Best Electrical Outlets For Your Home

Electrical OutletsWhen thinking about the electrical supplies in your home, options in outlets may not be something you consider. But a lot of different types of electrical outlets available which are suited to the various electrical needs and situations of each home. This article will educate you about the different types of electrical outlets available and help you determine which ones might be best for your needs.

GFCI Outlets: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI outlets are the most commonly found outlets in residential homes. These outlets will shut off when they detect a short circuit or ground fault. This keeps users safe from shock and electrocution. GFCI outlets are a bit more expensive than regular outlets because of their safety features. But they are becoming a requirement in modern buildings.

AFCI Outlets: Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter or AFCI outlets are another type of protective outlet. These protect against arc faults. Arc faults happen when electricity jumps from one circuit to another which can cause a fire. All houses built after 1999 should be equipped with AFCI outlets.

20A Outlets: Quite simply, 20A outlets are outlets that can handle more load than other outlets. Most outlets are 15A outlets, meaning they can handle 15 amps of electricity. With 20A outlets, you can operate more power thirsty appliances without running the risk of breaker tripping. 20A outlets can support 25% more of a power load than other outlets.

Switched Outlets: A switched outlet has a switch on it that can turn the outlet on and off. This can be useful if you have something plugged into an outlet but you don’t want it running all the time.

USB Outlets: Evident in the name, these USB outlets that come with USB ports. Some also come with two regular outlets, for added convenience.

Smart Outlets

Advancing technology has created these outlets which can be controlled by your cell phone. You can turn these outlets on and off from anywhere in the world using your mobile device.

Outlets are available for purchase at electrical supply stores. You can also buy them at electrical supply online outlets. Electricians may want to purchase them at electrical supply wholesale stores. At home do-it-yourselfers can install outlets themselves. Because this is a potentially dangerous endeavor and it may be best to call in an electrician.

Advancing technology is offering innovative electrical outlets making them safer and more convenient. Best of luck in your electrical supply shopping! Now that you are familiar with the different types of outlets available, you will be able to make an educated choice in deciding which electrical outlet works best for your home.

Installing a Jacuzzi

Know About Installing a Jacuzzi in Your Home

Installing a JacuzziInstalling a Jacuzzi may be best job suited for a licensed electrician. However, there are certain electrical requirements you must adhere if you looking to have a Jacuzzi installed in your house.  Whether you are a homeowner looking to install a Jacuzzi on your property or a licensed electrician. Its a good idea to familiarize yourself with these requirements.

Voltage Requirements: Hot tubs can be categorized according to voltage requirements. Some operate on 120V while others operate on 240V. One 120V tub will be able to be connected to a regular electrical socket. Although it may require a ground fault interrupter cord. 240V tubs need their own dedicated circuit. All hot tubs require that has a GFCI breaker installed within 5 to 10 feet of the tub.

National Electric Codes: There are National Electric Codes that apply to the installation of hot tubs. They can vary from state to state. However all hot tub installations must have a disconnection point which is in sight from the hot tub. Also the wire size is regulated. It’s determined by the amount of power the hot tub is drawing as well as the distance between the circuit breaker box and the hot tub. Copper wires that have THHN insulation are recommended.

Wiring Requirements

All wires used in the installation of the hot tub must be properly covered and contained with PVS conduit pipes. The wires must be rated at least 90c. This will ensure they will be able to handle the heat of the hot tub.

Although some do it yourselfers may want to take on the task of hot tub installation on their own. It is highly recommended that you hire an electrician as its very dangerous task. In fact, in some states it is mandatory by law to hire an electrician for hot tub installation.

Jacuzzis can be purchased at many home improvement outlets. The materials for installing a Jacuzzi can be very specific. So be sure to make a list of exactly what is needed. Also be careful when shopping at your electrical supply shop for the necessary items. If you choose to shop at electrical supply stores online, make sure to read the descriptions carefully. So you can be certain that buying the correct materials. Electricians may be able to find what they need at electrical wholesale outlets.

A Jacuzzi is most luxury for homeowners and can add value if included in a home’s property when selling. However because it introduces a situation where water and electricity in close proximity, it is potentially dangerous. It’s important that Jacuzzis are installed safely and that guidelines followed correctly. If you are interested in installing a Jacuzzi in your home, read up on the requirements for proper installation in your area, and happy soaking!

Portable Stage Lighting

Portable Stage LightingPortable and temporary lights are both parts of temporary lighting solutions, unlike permanent lighting. Portable lights are suitable for the areas where installation and maintenance work done during the shutdown of a plant. There is also portable stage lighting used during stage shows and performances; warning lamps, head torches, and headlamps used in mines and other hazardous areas; and lights used in photography and entertainment shows.

The temporary construction lighting is installed in a plant or on a job site for a limited amount of time. They are portable too, but some of them installed like permanent light fixtures for a given period.

Portable Stage Lighting Components

Stage lights not only brighten up a stage but also act as a medium of interaction between the performers and the audience. The perk of portable stage lighting is that you can use the same fixtures for different shows at different venues.

Portable lights used at the stage have many components. Learning about their roles will help to make the right decision when you go shopping for portable stage lighting fixtures:

Par Cans

They are the part that casts light on a particular area. They are available in various levels of brightness, which determined by ‘Par.’ For example, Par64 refers to lights with the brightest illumination and Par38 means the dimmest lighting, and the other numbers in between refer to other levels of brightness.

Many latest fixtures have LED packs for providing better lighting and consuming less energy.

Lighting Console

This part of the fixture does the job of control the brightness and focus of lights.

Lighting Stands

The stands allow the lights to move wherever they are needed. You have to mount the fixture on these stands and then move them around. The fixed lights don’t have these stands because they are permanently installed in a place.

Dimmer Packs

These box-shaped devices are hung along with the par cans on the lighting stands. Their job is to supply power to the par cans. The latest models with LED bulbs doesn’t have dimmer packs because LED cans are highly energy efficient than the traditional portable stage lighting fixtures.

You can buy either a complete setup or the components separately and then assemble them together. Remember to connect the par can to the dimmer pack and then attach both of them to the lighting stand. If your lighting system requires more than one dimmer pack, use DMX cables to connect them to each other.

Special Industrial Lighting

Special Industrial LightingLighting fixtures designed for special environments provide safety and security to the people working there. Available in incandescent, HID, LED, and fluorescent types, they are designed to withstand both physical and environmental abuses. Mainly used in industrial settings, the special lights are also seen in schools, government buildings, parking areas, bus and train stations, recreational areas, and more. Special industrial lighting used in food processing, cold storage, loading docks, cleanroom, and other areas.

The Uses of Special Lights

There are many areas in an industrial setting where workers work in a quiet environment as they need to concentrate. Special lights can alert the workers in those areas about possible danger. For example, a flashing light can give a warning about a gas leak and help the workers to get safety precaution.

The lighting fixtures and signals for hazardous locations can give signals about a potential danger or when the place is off-limits. It helps people to know where the hazards are and how to take precautions.

Some of these fixtures used in residential and light commercial applications. Known as vapor light fixtures, they are resistant to dust, moisture, and humidity. The usually come with a heavy-duty and die-cast metal housing to withstand the hostile environmental conditions.

Applications of Special Industrial Lighting

You’ll see the uses of special lights in various industrial applications. Let’s take a look:

Cleanroom

The lights used in cleanroom areas of industrial environments are rated for contamination-controlled conditions. They are widely used in the medical industry, chemical labs, semiconductor manufacturing, electronic assembly, and pharmaceutical, processing.

Wet Locations

The special industrial lighting employed in such places are designed to perform in harsh conditions where factors like moisture, humidity, cold, dust, and dirt are present. Mounted at medium and low heights, they are suitable for non-hazardous environments such as refrigerated areas, canopies, shipping docks, etc.

The vapor-tight luminaire also falls in this category that widely used in parking garages, transit stations, stairwells, car washes, and other places where dust or moisture is a concern.

Food Processing

Featuring T5 or T8 fluorescent lamps, the fixtures used in this industry are available in either standard (includes two or three lights) or narrow (includes a single light) channel. They are fully gasketed and come with a heavy-duty aluminum construction. You’ll see these special lights in food processing, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industries.

High-Pressure Hose-Down

The lights used in such applications have a solid fixture design, ideally made of aluminum. They are designed to perform well in extreme and rugged conditions such as cold storage, manufacturing, and food-processing areas. These lights also installed in unit or row and mounted or suspended from the ceiling or wall.

Special industrial lighting is available in various types. So the fixtures designed to perform extremely well in hostile conditions where regular lights are likely to fail.

Mud Box Types and Their Uses

mud boxUsed with the suction piping of the machinery space bilge, the function of a mud box is to strain different types of materials. It is a kind of coarse strainer the features a straight tailpipe that goes down to the bilge.

The mud box is designed in a way that you can quickly remove its lid without disengaging any pipework. It makes easier to clean the inner perforated plate of the suction pipes when necessary.

Applications of a Mud Box

Mud boxes used in the industries where particle filtration is required. Their application is determined depending on the mesh size of their strainers.  Boxes with small mesh size strainers used for fine filtration such as bilge or fuel oil systems. On the other hand, larger mesh size strainers are perfect for coarse filtration such as sea water system.

Mud Box Types and Accessories

Different types of mud boxes are there, and one model differs from others. Depending on some factors such as the size and number of the strainers, mesh size, and the connectivity type. Let’s check out some typical mud boxes used in various industries:

Straight and Angled Mud Boxes

Both the types are applied in systems where protection against debris is required during regular operation or installation of pipes. However, straight boxes have strainers on both sides while the angled ones have a strainer on only one side. Besides, they are straight and angled with PN 10 drilled flange ends, respectively.

As it is possible to have the strainer basket for these boxes with different mesh sizes. They are suitable for the filtration of flammable and non-flammable hydraulic oil, freshwater, seawater, and more.

Strainer Y-Type (Threaded & Flanged Connection)

Both the models are similar except for one comes with threaded and the other with flanged connection. They provide a system protection from debris during regular operation and pipe installation. The strainer baskets for both the types are available in various mesh sizes.

These mud boxes are used for filtering boiler feedwater, freshwater, seawater, cargo oil, thermal oil, lubricating oil, flammable, non-flammable hydraulic fluid and more.

Strainer Basket

Various types of strainer baskets are available for different kinds of mud boxes. The material they are made of can withstand harsh environmental conditions. It resistant to various kinds of rough and corrosive substances. There is also duplex mud box strainer available with a flange connection.

The mesh size of the strainers can be bigger or smaller. So that they can filter a wide variety of liquids including hydraulic oil, fuel oil, thermal oil, seawater, boiler feedwater, and more.

Suction Strainer

Made of galvanized steel, these strainers are mainly used in a system for filtering freshwater and seawater. You’ll typically find them inside the bilge pump system.

Under Cabinet Lighting Options

Under Cabinet Lighting OptionsUnder cabinet lights are a great modern lighting option for illuminating a workspace or add to the ambient light of a place. They can bring dramatic change to the ambiance of a room as well as cast directional light in a particular area. The under cabinet lighting options are mainly used in the kitchen as the place needs both task and ambient lighting.

These lights are typically installed beneath cabinets and shelves. So, you’ll find them inside or underneath the kitchen cabinets and in bookcases as an alternative to picture lights.

Under Cabinet Lighting Options

There are many kinds of under cabinet lights. However, they are mainly available in four types:

Under Cabinet Puck Lighting

They come with a wide variety of finishes in case if you want to keep the trims visible and match them to the décor of the room. You can install them underneath a flat surface either to cast light straight down and slanted in a particular direction. So, they are suitable for both task lighting and adding an ambient glow.

Remember to keep enough space between two lights to have illumination without any shadows.

Under Cabinet Strip Lighting

They are one of the most common under cabinet lighting options that seen in the kitchen and other areas in a house. These lights are available in various lengths with both standard and low voltages. You can even have customizable option to fit into an asymmetrical shelve or irregular cabinetry. If you want to have an even light distribution on a surface such as on the kitchen countertops, the length of that area and the light fixture should be the same.

Under Cabinet Tape Lighting

These are tiny LEDs that installed in a tape strip. You can secure the band carrying the string of lights with a peel-and-stick adhesive. They don’t take much space, so they are perfect for uneven corners and small space.

Under Cabinet Rope Lighting

They are also LEDs housed inside a plastic tubing in a row, but their diameter is a bit larger than the tape lights. You can install them under cabinets or anywhere you like because the plastic housing is flexible.

Under cabinet lighting options are available in three bulb types – fluorescent, xenon, LED. The LED lighting are the most energy-efficient and have the longest lifespan. Their installation is also simple as you can install the plug-in and battery operated lights without any professional help. However, you have to call an expert electrician if they are hardware lights.

Recessed Lighting Fixtures

Recessed Lighting FixturesA recessed light, also known as pot lights, downlights, or can lights, is directional lighting fixture that casts light in a specific direction and place. They are installed into a hollow opening in a ceiling or other surfaces. Recessed lighting fixtures are one of the most versatile light sources for both household and commercial usages. They are more like functional lighting that takes minimal space and seamlessly blends into the decor scheme of any place.

How to Choose the Recessed Lighting Fixtures for Your Projects

Recessed type lighting fixtures have three main parts – housing, trim, and bulb. All the components are available in various styles to suit your personal taste and requirements. However, the choice of pot lights mainly depends on selecting the housing and the trim.

Factors for Choosing the Recessed Lighting Housing

The housing is the part that you install on a surface, and that holds the trim and the bulb. The factors to keep in mind are:

  1. New Construction or Remodel

New construction housings are bulky, and their installation requires a considerable amount of space. You have to have open space around them, so they are suitable only for new buildings where you have full access to any surface (ceiling or wall) or for houses that have an overhead attic.

On the other hand, remodel housings are less bulky, and you can fit them on surfaces where space is at the premium. And there’s no access to space above the new fixture.

  1. IC or Non-IC Rated

The IC-rated housing means it can have direct contact with the thermal insulation while you should keep at least 3-inch distance between a non-IC rated fixture and the insulation. So, you have to understand which type you need.

  1. Line or Low Voltage

The low voltage recessed lighting fixtures need a transformer and a dimmer (if you want the dimming feature) to operate. They are energy-efficient and more suitable for the task or accent lighting.

On the other hand, line voltage fixtures operate directly off of the household current. They don’t need any transformer or dimmer but less energy-saving.

Factors for Choosing the Recessed Lighting Trim

The part that visible from outside is called the trim. They are available in various styles and sizes. You first need to determine the size, which ranges between 1 and 6 inches diameter. While smaller trims leave small footprints and are aesthetically more desirable. The bigger ones are still widely used as they can accommodate a broad range of lamps. Besides, some of the trim styles available as baffle, reflector, adjustable, lensed, wall washed, and decorative trims.

Not all trim styles or sizes will work with all kinds of housings. So, you have to understand all the factors mentioned above while going to shop for your recessed lighting fixtures.

The Working Principle of Starters for Fluorescent Tubes

starters for fluorescent tubesA light starter does the job of helping a lamp light. It’s mainly used with fluorescent lamps where it preheats the bulb’s electrodes and produces an ignition pulse. This device consumes a little power and stores it in so that it can operate again next time you switches on the light. High-quality starters for fluorescent tubes can survive through a minimum of 40,000 switching on/off operations.

A starter switch for fluorescent light works with some inductor type ballasts to help a fluorescent lamp to operate. It helps the bulb to get started while the ballast regulates and controls the flow of current into the light.

How Do Starters for Fluorescent Tubes Look?

Typically, a tube light starter looks like a cylindrical can with two terminals. The tubing is filled with a small amount of gas (neon in most cases), and a suppression capacitor connected to the two terminals.

You have to install them in parallel with the lamp and the two terminal pins connect it to the rest of the circuit.

The Working Principle of Starters for Fluorescent Tubes

Unlike an incandescent bulb, a tube light does not have a tungsten filament that will heat up and produce light. Instead, it contains mercury vapor inside its globe or tube-like body. The vapor generates ultraviolet light when ionized by electricity. There’s a coating on the interior that glows when comes in contact with the UV light.

When you switches on a fluorescent light, the stream of current flows from the main power supply to the bulb. The starter allows the electric charge to reach the filaments at the end of the tube. The starter turns into an open switch after its contacts are heated up and interrupt the current flow. After that, the ballast starts controlling the stream of electricity, so the low-resistant fluorescent tube is not burnt out.

The starters for fluorescent tubes act as a closed switch when you turn the light on. The heated up filaments generate a cloud of electrons inside the tube. The starter opens after one second or two and then allows the voltage to run through the tube. As a result, the electrons get charged up and ionize the mercury vapor.

Without using the light starters, the lamp will flicker because are no steady stream electrons inside the tube. On the other hand, the ballast is equally important too as, without this device, the high voltage will either evaporate the filaments or cause the lamp to blast.

Starters are used with various types of fluorescent lamps. All the starters are interchangeable, which means you can use the same model with all kids of tube lights. However, the wattage rating of the light and the starter should match for the former to perform reliably for a long time.

Types of Exterior Home Lighting Fixtures

Exterior Lighting FixturesInstalling new exterior home lighting fixtures is the perfect way to spruce up the look of your home and increase its curb appeal. Whether you use post lights to enhance the security of your garage area and driveway. Also style up your outdoor walls and ceilings with wall-mount or ceiling lighting fixtures. It brighten an entryway and porch with hanging design, outdoor lighting will always give you a warm welcome to home.

Types of Exterior Home Lighting Fixtures

The types of outdoor lighting fixtures carry all kinds of lights for patio, porch, driveway, walkway, front door, and landscape areas. You will find them in a wide variety of finishes, shapes, looks, and styles ranging from a rustic cottage to the Victorian styling. They make your home safer and more charming.

Wall Lights

They are perfect for entryway, front porch, patio, or any high-traffic outdoor areas. They make a home more safe and secure but without sacrificing the sense of style. Outdoor wall lighting fixtures can effectively accentuate the architectural features of a home. They are available in different styles such as wall sconces, wall lamps, spotlights, accent lighting, and floodlights.

Post Lights

You can install these exterior light fixtures along the driveway, near the deck, back patio, throughout the yard, beside the pool, or anywhere in your outdoor home that needs extra illumination. These days, many homeowners use them not just for security but for enhancing their landscape too. These lights are also used in many public places.

Ceiling Lights

These exterior home lighting fixtures will bring class and style to any outdoor area of your home. Use them on the back patio, front porch, enclosed gazebo, or any large covered area. They not only uplift the look of a place but also add to the aesthetics as well as functionality.

You will see their extensive use commercial applications such as in businesses and hotels that have an outdoor overhang.

Hanging Lights

They are also a kind of ceiling lights that are used for both decorative and illumination purposes. The hanging fixtures allow you to brighten up your outdoor areas in style. Due to their mounting style, you can install them anywhere – from the entry to the party areas.

Landscape Lights

They brighten up the dark corners of your lawn and the path along the driveway to provide the much-needed safety and security for your home. These also enhance the landscape, especially if you have gardens in front of your home.

They are available in various types including spot, path, deck, in-ground, solar, and LED Fluorescent Light Fixture.

Security Lights

They are extensively used in both residential and commercial applications for providing security to a compound. They remain blended into the outdoor decor and thereby can offer an aesthetically pleasing look. As they are available in various shapes and styles, you can use them as an alternative to other exterior home lighting fixtures.

Outdoor lighting provides safety and security for the outdoor area of your home and makes it more welcoming to guests. They also enhance the exterior environments to make the most of your home’s potential.

Brief Discussion on Different Parts of Track Lighting Fixtures

Track Lighting FixturesTrack lighting fixtures are one of the most practical and effecting lighting solutions these days. Modern track lighting is capable of creating a dramatic effect in any particular area because it is available in a board range of styles and versatile in terms of functionality.

Track lights these days come with a dimmable option so that you can have the perfect illumination for your home decor, art pieces, or the reading corner. You can also pair them up with display and spot lights for better accent to ambient lighting.

Different Parts of Track Lighting Fixtures

These lights made of different parts and learning about them will help you choose the right fixtures for your home:

Track Lighting Heads

The head is the part that casts the stream of light to the direction you need it to go. A wide variety of head options are available that will fit and complement. No matter what is the style or decor scheme of your home.

You can have directional heads for casting light on a specific area or point. They are the best option when you need focused lighting for meal preparation, doing crafting projects, or accentuating an accent piece. On the other hand, movable heads can be twisted in any direction and best for living rooms, hallways, and kitchens.

Track Lighting Pendants

An essential part of the track lighting fixtures is the pendants. Combined with a track system, these lights can supply the perfect amount of overhead light for any room of your home, especially for the kitchen. They are versatile and functional enough to provide plenty of focused lighting and a wealth of accent light to brighten up the dark areas.

Track pendants can be used in the laundry room, hallways, living room, and the cleaning and cooking areas in the kitchen. Besides, they are available in various shapes and vibrant colors that sure to brighten any space.

Track Lighting Kits

It refers to everything that makes a complete track lighting system. It contains the real, lighting heads, bulbs, and other accessories for installation. Some kits come with dimmer switches to allow the users have greater control on the illumination.

Track Lighting Accessories

The accessories allow the users to have a total customization of their track lighting fixtures. They include extension rods, X-connectors, T-connectors, power feeds, light bulbs, and different types of fittings.

Track lighting fixtures are versatile and flexible. So you can install them practically any corner or angled spot in your home and get a decent amount of light. They are also suitable for commercial uses such in offices, restaurants, airport lounges, and hotel lobbies.