Why Consider a Lighting Retrofit for Your Home?

January 30th, 2015

Have you ever wondered how nice it would be to get the most from your home’s lighting, both indoor and outdoor? The fixtures may be great, but the life of your light bulbs and cost to keep them on may have you wondering if there is a way to maximize the life of the bulb while reducing your costs. The answer is yes, there is: by scheduling a lighting retrofit for your home in Avon.

What Is a Lighting Retrofit?

A lighting retrofit is a package of hardware that installs right into your current light fixtures that allows the light bulb to operate with better efficiency. Kits include different pieces of hardware, including brackets, fasteners, screws, sockets and a reflector; the reflector helps direct the light precisely for maximum illumination. Additional parts that may be needed are ballasts, which is something your technician will determine.

Why Not Just Redesign?

Redesigning your lighting is an option, but if you are happy with both your lighting layout and fixtures, a lighting retrofit may be a better way to go. A retrofit allows you to keep your current fixtures and lighting design; the retrofit simply enhances the ability of your current light fixtures to perform better. As such, a retrofit can save you a considerable amount of money over a new lighting redesign.

What Are the Benefits of Retrofitting?

Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider retrofitting the lighting in your home:

  • Better energy efficiency – retrofitting allows you to use better-performing light bulbs, so you can see an energy savings of up to 30%.
  • Less bulb changing – newer, longer lasting bulbs that fit with your retrofit kit will last for tens of thousands of hours; instead of changing a light bulb every three months, you can change one every few years.
  • Stronger illumination – the retrofit kit and bulbs are designed to illuminate better and more precisely, which helps you and your home be safer and more secure.

If you’ve been looking to get more from your home’s lighting, call Electrical Connection, Inc. today and schedule an appointment for our lighting service for your Avon home.

Can Outdoor Lighting Make My Home More Secure?

January 21st, 2015

Many people look at outdoor lighting as a decorative addition, but the truth is that a good outdoor lighting plan adds a level of security to a home along with warmth and attractiveness. Well-lit areas typically ward off potential thieves and also allow you and your loved ones to see at night, no matter the time of year. By keeping certain design aspects in mind along with a focus on security, your professional outdoor lighting technician in Berlin, CT can create great outdoor lighting for your home that also offers a level of security:

Placement

The placement of outdoor lighting is important. While many properties tend to use highly-placed, bright lights, there are other locations that lighting can, and should, be placed to maximize security. Some locations include in or behind shrubbery; up and down walkways; inside all doorways; under steps and ledges; and at the base or in the canopy of trees.

Use Sensors and Timers

Sensors and timers are great for making sure your lighting comes on as soon as it starts to get dark. One type of sensor called a photosensor can detect when daylight is diminishing and automatically turns on your outdoor lighting in accordance with the day’s disappearing light. Timers can be set to turn the lights on and off at a specific time, ensuring that you’ll have light when you need it.

Install Shielded Fixtures

It may seem counter-intuitive to install lighting fixtures that have some light shielding on them, but there’s a reason for this: glare. Outdoor lights that do not have any shielding can create tremendous glare that negates the point of having a light in the first place.

Use Different Types of Light Bulbs

There are a number of different types of light bulbs available for homeowners, including LED, vapor, solar and high-wattage bulbs. Mixing the bulbs to maximize your outdoors can create a lighting plan that highlights your home while also creating security.

Working with an expert is the best way to ensure that your outdoor lighting does what you need it to. Call Electrical Connection, Inc. today and schedule an appointment for outdoor lighting installation in Berlin, CT with one of our trained experts.

When Should I Schedule Generator Installation?

January 13th, 2015

Generators are a great tool for those in the right circumstances. However, they aren’t necessary for everyone. As such, the first thing you need to do when considering generator installation is consider why you need it in the first place. The question should not be “when should I install my generator?” but “do I actually need one?” Once you answer the latter question, the answer to the former is simple: right away. Let’s examine the reasons why you might install a generator as soon as possible.

A Need for Reliable Power

This is really the entire point of having a generator. There are places across the country where electricity is not a guarantee, especially during inclement weather like snowstorms or hurricanes. Unfortunately, it is precisely during those times that you need power the most. A generator will keep the most vital parts of your home up and running, even when the electrical grid goes down. This will also help keep you safe, by keeping appliances like your refrigerator up and running so that you can feed yourself until the crisis is over.

Keeping Vital Equipment Running

There are all sorts of situations that necessitate the installation of specialized equipment in someone’s home. Usually, this equipment is medical in nature, allowing someone with a serious condition to remain at home while still receiving care. If this medical equipment fails during a power outage, it can put a person’s life in danger. A generator will ensure that vital equipment keeps running long enough for a person to survive until the power comes back on.

Convenience

There are plenty of people who work from home, using their computers and other devices to transmit data across the world. Though some can afford a short power outage here or there, others are working with extremely time-sensitive material and can’t afford a delay. For those who cannot have their work interrupted, a generator can enable them to keep working.

If you’re interested in scheduling generator installation, call Electrical Connection, Inc. We provide professional generator installation services throughout the Hartford area.

Why Consider Track Lighting for Your Home

January 7th, 2015

You have multiple options today when you want to install new indoor lighting for a house. Whether you are building a new home, remodeling sections of your current home, or simply want a lighting face-lift for a room, a quality lighting design can make all the difference. Poorly chosen and installed lights will create harsh, unpleasant conditions or leave a room too dark, so make sure that you only rely on skilled lighting professionals when it’s time to put in new lights.

With all the choices you have for lighting, start by making the best choice for lighting installers: Electrical Connection, Inc. We provide comprehensive lighting services in Hartford, CT and the surrounding areas, and with our assistance you will receive the high quality new light design for whatever rooms in your house require it.

One popular idea for indoor illumination is track lighting. Here are some of the reasons you may wish to consider track lighting for your home:

  • Adjustable: Track lighting gives you the benefit of fixed lights, but unlike recessed lighting, you can move and adjust track lighting to fit changing needs. This makes track lighting very beneficial in a kitchen, where glares from surfaces can become distracting and cause eye-strain, but where large amounts of lights are often necessary for effective food preparation. You can set the track lighting in the kitchen for either ambient or direct illumination, depending on what you need at the time.
  • Art accent lighting: With track lighting, you can easily create accent lights for pictures, sculptures, and other decorations, while still allowing other lights on the same track to create softer ambient illumination elsewhere in the room. If you decide to move the décor items that you want accented, you only need to adjust the track light to accommodate the change—something you can’t do with recessed lighting.
  • Easy installation: You can have track lighting put anywhere—ceilings, beams—without having to worry about boring into building material. Since that lights all receive power from the track, they do not need to have separate wires run to each to lamp. Not only is installation a fast, unobtrusive job, but it is very flexible and allows you many options.

But for all these benefits, track lighting won’t help you unless you have the lights properly installed by professionals. Call Electrical Connection, Inc. and our Hartford, CT lighting designers will figure out the best way to put track lighting into your home so you enjoy all of its advantages for many years. We also offer repair services 24/7 to keep your home lit the way you want it.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Electrical Connection, Inc. hope you have a great start to the year and a, uhm, fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.”

This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Electrical Connection, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

Why Consider an LP Generator

December 17th, 2014

Being without power isn’t just inconvenient; you can lose food and heat during the winter, and your plumbing can also suffer. Having a back-up generator in Berlin for your home allows you to keep the main systems of your home operating so that you can ride out just about any power outage. There are a few different kinds of fuel that can power a generator, and the one we’re going to discuss here is LP, liquid propane.

LP generators work very similarly to natural gas generators; the main difference is that they have to be attached to an LP tank as opposed to a natural gas generator, which can be connected directly to a natural gas main line. The type of LP generator we carry at Electrical Connection, Inc. is the Generac Siemens home back-up generator. This generator comes with automatic power switching and weekly self-testing; it has a very quiet operation and once connected to your LP fuel source, will fuel automatically.

Some of the benefits of using an LP generator are:

  • Power support for all the major systems in your home
  • Runs in sizes from 5kw to 60kw
  • LP can cost less to run than natural gas
  • LP has a long shelf line and burns clean
  • LP is available during power outages (as long as your tank is filled)
  • Very emission-compliant

How Does a Generator Switch Automatically?

All generators that have automatic switching are equipped with sensors that constantly monitor the power coming in from your utility lines. When the power is interrupted, the control system in the generator senses the loss of power and signals the generator to start: the automatic transfer switch safely closes off the utility line while simultaneously opening a new power line from the generator. The electricity generated by the generator is transferred to your main electrical panel via a transfer switch. When the power returns, the generator will switch the electrical load back to your utility line.

An LP generator takes the worry out of your next power outage. If you’d like to know more about what an LP generator can do for you, call Electrical Connection, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts. We offer professional generation installation in the Berlin, CT area.

What Does It Mean for My Electric System to be “Up to Code”?

December 10th, 2014

You have probably heard the phrase “up to code” used before to refer to homes and businesses. Sometimes this applies to building construction, or to the hygiene standards for food service companies. But it can also refer to the electrical system, and this “code” is important for homes and well as commercial buildings. But what exactly does it mean? What is this electrical code and how can you keep your house up to its requirements?

The second part is quicker to answer: to make sure that your home is up to the electrical code, rely on licensed professional electricians only when it’s time for electrical repair in Farmington, CT. At Electrical Connection, Inc., we know exactly what is necessary to keep homes (and businesses) up to code so they remain safe and their electrical systems operate at their best. If you need any electrical repairs or if you have concerns about electrical safety in your home, give us a call right away to schedule service.

The National Electrical Code

What it means “to be up to code” is difficult to answer in a straightforward way because the code is different from one place to another. The National Electrical Code is a set of standard for the safe installation and repair of electrical wiring. However, it is not part of federal law. It instead serves as a guideline for each jurisdiction, such as a city, state, or other municipality, to develop its own version of the code as part of local laws. A jurisdiction can accept the code in whole, in part, adapt it as it sees fit, or even reject the code entirely for a different set of standards. The code receives annual updates.

In practice, this means that you won’t know the specific application of the code for your area. But your local professional electricians will. Keeping up with the code is a major part of their job. This is why it is so important to hire only licensed and trained electricians for any electrical repairs in your house. These electricians will know how to keep all repairs within the standards of the code as applied in the area and maintain a high level of safety.

You can rely on Electrical Connection, Inc. for the electrical repair in Farmington, CT that will keep your house “up to code” and your family safe. We are a Licensed SBE Contractor with the State of Connecticut, so you know that the work you receive from us will live up to the highest standards. Call us for any electrical installation, repair, or inspection work you require.

Why You Should Not Attempt Electrical Repairs on Your Own

December 3rd, 2014

In today’s world, there are a lot of projects you can easily accomplish on your own with a little bit of elbow grease and the help of the internet. Thanks to the World Wide Web, it’s easy for you to find guides and advice online about how to create new things, install home appliances, or make a few simple repairs. However, one job that should always be left to professionals is electrical repair work. Anytime you are working with electrical connections, you should entrust the work to somebody trained on electrical systems.

The most important reason not to pursue any electrical work is the possible risk to your home and health. A minor risk is that the repair will be done incorrectly and you’ll be left without any electricity. But what’s far worse is that an electrical shock can leave you injured, while a faulty repair can spark a series of events that lead to a fire at your home. Professionals have the right tools for the job and spend years learning what a proper repair should look like and how to recognize when something is not quite right.

One of the other major reasons not to pursue any major electrical work without help is that it’s the law! Most municipalities require that you obtain a permit in order to make any major renovations, particularly if they involve the electrical grid.

Finding a Quality Electrician

Luckily, finding a skilled electrician for repairs is not too difficult of a task, especially since we have the help of the internet. If you think you’ve found a quality contractor for electrical repair work, double check their website or outside review sites to make sure they receive good reviews from customers. You should also read through their website or call their office to make sure they are able to perform the specific repair you need.

Of course, you should also only entrust the work to licensed and certified electricians for the work in your home. This not only ensures it’s completed properly, but also that all repairs are done safely as well. For electrical repair in Farmington, call on the trained and experienced electricians at Electrical Connection, Inc, offering 24 hour service for emergency repairs. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Electrical Connection Inc., we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!