Monthly Archives: May 2018

Where to Place Line or Low Voltage Landscape Lighting in Westport, CT; Design & More

Do you get to see your yard when you get home from work? Adding landscape lighting to your yard gives you the ability to see and enjoy your yard even after dark and adds a sense of security. There are several options you can choose from including the now more popular LED energy efficient lighting, low voltage fixtures, and solar powered light fixtures! In-ground lighting is versatile, aesthetically pleasing and fairly simple to have installed. It is easy to change up the look of the lighting by simply changing out the lens that is used on the fixture without having to replace the whole system. You can mount lighting to posts, columns, walls, or even have a free hanging style lighting. The possibilities are endless!

Line VS Low Voltage Landscape Lighting

There are two main types of lighting available today, the traditional 120v line lighting illuminates brighter light, but requires a trench to be dug through your yard about 18 inches deep by a professional. It has a higher operating cost than the new 12v lighting, but bulbs and dimmers are less expensive. Then there is the extra low 12v line lighting that is easier to install, only requiring you to dig a few inches down to bury the cords to avoid falling hazards and yard trimming equipment getting caught up in the line offering a way that is less destructive to your yard. A 12v line has lower operating costs and the bulbs will last longer than in the 120v lighting. 12V lighting is more beneficial in areas that have a lot of moisture than 120v lighting and operates well in wet conditions.

Where to Place Landscape Lighting

You can add lighting almost anywhere in your yard, however it is not recommended for you to mount lighting directly to a tree as it can cause damage to the tree. Instead you can opt for a strap mounted system that can be adjusted to grow with the tree without causing unneeded damage. You can also light up a tree from the ground using an up-lighting technique. Spot lights can create a focal point to areas you’d like to be on display, you can even conceal your lighting under rocks or decorations to give it a more natural feel. Artisan lights allow you to choose different color lights and come in an array of styles giving you the unique ability to have a rainbow of colors in your very own yard! If colorful lighting isn’t your cup of tea, Chinese lanterns or clear globes set a calming ambiance and are an attractive feature with more natural color lighting. Underwater lighting can accent water gardens, fountains or garden ponds so your water features can be on display 24/7!

Lighting Consultants, Installation & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Unsure of what lighting is right for you? Sentry Electrical can help you decide what’s right for your yard and take the hassle out of figuring it out on your own! So, light up your life and give us a call today!

Flickering Lights is Often an Electrical Wiring Problem & Fire Hazard in Norwalk, CT

There are few that seem to notice the very subtle effect of flickering lights where as to most folks; it is an annoying distraction that sends us into madness. If not corrected, depending on the underlying source of the issue, it could lead to serious safety hazards. We at Sentry Electric would like to take the opportunity to discuss flickering lights in your home.

Flickering Lights Meaning?

Based on the amount of power that comes in through the lines that lead into your home, all the lights will flicker to some extent. Regular flickering lights often suggest power use or connection dilemmas. The electric supply from the lights is being siphoned to power on an appliance, like an air conditioner for example. This is due to the unit being at the maximum amperage.

Lights Flicker when Dishwasher or Dryer Starts

Another problem that faults either the electrical panel or the meter is when the lights are flickering in unrelated issues to large appliances kick starting on. The light bulb itself or the socket can be the source if one room of light bulbs is dimming and others are not. To confirm the theory, replace the bad bulb and if the problem persists, the circuits will need to be evaluated and corrected by a licensed electrician.

Troubleshooting Flickering Lights in One Room or Whole House

Depending on the type of bulb, flickering lights can be a challenge. Though LED lights are replacing the fluorescent light bulbs, both can experience the flicker. Being different in nature, the causes will be different, which will make rectifying the issue different.
Fluorescent Light Flickering – To troubleshoot flickering fluorescent bulbs, it is often the light bulb coming to the end of its lifespan, or the starter in an old fixture wearing out. You can test both the bulb and fixture to determine which the culprit is and get it replaced if you happen to be electrical savvy and have the equipment to do so.
LED Lights Flickering – To troubleshoot the LED lights that are flickering, though some would believe it to be a challenge, start by replacing light bulbs that have dark spots. The flicker is typically from the voltage changes in the power supply to the light. It is likely because the bulb itself isn’t compatible with the connecting switch, for instances a dimmer switch.

How to Fix & Repair Flickering Lights

You can definately significantly reduce the frequency of flickering, but it can be near impossible to stop it altogether. Reducing a serious issue can help you avoid risks of fires and other hazards associated with circuits and wiring. Replacing the fixture is the best option with fluorescent lights that flicker. When replacing the fixture, keep in mind that LED lights are replacing the fluorescent lights that are being phased out. When the LED light flickers, start at the power supply to remedy the issue, particularly if the flickering lights are sharing power supplies with air conditioning or other major appliances.

Electrical Wiring & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

In many cases, having an experienced electrician helping you correct the flickering lights will be your better option because we have the skills, equipment, and expertise to pinpoint the issues and rectify the situation. Call Sentry Electric today if you are experiencing an issue with flickering lights or other electrical components.

Home Automation System Ideas in Darien, CT; Smart Outlets, Advanced Surveillance & More

Domotics, or home automation is just what it sounds like. It is the ability to control the things in your home by voice or smart device. In the early 1900’s electric power distribution made home appliances possible. This opened up a new way of life for people and brought a convenience of saving hard-working people valuable time they needed, to tend to other things. The washing machine came to be in 1904 and shortly thereafter came the refrigerator, sewing machine, dishwasher clothes dryer and so on. Most of us love living in the day and age that we do. We couldn’t be alive at a better time, right? Technology surrounds us, everywhere we look things are evolving and becoming more convenient. From smart phones to smart homes, we’ve really got it made. We have just about everything at our fingertips. Back in the 90’s the things we have access to today were portrayed on the television shows we watched, or in the magazines we read. Now those dreams have become a reality. We can control just about everything in our home from our smart phone or by voice. Don’t want to get up to turn off that light? You don’t have to! If you haven’t began upgrading your home with smart features, you’re really missing out! Today Sentry Electric has compiled a list of our favorite smart devices that can be installed with the help of our experienced electricians.

Smart Home Automation Products

1: Smart Blinds– These are controlled by solar powered sensors that detect direct sunlight and will close your blinds automatically to avoid unnecessary heat entering your home, saving you money in energy costs. You can also control them via switch with a Bluetooth remote.
2: Light Occupancy Sensors– Gone are the days when you had to tell your children to shut off the lights when they’re done. Light occupancy sensors sense motion and will turn on the lights when one enters the room and will automatically shut off when it senses the room is empty. These are affordable too.
3: Wi-Fi Smart Light Bulbs– You can control the color and brightness of the bulbs from the convenience of your smart phone or smart device.
4: Smart Thermostats– Are you ever guilty of rushing out the door to get to work and remembering half way there you forgot to turn up the air? Thank goodness for smart thermostats that you can digitally and remotely adjust your heating and cooling settings from just about anywhere. You can even set it up to detect when you’re almost home and have it start heating or cooling to your desired temperature.
5: Smart Outlets– Now you can control energy sucking devices remotely to conserve power in your home. Electronics like gaming consoles can use up a ton of energy even when they are in the off position. You can control these via smart device and Wi-Fi or set it to an automatic timer as well.
5: Advanced Surveillance Systems– Get Hi-Def picture and sound quality to monitor your homes at all times with the newest advancement in home security. Controlled via WI-FI, voice recognition, or smart device. These high-tech systems require an experienced electrician to install for optimal performance.

Electrical Wiring & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

There we have it, chances are if you are reading this today, then you have considered upgrading your home to the latest and greatest. Call Sentry Electrical today and schedule your in-home assessment and get on the road to a smarter home!

Advantages of a Central Vacuum System Installation with Power Unit in New Canaan, CT

You would be hard pressed to find someone that would say they don’t love a clean house. Vacuuming is an important part of keeping a house clean. Consider installing a central vacuum system for improved air quality, reduced noise, less effort in cleaning and a much cleaner home to live in.

What is a Central Vacuum System?

A central vacuum system works similar to your central air conditioner. There are vents in every room that blows cool air into the rooms. The cool air comes from a central blower fan and condensing unit. Now consider a reversal in that flow. When a vacuum hose is attached to a suction vent in a room, the central air pulls dirt, dust and debris back to the collection point. This is almost always outside the home somewhere. PVC piping is used to run the system for each inlet port and back to the central unit. The inlet ports all branch off from a main line.

Advantages of a Central Vacuum System

Increased Suction Power – Central vacuum systems are a popular option due to the increased suction power they provide over portable vacuum cleaners. A typical portable vacuum cleaner uses an airflow between 60 and 90 cfm (cubic feet per minute). A central vacuum system has an airflow of up to 185 cfm! The reason there’s so much power is that the motor is much larger.
Ease of Use – Another benefit with central vacuum systems is the fact you don’t have to lug a heavy vacuum cleaner everywhere. You also don’t have to deal with a long cord, broken belts and changing dirty bags. All you have to do with a central vacuum system is taking a light hose from room to room. When the hose is plugged in one of the inlet ports, the vacuum automatically starts working and then stops when you pull the hose out.
Better Cleaning – Increased suction power means better cleaning because more dust and dander is removed. Portable vacuum bags can leak dust back into the room. This doesn’t happen with a central system resulting in a cleaner home, less allergenic home.
Quieter – These systems are also a lot quieter than portable cleaners because the motor is located outside the home and the unit insulated to dampen the sound. This makes noise almost non-existent.
Economical – Newer vacuum cleaners are getting more and more expensive, making central systems more economical. Sometimes a similar price can mean a huge increase in suction power and the value of your home can increase up to $2000 when you install a central vacuum system.

Central Vacuum Systems & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

These advantages make central vacuum systems very popular addition to many homes. There are systems that can fit any budget. Central vacuum systems are easy to plan, easy to do and can be installed in any home, new or old. Central vacuum systems typically come with lifetime warranty which means very little or no maintenance required. They can last forever! Contact Sentry Electric to learn more about installing a central vacuum system in your home.