Monday, November 30, 2009

More Happy Customers!

It was great receiving this feedback postcard from this customer from Media, PA. She had had us out over the summer to help her to replace an exterior light post and while we were there she had our tech work up an estimate for some customized lighting in her home. We recently went out and completed the job which included inside cabinet bookcase lighting and it makes us very happy to know she is so pleased.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Come and join us and the PSCA this holiday

We are proud to support PSCA's Holiday stroll through the Neighborhood.This is a fun event in the South Philadelphia/Italian market area of the city. Neighbors open the door of their home to show other residents of Philadelphia what they have done with their homes. Most offer their guest a drink and a snack. All donations go towards supporting the Passyunk Square Civic Association. Please join us.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We can help you out of the dark.

Here is a picture of John, one of our techs, working in the dark with his LED head lamp strapped to his head. As electrician we often find our selves working in the dark.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Turkyday electric slide???

While doing some internet searching on fun electrical tidbits to keep our readers entertained we came across this video of a family having a good time on Thanksgiving doing the classic 80’s line dance “The Electric Slide”. Remember this gem from your junior high/high school dances or nearly every wedding you attended in the 80’s and 90’s? If not, The Electric Slide was a popular Four Wall Line Dance (meaning the movement will have you facing all 4 walls of a room) choreographed by Ric Silver a couple of decades back. Take a look at these folks:

Also we would like to extend our warmest Thanksgiving greetings to you and yours this holiday!

P.S. If you are a fan on our facebook and have not taken our “Shockingly Fun Trivia” yet we may have just given away one of the answers……

P.P.S. And if you aren’t a fan on facebook yet you should be! Click this link to become a fan and gain access to exclusive offers and content only available to our fans! (*Needs a link to our FB page)

This guy was silly.

"If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching television by candle light"  --George Gobel

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The difference in Electrical Wires

This video is about electrical wires. It describes common types, configurations of wire, and wire terminology. It explain the gauge system of rating wire size (diameter), circular mils, current capacity, and others.

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I don't get it.

"I compare the Twist to the electric light, The Twist is me, and I'm it. I'm the electric light." --Chubby Checker.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Funny electrician prank

This exactly how our guys work. It really is a shame they don't look so good out of uniform.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The King (elvis) was an electrician!!

  • As a young man, he studied to be an electrician. After graduating from high school, Elvis took a job as a truck driver for Crown Electric Company. He began taking courses to become an electrician. Fortunately for music fans, his music career took off and he was able to leave his vocational studies behind.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

He was funny.

Electricity is really just organized lightning.  --George Carlin

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nikola Tesla

"Even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of a living principle within. Everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside." - Nikola Tesla

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

The “AFCI” is an arc fault circuit
interrupter. AFCIs are newly-developed
electrical devices designed to protect
against fires caused by arcing faults in the
home electrical wiring.

Annually, over 40,000 fires are attributed
to home electrical wiring. These fires
result in over 350 deaths and over 1,400
injuries each year1. Arcing faults are one
of the major causes of these fires. When
unwanted arcing occurs, it generates high
temperatures that can ignite nearby
combustibles such as wood, paper, and
Arcing faults often occur in damaged or
deteriorated wires and cords. Some causes
of damaged and deteriorated wiring include
puncturing of wire insulation from picture
hanging or cable staples, poorly installed
outlets or switches, cords caught in doors
or under furniture, furniture pushed against
plugs in an outlet, natural aging, and cord
exposure to heat vents and sunlight.

The oultet to the left should be a GFCI outlet...Image via WikipediaHOW THE AFCI WORKS
Conventional circuit breakers only respond to overloads and short circuits; so they do not
protect against arcing conditions that produce erratic current flow. An AFCI is selective
so that normal arcs do not cause it to trip.
The AFCI circuitry continuously monitors current flow through the AFCI. AFCIs use
unique current sensing circuitry to discriminate between normal and unwanted arcing
conditions. Once an unwanted arcing condition is detected, the control circuitry in the
1 Ault, Singh, and Smith, “1996 Residential Fire Loss Estimates”, October 1998, U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission, Directorate for Epidemiology and Health Sciences.
AFCI trips the internal contacts, thus de-energizing the circuit and reducing the potential
for a fire to occur. An AFCI should not trip during normal arcing conditions, which can
occur when a switch is opened or a plug is pulled from a receptacle.
Presently, AFCIs are designed into conventional circuit breakers combining traditional
overload and short-circuit protection with arc fault protection. AFCI circuit breakers
(AFCIs) have a test button and look similar to ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
circuit breakers. Some designs combine GFCI and AFCI protection. Additional AFCI
design configurations are anticipated in the near future.
It is important to note that AFCIs are designed to mitigate the effects of arcing faults but
cannot eliminate them completely. In some cases, the initial arc may cause ignition prior
to detection and circuit interruption by the AFCI.
The AFCI circuit breaker serves a dual purpose – not only will it shut off electricity in the
event of an “arcing fault”, but it will also trip when a short circuit or an overload occurs.
The AFCI circuit breaker provides protection for the branch circuit wiring and limited
protection for power cords and extension cords. Single-pole, 15- and 20- ampere AFCI
circuit breakers are presently available.

The 1999 edition of the National Electrical Code, the model code for electrical wiring
adopted by many local jurisdictions, requires AFCIs for receptacle outlets in bedrooms,
effective January 1, 2002. Although the requirement is limited to only certain circuits in
new residential construction, AFCIs should be considered for added protection in other
circuits and for existing homes as well. Older homes with aging and deteriorating wiring
systems can especially benefit from the added protection of AFCIs. AFCIs should also
be considered whenever adding or upgrading a panel box while using existing branch
circuit conductors.
AFCI circuit breakers should be installed by a qualified electrician. The installer should
follow the instructions accompanying the device and the panel box.
In homes equipped with conventional circuit breakers rather than fuses, an AFCI circuit
breaker may be installed in the panel box in place of the conventional circuit breaker to
add arc protection to a branch circuit. Homes with fuses are limited to receptacle or
portable-type AFCIs, which are expected to be available in the near future, or AFCI
circuit breakers can be added in separate panel boxes next to the fuse panel box.

AFCIs should be tested after installation to make sure they are working properly and
protecting the circuit. Subsequently, AFCIs should be tested once a month to make sure
they are working properly and providing protection from fires initiated by arcing faults.
A test button is located on the front of the device. The user should follow the instructions
accompanying the device. If the device does not trip when tested, the AFCI is defective
and should be replaced.

The AFCI should not be confused with the GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter. The
GFCI is designed to protect people from severe or fatal electric shocks while the AFCI
protects against fires caused by arcing faults. The GFCI also can protect against some
electrical fires by detecting arcing and other faults to ground but cannot detect hazardous
across-the-line arcing faults that can cause fires.
A ground fault is an unintentional electric path diverting current to ground. Ground
faults occur when current leaks from a circuit. How the current leaks is very important.
If a person’s body provides a path to ground for this leakage, the person could be injured,
burned, severely shocked, or electrocuted.
The National Electrical Code requires GFCI protection for receptacles located outdoors;
in bathrooms, garages, kitchens, crawl spaces and unfinished basements; and at certain
locations such as near swimming pools. A combination AFCI and GFCI can be used to
satisfy the NEC requirement for GFCI protection only if specifically marked as a
combination device.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

CleanPower from Waves

As the conventional sources of energy are dwindling, scientists are continuously looking for alternative sources of energy. We are frequently reading about generation of alternative and clean energy from unconventional sources. Portugal built Agucadoura, the world’s first wave farm off its coast. This wave farm has three Wave Energy Converters which are producing a total of 2.25MW.
f we can trap the wave power of oceans as a new alternative energy resource most of our energy crisis can be resolved. It is estimated that if we can install these 142m long wave energy converters all over the world’s oceans, 2 terawatts of power can be harnessed — twice the consumption of the entire world. We all know that this kind of alternative energy solution will be quite impractical to implement but we can definitely trap the ocean wave clean powerhouses for small-scale rollout. These types of alternative energy resources can provide the necessary respite for an energy-starved planet.

Currently four cylindrical caterpillar-look-alike converters are being used to harness the wave power. These carbon steel cylindrical wave energy converters are 142m long and weigh 700 ton. They are designed and built by Pelamis Wave Power generating a total of 2.25MW. These wave energy converters produce clean electricity for 1,500 homes at peak hours. The Agucadoura station will open another 25 Pelamis units later on, thus generating 21MW of power. They will save 60,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to a conventional fossil fuel plant. Humankind has realized that ocean waves can prove to be good alternative energy resources.

Each wave converter consists of four articulated sections. When the waves move up and down these four sections move too. At the hinges between sections, hydraulic rams utilize the wave motion to drive generators, producing power. This energy is transported by underwater electrical cable to the Agucadoura substation and fed into the Portuguese national grid.

Electricity 101

About the Lecture

The inimitable Walter Lewin gives a literally hair-raising performance in this MIT Museum lecture/demonstration for learners young and old. He unveils the real meaning behind words and things most of us use everyday without reflecting on what marvels they really represent.

Here are some of the mysteries exhibited, explored, and explained in this talk: How can you make two perfectly normal balloons zoom apart from each other? What happens when you connect a 12-volt light bulb to a 110-volt outlet? If you toss a handful of confetti onto a comb, why does some of it stick and some of it fly away? What’s the best way to make sure your flashlight will work the next time you really need it? (If you guessed putting in new batteries, go to the back of the class.)

Lewin is at his electrifying best when working with children from the audience. He gives a 12-year-old girl the worst hair day of her life, and offers a young boy 10 cents for 10 hours of backbreaking labor. But Lewin reaches a new high (low?) when he repeatedly beats one of his young assistants with a swatch of cat fur. Lewin doesn’t exempt himself from the torture, though: he even makes a serious attempt to electrocute himself with a 150,000-volt Van der Graaf generator.

Lewin indulges the armchair physicist who’s mathematically challenged, by covering all the basics of electricity and magnetism while introducing just one equation. If you’re still undecided, check out some of the unique special effects – sparks, flashes, smashes, and more –pinpointed in the Video Index. Keep watching, and you will find out why Walter Lewin was recently honored with MIT’s Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

With the addition of this video to MIT World, Lewin has a total of 100 lectures available on line--94 at OpenCourseWare and 6 at MIT World.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Shockinly Fun Triva

Just for fun we built an app for our facebook page that is a pop trivia challenge. It is all focused around movies, music and general popular culture.

I want to invite you to come and take the quiz

Shockingly Fun Trivia

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pickles the new light bulb???

We have all seen High Pressure Sodium lights. They are normally the orange colored lights that use for security in commercial application and street lights. The same sodium that get excited in that type of light is all so found in you common kosher pickle. When electricity pass across sodium the atoms discharges an orange light. The works in a light fixture and it also works in the pickle in this video.
Please not the steam coming from the pickle. That same steam could come off of you if you were to do this experiment yourself. This is not something you should do at home.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Electricity without wires????

This is a great video to watch. Eric Giler showcases Wireless Technology at TED Conference July 2009. My desk and entertainment center will look so much better when this technology gets developed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Child safe outlet.

2400 children under 10 a year are hospitalized for tampering with outlets. Outlets with "child-proof caps" are not proven safe, because children can easily remove the caps and stick something into the outlet. The best solution: TAMPER RESISTANT OUTLETS. These outlets are different from regular outlets because you actually have to put both prongs of a plug in at the same time for the outlet to create electricity. This means that if your child sticks a fork in one side of the outlet, there will be no shock. As of January 1, 2008, all new homes are required by the National Electric Code to contain only these types of outlets. They are a quick and easy upgrade for your older home, simply call your local electrician to come over and replace your old outlets with new, safer receptacles.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lighting Ideas Just For Your Bathroom

An American bathroom of a freshly renovated ho...Image via Wikipedia

Lighting Ideas Just For Your Bathroom

Author: Kimberly Quang
Believe it or not, your bathroom lighting ideas can earn you a reputation for exquisite designing skills with your family and friends. Creating serenity, comfort, and aesthetics is easy once you learn the basic ideas of bathroom lighting and how to combine individual lighting pieces into impressive decorative schemes. By coordinating atmosphere, functionality, and highlighting, your bathroom lighting ideas will become the decorative talk of the town when your guests notice how much the one room that everyone visits stands out in your home.

Before making your next purchase, take time to consider the overall atmosphere you wish to create. Decide how your bathroom should feel; then visualize ideas for bathroom lighting that will create the desired tone. Do you want to emphasize coziness or spaciousness? Do you want to stress comfort, relaxation, or utility? Residential Landscape and Lighting has products for all sensibilities. For serenity, consider the ambience of a low voltage mini pendant lamp in the center of the ceiling. If you want to create a sense of greater space, try one of our newer models with multiple, cascading bulbs. Or, try one of the newest trends in bathroom lighting ideas by hanging a chandelier. We have a great variety of models and shade designs to create the perfect centerpiece.

Another key to developing superior ideas for bathroom lighting is functionality. A dark shower area or poorly lit vanity can bring a sense of heaviness or depression to the room. Change it to a feeling of joy by adding a vanity light above the mirror. Residential Landscape and Lighting has models to represent every bathroom lighting idea imaginable. Our selection ranges from our simple and efficient three light vanities to the classic European look of our Aracruz models. In addition to vanity lighting, there is an impressive array of recessed lights for illuminating all types of showers and bathtubs. These lights provide strong, clear illumination without the obtrusiveness of overhead fixtures. Lighting ideas for bathroom showers find excellent expression in this less-is-more approach.

Finally, top off your bright ideas for bathroom lighting with some original highlighting choices that are out of this world. There are two ways you can accomplish this. One approach is to install lights that feature such exquisite design work that they function as decorations in and of themselves. Another approach is to richly decorate your bathroom with prints, photography, or fine wallpaper and use art lighting to highlight your decorum. We can accommodate either one of these ideas for lighting the bathroom with a number of selections that will enhance your favorite print, bring out the colors of your wallpaper, or showcase a unique aesthetic piece as a stand-alone.

Of course, no design for bathroom lighting can neglect the shower. Both as a safety feature and an aesthetic key element to your bathroom lighting design, the shower light needs to clearly illuminate your bathtub and all bath accessories. Stay consistent with what you have already established in your bathroom lighting design by placing a low voltage recessed light or frosted glass domed light with reflector above the shower.

The good news is: coming up with new ideas for bathroom lighting design is not as hard as you think. Nor is it difficult to find the products once you have visualized the outcome.
About the Author:
To learn more visit our bathroom lighting ideas section or read more about bathroom lighting ideas.
Article Source: - Lighting Ideas Just For Your Bathroom
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