Monthly Archives: April 2019

Electricity Myths in Greenwich, CT; Conductors, Insulators, Speed, Power Lines & More

Electricity is now a natural part of our everyday lives. We rely on electricity to perform even the most simplest of tasks. Throughout the year many misconceptions and myths are told about electricity. Some of these misconceptions have had dire consequences. Sentry Electric would like to share or correct some of these myths to give a proper understanding about electricity and how to keep your home safer.

Myths About Electrical Conductors & Insulators

In the world of electricity, it is essential to have a proper understanding of insulators and conductors. A conductor allows electricity to flow or pass through while the insulator prevents or stops the flow of electricity. Metallic materials are often used as conductors such as copper wiring. The wiring is covered with an insulator such as a rubber tubing. One of the greatest myths is that rubber and wood can be an insulator. Yes, rubber is used to stop the flow of electricity, but not all rubber is made equal. Many believe that rubber gloves or the rubber on the bottom of shoes can protect them from electricity. This is false. Lots of rubber items such as shoes, and gloves contain synthetic material which can allow the passing of electricity. Wood can stop some of the flow of electricity but not all, and if the wood gets wet, electricity can fully pass through. Electricians use voltage protection gloves that are made with a strong specialized rubber to protect them from high voltage.

Misconception that Electricity is Weightless

The weight of electricity is not common knowledge but a fun fact regardless. Most people believe that electricity doesn’t have any weight at all, but in fact, it does. Electricity actually has mass. The mass is in the electrons that is produced with an electrical charge.

Are Power Lines Insulated?

One myth that needs correcting is that power lines are insulated. Many people see birds safely land on the power lines throughout the city and never get hurt. Just because the power line won’t hurt birds and other animals doesn’t mean they are insulated. Insulating power lines to withstand the amount of voltage is near impossible and very expensive if done. Instead, Power lines are coated with a protective sealer that is designed to prevent weathering. However they are not truly insulated. Birds and smaller animals are not good conductors which is why they are not harmed when they land on power lines.

Speed of Electricity

Many assume that electricity can travel at the speed of light. When lightning flashes it lasts mere seconds and can happen very quickly. However, electricity doesn’t travel nearly as fast as the speed of light. The electrical current that runs through a home actually only travels at 1% of the speed of light which is the equivalent of 1,000 miles per hour. Electricity still travels very fast but not nearly at the speed of light.

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

There are many myths and interesting facts concerning electricity. However, the most important fact is that electricity is dangerous and must be respected. We use electricity every day and it is essential to know how to use electricity safely. Make sure to have regular maintenance and electrical inspections to ensure your home’s safety. For professional electrical services, contact Sentry Electric today.

Circuit Breaker Mapping & Electrical Wiring Diagram Map of Your Stamford, CT House

Any time electrical work or maintenance is done in your home, you will need to shut off one or more circuit breakers. If you don’t, you’ll be working with live circuits that can lead to deadly consequences. For this reason, you must know exactly which one(s) to turn off. The electrical panel in your home should have a clear listing of which circuit corresponds with which area of the home. If you have moved into a new home, you will have no doubts that the information is correct. But what if you are your home’s second or third owner? What if the information is missing or you think it might be incorrect? You may have to “map” your electrical panel to ensure the information is correct to avoid any electrical disasters in the future. The process of mapping the electrical panel in your home will verify what is connected to each circuit by shutting the breakers down one at a time. With a partner and a few items, you can accurately map your homes electrical panel in about an hour and post the new information knowing that it is correct.

How Do Electrical Circuits Work?

Circuits are called circuits because the voltage carried by electrical wiring travels a circuitous path from the electrical panel to the outlet and back again. This hot wire carries electricity from the breaker box to the outlets, light fixtures and the appliances or devices in a certain area of the home. The neutral wire carries it back. If you turn a circuit breaker off, it interrupts the circuit and makes that area safe to work on. Oftentimes, you will find these breakers labeled as “family room” or “master bedroom”.

Map One Circuit Breaker at a Time

Have your partner stand at the panel while you walk through the house and use cell phones to communicate. Label the circuit breakers with permanent marker if they are not clearly numbered before you start. When you walk through the house have a pen, notepad and an outlet tester. An outlet tester will light up when it is inserted into a live outlet. Before you start, turn on all the lights, electronics and appliances. Have your partner shut off one breaker at a time. When one breaker is flipped you should look for deactivated lights, appliances and electronics. Use the outlet tester to check the outlets. Don’t forget the outdoor lights if you don’t find any power cut off inside. Each time you identify what’s on a circuit, make notes.

Create Your Home Electrical Wiring Map

Once you have collected all your information it’s time to make your circuit map. Create a numbered list with a detailed descriptions of the rooms, outlets, fixtures and major appliances connected to each circuit. You could also create a digital map marking the location and number of every electrical source. Print your map, place it in a plastic sleeve and attach it to the door. This makes it easy to replace and will keep it clean and dry.

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

Even if you’ve never pulled a breaker switch in your electrical panel; mapping circuits is a safe and simple task that any homeowner can handle. If you discover anything odd during the process, contact Sentry Electric to complete the job and solve all of your electrical problems.

Different Types of Lighting Fixtures & Systems in Southbury, CT; Ambient, Accent & Task Lights

There are features that you can add throughout your home to make every space in your residence truly work for you. Some areas of your home may currently just be wasted space because they are not being used to their full advantage. Here at Sentry Electric we are experts in how to add lighting to your home to take full advantage of the features in your home. In an effort to make your home as stunning as possible you will definitely need to utilize different types of lighting features. Before you can begin you need to understand the three different types of lighting. Ambient, accent, and task lighting all need to work together to help you create the look that you are dreaming of.

Ambient Lighting in Interior Design

Ambient lighting is also commonly called general lighting. Ambient lighting serves as the primary source of light for the room. It helps improve the sense of warmth and depth of your room. Good ambient lighting will help provide illumination without too much glare. To get the best ambient lighting you will want to use different types of light fixtures. Basic light fixtures like chandeliers, track lights, recessed light, and wall or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures all are excellent choices if you want to add ambient lighting to your home.

Accent Lighting Examples

Accent lighting provides a way for you to illuminate a feature in your home. You may want to accent your artwork, pottery, plants, souvenirs, and more. Accent lighting is meant to make people notice the object you want to highlight without them noticing the actual light. Popular accent light choices are track lighting, picture lights, under the cabinet lights, LED tape lights, and sconces. What type of lighting you decide to use will depend on what you are trying to showcase in your home.

Types of Task Lighting

Task lighting is a lighting that lights a particular area and makes it easier to complete a task. Task lighting is extremely important in areas of your home where you sit and work on a task for long amounts of time. Typically task lighting is an excellent idea in an office space. Lamps are one of the most effective types of task lighting. Lamps give you the ability to move your light to the space where you really need it to be.

Lighting Consultations, Fixture Installations & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

No matter what lighting you are putting in your home you will want to make sure that you think about what you are trying to achieve by adding the light. You will want to choose the location of your lighting carefully. Many times people rush when they are choosing the location of their lighting. If you do not carefully make your decision you can end up with imbalanced lighting in your home. You will also want to take your time selecting the lighting fixtures that you install. Some areas will be better off with understated fixtures while some areas will look best when your light fixture makes a statement. When you are ready to start making decisions regarding the lighting in your home give Sentry Electric a call. We can give you input on what we think would be best for your home. We want to make sure that you love the light fixtures that we install in your home.

Bathroom Lighting Tips in Westport, CT; Mimic Natural Light, Layers, Placement & More

When you are finishing your bathroom space, one of the most important elements is the lighting. The lighting in any space is an important component in creating a usable and flattering space. The bathroom is one of the most important places to have sufficient and wise lighting placements. When you don’t have sufficient lighting in your bathroom, it can be difficult to get a good start to your day. Sentry Electric is here to share some tips to help you make the right lighting selections in your bathroom.

Choose the Best Lighting for Bathroom Makeup & Vanity Mirrors

For some reason, many people put lighting right above their mirror. This is a mistake if you are planning on ever applying any makeup. There will be harsh lighting on your forehead and deep shadows under your eyes. You will find that when you put lighting on the sides of the mirror, you will get an even glow on your skin that will allow you to get ready without those pesky shadows. Women aren’t the only ones effected by shadows either, men need ample lighting to shave, floss and complete other aspects of their routine.

Getting Natural Light into a Dark Bathroom

There is nothing quite like natural lighting in a bathroom. So much so, that if you have a bathroom that doesn’t have any windows in it, you may want to consider getting some natural light with the use of skylights or tube lighting. Sunlight has been proven to help lift moods. There is no better way to start your day than a well lit bathroom.

Try to Mimic Natural Lighting with Light Bulbs

Depending on different types of bulbs, you can mimic natural lighting. Here are the different bulbs and the selections you should make to create a beautiful artificial light that is as close as possible to natural lighting.
LED: In recent years, LED bulbs have come a long way. When choosing this type of bulb, make sure you choose one with a color rendering index (CRI) of 90 or above. You want the color temperature to be between 2700K and 3000K.
Incandescent: Choose bulbs that are labeled “white” in color and the same color temperature that the ideal LED bulbs have.
Fluorescent: This is a good choice for bathrooms as well as long as the CRI is at or above 90 and the temperature is between 2700K and 3000K.

Guide to Layers of Bathroom Lighting

You don’t always need your bathroom to be well lit. In fact, this space is often used in the middle of the night. You need to have layered lighting so that you can enjoy dimmer lights when taking a long soak in the tub and bright lights when you are getting ready for the day. This can be done with a combination of any lighting including sconces, can lighting, chandeliers and task lighting.

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

If you are designing and installing your bathroom lighting, you can rely on the experts at Sentry Electric to help you make your bathroom well lit and beautiful with the right lighting fixtures. Call us today!