Track is Back: How to Incorporate Track Lighting Into Your Home

track lighting

Track lighting was most popular in the 80s, though it is making its comeback with more modern and contemporary looks. It offers a usefulness that is enticing to designers and savvy homeowners. Traditionally used in living rooms, it’s now being installed in kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms where it’s used indirectly by pointing the light source at shelving units, artwork or display cabinets. While it can also be used for general purpose lighting, there are so many other ways to utilize track lighting. Here are three modern ways to incorporate track lighting into your home!

Give Your Home “Curve” Appeal
Although track lighting can be used in straight lines, it can also be fun to take a new twist on it! These days, track lighting can easily be shaped into curvy lines. Not only does this feature make it easy for lighting to be incorporated into irregularly proportioned rooms, but it can also add interest to a space. Additionally, if your home has a one-off room that is difficult to evenly light, there’s sure to be a track lighting system that will do the trick.

Accentuate Accent Walls
Track lighting is a great way to shed light on an accent wall that you have put time and money into creating. For instance, if you have a wall in your living room that features unique decor, track lighting is the perfect way to enhance it; if you have a brick wall in your kitchen, use it to highlight this special asset; if you have a wall covered in chic plants, a track lighting system will bring it to life. While most people don’t think of this type of lighting system as an obvious choice for bedrooms, if your bedroom has an accent wall—either painted a different color, covered in wallpaper or in a different texture—track lighting will make it look that much more special. When it comes to installing this type of system in a bedroom, just be sure to opt for one that can be dimmed so you can control the brightness of the light.

Highlight Hallways
When long, thin hallways are only lit with ceiling mounted light fittings, they can appear to be dark and gloomy. Even if the ceiling mounted light is accompanied by wall mounted lights or a lamp, it still doesn’t make enough of a difference in brightness. Luckily, installing track lighting can transform your dark hallways into the brightly lit hallways of your dreams!

Ready to install track lighting into your home? Let the professionals at Farryn Electric install this comeback lighting system into your home to create a modern and unique space. Contact us today!

 

How to Stay Safe Inside During a Thunderstorm

stay safe during thunderstorm

Photo: j_arred, Flickr Creative Commons

Lightning is beautiful, but also dangerous and potentially deadly. Strikes have killed an average of 67 people a year for the last 30 years in the United States alone. While most people are struck by lightning outside, you are still at risk when indoors during a thunderstorm.

How Lightning Can Enter Your Home

There are three main ways lightning can enter a home: through a direct strike, through the electrical wiring, or through the water pipes. No matter how it enters, once lightning breaches your structure it can travel through your appliances and plumbing.

Here are some tips for staying safe inside your home during a thunderstorm from our experienced electricians:

  • Stay away from the windows – Windows provide a direct path for lightning to travel. Keep windows closed and stay in interior rooms away from windows.
  • Don’t use corded or charging phones – Although most households have ditched the corded phone, they are still a significant danger during a lightning storm. Lightning can enter your home through your phone lines, striking anyone using the phone. Landline phone use, especially in rural areas, is still the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the U.S. Since lightning can also travel through your electrical wiring, do not use a cell phone during a storm if it is plugged in.
  • Avoid contact with concrete floors and walls – Concrete flooring and walls – such as those that make up garages and basements – contain metal reinforcers which can then conduct a lightning strike to anyone in contact with the concrete.
  • Washing dishes can wait – Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. It is advised you refrain from contact with your plumbing, which means no hand washing, no laundry, and no showers.
  • Protect your appliances – Despite popular belief, surge protectors cannot protect your appliances from lightning damage. Unplug easy-to-access, high priced appliances (computer, TV, etc.) BEFORE the storm arrives: you should not touch any electrical outlets while a storm is nearby. Lightning can travel miles through power lines, meaning a strike miles away could reach your house, your property, and you.
  • Stay inside – Even if the weather seems to have cleared, you could still be at risk. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before venturing outside.

For more information on how to protect yourself from lightning, both inside and outdoors, there is a list of helpful tips on the CDC website.

Keep Your Home Safe with the Most Trusted Electrician at Farryn Electric

If your home has suffered a direct lightning strike or has been damaged by residual electricity from a nearby strike, call Farryn Electric today. We can inspect your electrical system for damage such as melted wires and make any necessary repairs.

If you are worried that your electrical system is out of date or in need of repair, we can give you a free estimate on a system upgrade. We also offer generators so that you never have to worry about power outages from severe storms.

For all your electrical needs, call Farryn Electric at 484-316-0449.

Tips for Outdoor Lighting Maintenance

Tips-for-Outdoor-Lighting-Maintenance

I cannot stress enough the importance of yearly outdoor electrical check ups to ensure safety and functionality. Here are a few tips I would like to share with you. If you would like Farryn Electric, LLC to do this for you, please give us a call 484-316-0449.

Upgrade Burned-Out Lamps

Start by replacing any or all lamps that have burned out. An easy, fairly low-cost solution is to replace any medium-base incandescent lamps with screw-base CFLs, unless your building is in a cold climate where compact fluorescents are less effective. If your budget allows, consider replacing the fixture with long-lasting HID or LED lamps – their long lifetimes mean they require less frequent replacement, and the ensuing labor savings and lower energy consumption justify the slightly higher input cost.

A few ways to cut costs for lamp replacement in fixtures is to follow a relamping schedule, and replace all lamps at the same time. This way, the cost of equipment transportation is reduced. Another way to cut costs is to make sure the fixtures are not on when they are not supposed to be. A common way of dealing with lamps being on during the day is to use timers. Alternatively, photo sensors turn the lights on and off automatically.

If you notice that your fixtures are too far gone meaning excessive corrosion, the mechanical integrity has been compromised, or the lenses are broken or missing – then replacing the fixture might be the only option. Sometimes replacement is less expensive than repairs.

General Maintenance

Once you’ve replaced those lamps, take a look at the ones that are underperforming. Check to see how clean the fixtures are. If any are significantly dirty, start cleaning – you may be surprised at the results.

Start with the glass or plastic lens, cleaning both sides thoroughly. See if it’s possible to get any dirt off the internal reflectors. Then, check the gaskets to make sure they’re working as intended – if you find too much dirt inside the fixture, it could signal that the gaskets are not performing up to code.

Typically, whenever the bulb is replaced, you’d hope the electrician would wipe the lens off, we do at Farryn Electric. I’ve walked up to many fixtures at many homes that have a bulb that’s working, but the fixture’s just filthy. You’re paying for the electricity, but you’re not getting the light!

Electrical Safety In and Around Your Home

home-electrical-safety

Severe weather of any kind can cause problems for a homeowner; especially in winter. Aside from the obvious clearing snow from rooftops and driveways, you should make sure the rest of your home is secure when winter weather arrives. Farryn Electric has 5 Electrical Safety tips you should know about winter electrical maintenance.

TIP #1 – Home generator systems should have routine maintenance to ensure functionality. No it will not maintain itself, hopefully one day! The area around the generator should be clear of any debris, the oil needs to be changed as recommended on the manufacturer’s manual. Proper maintenance is encouraged to include having a skilled electrician out annually to professionally calibrate and maintain your generator. If you need a recommendation, I know a FABULOUS ONE 😉

TIP #2 – Before and after a winter storm, be sure to check outdoor outlets and cords for exposure and damage. Any fixture for example security lighting and landscape lighting should be checked for any signs of rust or frayed wiring. If you perceive any damage – promptly have it fixed.

TIP #3  – Light fixtures ought to have the correct bulb type with the proper wattage. I used to think… bulb lamp aha finally lights on and kids aren’t screaming they are afraid of the dark! Little did I (Stephanie) know using the correct bulb extends the life of both fixtures and bulbs as well as prevents fire. (Dan was ever so delighted to explain)

TIP#4 – Older electrical systems can have many issues mainly outdated code standards and over or undersized breakers. We at Farryn Electric provide free safety inspections and comprehensive estimates for our customers. Realtors maybe interested in making this information known to their clients buying an older home.

TIP #5 –  Fire Alarm safety, I cannot stress this enough = DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT BEEPS CONTINUOUSLY AT 3AM; It’s annoying for one, and NOT the safest way to ensure your smoke detectors are functioning properly. Test them monthly to ensure they work properly! Replace the batteries every 6 months. Check the expiration dates… yes they do expire usually a 10 year life expectancy, however, older models expire in 2-3 years.

Adding or Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

electrical panel

If you have recently purchased a home with an older panel or your current panel cannot supply the amount of power you need, then you might need to upgrade the panel or install a new one. The minimum requirement for an electric breaker panel is 100 amps. Panels come in 100, 150, 200 and 400 amp capacities. Old panels, especially those with the old glass fuses, are prone to tripping and can pose a fire hazard. Remember to choose a panel that exceeds your electricity needs so you won’t tax your electrical system, which can cause outages, or worse, a fire. Your electrician can advise you on whether your panel can be upgraded or needs to be replaced. Keep in mind that an old style fuse box cannot be upgraded and must be replaced with a new panel.