Monthly Archives: August 2015

Outdoor Lighting for Your Phoenix Area Home

Outdoor Lighting for Your Phoenix Area Home

While a well-designed lighting plan is essential for inside the home, the same is often overlooked for the exterior. Outside the home, lighting improves safety and security, while enhancing outdoor living areas. Read on to learn how outdoor lighting can be an asset to your family.

  • Outdoor lighting for safety

A dark property poses a number of safety risks for you, your family, and your visitors. When walkways and stairs are not lit properly, it’s hard to see where you’re going and spot any obstacles in your path. Falls can occur, which can be severe. Installing walkway and stair lights to the exterior of your home can improve visibility after dark.

There are many options available for lighting the walkways of your home, ranging from decorative fixtures to lights that blend in with your landscape. Path lights can be installed along your walkways and come in a variety of styles and finishes to suit your tastes. Post lights are another option that will provide adequate lighting when installed around your walkways, while coordinating with the décor of your home. Driveway lights can also be added not only to keep your family and visitors safe, but to help them better see the boundaries.

  • Outdoor lighting for security

Outdoor lighting has been shown to deter crime after dark. A number of products are available to improve the security of your home using outdoor lighting. As their name suggests, flood lights will flood targeted areas of your property with lighting, illuminating the nooks and crannies created by the architecture of your home or landscaping installments.

While outdoor lighting is an excellent crime deterrent, you don’t want to constantly flood your neighborhood with light because it’s wasteful. Outdoor lights can be utilized with a motion sensor; if motion is detected, whether it’s from you stepping outdoors or an unwanted intruder, the flood light will turn on. Also, setting your security lighting, as well as other exterior lights, will help you effectively manage your energy use while keeping your property properly lit.

  • Outdoor lighting for functionality

Without proper lighting, areas of the home just aren’t functional; the same is true regarding exterior living areas. Without exterior lighting, these areas become unusable after dark, limiting your enjoyment. By installing outdoor lights, you can extend your use of exterior areas well after the sun sets.

Light decks by integrating lighting into railings and posts. Fixtures are available in a number of styles and finishes to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor living areas. On covered porches, recessed lighting can be installed to provide direct overhead lighting, illuminating seating areas and outdoor tables. Exterior sconce lighting is a popular addition, adding visibility around exterior doorways; these fixtures are also available in many styles and finishes to match your home.

If your home’s outdoor lighting is lacking, call Mister Sparky today. Our team can assist you in developing an effective outdoor lighting plan while providing expert installation.

Don’t DIY these Household Electrical Projects

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Don’t DIY these Household Electrical Projects

Completing do-it-yourself projects around the home can be a great way to save money and build knowledge. With a quick Google search, you can access thorough how-to guides and even instructional videos on pretty much anything; with so much information available, it may seem like you could conquer any building or repair job. There are many household projects which can be done easily and safely by most any homeowner, but there are some which are best left to a professional, especially when electricity is involved.

When working on an electrical project, one wrong step can put you and your family in serious danger. No matter how confident you are in your DIY abilities, you should call in an electrician to complete the following household electrical projects.

Installing a new type of wall outlet

Simply swapping a wall outlet for a new one is a task that can be done by a confident DIYer, but if you need to change the type of wall outlet, it is best to call in a pro. Upgrading ungrounded outlets to a grounded model and installing GFCI outlets are projects which have to be performed by a licensed electrician; doing these jobs yourself without the proper knowledge can create dangerous conditions.

If you are replacing an old outlet with one of the same type, you can DIY it as long as you are comfortable. Be sure to turn off the power at the circuit breaker box before you begin!

Breaker box repairs or replacement

Your home’s breaker box needs to be designed properly to prevent dangerous electrical overloads around the house. Proper installation is of circuit breakers is critical to make sure wiring won’t overheat, which can be a major fire hazard. A great supply of electricity flows through your home’s electrical panel, which makes it very dangerous to work with for someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.

If you need to repair or replace your home’s circuit breaker box, you should have an electrician perform the work. A licensed, knowledgeable electrician will be able to design circuits appropriately for your home, using the right breakers.

Installing new wiring

Anytime you need to replace or repair wiring or circuits, or install brand new wiring or circuits, you should hire an electrician. Faulty wiring and overloaded circuits can easily result from a DIY project, and are a serious fire hazard. Some homeowners insurance carriers will not pay if faulty wiring performed by a DIYer caused a fire.

Building codes change often, and a licensed electrician will be up-to-date on any changes that will apply in your situation. They can install new wiring and circuits safely and up to code standards.

Projects requiring a permit

For any electrical project that requires a permit, it is best to have a licensed electrician perform the work. Building inspection costs and code violation fines can really add up, especially when someone who is inexperienced is performing the work. Plus, a licensed electrician will have to be hired to perform any code repairs, so it’s a smart idea to just hire them to do it in the first place!