Your Complete Guide To Outdoor Accent Lighting

By Springdale Electrician,

Accent lighting is the key to a professional looking home.

Your Complete Guide To Outdoor Accent Lighting

Perhaps you’ve passed a house with incredible accent lighting outside before. You were likely stunned by how impressive the light made the house look. When done right, accent lighting can completely transform the exterior of your home. It can highlight key areas that attract the eye and make the home look as though some white-collar architect or CEO owns it. How do you even get started with accent lighting? This article will help you get started.

1. Landscape First

The whole idea behind accent lighting is to showcase elements of your yard and home when it’s darkNew landscaping features need accent lighting.. You don’t want to show off a tangle of bushes or dirty siding or bricks. So, before you can even start to have lights installed outside, you need first to do some landscaping. Think about your yard. How large is it? What elements of decoration bring you a lot of joy and relaxation? Perhaps a water feature is something that could benefit your yard. Whether it be a fountain or even a stream, water can be a soothing feature that can offer a beautiful place to relax.

You might also want to consider putting in a garden. Brick pavers can run through the garden to create an elegant trail. Flowers and plants can add color to an otherwise green and brown yard.

Finally, make sure you trim away overgrown bushes and trees. You want people to be able to see the hard work that you’ve put into your landscaping and the exterior of your home. Once your landscape is ready, it’s time to highlight it with accent lighting.

2. Post Lighting

One of the options that you might want to include is post lighting, which works great for areas where you want to create a walkway or warm entrance. Popularly used at the ends and along a driveway, post lights are there for guiding someone down a path. You can also include them in your garden. Smaller post lights work well as guiding lights down the tracks you’ve created in your garden. They can almost look like fairie lights.

You can also place them on your porch or either side of your garage. The lights highlight where your guests should go and also shows off the fancy garage door you’ve had installed.

3. Underwater Lighting

Whether you have a pool, a fountain, or a stream, you might want to think about underwater lightninAccent lighting is great entertainment for the pool.g. For many, a pool is an excellent addition to the backyard. Underwater lighting can make sure that you can safely swim no matter what time it is. It also allows you to have late-night swim parties with your friends and family.

For those who have a unique design etched into the bottom of the pool, you can further highlight that with underwater lighting. It can make the design come to life. Besides just standard lights, there are plenty of other fun options, too. Colored lights, strobing lights, and even lights that you can easily switch on or off are all significant considerations for incredible accent lighting for your pool.

Lights can also work well in your fountain; perhaps you want to highlight its beautiful and intricate design. A light that stems from underwater can cast beautiful designs against it due to the moving water. It also lets you peer into the water no matter how dark it is outside.

Finally, think about adding lights to your self-made stream. For those who add fish into the mix, you can watch them swim around for hours even if it’s nighttime.

4. Tree Uplighting

If your yard has a lot of trees, then why not make them a central feature of your landscaping? By using uplighting, you can cast bright lights that make the trees appear even taller. Depending on how high you cast the light, you can make the tree appear as though it stretches into the night sky overhead. Uplighting trees that have white petals or other colored petals can also make your yard look almost magical when lit up. Passersby can be dazzled by the flash of color each time they pass your home.

Substantially, uplighting trees can add either elegance or a sense of magic to your home. Its beauty is undeniable.

5. Spotlighting

Does your home have an intricate design? Perhaps it possesses an architectural design that you want people to notice. The best way to attract the eye to certain areas of your home is with spotlighting. These are bright lights that are entrenched at the base of the house and shine upwards against the exterior of your home. You can place in a myriad of different ways to ensure that the part you want highlighted isn’t missed. These lights are a great way to show off an elegant arch or a unique point that your home possesses.

Even if you don’t have any particular stunning designs to show off, spotlighting can still cast your home in a bright light that makes it look elegant and fancy. Directly shining a series of lights along the exterior walls of your home can make it look impressive and stately.

Do It The Right Way

Because lights require electricity to work, you’re going to need an electrician. Mister Sparky should be the call that you make to have them installed. With experienced and professional service, they can help you plan where you want the lights to be and have them installed smoothly. The last thing you want is to have malfunctioning lights. Call Mister Sparky today to have a knowledgable electrician dispatched to your home. Accent lighting is only a call away.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Why You Should Use A Surge Protector

By Springdale Electrician,

Mister Sparky is here to teach you all about surge protectors.

Why You Should Use A Surge Protector

It’s no secret; society has become extremely dependent on technology. There seems to be a new gadget coming out every single day. However, with all of these advances comes a great deal of responsibility– mainly as it concerns protecting these items. And that’s because all it takes is one surge of power to do significant damage.

Most people assume that plugging their devices and equipment into a power strip will protect against surges. So they plug countless gadgets into one outlet, not realizing that this is an accident waiting to happen. The only way to avoid disaster is to use a surge protector.

The Importance of Using a Surge ProtectorKeep electronics safe from the worst weather, buy a surge protector today.

It’s easy to overlook how big of a role electricity plays in everyday life. That is until a storm sweeps through the neighborhood and knocks all of the power out. If the storm is powerful enough and lightning was involved, there can be quite a bit of collateral damage. Daily essentials including the refrigerator, garage doors, the air conditioning, the HVAC system, and much more may not be able to function for weeks. But perhaps the most devastating part about storms like these is the irreparable damage.

There are some surges so powerful that even with restored power, electronic devices and equipment no longer work. And the worst part is, insurance may not cover the cost to replace these items. That’s why surge protectors are so important. This small investment can save thousands of dollars.

So How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors act as a middle man between the wall and the electrical device. Instead of flowing directly into the appliance, the electrical current flows from the wall to the surge protector. The surge protector then delivers these currents to the device. And whenever there’s a surge that’s too high, the extra voltage diverts to the protector’s grounding wire.

Three factors determine how efficiently a surge protector does its job. First, the clamping determines at what voltage the diversion will start to kick in — the lower the energy, the better. The higher the voltage, the more likely the devices are to be damaged. Second, the energy rating determines how much power the protector can safely absorb. Lastly, the time in which the surge protector kicks in will regulate how long it takes for it to respond.

Choosing the Correct One

When shopping for a surge protector, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. So it helps to focus on five major areas: the number of ports, the type of devices used, the energy rate and clamping voltage, the warranty, and extra features.

1. Ports. The standard number of ports surge protectors have are 6 to 8. However, the more electrical devices someone has, the more ports they will need. The reason it’s essential to get the correct number of ports is so that it won’t be necessary to daisy chain other protectors.

2. Device types. It’s critical to think about the kinds of devices that require a protector. Specific protectors are better suited for certain devices. For example, if someone is plugging an entire entertainment center into their protector, then they may want to purchase the best they can find. However, if they are only using a phone charger for the protector, they could buy something a little less costly and robust.

3. Energy rate and clamping voltage. As previously mentioned, the energy rate and clamping voltage are essential elements. The protector’s energy rating determines how much energy the protector can absorb before it begins to fail. Ideally, a protector should offer at least 600 joules. The higher, the better.

The clamping voltage determines the voltage at which the protector activates. Ideally, it’s best to choose a protector that kicks in at 400 volts or less. In this case, the lower, the better.

4. The warranty. The protector must come with a great warranty. The point of purchasing a protector is to protect expensive devices and equipment. The best warranties are those that cover a certain amount of damages if a power surge gets through. The warranty should be extensive and easy to claim.

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to inform yourself before starting a search for a quality protector. Read all of the fine print on the packaging. It’s definitely worth the time when one considers how much money it could save in the long run.

5. Extra features. It’s also a good idea to research additional features. For example, some surge protectors are designed to automatically shut off whenever the devices have been turned off or are no longer charging. Specific protectors can be controlled by remote, enabling the user to turn it off and on along with all of the devices on the protector. These features are especially beneficial if they have a standby mode. Which often includes things such as TVs and game consoles. Protectors that come with remote control can also be great for protectors that are not easy to reach.

The Takeaway

Technology is moving at a rapid pace. And this means that people are becoming more and more reliant on eleInvest in a surge protector and keep your devices safe.ctronics by the day. However, it’s important to remember that these devices need to be taken care of– precisely when it comes to electrical storms and other natural disasters.

Unfortunately, by the time people realize that they need a surge protector, it’s often too late. A sudden storm has already destroyed their devices and equipment, and they are unable to recoup their costs. People must take the necessary steps to protect their equipment before things are beyond their control. Protectors come in all shapes and sizes. And many are built with extra features that can make their use convenient and seamless.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Energy Saving Tips for Summer

By Springdale Electrician,

Check out these energy saving tips that will save you money.

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

Summertime is memorable for many things — family vacations, cookouts, fireworks–and sometimes, some massive electric bills. Keeping the home relaxed, comfortable, and well-lit during all those summer festivities can give the power bill a workout.

So along with searching for great grilling recipes and fun beach getaways, smart consumers will also check on energy saving tips to reduce the cost of their summer fun. There are plenty of simple, low-cost steps that every homeowner can take to trim the electric bill without a lot of extra effort or expense. Here are five energy-saving tips that can be put to work right now to lower those costs.

Upgrading Light Bulbs and Fixtures

Even though the days are longer this time of year, most homes still use plenty of electric light. It could belong to visits with friends on the Changing your light bulbs is a smart energy saving tip.front porch or kids trying to stay up all night. Whatever the case, extra light usage means additional electricity usage. Replacing standard incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs is one of the best energy-saving tips a homeowner can follow.

These bulbs use a fraction of the energy that the old models use, and they last much longer while providing bright, clean light. Old lights may be less efficient, wasting power while illuminating a space. Energy savings recoup the initial investment of the bulbs.

Managing Sunlight

Solar rays are the most significant source of heat in a home, so anything that can be done to limit their impact can provide more benefit to the energy bill’s bottom line. Careful management of blinds can be beneficial. Any room that is not occupied or used during the day should be blocked off with blackout blinds, and the entire house should be closed off when no one is home. Some indirect sunlight from windows to the side and rear from the sun’s primary angle can be allowed while those squarely facing late-day sun should be at least partially shaded off.

Cooling the Car

Finding useful energy-saving tips for cutting costs on cooling means excluding heat in every way possible. Vehicles are an often-overlooked source of heat in the home. High temperatures make the car’s body hot, and the engine generates even more warmth from the drive home.

Pulling your car into an attached garage and closing the door behind it, results in all that heat radiating out of the vehicle and into the house. A better option is to leave the car outside until it has cooled completely, or at least until much of the heat has dissipated. This step will dramatically reduce the amount of work required for the home’s air conditioner to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Servicing the AC

A dirty air conditioning system with worn components is a real drain on the home’s energy. The system must work harder to provide the same amount of cooling as a better-maintained unit, so there is a corresponding more substantial draw on the home’s electrical system. Servicing the system is one of the best energy-saving tips homeowners can use, but it means more than just replacing filters.

Having a heating and cooling contractor examine the system and provide deep cleaning will go a long way toward reducing the energy demand on the home’s biggest user of summertime power. In the long term, it can also prevent more significant breakdowns that lead to hefty repair bills–on top of higher energy bills.

Cooking Out

Nobody needs much extra motivation to cook outside, but those who do may be pleased to see the impact it can have on their electric bill. Yes, cooking your food prevents the oven from heating your house. Now this is a energy saving tip.Stepping up the grilling game and preparing more than just meat outside will keep the oven and range from filling the home with unneeded heat. It doesn’t make sense to use electricity to make the house hotter and then to use more power to make it chilly again.

Traditional gas and charcoal grills are very versatile, easily used for preparing vegetables and other side items in addition to the usual steaks, chops, and burgers. Also, many homeowners are now installing outdoor kitchens that provide the same appliances and functionality as an indoor one–without the unneeded heat inside. A qualified electrician can set up an outdoor space as a vast social and functional area that will also lower energy costs.

Everybody likes to save money on their utility costs. With summer being notorious for running up the bill, savvy consumers can use energy-saving tips like these to get their bills under control so that they can enjoy the season without worrying about how to pay the electric bill.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

By Springdale Electrician,

You should always have a cover for you Outdoor Electrical Outlet.

Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

Using an outlet outdoor is almost as important as using outlets inside. If you want to mow the lawn, you need electricity to power the lawn mower. An electrical outlet is very convenient to avoid the usage of a lot of extension cords during Christmas and Halloween. It also makes an outdoor kitchen more convenient and more functional. In addition, there will be less hassle in setting up the electric leaf blowers and pressure washers.

Overall, an outdoor outlet is a very convenient addition to your outside functionalities. It cuts off the travel time needed in order to access electricity from the outside. In addition, it also saves you from using extension cords, which can be very inconvenient sometimes. For families who like to take their activities outside will even find it more useful. However, there is an extra precaution when using an outlet outside of the house. Because of its location, it is more exposed to outside elements, which might cause damage or other safety hazards. This includes weather elements such as snow and rain.

What Happens When Outdoor Electrical Outlets Gets Wet?Don't let your outdoor electrical outlet get wet.

If an outdoor electrical outlet gets wet, serious issues can occur. A powerful electric shock can injure a person or even cause death. This also applies to electrical outlets, which is connected to the wirings where electricity is being distributed. When the outlet becomes wet, the flow of electricity will run in the water.

When this happens, anyone who is not observant enough will receive an electric shock. The most at risk here are unsuspecting children and animals who happen to be playing outside. Outdoor outlets are important for convenience, but to eliminate the chance of water getting inside, homeowners need to use an outdoor cover.

Do Outdoor Outlets Need To Be Covered?

All outdoor outlets should be covered whether it is used or not, especially those that are likely exposed during the rain. It is even required to be installed in special boxes, alongside the electrical covers, For example, all outlets installed in damp locations, as well as in locations unprotected by rainfall, must be protected with a weatherproof cover.

The most common danger related to outdoor outlets is the possibility of someone being shocked by being in contact with the water near the outlet. Fire can also happen when an unsuspecting person put a plug inside a wet outlet, which can cause a short circuit that can start a fire. The short circuit can also cause power outages throughout the house and can cause damage to your appliances.

What To Do When The Outdoor Outlet Gets Wet?

1. Turn off the GFCI Outlet
GFCI Outlets are designed to switch itself off automatically when the electricity has been cut off. The common occurrence of this happens when water or any liquid compromises the flow of electricity. If for some reason, the GFCI outlet did not turn itself off automatically, you can do it manually by pressing the reset button and the test button at the same time.

2. Shut Down The Breaker Box
In case of a flood or any other events where there are a lot of outlets affected, shutting down the Breaker Box is the most reliable solution. It is even recommended even when the GFCI outlets successfully stopped function automatically. If you’re not sure what circuit breaker should be flipped, call an electrician for help.

How To Prevent Elements From Getting Into The Outlet?

Selecting the kind of outdoor outlets is one of the most important parts of ensuring safety. Only GFCI outlets are the standard that NEC mandates. Also, make sure to follow the installation of the GFCI outlet. Use brackets that are designed for exterior outlets. Last but not least, install a weatherproof cover.

A weatherproof cover, usually made with plastic, is a covering designed to protect the outlet from moisture and water. Different kinds of weatherproof exist for different usage and locations. Use the right cover for the right outlet design and configuration. It is worthy to note that using a cover with the wrong design and configuration will likely let the water leak inside the outlet even when it is covered.

The Different Types Of Covers And When To Use ThemOutdoor electrical outlets should always be protected by a cover.

The National Electrical Code or NEC mandated to use Bubble Covers for all types of outdoor outlets in wet locations. The flat electric cover is no longer viable for outlet protection, as per NEC, so it is not an item for a recommendation. For the “in-use” outlets that are located in places unprotected from rainfall, or in underground places in direct contact with the Earth should use covers designed for wet locations. This type of cover lets the outlet sealed even while in use.

Another one is for outlets which are located in damp locations. Damp locations are defined by the NEC as locations that are protected by roofs, canopies, and marquees. Covers that are used in damp locations protect the outlet and keeps it sealed while not in use. These practices are mandated by the NEC and are recommended by a lot of electricians. Using a cover that is meant for other location reduce the efficiency of the cover. Water and other particles are expected to leak when the wrong cover is used.

Should You DIY Cover Installation On Outdoor Outlets?

Outdoor outlet covers are usually made with silicon and extra-duty plastic. These items can come in different colors and different configuration. Although these items seem easy to install, it is always recommended to call a professional for installation. You might think that you’re doing the installation right until you hit the wrong place and endanger yourself.

If you’ve been using an old cover for outdoor outlets, it is also recommended to seek the help of a licensed electrician to uninstall it. These items are needed to be removed with precision and care.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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How do I fix a Noisy Ceiling Fan?

By Springdale Electrician,

Is your ceiling fan making a lot of noise?

A great way to cool off a room is by turning on a ceiling fan. Homeowners save countless dollars by using wind chill instead of air conditioning on hot days. However, a noisy ceiling fan is an incredible frustration. Get to know how anyone can fix these fans with only a bit of elbow grease. The results are a long-lasting fan for years to come.

1. Clean off the Blades

The simplest way to calm a noisy ceiling fan is by cleaning the blades. Some fans sit idle for many months. Cleaning your noisy ceiling fan can help reduce the noise.Dust and grease accumulate on the blades’ surfaces. They become unbalanced as a result.

Carefully wipe down each blade with a damp rag. Clean the blade mounts too. The noise may abate with just a simple cleaning. After you clean the blades, Test them afterward to see if this made a difference. Those Ceiling fan blades can hold quite a bit of dust.

2. Tighten the Blade Screws

All ceiling fan blades will be connected to a mount on the assembly. They typically have a decorative appearance, but they’re more functional than residents might realize. Because of the blades’ rotational speed, the screws within the mounts can loosen over time.

Take a look at these screws. Tighten them as necessary. In many cases, a noisy ceiling fan can be resolved with this step. Residents may want to perform this task regularly so that noisy conditions aren’t a regular occurrence.

3. Tighten Light-Fixture Fasteners

Many ceiling fans come with light fixtures. It makes sense to combine these features into one appliance. The globe or cover on the fixture, however, might loosen.

Access the cover and check the fasteners. Take this opportunity to remove the cover. Wash it, and check on the bulb still attached to the fan. Replace the bulb if necessary.

Reattach the cover while carefully tightening the fasteners. The fan should operate without any noise now.

4. Examine Any Warped Blades

All of the blades on the fan should have about the same shape and orientation. This troubleshooting tip requires a keen eye for warps at the ceiling level.

Use a ladder to access the fan’s blades. Look at the blades’ profiles as a resident manually turns them. No blades should look higher or lower than the next ones.

Bend any blades into the shape that aren’t matching the others. In some cases, residents may need to replace one or two blades to achieve a balanced look.

5. Secure the Upper Canopy

If residents take a close look at their ceiling fans, there’s an upper canopy that covers the transition point into the ceiling.Install Ceiling Fan properly can help reduce a noisy ceiling fan. Although it’s tightly adhered to the fan’s post, the canopy can loosen over time.

Tighten the fasteners or screw the canopy back into place. Its design depends on the manufacturer. Residents may want to use a locking liquid on the fasteners so that the canopy doesn’t loosen frequently. It will take a trip up the ladder to access this ceiling fan part.

6. Lubricate the Fan Motor

Fan motors use lubrication as a way to reduce friction during operations. A buzzing sound often occurs if lubrication is lacking, however. Access the motor if a noisy ceiling fan is an issue. Verify if there’s any lubrication left within the motor.

Add several drops of oil into the motor if it’s dry. The fan’s instruction manual can guide your way.

If the buzzing sound continues after successful lubrication, the motor may be breaking down. An electrician can help residents make that determination.

7. Balance the Blades

When residents have cleaned and checked their blades for warping, another issue might be balanced. Some ceiling fans are poorly constructed, and use different materials for the blades.

Because the blades aren’t balanced, the fan wobbles as it rotates. Residents can buy a balancing kit to fix a noisy ceiling fan. They’re sold online and in stores. Follow the directions to add those weights to individual blades, and they’ll be balanced with little effort.

8. Check the Pull Chain

Some ceiling fans come with a remote control today, but many models still have a pull chain. They are usually installed away from any moving parts, but it can end up causing a noisy ceiling fan.

Observe the pull chain with the fan turned on to high. It shouldn’t strike any parts of the light fixture or blades. If it has a swinging motion, the blades aren’t correctly balanced.

Shorten the chain if the blades are standard. It only has to be long enough for easy access as you walk past it.

9. Tighten the Motor’s Cover

Most ceiling fans have a motor that’s located directly above the moving blades. The issue occurs when the motor cover comes slightly loose from its position. Residents end up with a noisy ceiling fan because the motor’s cover scrapes against the moving blades.

Turn off the fan, and access the motor cover’s fasteners. Tighten them so that the lid lifts away from the blades. Test the fan by turning it on low. Quiet operations should be consistent now.

10. Secure the Junction Box

A noisy ceiling fan can have issues that emanate from an item that’s not even visible. Every fan has a junction box that’s hidden just inside of the ceiling. It holds wires and acts as a middle ground for the fan’s connection point.

Residents must remove the fan’s top mount from the ceiling to reveal the junction box. Check if the box is loose from the ceiling. Tighten all of these connections. Reattach the top mount. In most cases, a simple tightening of these fasteners will stop a clicking sound.

If residents require a new ceiling fan, contacting an electrician is the best way to complete this project. The electrician can add ceiling fans to a room in little time. Residents might consider multiple fans to cool most of the home. At the end of the project, the entire household is more comfortable on those warm days than ever before.

Mister Sparky Electrician Springdale, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, electrical wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

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