that socket, turning the bulb off. A dimmer switch can also vary the amount of electricity flowing to the socket, so that you can brighten or dim the light bulb as well as turn it on or off.

If you want to change the color of your lighting, you’ll need a smart bulb, not a smart switch. Unfortunately, smart dimmer switches and smart bulbs typically don’t work together. That’s because smart bulbs are equipped with radios that depend on a steady supply of electricity to operate, and a dimmer varies the amount of electricity flowing to the bulb.

Next, you’ll need to determine if you need a single-pole or a three-way switch. If only one switch controls the flow of electricity to that bulb you want to control, you have a single-pole switch. If two switches can control it—for example, switches on opposite sides of the room—you have a three-way switch (if more than two switches control the same light, it’s described as a four-way circuit.)

 

How to Install a Dimmer Switch

There’s more to changing a switch than connecting a few wires. You have to check grounding and box size for a safe, first-class job. It’s easy to install a dimmer switch, but make sure to upgrade the wiring if necessary to make it safer and meet Electrical Code requirements. We’ll show you how to assure a safe installation

Getting Started: Tools and Power

It doesn’t take long to replace an ordinary light switch with full-feature dimmable switches. But while you’re at it, to make your home safer, you should upgrade the wiring to meet the latest requirements of the National Electrical Code. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to install the dimming switch, concentrating on details that will guarantee a safe installation.

The tools you’ll need to install a toggle dimmer switch are inexpensive and will come in handy for all your electrical projects. You’ll need a screwdriver, wire stripper, inexpensive (2 lead wire type) voltage tester and needle-nose pliers to install a dimmer.

Choosing a Dimmer

There are several types of dimmer switches out there. We show the single switch but there are also three-way dimmers, CFL and LED dimmer switches

Check for Hot Wires

To begin, turn off the power and double-check for hot wires in the box. Turn on the light and have a helper watch as you switch off the circuit breakers, or unscrew the fuses one at a time until the light goes out. Leave this circuit turned off while you work.

 

Dim and Dimmer: Why and How to Install Better Light Switches

You might think that all you need in a light switch is the ability to turn your lights on and off — but you’re wrong. That conventional version of the light switch, which merely toggles lights off and on, was invented in 1884, and in the intervening 135 years, there have been dozens of updates and improvements that make modern light switches safer and easier to install and use. Many of these changes you shouldn’t ever worry about, but there is one feature that should be on every homeowner’s mind: the dimmer switch.

Dimmers Give You More Control

It’s the reason behind the smart home technology craze and the reason home renovations have been on the rise: Homeowners want more control over their personal environments. Dimmers provide more of that coveted control, and that isn’t as insignificant as you might expect. Controlling light is a major element of modern civilization; by not only being able to bring illumination to dark indoor spaces but alter the color and intensity of that light on your whim, you gain a significant advantage in creating the exact atmosphere you want and need.

Dimmers Save You Money

Simple toggle switches (the ones that only turn on and off) flick lights from their brightest setting to their darkest. The only way to overcome this is to go out of your way to set lights dimmer, which takes work and usually isn’t ideal in most situations. That means whenever you use your lights, they are automatically pulling the most possible power, costing you more on your energy bill than absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, if you use dimmer switches, you can reduce the energy demanded by your lights in most circumstances and cut your energy bill drastically.

Dimmers Increase System Longevity

For a similar reason that non-dimmed lights increase your energy bill, lights without dimmer switches place more stress on your electrical system and the bulbs themselves. Bulbs working at maximum capacity are more likely to die sooner than bulbs that are slightly dimmed, even when those bulbs are relatively long-lasting CFLs or LEDs. Estimates suggest that dimming lights could increase their lifespan by as much as 25 percent, meaning you don’t need to worry as much about keeping an inventory of bulbs on hand.

How to Install Dimmer Switches

If your handiness skill is abysmally low and you have never worked with electricity in your life, it might be best to call in a professional for this job. Home warranty companies, like American Home Shield,  might be able to provide you with a list of service providers, and they might also help you pay for the upgrade if your electrical system is experiencing issues covered by your plan

Must Learn Trick About Ceiling Fans Installation

Stay Cool and Use Less Energy This Summer With a Ceiling Fan

In the past, prior to the widespread use of air conditioning, ceiling fans were the primary source of cooling for many residences. Over time, as air conditioning became more common, the use of ceiling fans declined. With rising energy costs and increased energy awareness, people are rediscovering ceiling fans as a way to help control air conditioning costs without sacrificing comfort.

Summer Operation

Ceiling fans are an excellent way to help keep air conditioning energy costs down while maintaining occupant comfort levels. During milder weather, ceiling fans can help keep occupants cool without running the air conditioner, due to the “wind chill” effect. Moving air feels cooler because it speeds the evaporation of moisture from the skin, removing heat. In summer, the fan should be set to blow downward, toward the occupants.

Fans can also be used along with the air conditioner to help reduce energy costs. The cooling effect of the moving air allows the air conditioner thermostat to be set slightly higher while maintaining the same degree of comfort for room occupants. For example, you may be able to adjust the setting on your thermostat from 76° to 78° F and still be just as comfortable. This increase of 2° F can result in a reduction of up to 15% in air conditioning energy use, and the cost of running the ceiling fan is minimal.

Remember that fans don’t actually cool the air – they make it feel cooler. Running ceiling fans or other fans in unoccupied rooms doesn’t help and it’s a waste of energy.

 

Stay Cool for Less Money with a Ceiling Fan

Did you know that a ceiling fan could allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F without affecting your comfort? Fans work by creating a wind-chill effect on your skin so you feel cooler. Raising the temperature and using a fan can help you use less energy running your air conditioner; you may even be able to avoid using your air conditioner altogether.

Follow these tips when installing and using a ceiling fan:

  • Try to install a ceiling fan in every room that needs cooling when the weather is hot, but ensure that the ceiling is at least eight feet high. Fans work best when the blades are 7–9 feet from the floor and 10–12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Choose a fan that is the appropriate size for the room
  • Follow the manufacturer instructions when installing your ceiling fan
  • Fans cool people, not rooms. Only operate ceiling fans when you are in the room; turn them off when you leave.

 

How to Select a Ceiling Fan

Almost any home can be made more energy efficient by installing a ceiling fan or two if you don’t already have them. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when shopping for a new ceiling fan.

Basic physics: If your fan’s blade angle is less than 12 degrees, it’s a waste of energy.

The very first thing you should look at with a new ceiling fan is the blade angle. If the angle is less than 12 degrees, the fan will be largely decorative and will just eat energy without significant air movement. Ideally, you want the blades to push air upward or downward. If your blades are at a low angle (meaning nearly flat), they won’t do either – instead, they’ll have much the same effect as an airplane wing. They’ll just cut through the air without pushing the air at all.

A 12-degree angle should be the minimum you purchase, and ideally you’ll buy one with a higher-degree angle. Blades with a 16-degree angle or above push a lot of air, feeling much like a box fan attached to your ceiling. That’s great for cooling off, but it might be overwhelming in some situations. Get a fan with blades angled between 12 and 14 degrees in a room where you might have papers out or may otherwise not want a strong breeze. But in general-use rooms, aim for a fan whose blades are angled at 14 degrees or more.

 

Put your window coverings to work

One of the simplest ways to help beat the heat is to keep your curtains and blinds closed during the day when the sun is at its hottest. If your windows are older or your home gets a lot of sun, the heat gain through the windows can greatly contribute to the indoor temperature. Closing curtains and blinds will help keep the room cooler and your energy bills lower. It’s not rocket science, but it works.

Invest in a programmable thermostat—and use it properly!

Using a programmable thermostat is a great way to make sure your home stays cool while you’re there to enjoy it, but that your air conditioner isn’t working overtime when you’re away. If you have a fairly regular schedule, it’s easy to set your thermostat for your home to be warmer when you’re not there, but have it kick on so that it’s cool and comfortable by the time you walk in the door. And if you use a ceiling fan, you may be able to set your thermostat a few degrees higher without the room feeling warmer, which saves even more.

 

How do ceiling fans work for colder weather?

Using a ceiling fan in the winter may seem counterintuitive, but it could save you as much as 15 per cent on your heating bills. Your ceiling fan can help distribute and maintain heat pumped out your furnace. In turn, you can adjust your thermostat to a lower setting, but still keep warm and save on your heating costs.

In cooler months, your ceiling fan should be spinning clockwise at a low speed. Warm air naturally rises, and the gentle updraft created by this setting allows for the redistribution of warm air that tends to accumulate near the ceiling.

Make Good Outdoor Electrical Lighting

Benefits of Outdoor Lighting

Today’s outdoor spaces are extensions of our homes with kitchen equipment, dining spaces, lounging areas and more. Here are a few of our favorite lighting tips to help you enjoy these spaces -day into night.

 Elevated Aesthetic

Outdoor lighting enhances the natural beauty and energy of your home. It highlights charming features, illuminates pathways and creates an alluring ambiance. As you think about outdoor lighting, consider all of the features worthy of attention. Do you have a beautiful tree in your backyard? Spotlight it. Are there attractive architectural details on your patio? Call attention to them with outdoor accent lights. Did you work hard on a gorgeous garden? Lead the way with path lights.

You can also capture the nighttime loveliness of a pool or water feature with underwater LEDs. Or use lighting as its own feature: flood lights positioned at angles to silhouette trees create depth and interest.

Increased Safety and Security

Safety is always a priority. When you’re home, evenings are prime time for outdoor entertainment so key pathways need to be well-lit. When you’re not home, outdoor lighting can help protect it.

 Safety

At night, the right outdoor lights allow you and others to move around safely in the dark. Outdoor post-mounted lanterns are perfect for driveways and stair railings. Outdoor wall lights help you identify doorways and exits and brighten entrances. Step lights and path lights illuminate stairs and walkways, while address lights make it easy for people to find your home.

Security

Outdoor lighting triggered by timers helps protect your home against intruders. They look great, too. Our outdoor wall lights are elegantly designed to enhance security without sacrificing style.

Take Your Yard to the Next Level

Enhanced Home Value

Professional outdoor and landscape lighting adds value in more ways than one. It can highlight design elements or make an area appear larger. It adds beauty and increases usability to in-demand outdoor living spaces after dark. And, of course, security is always valuable. One of the easiest, most affordable strategies to impact property value is to boost curb appeal with an entryway upgrade. A quick coat of paint, updated lights and an accent piece or two are all you need. With this information as a guide, you can complete the project with minimal time and effort.

Enjoy Your Yard

Above all else, good lighting makes every step outside even better. There’s no greater place than your own front or backyard to relax, entertain and explore. Whether your ideal evening includes a meal under the stars, a bonfire with friends or a warm welcome, when you reach the front door, a well-lit exterior sets the tone for extraordinary experiences.

 

Energy Saving Outdoor Lighting

Leaving incandescent pathway or exterior lights on all night can waste energy and money. Fortunately, today we have many options to help illuminate the outside of our homes–increasing security, visibility, and nighttime curb appeal–while still keeping our energy usage and budget in check.

Solar-powered and low-voltage systems are perfect ways to light up paths, patios, decks, and garden spaces.

 Low-voltage lighting kits

Come with a power pack, lamps, and cables. An individual fixture can typically output anywhere from 4 watts to 50 watts of illumination. To install these systems, you simply run the cables in trenches and then position lamps where you need them, inserting them into the ground on stakes. They attach to the cable with connectors, which are included in your kit.

The power pack, which often comes with a built-in timer, is plugged into a standard outdoor outlet. Low-voltage lighting usually uses halogen or LED bulbs; LED technology consumes as much as 80 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.

Solar outdoor lights

Have photovoltaic cells that convert energy from the sun into illumination at night. These have a reputation for being a bit dimmer than low-voltage systems, but some manufacturers have claimed improved performance in recent years (there are even some who offer solar-powered security lights).

Solar garden lights

Cannot be beat for ease of use–simply stick them in the ground in a sunny location during daylight hours, and let them power up. Do note that it may take a few days for them to drink in enough sunlight and store up enough energy to achieve their maximum output. For more, see Solar Outdoor Lighting.

If a more intense illumination source is what you need–such as a spotlight or floodlight–consider fluorescent or high-intensity discharge (HID) lights. Just as with interior fluorescents, exterior fluorescent lights use considerably less energy than their incandescent counterparts and have longer life spans.

Likewise, HID lamps turn a small amount of power into a large amount of illumination. These use gases–metal halide, sodium, and mercury vapor–to radiate light. Lights equipped with sensors are another way to save energy–these power on only when you need them and turn off when you don’t.

Lights with motion detectors turn on when they sense movement. When placed where potential intruders are most likely to pass, these can greatly enhance security. You can install a new motion-sensor light fixture (see Motion-Sensor Light Switches) or add a motion detector to an existing light (lamp-base motion sensors, which simply screw into your fixture, are the easiest to install).

Daylight sensors have a photocell that detects the presence or absence of light, automatically turning your lamp on at night and off during the day. You can purchase a light fixture with a daylight sensor built in or install a sensor that will control existing lights.

Finally, outdoor lighting timers, made with a heavy-duty metal casing to protect the unit from the elements, let you program lights or other outdoor electrical appliances to turn on and off automatically. There are also units that combine sensor and timer technologies to give you the greatest flexibility in control.

 

Lighting Ideas for Outdoor Living

  • String Lights

Outdoor string lights are synonymous with party lights. Use string lights to illuminate food and drink areas, or to light an open space for dancing. They also look cool wrapped around tree trunks, deck railings or even trellises for an unexpected focal point. Add a bit of vintage flair with Edison bulb string lights or mercury ball string lights draped from a gazebo or pergola.

  • Lanterns

Outdoor lanterns add a pop of color against a greenery backdrop and are available in a variety of finishes. Mix different sizes to create a lighted centerpiece for your dining or buffet table. Group smaller lanterns on a side table next to conversation chairs for more intimate lighting, and place larger lanterns on the floor. Check out LED lanterns, too, if you’re looking for warm lighting without the heat.

Don’t feel limited to surfaces, though; outdoor lanterns are also fun to hang from shepherd’s hooks in key locations around your patio. Also, hang lanterns from tree limbs, pergolas or gazebos. Stagger the hanging height to add dimension to the space.

  • Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting illuminates the trees, shrubs and flowerbeds you’ve been planting and grooming. Show off your hard work with path lights sprinkled throughout the garden. Floodlights and spotlights are best for trees and larger areas of your yard. Most landscape lights are available in low-voltage, solar and LED; they also come in kits with everything you need to light your outdoor space. They’re available in a variety of finishes and glass types, so you can select a style that is right your patio. For more information on landscape lighting, check out Landscape Lighting Ideas.

  • Fire Pits

Fire pits are a fun place to gather around in spring, summer, fall or winter. And the crackling sound of a fire always brings people together. Set a few Adirondack chairs around one, and you have an alternative seating area, too. A simple wood-burning fire pit is perfect for entertaining, but feel free to go fancy with a stone-design gas fire pit too. Plan to have marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers tucked away – any season is a good season for s’mores.

  • Candles and Torches

Candles provide accent light with a soft glow. Arrange candles together on a dining table or side table for a more dramatic effect. Look for LED flameless candles if you have small children or pets with active tails; flameless versions provide the same effect without the safety concern.

Decorative metal or split bamboo “tiki” torches add an inexpensive decorative effect to your outdoor event. As with any open flame, avoiding overhanging eaves, trees and areas of activity where they could be knocked over.

  • Sketch Out a Plan

It’s always good to have a game plan. Think about the activities you enjoy and how you’d like to use your outdoor space. For a smaller area, create an intimate setting by grouping lanterns and candles. Add landscape lights to the patio perimeter and any pathways from the patio to the house. If your yard gets direct sunlight, try solar landscape lights; otherwise look into low-voltage or LED. Deck or stair lights also add ground lights while adding extra safety.

If you have a larger space, use lighting to define the different areas. Outdoor string lights work great draped from a pergola or gazebo and create a fun party vibe. A fire pit provides warmth on a chilly night and a secondary place to gather. Use spotlights or floodlights to illuminate trees and shrubs, and to put the finishing touches on your outdoor retreat.

 

Redefining efficiency for outdoor lighting

Improvements in the luminous efficiency of outdoor lamps might not result in energy savings or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The reason for this is a rebound effect: when light becomes cheaper, many users will increase illumination, and some previously unlit areas may become lit. We present three policy recommendations that work together to guarantee major energy reductions in street lighting systems. First, taking advantage of new technologies to use light only when and where it is needed. Second, defining maximum permitted illuminances for roadway lighting. Third, defining street lighting system efficiency in terms of kilowatt hours per kilometer per year. Adoption of these policies would not only save energy, but would greatly reduce the amount of light pollution produced by cities. The goal of lighting policy should be to provide the light needed for any given task while minimizing both the energy use and negative environmental side effects of the light.

 

Outdoor Track Lighting

 Outdoor track lighting is becoming a popular choice for illuminating outdoor areas like covered patios, decks, screened-in porches and backyard pergolas. While homeowners select outdoor furniture and garden plants with care, they often overlook the many design possibilities well-planned outdoor lighting can provide. Security flood lights are commonly used to light exteriors and backyard spaces without much thought to their overall negative effect on ambience.

Just as a cozy living room comes from well-controlled lighting, an inviting outdoor area should be dimly lit with pools of localized light that illuminate seating areas and highlight key visual features. Outdoor track lighting is the perfect solution for lighting outdoor areas. It beautifully highlights architecture, detailed landscapes, outdoor sculptures and more.

Flexibility and adjustability are the two most valuable aspects of outdoor track lighting; as your outdoor space evolves, the location of tables, grills, furniture and plants is bound to change, but track lighting is more than willing to adjust. Easy to install and highly customizable, outdoor track lighting allows you to build unforgettable outdoor areas that invite friends and family to a relaxing evening.