Tag Archives: lighting

LED Bulbs

LED Light Bulbs

LED Bulbs

Many homeowners who want to save on energy costs are upgrading to LED light bulbs. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode which is a semiconductor source that produces light when an electrical current passes through it. Back in 2014 when incandescent light bulbs were being phased out, homeowners were encouraged to switch to the more energy efficient CFL bulb. Five years later, LED light bulbs have become the more popular choice because they are even more energy efficient than the CFL light bulbs. CFL light bulbs use 35% less energy than the incandescent lights bulbs. LED light bulbs, however, use 75% less energy than the incandescent light bulbs.

Incandescent Bulbs: 90% of the energy used is to produce heat. Average Life Span is 1,200 hours.

CFL Bulbs: 30% of the energy used is to produce heat. Average Life Span is 8,000 hours.

LED Bulbs: 0% or very little of the energy used is wasted to produce heat. Average Life Span is 25,000 hours.

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of LED light bulbs compared to CFL light bulbs.

Advantages of LED Light Bulbs

  • LED bulbs last about 3 times longer than CFL which means they have a very long lifespan and less maintenance and replacement costs.
  • They turn on fully right away. CFL bulbs take a few seconds to warm up and fully turn on.
  • LEDs use less wattage and therefore less energy
  • They can be compact in size and are available for most applications
  • The bulbs are more durable and resistant to breakage
  • They are not affected by constant turning on/off like other bulbs
  • They are dimmable
  • There is no mercury or lead in LED light bulbs
  • They don’t produce heat so the bulb stays cool to the touch
  • Rapidly developing technology

Disadvantages of LED Light Bulbs

  • It is difficult to find many disadvantages to the LED technology other than
  • They can be more expensive than other bulbs, although price has continued to drop significantly
  • In hot environments, the life span can decrease, ie sauna, steam room or enclosed fixtures

For more information on choosing the right LED Light Bulbs click HERE.

CFL Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL)

CFL Bulbs

In 2014, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) became the preferred lighting choice when the Canadian government phased out the standard incandescent bulb. This was a logical decision because CFL technology is more energy efficient than the incandescent.

There is a concern that Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs and fluorescent tubes contain a small amount of mercury. Therefore burned out bulbs require a safe and careful disposal. To confirm if your bulbs contain mercury, look for the displayed Hg symbol. Millions of light bulbs containing mercury are disposed of in landfills every year. Unfortunately, this means that mercury vapor is being released into the environment.

To ensure they don’t break, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs need to be handled gently. If a bulb containing mercury breaks, it is suggested that you leave the room for at least 15 minutes to allow the vapors to settle.

 The following are some important points to remember for safe CFL clean-up and disposal.

Before Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Clean-up

  • Air out the room by opening the window or door.
  • Turn off the central heating or air conditioning system to help avoid spreading the vapors.

During Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Clean-up

  • Always wear gloves to avoid contact with the mercury and getting cuts from the broken pieces.
  • Use stiff papers or cardboard to scoop up the bigger broken pieces.
  • Use duct tape or other sticky tape to pick up the remaining glass and powder.
  • It is recommended to avoid using a bagless vacuum cleaner which may spread the mercury vapors and possibly contaminate the canister.
  • Wipe the area with a damp paper towel to remove the leftover particles from the hard floor.
  • Place all broken pieces in a glass container with a tight lid and place it outside of the home in a safe place. If you use a plastic bag, double bag.
  • If a vacuum with a disposal bag is used, the bag should be carefully removed immediately after clean-up and discarded with other contaminated materials.

After Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb Clean-up

  • Continue airing out the room. Keep the central air system off.
  • Take the glass container or plastic bag to a recycling depot for proper disposal.
  • Wash your hands after clean-up is complete.

To find a recycling depot in your area click HERE.

 

 

Spring House

Spring Electrical Maintenance

Spring House

Having a spring electrical maintenance routine is important after a cold, stormy winter. The following is a checklist of some spring electrical maintenance tasks that every homeowner should be aware of.

Interior Spring Electrical Maintenance

  • Change your ceiling fan rotation back to a counter-clockwise direction. This will help keep the room as cool as possible during warmer weather.
  • Test all smoke/CO detectors to make sure they are working. Check all backup batteries. Lightly vacuum the unit surface several times a year to prevent dust from accumulating on the sensors.
  • Vacuum fan grills to remove surface dust to prolong the life of the motor.
  • Inspect and vacuum the back of your refrigerator/stand up freezer for debris and dust which can reduce the energy efficiency and create a fire hazard.

Interior & Exterior Spring Electrical Maintenance

  • Extension cords are for temporary use only. Check the cords for frays or plug damage. A damaged cord should never be used. Replace it with a properly rated cord with the appropriate wire gauge size. For information on how to choose the right extension cord click HERE.
  • Test interior GFCI receptacles monthly. Test exterior GFCI receptacles before each use.

Exterior Spring Electrical Maintenance

  • Check yard maintenance and gardening power tools for frayed cords or broken plugs.  Repair the damaged cord or replace the entire tool.
  • Check all exterior lighting and replace burned out light bulbs. A good option would be changing to more energy efficient LED bulbs, if this has not been done already.
  • Reset lighting timers to accommodate longer daylight hours. Consider installing Astronomical timers which automatically adjust to seasonal changes and daylight savings time.
  • Check exterior lighting fixtures throughout the spring as birds like to use them as supports for building their nests. Nests can damage your lighting fixture and cause it to overheat and become a fire hazard.
  • If not already done, take down exterior Christmas lights. Most seasonal light strings are not rated for year-round use. Exposure to UV light from the sun will cause the cords to become brittle.
  • If you have an overhead service bringing power to your home, visually check connection points to ensure that the cables appear tight and free of obstructions. If you have any concerns, contact our electricians to check for any safety issues and make the required repairs.
  • Take advantage of the beautiful weather to cut back all branches from around overhead cables to prevent possible damage caused by falling branches. BC Hydro states that branches need to be 3 meters or 10 feet from the cables. Call a professional arborist if this task is beyond your abilities. For more information about safely clearing branches click HERE.
  • Check all exterior exhaust vents to make sure that they are clear of any debris.
  • All exterior water features require grounding. Ensure that the grounding is functioning correctly.
  • A generator should be serviced annually. Some units may need an additional service if used heavily during winter months.

Our electricians would be happy to assist you with all your spring electrical maintenance repairs. Regular maintenance of your electrical system may identify minor concerns before they become expensive repairs.

 

 

Luxury Bathroom

Bathroom Renovations

Luxury Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house when it comes to adding value to your home. Bathroom renovations can be as simple as changing the paint color on the walls to gutting the entire room. Here are some “must haves” to keep in mind when planning bathroom renovations.

  • Extra receptacles for the ability to plug in more than one or two appliances. All receptacles within 1.5 meters of a sink, tub or shower must be GFCI protected to meet current Code requirements. For information on the importance of GFCI protection, click HERE.
  • A bath fan correctly sized for the use and square footage of the room. A 2-piece powder room will likely only need a small fan to keep the air fresh. A bathroom with a tub and/or shower requires a larger fan to remove odor and humidity. This will eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew in this humid environment. For more details regarding ventilation click HERE.
  • Bath fan timers are a great addition for homeowners who may forget to turn the fan off. The timer will automatically turn off the fan at a pre-set time. Blue Crest recommends running the fan for “an hour per shower”.
  • Vanity fixtures that are located on the ceiling or high on the wall will create shadows on the face. Lighting fixtures that are located at eye level and illuminate both sides of the face provide the best lighting for applying makeup and personal grooming.
  • In shower and tub lighting that is correctly rated for a wet environment.

Some bathroom renovations require a larger budget, but the end result is well worth the investment.

Luxury Items For Bathroom Renovations

  • A heated towel rack so homeowners will always have a warm towel after a shower. Depending on the power requirements, a wall mounted towel rack will likely require a dedicated electrical circuit. A Blue Crest electrician can assist with this task. A freestanding towel rack usually plugs into a standard receptacle. Some models may also have a fan to heat up the bathroom.
  • Convection heater to help keep your bathroom warm on cold winter days.
  • In floor heat feels wonderful on your feet first thing on a chilly winter morning. It will also help warm up the rest of the room.
  • A heated soaking tub will keep the water warm for long relaxing or therapeutic baths.
  • Audio speakers and/or tv connection for entertainment when using the room for relaxation purposes.
  • A chandelier over the bath tub to add some glamour to the room. A lighting fixture that is not rated for wet locations must be installed high enough so you are unable to reach it while standing in the bath tub. Logic dictates that it would be unwise for a person to touch anything electrical while also in contact with water.

Blue Crest Electric technicians will ensure a safe, Code compliant installation for all bathroom renovations.

 

Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen Renovations

When homeowners think about kitchen renovations, they don’t always think about electricity. Kitchen renovations are not just about picking a new paint color, back splash or style of cabinets. Electrical appliances, lighting and devices will play an important role in the overall success of this project. Here are some things to consider when planning electrical needs for kitchen renovations.

  • According to the current Canadian Electrical Code, an island is required to have at least 1 receptacle.
  • Countertop receptacles within 1.5 meters from the edge of a sink must be GFCI protected. For information on the importance of GFCI protection, click Here.
  • Large appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens and microwaves will require specific wiring circuitry to be Code compliant.
  • Consider receptacle placement for optimal usage, e.g. where the toaster or coffee maker will be plugged in.  Some receptacles may need to be added or moved in order to meet Code requirements or to better suit the homeowners needs.

Lighting For Kitchen Renovations

One of the must-haves in a kitchen is proper lighting. To achieve the best light coverage, careful consideration must be given for fixture type and placement. Recessed lights give excellent overall lighting, under cabinet lights are great for task lighting to illuminate the work area and hanging fixtures are dual purpose. Lighting can also be used inside cabinets, such as under the sink or in a display cabinet.

There are 3 primary types of color temperature for lighting which are measured in Kelvin. The higher the degrees Kelvin, the whiter or cooler the color temperature. Westinghouse Lighting provides a clear understanding of the benefits of the various light levels. Having different types of lighting in the kitchen will allow for more flexibility with how bright you may want it and the mood you are wanting to set. Using dimmer switches for these lights will also allow homeowners to easily adjust light levels.

Luxury For Every Kitchen

As with any home renovation, there are items that would be considered luxury items for some homeowners. Kitchen renovations are no different. The following are some of the popular luxury items that homeowners are considering for their kitchen renovations.

  • Heated floors will add warmth to the room and feel good on your feet on a chilly day.
  • A wine fridge keeps wine at the perfect temperature for serving.
  • Beverage bar where everything you need is easily accessible to make your favorite hot or cold drink.
  • Baking center to store all baking ingredients and necessary appliances in one convenient place.
  • Breakfast station, complete with blender, toaster and coffee machine.
  • Dual appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, ranges and refrigerators to accommodate large households or homeowners who entertain often.
  • Special food preparation areas such a Spice Kitchen complete with duplicate or additional appliances such as a steam oven or wok.

As in all areas of kitchen renovations, careful consideration must be made for specific electrical power requirements for specialty appliances and task needs. Blue Crest Electric technicians will ensure a safe, Code compliant installation for all kitchen renovations.

 

 

Eye Strain

Poor Lighting Results in Eye Strain

Eye Strain

Poor lighting, resulting in eye strain, is a common complaint in the work place. But did you know that this can also be a problem at home? The lighting in various task areas of your home such as the kitchen, laundry or bathroom, also needs to be bright enough to work comfortably in. But there is more to consider.

We all experience changes to our eyes as we get older. Many people notice a deterioration of their near-sight vision some time in their 40’s. To see the same degree of detail, research has shown that a person in their 60’s requires two to five times more light than a 20 year old person. Eye strain, caused by poor lighting, can lead to poor concentration and decreased productivity, as well as headache, fatigue, tension, neck pain and even illness.

When building, renovating or replacing light fixtures in your home, give very careful consideration to lighting each space for it’s intended use, but also keeping in mind your eyes changing light requirement needs in the future. Lighting dimmers are an excellent addition to areas where multiple light levels are needed in multi function rooms such as dens, family/flex rooms, or dining rooms.

Our electricians will be able to advise you on some excellent options. Fixture placement, as well as color temperature, wattage, LED, Halogen or Incandescent technology all have their specific uses and we would like to help you find the perfect solution to your lighting needs.