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DIY Tips To Slowly Turn Your House into a Smart Home

Smart homes have turned up in huge ways all over the world, bringing convenience to millions of homeowners everywhere. While you may salivate at the thought of automating your house, converting to a smart home entails a significant amount of spending. Today, we’ll dish out some DIY tips on gradually turning your humble abode into a smart home.

A Handy Guide To A Do-It-Yourself Smart Home

Check out these tips on how to switch to a smart home by yourself:

Pick your preferred assistant and device controller

Three of the most trusted and most popular voice-controlled virtual assistants are Google Assistant, Siri by Apple, and Alexa by Amazon. When configuring your smart home installation, make sure that everything is compatible with your main virtual assistant interface.

From there, you may choose the primary device that will control the integration and maneuvers in your smart home. For instance, some of the modern Android smartphones may be used to operate Google Assistant, while iPhones and iPads work with Siri.

Start with lights

Lighting is the safest and easiest smart home upgrades you can do by yourself. All you need to do is buy a smart light bulb or lamp with Wi-Fi connectivity, and install it to a fixture. Look for a compatible app that can control the smart bulb using your chosen device, and customize the configuration based on your preferences.

Use a smart doorbell

Another non-intrusive smart home upgrade is installing a smart doorbell. This revolutionary product usually comes with a camera (so that you can see who’s at the door), motion-activated sensor, and two-way communication. That way, you don’t have to approach the door to know who’s ringing the bell.

Install a smart thermostat

Here’s where smart home upgrades become more interesting: Replace your temperature controlling system with a smart thermostat. Although it’s not as easy as replacing a bulb, most smart thermostat products come with easy-to-follow installation instructions.

Use a robot vacuum

Robotic vacuum cleaners have upgraded the way homeowners clean their houses, and all without breaking a sweat. What’s great about these modern vacuum cleaners is that you set them on the floor and let them do the dirty work.

Look for a robot vacuum that you can configure using a smartphone. That way, you can customize its program, check its status, and control it remotely.

Final Word

Unless you can ensure that every inch of your installation is connected properly, you may run the risk of electrical fires and accidents. We at Wire Craft Electric offer a wide range of services that can help you install a smart home automation system into your house without breaking the bank or causing property damage.

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How To Keep Your Electrical System Safe When You’re Away From Home

Are you sure that your electrical system is safe every time you go out of your house?

Whether you’re leaving for work or taking a vacation for the fall, keeping your home electrical system in check is absolutely critical in preventing accidental property damage or loss. After all, you can only monitor so much of your home whenever you’re away.

Before leaving your house unattended for a certain period of time, take precautionary measures to ensure safety and security of your home electrical system. Check out our safety tips below:

Unplug all appliances

The best first step in keeping your electrical system secure is to disconnect any plugged appliances from power sockets. Especially if you’re going away for a number of days, keeping your home appliances plugged in (even though they’re turned off) may still be at risk of short circuiting or faulty grounding.

Shut off the main power

Another safety tip to secure your home is to turn the main breaker off. This is only applicable if you have no perishable items in your refrigerator. However, this may not be a good idea if you have a security alarm system installed in your home – it won’t activate if you have no power at home!

Install electrical safety devices

You won’t know what freak accident may happen in your home while you’re away, and one potential risk is a lightning storm. To keep your system protected from a sudden bolt of lightning that may hit your house, it would be a great idea to install power surge protectors for the whole house.

Feel free to talk to us at Wire Craft Electric, in case you need electrical services such as installing new devices or checking your home for safety risks.

Check the outdoor environment for potential hazards

Look out for anything outside your home that may cause untoward electrical accidents. These may include a bunch of dry leaves covering an outdoor lighting fixture, electrical wires exposed to moisture, and growing plants that may snap off nearby power lines.

It may be best to seek help from professionals such as electricians, gardeners, and landscape architects to check the safety of your immediate outdoors.

Final Word

No one wants to enjoy a destination vacation or go to work, only to return home with an electricity-related accident. Make sure that your home system is kept secure and maintained regularly.

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Power Strip vs. Extension Cord: Which One Should You Use?

When talking about electrical accessories at home, it’s easy to interchange some of the common items that we see. Such is the case of the power strip and the extension cord, which are two distinct things. In this article, we will look into the difference between a power strip and an extension cord, and the right choice for your intended purpose.

Power Strip

As its name implies, a power strip is composed of a series of electrical sockets with a cable and electrical plug at its end. This device is designed to accommodate and power up multiple electrical devices that are in close proximity to each other, say the devices inside an entertainment room.

Some power strips come with a circuit breaker as a precautionary measure in case a short circuit or power overload happens. In some modern designs, power strips may have an automatic shut-off feature when the device or appliance remains unused for a number of hours.

Extension Cord

Based on its name alone, you can already predict what this electrical accessory does. An extension cord is a long electrical cable with at least one socket on one end and an electrical plug on the other. It is designed to extend a power outlet to a distant electrical device or appliance.

Extension cords come in a variety of forms, depending on the use. Some are only 2 feet long, while others run 30 feet or longer.

Situations Where Power Strips and Extension Cords Are Used

It’s easy to confuse the two terms, especially since some manufacturers have designed power strips with lengthy cables similar to most extension cords. However, the main difference between the two lies in the purpose:

  • If you want to multiply the number of electrical outlets from a single source, use a power strip.
  • If you want to stretch out a power source towards a distant appliance, use an extension cord.

Having said that, here are some of the best ways to maximize the use of the power strip and the extension cord:

Power strip: Entertainment rack with multiple audio and video devices, computer setup with printer and router, permanent installation of multiple sockets.

(If you need help installing a power strip for semi-permanent use, give us a call at Wire Craft Electric so that we can help set it up for you.)

Extension cord: Appliances far away from an electrical outlet, temporary electrical setup, extension of power to occasional outdoor appliances.

Final Word

Whether you use a power strip or extension cord, make sure that safety is at the top of your priority. Never overload a power strip with so many appliances, and don’t make an extension cord permanent.

In addition, by knowing the original purpose of each tool, you can maximize the use of either the power strip or the extension cord.

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Safety Tips When Using Extension Cords

Can you imagine a world without extension cords? These electrical accessories have evolved as indispensable tools in any home.

Although extension cords provide better distribution of electricity throughout your home, it’s important to keep them in tiptop condition. Make sure that you follow these safety tips to prevent accidents and property damage:

Check for signs of wear and tear

Exposed wirings or evidence of burned sections are telltale signs that something is bound to go wrong when you use the extension cord. Either address the issue immediately or replace it with a new extension wire.

(If you need help in checking your extension cord and your home’s wiring system for potential risks, give us a call at Wire Craft Electric, and we can do the work for you.)

Choose a safety-certified product

Although some extension wires may be more expensive than others, choosing a premium product may prove to be a wise financial decision. Having said that, look for a seal or certification to prove that the extension cord has been tested by a laboratory and labeled safe to use.

Protect the cord from moisture

Wet electrical accessories automatically invite short-circuiting, which may increase the risk of electrical fires in your home or facility. Make sure to use extension cords away from water sources.

If you need to use cords in moisture-prone areas such as the bathroom or kitchen, never use the extension cord when you observe that it is sitting on a water puddle.

Unplug unused cords

Precaution is always welcome in terms of electrical safety, and one simple but effective way of achieving this is by cutting off the power in unused items. The same goes with electrical cords – if you’re not using the extension cord, unplug it from the power socket.

Don’t use extension cords permanently

It’s easy to disregard the use of extension cords, which may lead you to use it on the same set of appliances for long periods of time. If you notice that you’re using a particular electrical appliance regularly and on the same spot, you might as well install a wall-mounted electrical socket.

Note that extension cords are meant for temporary connections only.

Never overload an extension cord

Because of the convenience that extension cords bring to any home, you may find yourself plugging in too many electrical devices into the same cord. This is a big no-no, as extension cords can only accommodate so much electrical resistance.

Avoid “octopus” connections to the extension cord, where you plug in 4 or more appliances into a single extension wire. You may be inviting danger into your house!

Final Word

The extension cord is an extremely helpful tool to widen the scope of electrical supply in your home. Just make sure that you’re using it safely and effectively so that you can get the most out of this handy electrical accessory.

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How To Save on Power Costs During the Fall

As the cold inches back into the new season, you need to prepare yourself for power consumption that involves heaters and other home appliances.

Here are some effective techniques to reduce your electricity bill during autumn:

Make the Sun Your Friend

With longer nights this season, expect to use your indoor lighting more. If you don’t want to spend too much on lights, use the natural brightness of sunlight to illuminate your home.

One way of doing this is by opening your curtains and letting the sunshine into your house. If you already have a sunroof, that’s even more fantastic!

In addition, because the fall is colder than spring, use the warmth of the sun as your natural heater. In short, make the most out of the sun.

Replace your light bulbs with long-lasting products

Because your home lighting will be used more during fall and winter, you need lamps and bulbs that will last long. Make sure to replace any busted bulbs with LED lamps.

Aside from its long service hours, LED lamps use significantly less energy than old incandescent bulbs.

Seal any window or door gaps

The heater will definitely become one useful device during the fall, and especially more during winter. However, you cannot use it efficiently if there are entry points for the cold outdoor environment. This includes cracks and gaps on windows, and the gap under the door.

You may buy caulk, ready-to-use window seals, or weatherstripping materials from your local hardware store.

Ready your heater and other electrical components before use

After being on standby for some time, your heater may need to be checked before using it again. Before fall sets in, make sure to schedule servicing for your heaters. The same goes with heat pumps and furnaces.

Schedule an electrical safety inspection

While you’re in the momentum of having your electrical equipment serviced, it’s also a good idea to schedule an evaluation of your entire electrical system. That way, you can address potential electrical issues before the new season kicks in.

Feel free to call us at Wire Craft Electric, because electrical servicing and electrical home safety inspections are just some of the services that we can help you with.

Final Word

As with any other season, you can always optimize your electricity use by knowing how to handle electrical appliances and manage your indoor environment. We hope the tips above will help you enjoy the fall and save big at the same time.

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Electrical Safety Tips This Fall

Another season means another reason to have fun! While summer had people depending on air conditioners and cooling equipment, autumn is generally colder. Expect to switch the use of appliances and electrical equipment in this upcoming season, which means you have to look into a new set of electrical safety checks.

Don’t fall into the trap of disregarding electrical safety during the fall season! Check out our tips to keep your autumn as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Safekeep summer electrical equipment

You probably won’t be using trimmers and lawn mowers as often as last summer, and so it’s good practice to put them in their proper storage locations. Leaving them exposed to the elements may degrade these tools and increase the risk of damage.

Prepare your fall tools

Likewise, it’s time to take out your leaf blower and snow clearing equipment. Have a quick check on the tools and their respective wires for signs of damage or malfunction. Don’t use them if you see some issues and have them either repaired or replaced before fall comes.

Check your extension wires

Summer may have been brutal for your electrical system, especially as you use cooling equipment more often. This is the best time as ever to check the integrity of your extension cords. Immediately replace any cords with signs of wear and tear.

Clean up leaves as soon as you discover them

Don’t let fallen leaves collect and cover your outdoor electricals such as lighting installations or power outlets. Failing to clear them away may invite moisture into your electrical system, which will definitely increase the risk of short circuits.

Protect your outdoor electrical outlets

Because the fall season is wetter than summer, make sure that your power sockets are protected from moisture. You may install a screw cover or replace it with a GFCI outlet for better protection.

Prepare for more frequent light bulb changes

Because fall has generally less daylight hours than summer, expect to use your indoor lighting more frequently. Having said that, check the status of your existing light bulbs. Are they still working well or are they showing signs of becoming busted?

It’s also a good idea to stock up on replacement bulbs because the higher frequency of use will definitely shorten the life of your existing lamps. Just be sure that what you’re buying is the correct wattage and compatibility with the lighting receptacle.

Final Word

We at Wire Craft Electric are concerned about your safety. If you think there are some electrical issues in your home as fall arrives, give us a call as soon as possible. Our skilled professional electrical staff will attend to your needs pronto!

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Ambient, Accent, Task: Choosing The Perfect Lighting For Any Room

It may look like a simple and minor part of home design, but using the right lighting can drastically change the mood and theme of any house. But did you know that you can choose between three kinds of lighting? In this article, we will look into ambient, accent, and task lighting, and how each lighting type can fit your specific home needs.

Aside from looking at technical stuff, choosing the right illumination for a room involves knowing the three types of lighting. Get to know the difference between ambient, accent, and task lighting, and how you can maximize these concepts.

Ambient Lighting

The most basic kind of illumination is called ambient lighting, which aims to increase the brightness of the entire room. The overall illumination that it produces can cover the widest area of the three types in this article. In other words, ambient lighting serves as the base illumination from which you can accentuate using the other kinds of lighting.

Some examples that make use of ambient lighting include ceiling fixtures, wall-mounted fixtures, chandeliers, and fluorescent lamps.

Accent Lighting

Also called directional lighting, this type is designed to put focus on pieces of furniture or specific areas of the room. Because it is meant to highlight sections of the room, it should be at least three times brighter than ambient lighting.

Some of the best places where you can put accent lighting are behind paintings, near sculptures, besides houseplants, and under cabinet doors.

Task Lighting

This kind of lighting essentially puts a spotlight on specific areas meant for you to accomplish tasks. Some great examples of task lighting include a table lamp on a study desk, mirror lights installed in the vanity table, and ceiling lamps directly above the dining table.

Final Word

Whatever kind of lighting you plan to install in your home, make sure that you know the features of each type before jumping into a decision. More importantly, your electrical system should be ready to accommodate the kind of lighting that you want. We at Wire Craft Electric can help you assess your existing electrical system so that you can determine the readiness of your home in terms of installing a new type of lighting.

On a final note, the best way to make use of the lighting types listed above is to mix and match them inside your home. Look for ways to layer the different types to make your room illumination visually stunning.

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Electrical Technical Terms That Homeowners Need To Understand

Can you imagine life without electricity? When the power is out, chances are you will feel anxious and on the edge. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to know and understand some of the most fundamental technical terms related to the electrical system.

Although electricity is consumed on a daily basis, most homeowners are not educated on basic electrical terms. What’s worse is that they have little to no idea on the dangers of electrical malfunction and the strategies to minimize accidents when handling electricity.

To enrich your electrical vocabulary, take a look at some of these terminologies that professional electricians use regularly.

Circuit

This term refers to a path or route wherein electricity can pass. Technically it’s called “electrical circuit”, but professionals who handle this type of job are accustomed to use the term “circuit”.

As the term implies, it’s constructed as a circular or looping mechanism. Electricity is carried out by electrons that pass through the circuit. The electrons will do one of two things: (1) leave the circuit towards a ground or appliance, or (2) return to the power source to complete the circuit.

Short circuit

This phenomenon occurs when an ungrounded circuit accidentally connects with a grounded circuit. This is usually caused by an abnormal connection (whether intentional or accidental) in varying voltages. When this happens, parts of the circuit with low resistance may experience overheating, thereby causing fires or circuit damage.

Some of the common culprits of short circuit include faulty wire insulation, house pests, loose wire connections, and malfunctioning appliances. If you suspect any of these issues in your home, take the initiative to call us at Wire Craft Electric so that we can help you protect your home from further electrical damage.

Circuit breaker

This is a device that automatically breaks or stops the flow of electrical current. It’s usually designed as a safety tool to prevent electrical circuit damage, mostly from a power overload or a short circuit.

You may find this either inside an electrical box or installed on its own in a conspicuous area of your home. Don’t be afraid to touch this device, because this can really save you from electrical accidents.

Ground

This term refers to a reference point of any electrical circuit, either as a connection to the earth or a return path for current. A ground may be accidental or intentional, the latter of which is extremely important in preventing damage of home electrical devices from power surges. In other words, grounding will help your electrical system offload any excess current.

Final Word

Basic knowledge of electrical terminologies is a must for homeowners in order to help identify areas where electrical system problems may arise. Knowing these things is also important when it comes to describing your electrical problem to the technicians for further troubleshooting and repair.

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Tips and Tools For Upgrading To A Smart Home

With so much technology at your fingertips, you can easily automate your home. With just a flick of a finger or a simple voice instruction, everything in the home may be wired up to be conveniently scheduled for activation.

What’s great is that you can easily turn your humble abode into a fully automated or smart home. Try these tips and tricks to know where and how to start automation in your house.

Consider priority concerns in the home

Is security one of the priority concerns or is it energy consumption? How about coming home to perfect mood lighting and room temperature? Whatever your first preferences to automate are, start looking into options on how to upgrade.

Make an initial layout or list for your smart home

You don’t have to be an engineer in order to plan out how you would like a smart home device to be put in place. There are people who can help you install the gadgets that you need, such as closed-circuit television cameras, alarm systems, and automated lighting systems. All you need to do is make a rough layout where you need the equipment to be strategically set up.

For instance, if you want to use energy efficiently, you may want to schedule when to turn on (or turn off) the electricity in your home. With a smart home, lights and home appliances will be automatically shut off when you leave the house.

Explore your options before deciding on automation

Educate yourself on automation, especially on the do’s and don’ts. Find the most recommended tools or equipment that comply with safety standards. It’s also a good idea to ask friends, relatives or colleagues about their experiences in upgrading to a smart home.

Find a professional to help upgrade your home

After all the planning and research, make sure to tap the services of a professional who can help you with the home automation you desire. We at Wire Craft Electric are ready to answer your queries and respond to your needs. We aim to deliver service that is fast, reliable and of the highest quality.

Final Word

Imagine coming home to a relaxing ambiance with music playing, lights turned on, and the room temperature set to your liking. Those things are all possible, thanks to a smart home upgrade. Once your home is all set up, you will no doubt enjoy the perks of automation.

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A Handy DIY Guide To Changing A Light Bulb

How many homeowners does it take to change a light bulb? One person should suffice, but it wouldn’t hurt to know how to properly replace a light bulb. This guide will teach you how to do the light bulb replacement yourself, along with some safety tips.

Steps in Changing a Light Bulb

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly – and safely – replace any light bulb in your home:

1. Shut off the power in the lighting fixture.

You don’t have to go to the main electrical panel to turn off the power all over the house. All you need to do is either turn off the breaker where the lighting receptacle is, or turn the light switch off.

2. Let the bulb cool down before handling.

Some bulbs – especially incandescent lamps and other old models – tend to heat up when they’re lighted up. As soon as you switch the power off, wait a couple of minutes before touching the bulb.

Although LED lamps aren’t too hot to the touch even when turned on, it wouldn’t hurt to be on the safe side when handling hot bulbs.

3. Use a secure platform when replacing overhead bulbs

Never attempt to replace ceiling lamps while standing on a rickety chair! Make sure to use a sturdy ladder or a stable surface that you can confidently stand on without fear of the structure collapsing beneath you.

4. Replace the old bulb with the new one.

First things first, make sure that you know what kind of bulb base you are using – is it bayonet or screw cap? If you don’t know this, you might end up buying an incompatible lamp for your receptacle.

Take a firm and steady grip of the old bulb as you turn it counterclockwise until it gets released from the receptacle. Set aside the old bulb, and then install the new bulb by rotating it clockwise into the socket.

5. Turn the power on.

You will know if you’ve done the job well when you see the bulb get lighted as you switch on the power. If the lamp does not turn on, it might be possible that the installation is loose. Repeat the steps above, then unscrew and screw back the lamp into place.

Final Word

Although a light bulb replacement sounds easy, disregarding safety may cause you to incur additional expenses and increase the risk of accidents and fires. If you have a question or a point of uncertainty when it comes to your home electrical system, don’t hesitate to contact us at Wire Craft Electric.

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