Back To The Basics: LED Lights

By Krush Digital,

I can remember the first time I picked up a lamp and realized I could not use a regular incandescent light bulb with it. I won’t lie, I was very put-off by the fine print: LED bulbs required. At the time I didn’t know much about LEDs, why the shift toward them or why my incandescent bulbs were getting such a bad reputation in the lighting industry.

In recent years there has been an even greater push to make LEDs the preferred bulb in America. This year it was announced that incandescent bulbs would begin disappearing from shelves in this country. In fact, a great number of countries have stopped producing and selling incandescent bulbs in favor of LEDs and fluorescents.

At Mister Sparky we follow the industry trends, which means that we prefer LEDs and fluorescents over incandescent with any lighting projects we complete in your house. We understand that changing to LEDs can feel strange. What’s so great about them after all?

The best way to explain the outstanding benefits that come with making the switch is by breaking it down. We’ve gathered this information from the U.S. Department of Energy, which serves to explain the benefits of LEDs.

7 LED Facts

1. A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. Today’s LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.

2. Good-quality LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more — meaning they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. That is a life of more than three years if run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3. Unlike incandescent bulbs — which release 90 percent of their energy as heat — LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.

4. From traffic lights and vehicle brake lights to TVs and display cases, LEDs are used in a wide range of applications because of their unique characteristics, which include compact size, ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage, and the ability to focus the light in a single direction instead of having it go every which way.

5. LEDs contain no mercury, and a recent Energy Department study (link is external) determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs. They also have an edge over compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that’s expected to grow over the next few years as LED technology continues its steady improvement.

6. The first visible-spectrum LED was invented by Nick Holonyak, Jr., while working for GE in 1962. Since then, the technology has rapidly advanced and costs have dropped tremendously, making LEDs a viable lighting solution. Between 2011 and 2012, global sales of LED replacement bulbs increased by 22 percent while the cost of a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb fell by nearly 40 percent. By 2030, it’s estimated that LEDs will account for 75 percent of all lighting sales.

7. In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

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Stay Smart, Don’t Set A Spark

By Krush Digital,

Teaching your kids the fundamentals of electricity is a crucial step when introducing your children to electrical safety. By educating your children on the basic concepts of conduction, the process of advising them on electrical safety will be much easier to comprehend.

Electricity is a live and powerful conductor of energy and can be extremely dangerous when not properly monitored. Often times parents find themselves at a difficult medium where they would like to monitor their children’s behavior but find it difficult to do so at all times in the day. This is why it is so important to teach your children the basics of electricity and a simple guide to keep them safe when using electrical devices.
The three most important concepts to stress to your children about electricity is:

  1. Electricity and water do not mix well. Do not use electrical devices in restrooms and do not touch electrical devices with wet hands.
  2. Do not touch plugs. Plugs are not meant to be touched or tampered with.
  3. Make sure any leads/wires are tucked away from heavy foot traffic. Leads can cause trips and falls if they are not keep tidily away.
    At Mister Sparky, we take the safety of your family into consideration at all times. We truly believe that the best methods for preventing an electrical accident from happening is through proper education and an open dialogue. We hope you find the following resources helpful to you as you introduce these safety tips to your little ones!

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How Safe Is Your Home

By Krush Digital,

When looking around your abode, or when venturing into buying a new home, it’s easy to overlook the telltale signs of faulty circuiting. We want to remind you that it’s worth taking the time to assess your current or potential new home for the following hazards.

Shortage of Outlets

Many older homes are not equipped with enough outlets to support household demands of electricity. With so many power chargers, appliances, and technological devices dependent on those outlets, a home with too few outlets will become burdened with a high power to outlet ratio. Overburdened outlets can result in house fires that can devastate a home and leave homeowners in a difficult position.

Exposed Wiring

Another sign of faulty circuiting is exposed wiring. Any exposed wiring is sure to sustain physical damage, which can lead to flyaway sparks as electric currents transfer through the wire. These sparks can act as potential fire hazards in the home.

Splice Wiring

Many homeowners resort to splice wiring, or rather using electrical tape and wire connectors to conjoin wires, when performing DIY projects. Often times you can find splice wiring used in attics and basements. This method of conjoining wires is not overseen by licensed electricians and leads to an unstable electrical wiring environment.

Faulty electrical wiring is a huge fire hazard and can devastate your house. For this reason, take the time to look around your home and see if any of the wiring around your house is suspect. If you feel like you need the advice and guidance of a professional electrician, call on Mister Sparky today!

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Shine A Light On It

By Krush Digital,

Summer is right around the corner and all of us at Mister Sparky couldn’t be more excited. Summer months are the most relaxing of the year. The kids will be out of school and the vast majority of us will be taking time off for vacations and summer festivities. It is important, however, to take into account that we are not the only ones who will be taking advantage of the warmer months.

According to robbery statistics, July and August are the most frequent months for home break-ins. Furthermore, criminals target homes that appear to be empty or don’t have much activity around them. For this reason it is important to tackle the issue of how to keep your home looking lively and full of people, not only during hot summer nights when you’re out on the town, but during extended periods of absence like those during vacation weeks.

At Mister Sparky we highly recommend investing in security lights. Highly luminescent LED lights shine powerful rays around the circumference of your home and property, spotlighting any suspicious behavior that might be taking place around your area. These security lights are triggered by any movement within their range. Additionally, these lights can be set up on a timer to run throughout the night from a given start and end point.

Mister Sparky professionals have installed thousands of security lights over the years. Our expertise with placement and installation ensures that we will be able to equip your home quickly and effectively. On time, friendly, reliable, and knowledgable, our Mister Sparky professionals are standing by to help you today!

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It’s Power Surge Season

By Krush Digital,

Spring has sprung! And what a great season it is. This is the time of reinventing your space and watching your flowers bloom. And while many great moments arise from the spring season, it is important to recognize the dangers that occupy this time of year.

While light rainstorms are a welcoming sign of nourishment for our gardens and crops, the rains can also bring with them severe weather and lightening strikes. This is why it is so necessary for every household to invest in surge protectors. Surge protectors are designed to protect electrical devices when there is a dramatic spike in voltage in the power lines. Spikes in voltage can damage computers, servers, and many other data sensitive devices. Installing a surge protector will enable you to defend such devices from a voltage spike.

Power surges are not exclusively tied to lightening strikes. Many surges occur when high powered electrical devices— such as refrigerators and air conditioners— are switched on and off. The dramatic increase or decrease in the need of power can cause a surge in your power grid leading to the above mentioned problems.

The way surge protectors work is by creating a threshold of voltage that is allowed to run through your power grid. If the power spikes above the threshold, the surge protector will reject the increased volts.

Mister Sparky professionals understand how important all of your electrical devices are, especially personal home computers that hold such valuable information on them. If you would like a Mister Sparky electrician to visit your home or place of work and assess your need for a surge protector, feel free to give us a call! On time, friendly, reliable, and knowledgeable, our Mister Sparky professionals are standing by to help you today!

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Spring Is In The Air!

By Krush Digital,

Spring has arrived! And what better way to celebrate than to spruce up the landscaping around your house. Mister Sparky has some great ideas to make this spring a time of meaningful house improvement!
With the warmer days ahead of us, we will be spending more and more time outdoors, sitting on the porch, enjoying the warmer nights, and hosting cook-outs. Having an inviting space to celebrate this great outdoors time of the year is vital when preparing for the coming events.

One of the major ways to improve the overall look of your back or front yard space is through the use of lighting. Lighting along a cobbled pathway, spotlights to highlight specific elements of your yard, or ornate lamps that elegantly flicker along the sides of your property can really add a sense of charm and functionality to the space.

Treat your outdoor space as an extension of your house. Use smart pieces of furniture that are both comfortable yet can survive the elements from summer showers. Outdoor rugs add warmth to any patio space, and step-lights help minimize any tripping-related accidents that may occur during night events.

The only thing better than updating your landscaping decor this year is receiving great discounts while doing so!

If you partner up with Mister Sparky this spring, you can expect to receive anywhere from 25% – 60% in discounts from our lighting suppliers. Just let your Mister Sparky professional know what kind of lighting you’re looking to incorporate in your landscaping, and they will do the rest!

On time, clean, friendly, and knowledgeable. Call a Mister Sparky professional to get your home improvement underway!

Another quick reminder about the importance of having functional smoke detectors in your house.
The National Fire Protection Agency and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) state that every home electrical system needs annual service. With that in mind, Mister Sparky® offers the Power Club™ program membership. Your Mister Sparky® Power Club™ membership includes one annual professional safety inspection and one panel rejuvenation for your electrical system. All of these features are available to you for a low monthly fee. Check with your service technician about how you can save with our Power Club™ membership.

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Space Heaters: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

By Krush Digital,

With the winter months coming to an end and the spring months approaching, the weather can be a bit unpredictable. For this reason, many people turn to space heaters to warm their rooms as need-be. What can be more cozy than curling up next to a space heater and lighting a few candles before falling into a peaceful sleep?

The vast majority of us have done it. Leaving our candles burning and our space heaters running through the night while we are fast asleep. While the comfort of the heat and the scents of the candles may aid in our slumber, the potential disaster for both an electrical and flame flare-up is immense. According to a Nationwide Insurance study, 80% of home heating fire casualties involve space heaters. Space heater fires account for 19,300 reported U.S. home structure fires which amounts to $559 million in direct property damage.

There are precautions you can take to protect yourself from a potential space heater-related house fire. The best precaution of course being to turn off your space heater when it is not being monitored. That means any time you step out of the room or feel yourself falling asleep, switch your space heater off.

With many of us leading busy lives, keeping tabs on your space heater can be difficult. The second best precaution: make sure you have smoke alarms in your house and that they are well maintained. Mister Sparky’s electrician services can couple their expertise in electrical maintenance along with their knowledge of smoke detectors to create the safest home environment possible for you and your family.

Mister Sparky’s professionals are all certified and skilled electricians. Beyond their expertise in proper wiring and installation of electrical units, they are knowledgeable in the installation and proper maintenance of smoke detectors.

On time, clean, friendly, and skilled, call a Mister Sparky professional today!

Join The Club!

The National Fire Protection Agency and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) state that every home electrical system needs annual service. With that in mind, Mister Sparky® offers the Power Club™ program membership. Your Mister Sparky® Power Club™ membership includes one annual professional safety inspection and one panel rejuvenation for your electrical system. All of these features are available to you for a low monthly fee. Check with your service technician about how you can save with our Power Club™ membership.

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Smoke Detectors: What’s The Big idea?

By Krush Digital,

Smoke Detectors: What’s the Big Idea?
Smoke Detectors have played a vital role in saving the lives of millions of people. The lack there of has consequently led to disastrous accidents claiming the lives of many. While fires are not something we can completely avoid, regularly maintaining and servicing our buildings in addition to installing smoke detectors can drastically reduce the number of incidents.

Mister Sparky’s electrician services can couple their expertise in electrical maintenance along with their knowledge of smoke detectors to create the safest home environment possible for you and your family.

It’s important to note that the leading causes of house fires are due to faulty electrical work and poorly maintained furnaces. This is why it’s so important that when tackling a home project you consult professionals.

Mister Sparky’s professionals are all certified and skilled electricians. Beyond their expertise in proper wiring and installation of electrical units, they are knowledgeable in the installation and proper maintenance of smoke detectors.

On time, clean, friendly, and skilled, call a Mister Sparky professional today!

Did you know?

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of poisoning death in the United States. Often referred to as ‘the silent killer,’ many who suffer from CO poisoning are not aware of their diagnosis until later stages of the poisoning have taken effect. Gas ranges, heating systems, and stoves, when not properly maintained and/or installed, can release this deadly toxin into the air.

There are ways to detect unsafe amounts of CO by installing CO detectors in your house. CO detectors alarm when carbon monoxide emissions are much too high in a room.

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Winter Electrical Safety Tips

By Krush Digital,

Despite being in the thick of the Winter season, we have had it pretty lucky with mild weather. But Winter is not over and there is no telling what sort of mayhem may be on the horizon threatening to shut down your power. So to be safe, here are some tips for the remainder of the season (and every season after).

  • Create a Home Emergency Kit and inform all members of the household of it’s location
  • Use standby generators safely
  • Stay away from downed power-lines -always assume they are energized
  • If icy conditions slide you into a power pole and the lines fall onto your car, STAY IN THE CAR unless there is a fire. If you must evacuate the vehicle, jump free and avoid touching the ground and the car at the same time

Portable Space Heaters –

  • Keep drapes, clothing, and other flammable objects a safe distance away
  • Plug directly into the outlet -avoid using extension cords
  • Place in a secure area where they won’t be bothered or kicked causing a fire hazard
  • Keep in a dry area to avoid shock risk and corrosion
  • Make sure the plug fits in the outlet snug and secure
  • Do not run cords under carpet or rugs -this will cause the cord to overheat
  • Never leave a space heater unsupervised
  • Always turn off and UNPLUG when not in use

Electric Blankets and Heating Pads –

  • Electric blankets and heating pads should not be used at the same time
  • Check cords for wear before plugging in
  • Unplug the heating pad before getting into bed to avoid overheating and fire risk
  • Do not tuck heating blankets under mattresses or place other covers on top
  • Avoid folding the heating blanket while it’s on
  • Make sure your heating blanket has a mechanism to shut off if overheating occurs

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Innovative Power Outlets

By Krush Digital,

The world of gadgets is expanding to include more innovative ways of powering our homes and electronics. These new outlet designs are fun, functional and energy saving. Could you see yourself installing any of these in your home? Take a look and see if they work for your needs!

Hang On Outlet

The Hang On outlet provides an extra lip to rest your plugs on when they’re not in use. This nifty outlet makes it easier to keep unnecessary electronics unplugged so you can save energy and money. Never scramble to find plugs again!

Tab Power Strip

The Tab power strip allows you to choose how many outlets you need and keep them organized and labeled. Have a power strip behind your entertainment center with too many wires to count? Use this gadget to keep them all in order.

Rotating 360 Degree Sockets

If you’ve ever struggled to fit a plug into your power strip, this outlet accessory is for you. Twist each plug around the base to make each item fit perfectly.

Timer Outlet

Control the electricity around your home or office automatically! This outlet accessory has a built in timer with different plugs corresponding to different times of the day. Save energy by keeping the lights off, even if you’re not there.

Legrand Pop Out Triple Outlet

An outlet that retracts when not in use and pops out to provide three receptacles with a single touch. This chic outlet style is great for a kitchen or home office where more outlets are needed for gadgets or computer equipment.

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