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LED Lighting Guide: Do You Really Need It?

Over the last decade, incandescent lights have been replaced with more energy-efficient alternatives, including LED lights. If you haven’t made the switch to LEDs yet, here are some of the key things you need to know to help you decide if you really need LED lighting.

What is LED Lighting?

Unlike incandescent bulbs that use a filament, LED lights use a semiconductor called light-emitting diodes. This process is nearly 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Because LEDs convert energy into light more efficiently, they are much cooler than incandescent. This can be especially important if you have small children or pets that may touch the bulb.

LED lighting also comes in several different shapes and sizes. The inherent nature of LEDs means they can be incorporated into fixtures as permanent light sources or can be retrofitted into existing fixtures. LEDs can be found in the traditional bulb shape, as tube lights, light strips, etc.

Are LED Lights Brighter Than Incandescents?

Brightness depends on how much wattage the bulb takes in and how many lumens it produces. LEDs produce more lumens per watt. This means the same wattage can have very different results with LEDs and incandescent. A good point of reference is that 1600 lumens are nearly the equivalent of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb.

Do LEDs Have Blue Light?

Modern LEDs typically come in 2700 Kelvin, which is a “warm white” similar to traditional incandescents, or in 3000 Kelvin, which is still a warm tone, just slightly whiter. It is possible to get LEDs in 3500 or 4000 Kelvin, which offer a whiter light. However, whiter light means bluer light.

Can I Use LEDs With Any Fixture?

LEDs can be used with most fixtures that have standard E26 (medium base) or E12 (candelabra base) sockets. As LEDs become more popular we will likely see more socket sizes that are compatible.

Can I Use LEDs With a Dimmer Switch?

Not all LEDs are dimmable. If this feature is important you must first check the LED fixture and make sure it is dimmable. You also need to make sure it is compatible with the dimmer you have. Most dimmable LED fixtures require a specific type of dimmer switch.

Most dimming LEDs only adjust the lumen output as opposed to making light warmer. However, “warm dim” LED fixtures are quickly being introduced in the market.

How Long Do LEDs Last?

LEDs last longer than an average lightbulb. An LED’s average lifespan is 20,000 hours versus an incandescent or halogen bulb that lasts, on average, 2,000 hours. This means your LED bulbs could last 20+ years if the bulb is only used a few hours a day.

How Much Can I Save With LEDs?

LED bulbs are more expensive upfront, but cost less to run overtime. LEDs are far more efficient, using fewer watts. This in turn drastically reduces the cost of running the bulb. On average, homeowners could save around $600 a year switching to LEDs.

Are Incandescent Bulbs Legal?

The phasing out of incandescent and halogen lights was to begin being phased out in early 2020 as part of energy legislation implemented under President George W. Bush and finalized under the Obama administration. However, in late 2019 President Trump rolled back this requirement for energy-efficient light bulbs. This means that incandescent and halogen bulbs are still legal, for now.

So, Do You Need LED Lighting?

Currently, nothing is mandating that you switch to LED lights. However, LEDs are becoming increasingly popular and subsequently more affordable. If you are concerned about your electricity bill or the environment, switching to LED bulbs can help you with both. If you are concerned about converting your home from traditional lighting to LED lighting, you don’t have to do it alone. The professionals at Wire Craft can help you come up with the best solutions to make your home’s lighting more efficient. Contact our professionals now.

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

ambient lighting

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

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. That way you can determine the readiness of your home in terms of installing a new type of lighting.

Make use of the lighting types listed above through mixing and matching them inside your home. Look for ways to layer the different types to make your room illumination visually stunning.

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Flickering Lights in Bad Weather? Should You Be Alarmed?

flickering lights in bad weather

Flickering Lights in Bad Weather? Should You Be Alarmed?

You may have noticed your flickering lights when it’s windy outside. Although this may be caused by system-wide malfunction, some of the reasons may be localized in your home. This guide should help you check if the flickering of lights in your home is already cause for alarm, and assist you in troubleshooting this issue before the next weather imbalance.

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Benefits and Drawbacks of Recessed Lighting

 

Benefits and Drawback of Recessed Lighting

 

Most modern homes make use of recessed lighting. While it has its advantages, it’s also important to know the disadvantages of this kind of lighting. By knowing both sides, you can make an informed decision whether to opt for recessed lighting or not.

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Brighten Up Your Home With Track Lighting

track lightingHouses come in different styles and designs, and it’s important to use the proper fixtures for maximum effect. In the case of fixtures, one of the trendiest and most practical fixtures is track lighting.

What is Track Lighting?

This kind of lighting uses a continuous track where electrical conductors are embedded to transmit electricity to attached light fixtures. Unlike conventional light bulbs and fixtures that require individual wires to let electricity flow, track lighting uses conductivity to distribute the energy towards the fixtures connected to the track.

Most track lights are arranged horizontally and mounted on ceilings in series. They usually come as either of three tracks: H track has three contact points, J track have contact tips that are 1 inch apart, and L track has tips that are separated by 7/8 inch.

Benefits of Using Track Lighting

Track lighting may sound complicated if you’re hearing about it for the first time, but you will be impressed with the benefits that it carries.

First, the nature of its installation makes it extremely flexible. You can point to towards any area of the home, without having to worry about wires and sockets. It’s also easy to change bulbs and fixtures, in case you need them to match the overall theme of the room.

Because the track isn’t restricted by wires to light up the fixtures, you can contort it any way you want. Best of all, its modern design can instantly give your home a makeover.

Tips on Installing Track Lighting in Your Home

If you’re thinking about using track lighting, make sure that your electrical system is ready for the installation. This includes checking for a nearby electrical box where you can connect the track. This also includes assessing the space and lighting requirement in the room.

Although tracks are versatile in any kind of space, you will need an electrician who knows how to install track lighting. The electrician will trace the power source, customize the track to best fit the space, and make sure that no obstructions are present.

In terms of lighting fixtures, choose either line voltage halogen lamps or low-voltage halogen lamps (MR16).

Final Word

Whatever the style of your home is, track lighting has the ability to blend in with the overall interior design. By using this kind of lighting, you will definitely experience convenience and enjoy a more modern vibe.

Have some questions? Contact us at Wire Craft for your electrical concerns and installation needs.

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Best Lighting Upgrades for Your Home

lighting

Natural light entering your house has the best lighting that you can possibly experience, whether in terms of aesthetics, practicality, or cost effectiveness. Unfortunately, you cannot enjoy the sun’s brightness during the night. This might be a good time for you to consider lighting upgrades in your home.

There are a lot of ways to upgrade the lighting situation inside your home, but here are some of the best techniques that can instantly uplift the value and energy of any room:

1. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs

Several manufacturers have come up with light bulbs that consume less energy but still generate enough brightness. Steer clear of incandescent bulbs, which are not only dimmer than modern bulbs, but are also power-hungry devices. Instead, choose either a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or a light emitting diode (LED). Sure, these products may cost more than traditional bulbs, but they use less electricity and last longer.

2. Add recessed lighting

A good alternative to traditional bulbs is the use of recessed lighting. This kind of lighting fixture prevents the usual light bulb glare, by being embedded in the ceiling through a hollow opening. The result is a sufficiently lit room that’s perfect for intimate moments or areas in the home that need quick bursts of illumination (such as a bathroom).

3. Install under-cabinet lighting

One of the latest and most trending techniques in brightening up a kitchen or home library is to use under-cabinet lighting. As its name suggests, the lighting fixture is installed under or behind a cabinet.

This creates practically the same illumination, but without the light bulbs visible. It’s a more sophisticated way of making a room brighter.

4. Consider using chandelier or similar fixtures

Chandeliers are gradually returning to home interior design, and today is a good opportunity to consider installing one in your living room.

However, if you think chandeliers are too extravagant or formal for your home, you may opt for flush mount lighting fixtures or pendant light. These alternatives also appear to be hanging from the ceiling – just like a traditional chandelier – but they look more modern and minimalist.

5. Use string lights for small homes

There’s something cozy and comforting about string lights, probably because they may remind you of Christmas lights or a quaint neighborhood’s street light. Putting up string lights in your home creates a fun and festive atmosphere, where everyone feels comfortable. What’s great about this kind of lighting option is that they’re easy to install and remove.

Final Word

Upgrading your fixtures is a great way to redesign your home and replace anylight bulbs. Follow these five tips, and you will find yourself enjoying your home more than usual.

Need help with any concerns? Wire Craft will help you out.

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Best Uses For Track Lighting In Your Home

track lightingIn a fancy restaurant, you’ve probably been amazed by the mood-setting atmosphere. The subtleness of the task lighting above your table, paired with the specific accent lighting on walls, highlighting tasteful decor, gives you that romantic feeling without you having to worry about… well, eating in the dark. You can thank track lighting for all these feels. Track lighting uses multiple lights on a rail system, pointing in different directions to create a dynamic effect on an object, wall, or surface. So how does a home use track lighting, and where might you be missing opportunities to provide unmatched ambiance? As it turns out, track lighting was first made popular in home decor… so, it’s worth considering as you decide on lighting for your main living spaces.

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Best Lighting Stores in Seattle

lighting stores

Tis the season to be jolly – what better way to brighten up your holidays than with new lighting? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve found some of the best lighting stores in Seattle to help you to set the mood for the season as you get prepared to welcome friends and family into your home for food, fun, and general merriment.

1. Rejuvenation

If you’ve ever stepped foot into a house that has that unique ambiance or personal touch that screams comfort and joy, you can probably thank lighting. Looking around, you’ll surely notice different types of fixtures, mounts, or accents – each one specifically planned for that particular space. If you’re looking for unique options to stand out, check out Rejuvenation. Among other things, Rejuvenation has a great selection of lighting & fans. They’ll have you covered from pendants to wall sconces, and there’s even a vintage selection called “restored lights”… it might set you back a pretty penny, but it will give you that nostalgic look that’s near impossible to reproduce.

2. Seattle Lighting

With over 20+ brands of lights, Seattle Lighting gives you a huge range of selection on what could be your next lighting upgrade in your home. Not only that, but they also have a huge section in informational, inspirational, and installation guides that will get those creative juices flowing. And with seven Seattle Lighting stores throughout the greater Seattle area, it’s probably one of the easiest trips to make for expert advice and a great selection.

3. Holiday Saving at Seattle Lighting

Seattle Lighting is having a 30% off sale between 11/23 – 12/31 for any shoppers looking to update or add new lighting to their home. Start saving now on all purchases and make sure to hire a certified electrician for any work that might be too difficult for you.

4.  Harold’s Lighting

If you ever catch yourself in the Seattle or Bellevue area and looking for a mom & pop lighting shop, then Harold’s Lighting might be right up your alley. With a wide assortment of lights, they have a unique selection of brands that the other two companies don’t carry. They also restore antique and vintage lights. So, if you have something that is priceless, this is the place to go to restore it before taking it to the Antique Road Show for that million dollar appraisal.

Conclusion About Lighting Stores in Seattle

With all the different types of lighting and accessories to install, they wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing with dangling wires. While some people love DIY home improvements, others will use a certified electrician for their renovation needs. Wire Craft is happy to help with any project undertaking you have. Contact us today at 206.542.0208 to make your holiday experience a bright and memorable one.

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3 Types of Indoor Home Lighting

Indoor Home Lighting

Ever stepped into a model home and just became astounded by how “dream-like” it looked? It might have made you want to buy that house or find a way to make your current home more like that dream house. But what if I told you that lighting might of been a huge part of why you fell in love with that house in the first place? Yup! Lighting has a huge rule in how you see things and what to focus on – literally.

Indoor home lighting can be broken down into three major categories. Each of them has a certain task to play in creating the utopian home experience we’ve all seen and yearn for.

Ambient & General Lighting

If you’ve ever experienced a power blackout, you will truly appreciate what ambient lighting does for you. More commonly known as general lighting, ambient light creates uniform lighting level through the room that allows you to see and walk about safely. Ambient lighting can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling lights, wall-mount fixtures, track lighting, recessed lighting, and even table and floor lamps. All of these can be used in conjunction with dimmers to set a mood for the room. Without having the right amount of illumination, you could potentially have too much light causing glare or too little light causing dark spots.

Task Lighting

This adds illumination to an area that requires you to complete a task, such as: reading a book, preparing food and cooking, doing homework, and many others. You can have task lighting by track lighting, pendant lighting, and undercabinet lighting. There are also stand alone floor and desk lamps that you can use for completing task in light. Keep in mind with task lighting that it should be bright enough to perform the task at hand without being overwhelmingly bright, causing glare and without shadows.

Accent Indoor Home Lighting

Art rooms, theaters, hotels – these are just a few places that use accent lighting to its fullest potential. Accent lighting creates drama to a room by forming visual interest to an object or architectural features. Never limit it into: statues, paintings, houseplants, or cabinetry. As well as outdoor accent lighting, such as trees: plants, rocks, and water features.

Accent lighting can come in all different forms via track lighting, chandeliers, speciality lighting, and wall sconces. Use these at least three times as much as the ambient lighting. This will give it definition, but it should never be the focal point.

Putting it All Together

Having it all will give you the best experience for your room and home. Missing one of the light types or having uneven levels for one or more will create a bad experience. Having an interior light designer is best advice to turn your ordinary room into extraordinary boom! Wire Craft can help you by making the electrical wiring to light up your dream house in no time.

Learn more about our services and get the indoor home lighting of your dreams – or at least, dreamlike lighting – today.

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Security Lights: Deterrent to Potential Robbers

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, no security lights, and you found an intruder inside your home. The intruder’s risking their life and freedom to steal your valuable belongings, as well as putting you and your family in jeopardy. It sounds like something taken from a movie, but this isn’t as unheard of as you think. Home invasions and burglaries have been on the rise the past few years in the Greater Seattle area. Here’s just one case in Renton where multiple burglaries have gone on without any surveillance or deterrents. And just because you’re inside the house or have deterrents to keep robbers at bay, you could still be at risk. So what can you do to protect yourself from being a victim? Let’s start off with some facts.

Security Lights

The Seattle Facts

In recent years, the greater Seattle area has seen an average of 6,836 burglaries reported by Seattle Police Department. Though in the last few years it’s been on the rise. 2015 alone had just over 7,500 reports. This might not sound so bad, thinking there is probably million homes in Seattle right? Wrong. Around 283,610 occupied housing units in Seattle puts a staggering 2.41% chance of your home being burgled. But is the gamble worth it?

You Can Lose It All Before you Win the Lotto

We all probably dreamt one time or another about winning the lottery.  The Washington Lotteries statistics shows there are seven lottery games you could possibly play.  I’m going to use Match 4 as a reference. It costs $2 per ticket and could potentially have you win $10,000. Although, its winning percent is a mere 0.01%. This means if you put $482 every year into this lottery, you will have the same chance of winning versus being broke in Seattle.

Reduce Your 2.41% Chance with Security Lights

There are a lot of options in home security, but one of the easier and cheapest security updates is to add security lights around your home. It’s well-known that burglars despise lights, most steal in the dark and when a light suddenly comes on from their motion, most run in fear or stop in their tracks to assess their situation. Erin Raub did a write up at Safety.com about 8 burglar deterrents to consider (and 5 to avoid) and motion-actived security lights definitely fall into the list of deterrents. Of course, coupled with installing security cameras – you can become your very own vigilante Judge Dredd like this construction site in Mountlake Terrace and put crime at its knees with video surveillance to help solve crimes and help prosecution.

At the end of the day, it’s best to invest into some sort of deterrent or security system to keep your home safe. The more security you add, the less likely chance you have of being robbed. If you leave yourself wide open with no deterrents, you will be fed to the birds. On the contrary, the birds will be fed by you. If you are interested in motion-activated security lights, surveillance camera and/or alarm system, contact us today or give us a call to see what we can do to help keep your home safe.

If you need help, you can contact an electrician from Wirecraft to help you out.

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