Tag Archives: residential electric

kitchen_task_lighting

4 Tips For Lighting Up Your Kitchen

Like it or not, the kitchen usually becomes the gathering place in a home. Whether it’s hungry kids waiting on dinner or guests wanting to chat with the host, everyone comes together in the kitchen.

Yet the most important room in the house is often poorly lit. Many kitchens come with just a single overhead light, which isn’t enough even when it’s attached to a ceiling fan.

How should kitchens be lit? Check out our 4 favorite kitchen lighting tips:

Track Lighting

Track lighting is one of the best lighting solutions for a kitchen. There are endless options for configuring track lighting in your kitchen, and the fixtures can be situated to shine right where you need them. And not where you don’t. You can install track lighting that uses regular bulbs, or you can find lights that use LED if you’re more energy conscious. LED track lights are slightly more expensive at the outset, but the energy savings over time will more than pay back the investment. Track lighting also comes in a variety of styles that will fit with any taste, making them a great go-to lighting source for any kitchen.

Undercabinet Lighting

Even with great track lighting, your body and the cabinets can often block light coming from the ceiling.
Under cabinet lighting is the perfect pairing with track lighting. Under cabinet lights provide more direct light to the chopping and mixing happening on the counter, which makes the kitchen safer.
Homeowners can also add their unique style with under cabinet lights by choosing the type of light, spacing, and bulb size.

Dimmer Switch

Putting your lights on a dimmer switch is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it works just as well in the kitchen.
Changing to a dimmer switch allows you to use the highest wattage bulb your fixtures will take. Then, you have the flexibility of adjusting to suit your needs.
Thanksgiving dinner with 100 helpers in the room? You can throw the dimmers all the way up.
Small, intimate dinner party? A lower light will set the mood while still providing enough illumination for food prep.

Windows

Our last kitchen lighting tip seems so simple, but is often overlooked.
Any home is more pleasant when it’s full of natural light. If you have windows in your kitchen, use only the barest blinds or curtains you need for privacy to take full advantage of the natural light coming into the room.
Great natural light enhances any indoor lighting system, and that’s true in the kitchen, too.
Lighting a kitchen well isn’t hard or expensive. Simple tweaks can make the busiest room in your home an even better place to be.

Interested in lighting up your kitchen? Contact Schaffhouser Electric today!

daylight-savings

Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy?

If you felt like you were constantly running behind schedule this past Sunday, you’re not crazy, and you’re also not alone. This weekend, most of the United States observed Daylight Savings Time, which means setting clocks forward an hour to squeeze as much sunlight out of the waking day as possible. The goal is far more pragmatic than boosting society’s general happiness level with some extra UV exposure; otherwise a national undertaking (international if you count Europe’s analogous summer time change coming up), would not merit the effort involved in coordination and execution. Instead, the goal is, unsurprisingly, efficiency. Energy efficiency, that is. While there is debate about how much energy is actually saved, the general idea is to maximize the amount of time that people are awake and out of the house, so that as little energy is used indoors as is possible.

If you are wondering who came up with the brilliantly simple idea of adjusting human clocks to match that of the cosmos, it was possibly none other than the man who invented just about anything else you can think of- Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was unintentionally prescient in his snide remark that Parisians could reduce their energy expenditures in the evening hours if they were to begin their days before the sun was already at its zenith. Sadly, Americans cannot claim to have recognized or adopted the clever advice hidden in Franklin’s jab, though. It was Germany who first adopted Day Light Savings time in 1916, and a full fifty years passed before the US caught up to their efficient chronological manipulation.

The real question for those of us who might be loath to jump on board the new timetable is whether you prefer to lengthen your snooze or your budget. Rising earlier in the day does mean you are likely to head to bed before having to burn up as much midnight oil as someone who rises at noon, but an early start also means less time to recover from the previous night’s ventures. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, Schaffhouser Electric is there to fuel your home and energy needs at whatever time of day or night you decide to stir. There is no penalty for late-sleepers or night owls, and no change in service accompanying the change in time. In fact, Schaffhouser Electric might be able to give you the best of both worlds by providing you with energy-saving, efficient light fixtures and bulbs that reduce your bill without any change on your part at all.

Static Electricity

Schaffhouser Electric Static Electricity

Most of us are used to calling up the Electric Company for the typical problem of tripped circuits, power outages, rewiring and remodeling, and so on. It is great to know that Schaffhouser Electric is at the ready any time day or night to provide their top-notch electrical commercial or residential services, because peace of mind in regards to electrical safety and convenience cannot be underestimated. You don’t want to miss the big game just because there is a storm on outside, and you don’t want to spend the night without the alarm system working when little ones are sleeping just down the hall. Being able to dial up skilled professionals who are more than happy to tackle these problems for you in no time and at a reasonable price is quite a luxury. Schaffhouser has diffused many a sticky situation, no pun intended, and they do not plan on changing their customer service platform anytime soon. They will be ready and waiting next time you call, same as always. Since you probably will not have occasion to dial up your trusty electrician friends anytime soon, though, you might think there is no cause to bother them with inquiries of any kind. Think again.

For the curiously-minded, electricity is a perennial fascination. For the topically-minded, electricity is currently shocking the heck out of you! If you have spent the past couple winter months constantly sliding across wood or shuffling across carpet, only to have the exact same zap jump from the doorknob to your hand when you reach the other side, then you have experienced the lively greeting of static electricity. This seasonal phenomenon is not one the is easily avoided or readily understood, so why not turn to Schaffhouser for their professional opinion on what in the world is happening to you and how to make it stop? While they do faithfully attend to their 24/7 service line, this is one electricity question that they would be happy to receive at any time.

The mysterious-sounding static electricity is merely, as are most unpleasant things, the result of an imbalance. The electric charges are simply trying to balance themselves out, and your skin happens to be one of the mediums for striking that balance. If you want to spare yourself the job of letting electrons jump around until they’re satisfied, there are a couple easy ways to reduce static electricity in your environment. Making the environment itself more conducive is as easy as opening a window or turning on a humidifier. There are, of course, more extreme measures like anti-static boots, but few of us have occasion to wear them without looking quite dramatic. For more information on the fascinating field of static electricity, call Schaffhouser and quiz them on their science, or better yet, impress them with yours!

Electrical Outlet Services

Protecting Your Home from Electrical Fires

Whether started by a faulty outlet or a forgotten skillet, cooking accounts for more home fires than any other single cause. Electricians cannot help with the cooking or watch the stove, but they can ensure that GFCI outlets are properly installed and functioning safely. Now required by most municipal codes, GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms are critical to home safety.

AFCI circuit breakers may be advisable in older homes; these interrupt unseen arcs of electricity between degraded wires. Aluminum wiring is dangerous everywhere it exists, which is in most houses built between 1965 and ’75. Again, most municipalities require some type of electrical remedy, but homeowners often and regrettably wait until they want to sell it to protect the home.

Besides Watching the Skillet

Light bulbs that have a higher wattage than is recommended are definitely not bright ideas. They compromise not only the fixture but also the wiring around it, simply putting too much load on everything and degrading it all faster. For similar reasons, bringing new major appliances into the home should mean bringing an electrician in with them.

Nearly 50,000 reported house fires in 2010 were attributable to an electrical problem, be it a malfunction or a complete failure. Many more small electrical fires are put out by single-use fire extinguishers that belong in every home. It is great that they saved the home, but the electrician has to come out anyway to repair the damage done.

So much grief can be spared with a thorough inspection of the home’s electrical systems once a year. For the price of a service call, you can regularly put trained eyes on your outlets, wired connections, and circuit breakers. Ensuring the safety of your family from electrical shock and your home from the spark that starts a fire, regular electrical inspections are invaluable.