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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!

Intermittent Electrical Humming Noise or Buzzing Sound in Wall at Night in Norwalk, CT?

When you are living in your home and you start to notice sounds that are not common it can be troublesome. Just like realizing that a cricket has made its way in the house and you can hear it chirp all night long. This can send any sane person bonkers until you are able to find the culprit. The same happens when you start to hear noises that are not the norm. One area of the home that you might start to hear sounds is with your electrical system. When you start to hear a humming sound it can be a part of the home that should be addressed and it is a good idea to find where it is coming from. You can start by shutting the circuits off, and one at a time turning them on and listening for the humming sound. This is a great way to locate where the sound may be generating from. Then you can use more specific ways to find the actual item that needs the attention of an electrician. Now you need to know what could be making this annoying humming sound.

Sentry Electric Outlines What Could Be Causing a Low Frequency Electrical Humming Sound in Your Home

Fluorescent Light Bulbs Buzzing Sound: One of the items that you have around your house are light bulbs and they can be the reason that you are hearing a humming sound. There are many types of light bulbs and some of them actually will make a humming sound such as fluorescent lights. They can have some humming sounds when they are creating light. You also usually have other lights such as canned lights and standard bulbs. The interesting thing is that the bulbs no matter what type can start to make the same humming sound. This is a sign that the bulb may be going out or that the connection is poor. Either way you want to make sure that it receives your attention.
Humming Noise from Light Fixture: Another area of the home that has some chance to make a humming sound are fixtures. A fixture is usually something that is wired into place. It can be a sconce on the wall, fan in the ceiling and more. Anything that is wired and using energy has the chance to make a humming sound and that is why you want to check into your fixtures if you start to hear that sound. You want to make sure that you are aware of what could be making that sound and when you confirm an area you can have the fixtures inspected by a professional.
Electrical Meter Vibrating Sound: If you have electrical meters in your house or around the house that includes electric and gas they can be the culprit. If you have an older meter that is not digital you want to make sure that it has been inspected and checked. You may also want to contact the company that is in charge of that particular meter.

Electrical Humming Sound Troubleshooting, Repairs & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Sentry Electric can come out to your home to inspect for the humming sound and troubleshoot it in order to make the necessary electrical repairs. Call us today!

Are Game Consoles Electric Energy Vampires in Darien, CT? How to Stop Vampire Power

Gamers can spend hours playing on their preferred consoles, and most do not even realize how much electricity is drained, even when they supposedly switched to energy-saving “standby mode.” Most do not realize that these devices are energy vampires, as many home entertainment centers move from traditional cable boxes to video game console-centric hubs capable of streaming, gaming and more. Energy consumed through electronics is often the culprit when it comes to increased energy bills, but few suspect the energy usage concerning the console usage. With this in mind, we at Sentry Electric would like to discuss how game consoles are potentially the energy vampires lurking in your home.

Energy Vampires at Work

As it increases bills, an energy vampire is an electronic device that quietly syphons energy without you getting any use out of it. The average household likely throws away $165 dollars every year due to energy vampires, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, or the NRDC. One of the biggest culprits has become the game console, especially over time. The latest versions of the big-name consoles use three times the energy of the previous generations have. Additionally, more energy drains from these inefficient consoles when they are used to stream the online media options to view movies and shows. For example, one of the most popular consoles will consume 89 watts per hour while streaming video, where another consumes 72 watts per hour. This is roughly 35 times the energy consumption of an TV or dedicated streaming device such as a Roku, this is well above the EnergyStar standard of 50.

How to Cure an Energy Vampire

Luckily, there are ways to prevent these energy vampires from sucking up your hard-earned dollars and consuming the entire output of four large power plants every year. Using the consoles for exclusive gaming is a good place to start saving. With the money saved from not streaming videos, you can invest in a device designed for streaming that does not require energy consumption. Being that video-streaming one the leading consoles idly on standby regularly can drain roughly $140 in energy, this change is a well-worth change. The NRDC recommends going into your system settings to make sure your console automatically shuts down after an hour of inactivity to reduce the idle energy draining from your favorite consoles. Straight up unplugging the consoles during a long trip, or even every day if need be, can further help you save by ensure your systems are completely off by an eye check.

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

To additionally seek greater account of the energy consumption in your household, we at Sentry Electric recommend scheduling a professional energy audit in your home. With a whole house surge protector, you better electronics. Our experienced professionals an find many ways o help you save energy in your home. With plenty of tips and suggestions following your audit, we can help you use less energy while improving the overall efficiency of the electronic system. Call Sentry Electric for any and all of your electrical services.