Great lighting fixtures can make a huge difference in a home or business’s décor. Lighting design is one of our specialties at A-Star Electric and we enjoy using our knowledge to provide as many different options as possible.
Sometimes updating your lighting fixtures may be necessary because they are simply not doing their job properly. Perhaps your cozy reading nook is in the dark, your ambient lighting is far too harsh, or you can’t plug in your lamps in the right places. Other reasons could be that fixtures are too old or damaged from improper use. Old and damaged lighting fixtures can be dangerous, and may also draw far more power than is needed, unnecessarily upping the total cost of your total electricity bill.
What is Overlamping?
An extremely common error we see often is people who have not paid attention to the wattage allowed by their fixtures, using lightbulbs that are over the suggested maximum amount. Overlamping can cause damage to the wiring of the fixture itself, as well as to your electrical system’s wiring in ceiling and wall outlets as the unit’s thermal limits have been ignored. An improper repair we see is the removal of heat-reducing insulation pads, which greatly escalates the chance of a shock or fire.
Not only is overlamping bad for fixtures and your electrical system, it also violates electrical codes. The additional intensity of the bulb can scorch or melt sockets and wiring’s insulation. Without this added protection, arcing is more likely to happen. This is when electricity jumps from one wire to another, and is a main reason electrical fires start.
If your fixture does not have a sticker indicating the maximum wattage of bulb that should be used, first of all, be wary. These stickers are mandatory, and their absence may indicate a fixture that is not up to code. If the sticker has been removed or is lost, a good rule of thumb is to not use a bulb over 60 watts.
When You Should Replace Your Fixtures
A visual sign your lighting fixture should be replaced is the discoloration (usually a brownish look) of its interior. This occurs because of excess heat being trapped in the canopy, which rises upwards and essentially burns the casing and damages wires, conductors, and the conductor insulation. When this happens, it’s time to call an electrician, as often conductors and wiring must be cut back and replaced.
Why You Should Always Go LED
LED bulbs last far longer than incandescent bulbs, and are much safer as well. Some estimates put the lifespan of an LED bulb at 60,000 hours, which amounts to close to seven years of continuous operation. They use up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs, which can make a huge difference in your energy bills. And because they have no filament they do not get overly hot, and work well in extremely warm and cold temperatures.
Moving Light Switches and Outlets
Another part of updating your lighting design may include moving or adding light switches and outlets. We can add switch plates where they are most convenient for you, such as right next to your favourite comfy chair. We can install attractive floor boxes in convenient locations so you never have to run a potentially unsafe extension cord again. Floor boxes come in a number of different colours to match your décor – brass, nickel-plated, black, even faux wood – and are sleek and unobtrusive. Plug in lamps, fans, electric blankets, laptops, and game consoles without having to drag messy cords across a room.
Different Types of Lighting Design
There are three main ways of employing lighting design methods to lighten and brighten your home or business:
Ambient Lighting: Ambient lighting provides the main overhead illumination for a room, and can include ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, and pot lights.
Task Lighting: Task lighting focuses directly on areas where activities are carried out, such as above a desk or underneath kitchen cabinets. Good task lighting will take contrast as well as illumination into account.
Accent Lighting: Mainly for decorative purposes, accent lighting adds visual interest to rooms. Common choices include lamps, torch lights, wall sconces, and track lighting.
Lighting a room well requires a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. How we employ each is dependent on how the room will be used.
Choose A-Star for Your Residential and Commercial Electrical Service
For commercial and residential service in Calgary, A-Star’s Electric’s certified professional home electricians can design lighting to make your home or business beautiful, functional, and efficient. Maximize the benefits of your lighting fixture choices with A-Star.