Friday, July 31, 2009

Home Theater Lighting Options

Home Theater Lighting Options
There are a number of different lighting options available to create the perfect ambience while setting up you home theater system. While selecting
your lighting system for your home theater one must consider the total area allotted for setting up the home theater. There are wide range of lights
available, from Hollywood disco lights to lights whose brightness can be remote controlled. These lights can be expensive but create the perfect mood.
Also it goes without saying that all lighting work must be handled by a qualified electrician.
There are wall sconces available which of varying shapes and sizes. These also come in one bulb or multiple bulb options. They can be customized
well with movie themed images such as popcorn or a movie projector. You can also go in for a galaxy dome for your ceiling to create the starry night
effect. There is a cheaper option available for this too, its a fiber optic star kit. This kit consist of about 120 LED to create the perfect starry night look. It
has an easy installation procedure also.
Also you can consider installing star tiles. These are special tiles and can create better night sky effect. These tiles have lights have in them LED
illuminator inside and also the stationary LED lights create a much better and non-distracting night sky effect, to set the perfect mood.
Also your wall sconce can be used to create the effect to magnify a Hollywood scene you may have put on your walls. A lot depends on the type of
sconce you choose. They come in various shapes and sizes. Most commonly available sconces come in square, circular, cone and half moon. Also
popular are teardrop shaped sconces and angled sconces. Wall sconces can come in anything between $150 to $300. Ceramic sconces are also
available which can be painted to match the color of your walls.
The doom lighting used for the ceiling also comes in combination with your wall sconce. These ceiling lights are manufactured of white bisque and
can be customized with paint.
You can also add some personal touch to your lighting like having projector lamps in shape of film camera etc.
With all that said, it is very important to take note of your budget and the look and feel you want to go for. With right selection a dull room can be
converter into a great movie place.
About the Author
Anurag writes for - a website dedicated to providing information on home theater setup and home theater
selection. Also featuring home theater related articles.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Little Truck

We just got a new shipment of our little matchbox trucks in. The look almost just like our real truck that drive around the philly city streets. We give the truck out to clients' kids. It really is fun to watch kids play with the truck while we are our Technicians are on the job site. A few of my Technicians have young kids. They get to play daddy when drive this little truck around their living room.
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World's most intense light bulb!

This is a picture of the world’s most intense incandescent light bulb. 50,000 watts to be precise. This bulb was produced and lit for the 50th anniversary of Edison’s first working light bulb and resides in the Thomas Edison Museum in Port Huron, MI
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lighting Up Your Home With LEDs

Is it Time to Upgrade?

Author: Robin Green

Increasingly consumers are turning their eyes towards LED house lights as a way to conserve electricity. But will you really achieve the greatest savings by buying this still expensive lighting now? Or would you be better off to save your money for the time being, or to buy other energy-efficient light bulbs, and use the money you save in electricity to buy LED house lights down the road?

You have most likely seen LEDs before: camping headlamps, LED Christmas tree lights, wind-up emergency torches. How about LED house lights? If LEDs are so efficient, why aren't manufacturers lining up to sell LED lights for the home, and why aren't we lining up to buy them?

I wouldn't try to sell you on LED lights as a solution to high utility bills or as the most ecologically beneficial lighting solution around. Frankly, I think LEDs have a ways to go yet, in terms of function, durability, and economy. There are some LED products you should consider over the next year, such as LED Christmas lights. And you might enjoy trying out a couple of LED light bulbs, if you're the energy-saving type. But you are going to save more money by keeping with your current lighting, and migrating to fluorescent lights in the next year or so. Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, have a payback so short that they'll pay for themselves before LEDs have matured enough to make CFLs out of date.

LED light bulbs are more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent lighting. The problem is that LEDs have very directed light. An incandescent light shines over a wide area fairly evenly, while LED lights are very focused, so that the area they directly illuminate is very bright, while the further you go from the direct beam, the less light there is. For LED Christmas lights, that isn't a problem; you just want some shining points of light, which LEDs do very efficiently. But an incandescent or CFL will do a much better job of brightening up your living room than an LED bulb in the same application. The light will be more evenly and broadly spread, and with a warmer color.

When you see LED packaging claims of LED light output, you should be doubtful. A number in Lumens, which indicates light brightness, is misleading for LEDs, because of their focused beam. Lumens levels are read from a sensor placed right underneath the light source. A household LED light bulb at 2 watts may have the same lumens rating as a 50 watt halogen bulb, or as a 15 watt CFL, but the LED lamp may only send a focused light directly under it to the photo sensor, while the incandescent light and CFL will light up a much broader area, and still give that same lumens rating for the area immediately beneath the bulb. This may be the source of a frequent negative comment among LED owners, such as: "The packaging claims this 2-watt LED bulb has the same light output as a 50-watt incandescent bulb but it feels more like a 25-watt incandescent if you ask me."

When it comes to halogen lights, they are only as efficient as incandescent lights, so the same efficiency considerations apply here. But since halogen lights are typically much more direct than incandescent bulbs, LED lights that are designed to replace halogen lights are both more efficient than the halogens they replace, and work well for the direct light that halogen bulbs provide. You can find LED replacement bulbs for the most common halogen fixtures such as GU10 and MR13, and this may be a good place to start the switchover.

LED house light designers work around the issue of the narrow beam of a single LED, by building household LED light bulbs that are a collection of individual LEDs, with each diode aimed at a different angle, so that a wider area is highly illuminated. This increases the area of full light coverage of an LED light. However very few such bulbs provide the breadth of area coverage of existing incandescent bulbs or CFLs and at the same time are bright enough.

Where LED lights outshine existing bulbs is as replacements for lighting that is (or should be) highly directed. For example, a light in a narrow hallway, where the chief point of the light is to show people their way down the hall, would be a good application for LEDs.

Task lighting is another example of an application where LEDs shine. Why light up your entire work room if all you need to see is the tools on the work bench right before your eyes? A couple of LED bulbs hanging above the work area will do the trick nicely. But you can only cost-justify this in energy savings if you live half your life in the workroom.

LED light bulbs are, in theory at least, very durable, when compared to incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs. LED bulb life ranges from 35,000 to 200,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours for a good incandescent light, and 8,000 hours for a CFL. But I have seen many consumer ratings of LED bulbs that report burn-out within a few days of being switched on. Clearly there are some quality problems still to be worked on - yet another good reason for holding off a couple of years before switching wholesale to LEDs.

Whether LEDs will really live up to their long lasting billing remains to be seen - even the 35,000 hour ones would need to be on 24x7 for 4 years before they come close to reaching their advertised range. And LED lights do dim with age - so while a bulb might have a lifetime of 35,000 hours, it won't emit its starting light level for the full 35,000 hours - the older it gets, the less light it will emit. LED lights do decline progressively in light intensity and therefore in efficiency, although they will still be more efficient than either CFLs or incandescent bulbs throughout their life.

The "color temperature" of a light bulb, measured in 'degrees Kelvin', determines human visual response to its light. You are probably comfortable with the yellowish glow of incandescents at around 2800 Kelvin (2800K), even though fluorescent lighting is closer to the natural daylight temperature of 6000K. Any LED with a temperature of 6000K or higher will seem bluish, and any LED with a color temperature above 4000K will appear whiter than an incandescent bulb.

While homeowners are typically worried about how fluorescent or LED lights can make their rooms look blinding white instead of the comforting yellow glow provided by incandescent bulbs, you should remember that a little sacrifice in color temperature will put a big dent in your electricity bill. Be a trend-setter, not a trend-follower - start converting your home lighting to true daylight colors, whether with CFL lights or LED light bulbs. You will be helping your family and friends to switch over, when they find out they won't be the only ones with a slightly bluer light hue in their homes.

Whether you switch a few of your lights to LED lights now, or let the technology and reliability improve, you can count on the fact that LEDs will play an increasing role in lighting our houses in the years ahead. I personally think it makes sense to wait, except in certain special lighting situations where the direct, high-color-temperature light of LEDs is what you're after, and where money is no object. If you just want to save money - or to cut your energy use for environmental reasons - an equal amount of money spent on CFLs, or most other energy efficiency upgrades, will cut your energy bills and carbon footprint more than buying the LED lights now available.

About the Author:

Robin Green runs, a website that helps people find ways to use less energy at home. For more on energy saving LED lights, see LED house lights on Green Energy Efficient Homes.

Article Source: - Lighting Up Your Home With Leds: is it Time to Upgrade?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Green Energy - Save Money on your Electric Bill

The electricity coming to homes in Philly can be improved. Here is a video that shows one way to save on your electric bills.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Safety Movie is warning about use of 2 pin plugs with extension narrow slim sockets

Ever wonder why your plugs have two different size pins? I found this video that shows you what could happen if you were to use an older extension cord plug that still had two equal sized pins. Here in Philly, you can still buy these older cords in some mom and pop hardware stores. It is good to look out for them.

This video demonstrates that 120 V AC can be exposed to human contact if 2 pin plug is fitted incorrectly to slim width extension leads.

This can be very dangerous with children at floor level near where 2 pins are easily available.

Replace your smoke detector every 10 years

Your smoke detector needs to be replaced every 10 years. Old detectors have an increased 3% failure per year. After 10 years that is a 30% chance of failure. CO2 detectors need to be replaced every 5 years. We see it all the time here in Philadelphia. Old homes with old smoke alarms. Even worse, most electricians and home inspectors don't even know to warn home owners!

How to bend conduit

Here is a good video that will show you how to bend an electrical conduit. In Philadelphia, we don't use much conduit in residential wiring, but in other areas of the country everything is installed in conduit.

National Electrical Code Top Ten Tips: Article 100, Definitions

Our remarks in are parentheses. Please note, we do quote from copyrighted material. While the NFPA does allow such quotes, it does so only for the purposes of education regarding the National Electrical Code. This article is not a substitute for the NEC.

These are the 10 NEC definitions we deem most important, based on the pervasiveness of confusion and the potential costs of same.

  1. Ampacity. "The current, in amperes, that a conductor can carry continuously under the conditions of use without exceeding its temperature rating." (Ampacity varies depending on many factors. You must use the appropriate NEC Tables to determine the correct ampacity.)
  2. Bonding. "The permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that ensures electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any current likely to be imposed." (This is not the same as grounding, but bonding jumpers are essential components of the bonding system, which is an essential component of the grounding system. Please note that the NEC does not authorize the use of the earth as a bonding jumper—that’s because the resistance of the earth is more than 100,000 times greater than that of a bonding jumper.)
  3. Continuous Load. "A load where the maximum current is expected to continue for 3 hours or more." (That is the maximum running current, exclusive of starting current.)
  4. Feeder. "All circuit conductors between the service equipment, the source of a separately derived system, or other power supply source and the final branch-circuit overcurrent device." (If there is no branch circuit, a circuit originating at the service equipment is a feeder. This is a common approach for powering large motors.)
  5. Ground. "A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, between an electrical circuit or equipment and the earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth." (Please note, simply driving an electrode into the earth does not constitute grounding a circuit. The ground must be made with respect to the supply—service entrance or separately derived system—because electrons are always trying to get back to the source. See
  6. for more information on this topic.)
  7. Grounded conductor. "A system or circuit conductor that is intentionally grounded." (This conductor isn’t meant to serve as the grounding path. It is simply a conductor that is grounded. The neutral is grounded on the service side of the service transformer.)
  8. Grounding conductor. "A conductor used to connect equipment or the grounded circuit of a wiring system to a grounding electrode or electrodes." (This is your supply "ground wire," not the neutral.)
  9. Grounding equipment conductor. "The conductor used to connect the non-current-carrying metal parts of equipment, raceways, and other enclosures to the system grounding conductor, the grounding electrode conductor, or both, at the service equipment or at the source of a separately derived system." (Note the difference between this and the preceding items.)
  10. Labeled. "Equipment or materials to which has been attached a label…acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction…." (It’s important to read the entire original definition, and distinguish this from "Listed."
  11. Listed. Equipment, materials, or services included in a list…acceptable to the acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction…." (Listing is usually done by an organization like U.L. Most authorities will not recognize an item as Listed unless it is also Labeled. Here, too, reading the entire definition is a useful exercise.)

Learn more about Article 100 with the

Friday, July 17, 2009

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Minimum Lighting Requirements

Author: Jessica Ackerman

A 1620 Plymouth Pilgrim transported in time to the future in
2009 would be pleasantly surprised to find - not the all-purpose
Betty lamps lighting up homes, but lights that not only seem to
issue from nowhere, and which become brighter or darker as if by
magic, but lights of many kinds illuminating rooms in a variety
of tones and intensities. Indeed, there's so much available in
the market today that the Pilgrims of five centuries ago might
be, in a sense, lucky. Having only the Betty lamp, they have a
much easier task lighting their homes than any modern man.

In spite of that, it remains doubtful whether anyone would
exchange places with the Pilgrims and their Betty lamps. In the
area of home lighting, as in probably all other areas of
endeavor, modern man never had it so good. Here are a few more
things you, the modern home decorator, needs to know about


Wall-mounted bracket lights should be enough to illuminate the
area outside the door to enable those inside to see the person
outside. Back entrances should be similarly lighted.

Entry Halls

A 15-watt floodlamp recessed into the ceiling should be enough
to light up a 75-square foot space.


The average hall can be lighted using 40- to 80-watt
incandescents recessed into the ceiling every 10 feet.

Living Rooms

The average-sized living room must have at least four table or
floor lamps of between 100- and 150-watts for table lamps, and
between 150- and 500-watts for the floor lamps. To give enough
background light and to eliminate shadows when using task
lighting, each wall must have around 200 watts. Lamps tasked
with lighting up an entire corner should deliver at least 200

Dining Rooms

Incredibly, chandeliers are best placed in dining rooms. The
chandelier and the dining table are a veritable visual feast and
are the piece de resistance in some homes. Of course, the chief
piece of furniture, the table, has to be lighted. Do this by
having low-wattage recessed downlights on either side of the
chandelier or pendant. Round everything off to perfection using
candles on the table, placed high enough so that the diners
don't have to look through the flame. Often, the dining table
doubles as a study table or a work surface, so illumination from
either the center fixture or other lamps must be increased.
Pendants must be 30 to 36 inches from the table top, and must
have at least 150-watts.


A relatively low-watt, glare-free ceiling fixture is recommended
for the bedroom which is used not only for sleeping, but also
for reading, writing, and sewing. Small bedrooms should make do
with 40-watts, while bigger ones need 100-watts. Mirrors and
dressing tables might have bracket lights. A wall candle holder
on each side of your mirror or dressing table would also be
perfect. It'd also be good to have retractable 100-watt reading
lights on a three-way switch. This reading lamp should be
installed 12 inches from the bed , level with the reader's
shoulder. Use a 100-watt recessed in closets.


Have a central light of at least 150-watts for general
illumination. To avoid the potentially dangerous shadows a
single central light brings, the stove, sink, and counter tops
have to be illuminated separately with at least 40-watts each.

Laundry, Workshop, Garage

In the laundry or home workshop, either fluorescent or
incandescent light may be used over the work area or workbench;
same with the garage.


The mirror is an important lighting center in the bathroom, and
is illuminated using either bracket lights or encircling light
of 60-watt incandescent. Often this should be enough in a small
bathroom, although recessed ceiling lights of 100-watts should
be had as well. If yours is a big bathroom, consider a pair of
wall candle holders bracketing your bathroom mirror.

Study Rooms or Dens

These receive the same lighting provisions as the living room if
as big.

About the author:
Find dozens more articles like this at Wall D5cor and Home
, where you can also find also
tml">contemporary wall art clocks and
">carved wood wall art.

Have Your Electrician Give You a Written Estimate

Author: Andy Electrician

The number one rule to remember whenever there is ever a contract between two people is to get it in writing the same is true when it comes to discussing the specifics of your project with your electrician.

Before you choose an electrician for your project, you should contact several licensed, reputable electricians and have them give you an estimate or a bid. You should make sure that you carefully read the bid and if you have any questions or concerns, discuss them with the electrician before you agree to the project.

The written estimate should have a full explanation of the details involved with the project and you should feel comfortable that you understand what services will be performed, as well as the cost for the repair, labor and equipment if needed. You should also make sure that you feel comfortable with the electrician. When you have an estimate, the electric contractor should be willing to answer all of your questions, and you should feel as if you have been dealing with a professional.

Included in your written estimate should be a complete breakdown about your project and how the electrician is going to repair it. If you and the electric contractor agree on any specific prices, that should be included in the estimate. It is important to understand that your written estimate is a legally binding contract and is enforceable in a court of law. Do not handle the details of your written estimate lightly.

You should also make sure that the written estimate includes detailed information regarding the electricians warranty. Since this is a legal contract, it is enforceable if you have a problem with the work or repair within the timing that is provided by the warranty. Therefore, it is very important that you make certain the written estimate has all of the information that you need and that you receive a copy of it as well.

About the Author:

Search local electricians and Electric contractors in your local area by simply entering your zip code.

Article Source: - Have Your Electrician Give You a Written Estimate

electric shock

Electrical Shocks and Their Results

An electrical shock occurs when an individual comes in contact with two conductors of a circuit. The electrical shock damages are originated by lightning or any electric current from some mechanical equipment passing through the human body. The natural behavior of electricity is to flow from earth or ground toward anything that will conduct the electricity flow. Therefore, experts say that electrical systems must be grounded.

Electricity accidents have fatal results most of the time. A severe electrical shock could cause burns, heart and lungs stop functioning, and nerves damage. In the United States, around 1,000 deaths are caused by electric shocks. The severity of the injury depends on the voltage, the amperage, the type of current, and the body’s resistance. The voltage does not constitute a difference because low voltage could be as dangerous as high voltage. Some people have been killed by shocks of just 50 volts. The brain, the spinal cord, and nerves are the most vulnerable parts to be injured. The neurological problems are the most common consequences of electrical shocks. Some of them could be treated with medical treatment; however, others are permanent. Usually, these problems appear after three years or more.

Respiratory and cardiovascular systems are very susceptible at the moment of the electrical shock. In fact, this kind of accidents could paralyze the lungs and heart actions causing the death immediately. Unfortunately, the amputation is normally required. The smaller veins and arteries dissipate heat less easily than the larger blood vessels and can produce blood clots.

After an electrical shock accident, the person requires close and frequent observation. The person’s condition can fluctuate rapidly. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be required to check some brain injuries. Normally, the electrical shock survivors have to attend a burn center because skin replacement therapy is necessary. Plastic surgery is another solution. Nevertheless, emotional support from relatives and friends are the best treatment for people who have suffered an electrical shock.

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Working as an electrician

Electrician License: Some Details

Working as an electrician could be your opportunity to work. As a result of the population and economy grow, companies, homeowners, government and factories need more electricians. However, if you want to work as an electrician, you must obtain an electrician license. The requirements for getting this authorization depend on the area or state. If you need information about the process, you have to contact the local building department. Maybe, you are thinking about working as electrician. If that is so, here you will find some useful details about this kind of licenses.

This license was established in order to guard public safety and health. Its main goal is to prevent incompetent people from performing this job. This certification is a formal and legal document. Electricians who did illegal or immoral jobs could be sentenced. Moreover, the government can suspend or revoke their license. These licenses need to be renewed, and an inappropriate use can cause automatic termination of the license.

The people who want to get the license have to complete a written exam with questions related to the common tasks to perform and regulations. You will have to study the National Electrical Code which is the same in all states. The test variations between different states are found in the questions related to local laws and rules.

Most of the cities require licensed electricians. This exam may be difficult, especially if you are not prepared. It tests your knowledge of electrical theory, the National Electrical Code (NEC), and any local electric constructions codes. If you want to succeed in this field, you have to take courses on new materials or techniques of installation periodically. The NEC is updated every three years. This book will give the minimum safety standards that electricians need to know and understand in order to start working.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Three way switches work

How to Install a Dimmer Switch : Turning Off Circuit Breaker When Installing A Dimmer Switch

How to remove a broken light bulb

If this doesn't work give us a call a call

Installing an outlet

This will really save lives and change our world

Electrical Fault Circuit Interrupter (EFCI)

Electrical PlugImage by One Tree Hill Studios via FlickrElectrical Fault Circuit Interrupters (EFCI) are designed to protect against top electrical fire ignition causes including poor connections and high resistance points in branch circuit wiring, overloads in utilization equipment and open neutral connections.

1) Detection of wiring faults including poor connections and open neutral connections
2) Detection of overload faults in outlets and utilization equipment
3) EFCI Diagrams (receptacle and fixed wired)
4) Location, location, location...

1) Detection of wiring faults including poor connections and open neutral connections.
These faults can be best detected by analyzing the utilization voltage at outlet locations, not at the service point or head of the circuit. 1,2

EFCI analyzes the line voltage, compares it against both upper and lower safe limits, and disconnects the load when it detects hazardous conditions.3 As a result, EFCI can trip on the creation and the existence of high-resistance points, such as poor connections.

EFCI locks off power at receptacle sockets after detecting a wiring fault. After fault correction, resetting the EFCI restores power.

2) Detection of overload faults in outlets and utilization equipment.
EFCI uses a variable threshold, resettable electronic overload interrupter located inside specially designed electrical outlets, including receptacles and light fixtures, and cord connected or fixed-wired utilization equipment. EFCI can detect overloadconditions in appliances, lamps, cords, strip outlets, and other utilization equipment.4

EFCI automatically matches the overload trip threshold to the utilization equipment rating. EFCI has multiple overload trip levels ranging from 1/3 Amp up to the maximum branch circuit rating.

EFCI locks off power to the load after detecting an overload fault. After fault correction, resetting the EFCI restores power.

3) Location, Location, Location...
To effectively detect high resistance points and open neutral in premise wiring, an EFCI must be located in an electrical outlet downstream of the fault location and in parallel with the load. To detect overloads in utilization equipment wiring, an EFCI must be located in an outlet or similar location close to the utilization equipment.

These faults cannot be detected accurately, if at all, from a service point or the head of a circuit.
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