Safety Tips for Your Holiday Lighting

November 30th, 2016 No comments

Lighting Up the Holidays … Safely and Efficiently

Decorating the outside of your home with Christmas lights and decorations adds to the spirit of the season.  For many stringing lights is an annual tradition that the whole family enjoys.  But along with the holiday glow come a number of electrical hazards that need to be avoided.


LED Christmas Lights

Standard or LED Lights
LED Christmas lights, although a little more expensive, use less energy, last longer and give off similar light levels. Because they draw less current, you can also attach more LED light strings together.  Given the energy savings and greater service life, LED lights are the way to go.

Buy the Correct Type of Lights
Make sure that the lights and decorations you use are rated for outdoor use and are UL rated. Check the color-coded UL mark on the product’s package. A green holographic UL mark means for indoor use only, while a red UL mark indicates the lights are safe for both indoor and outdoor use.  Putting indoor-only lights outside in the weather can result in electric shock and fire hazards.

Inspect Lights First
Inspect all lights, electric decorations and extension cords for signs of damage to wire insulation, plugs, and bulbs. If cords and plugs are damaged, discard and replace the decoration.

Too Many Lights Strung Together Can Be A Problem
One of the most common mistakes made when stringing lights is connecting too many strands of standard lights end-to-end.  Most manufacturers’ guidelines allow up to three strands to be connected.  Exceeding these limits can lead to overheating and a potential fire hazard.  Because of their lower current draw, LED lights allow for considerably more strings of lights to be strung together.

Overloading extension cords can also occur if you attach too many lights to one cord.  Use good quality cords with 14 gauge wire (or larger) that are rated for outdoor applications.  Be careful were you run the cords and how you install them.  Do not pinch them in windows or doors or use nails or tacks to hang them.  Use insulated hooks instead.

GFCI Outlet

GFCI Outlet

GFCI Outlets Are Important
According to NEC code outdoor lights and cords that will get wet should be plugged into an electrical outlet that is GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected.  This will protect you and others if a short circuit occurs.

Be Safe When Hanging Your Lights
Take extra care when hanging lights from metal surfaces like gutters or aluminum siding.  These surfaces are very conductive and a defect in a wire can cause a sever shock under the right conditions.

When hanging Christmas lights outdoors, reduce your risk of electric shock by using ladders made of non-conductive materials like wood or fiberglass-reinforced plastic instead of metal ladders.

Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.


juice2Need Something for the Holidays?
We’ll be happy to come out and have one of our licensed pros give an estimate on any electrical work you wish done.  Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913 and we’ll answer any questions you have.

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It’s Time for Fall Outdoor Electrical Maintenance

October 24th, 2016 No comments

Fall Exterior Electrical Maintenance

Now’s the Time to Get Your Outdoor Lights, Signs and Home Ready for Winter

No one likes dealing with outdoor lights that don’t work or hot tubs that don’t heat up when cold weather arrives.  Repairing outside wiring, pole lights and signs when the fixtures and ground are frozen make these tasks extra difficult.

That is why NOW is the time to have exterior electrical maintenance done.

Fixing lights, signs and other exterior electrical items that are in need of repair is easier and less expensive now.  There are also preventive maintenance steps you can take in the fall that will help eliminate potential problems when your electrical usage increases during the winter months.

Six Areas to Check Before Winter Arrives
We suggest checking out these six areas around your home and business before the chill winds blow.

Electrician working on outdoor electrical panel

Check outdoor electrical panels.

  • Panels and service equipment – The summer cooling season and the big electrical loads from AC units stress electrical systems hard. The same thing occurs at peak heating season when the below zero temps set in.Fall is a great time to service this equipment before the winter heating season kicks in. It is a good idea to have your outside electrical service, meter box, and electrical panel board “the breaker box” inspected and all the wiring connections and breaker terminals tightened on a regular basis.  Manufacturers recommend this be done annually.
  • Landscape lights – after a summer of heavy use many landscape lighting systems have some fixtures and lamps that need repair … these get very hard to service once the ground freezes. If there are in-ground buried wiring issues sometimes we have to wait for spring.
  • Outdoor spas and hot tubs – checking the electric circuits that heat the water in your spa or hot tub is good insurance from an electrical equipment failure that might lead to a costly freeze up of the unit.

    Outdoor lighting of stairs

    Make sure all your outdoor lighting is working properly.

  • Exterior lighting on homes – it is always more expensive to service outdoor lighting in the winter time – especially those hard to reach fixture locations and pesky motion sensor lights.  These outages become much more noticeable and inconvenient as our days grow shorter.
  • Exterior lights and signage on commercial buildings – hard to reach pole lights, building lights, and signs are very difficult and costly to service once they freeze up.  Once this occurs we often cannot get the fixtures apart to work on them.
  • Portable space heaters – it is the time of year when many of us start reaching for space heaters to keep rooms comfortable…. we see this a lot in older historic homes.  Space heaters draw a lot of current and many older electrical circuits are not rated for this kind of use.  If you are going to be using portable heaters you need to know if the circuit and electrical outlet you are using is correctly sized and rated for the load. Never use portable heaters on extension cords, plug strips, or two-prong adapters!

juice2Exterior Electrical Maintenance
We’ll be happy to come out and have one of our licensed pros give an estimate on any electrical maintenance work you wish done. Contact us today at Artisan Electric or give us a call at 765-414-3913 and we’ll answer any questions you have.

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Do You Need a Standby/Emergency Generator?

September 20th, 2016 No comments

Silhouette of electric transformer substation.

No lights.  No water.  No heat.  No air conditioning.  No refrigeration.  No sump pump.  No security.  No ability to work from home.  Or even worse no computer, TV or video games.

When you lose power most of your home systems and appliances no longer work.  They all depend on electricity.  So when major thunder, snow and ice storms bring down power lines, or our aging power grid fails, we all hope our local electrical utility company can get power restored quickly.  But sometimes it can take days depending on the extent of the damage in a given area.

How Long Can You Live Without Power?
Deciding if you need a standby/emergency power generator depends primarily on how long you can live without power before your business or personal situations are impacted negatively.

Reasons you may not be able to go without power for an extended period of time, especially if it is during periods of bad/cold weather, are ….

  • Young children
  • Seniors with medical needs/equipment
  • Large quantities of perishable foods
  • Security systems
  • Life safety systems
  • Basement flooding
  • Home businesses

What is a Standby Generator?
A standby generator automatically operates within seconds of a utility outage.  An automatic transfer switch senses the loss of power and redirects the electrical load to the generator that kicks in and provides your home with electrical power.  Unlike portable generators, standby generators are installed permanently outside your home and will provide uninterrupted backup power for days.  Smaller, air-cooled essential-circuit units are slightly larger than portable generators and can energize just a few circuits at a time.  Larger, liquid-cooled whole-house systems will comfortably power all your home’s needs.

kohler-generatorsWith Generators, Size Makes a Difference
The size of generator you’ll need will depend on how many electrical items you need/want to run.  If you choose to run only essential circuits, a 7 KW to 12 KW unit can run up to 16 critical loads, although not all at once.  Mid-size units of 12 KW to 20 KW will allow you to operate more creature comforts like your TV, more lights, and at the high end of this range, even your AC.  A 20 KW to 48 KW high-capacity, liquid-cooled generator can provide electricity for an entire home.

Getting Set Up with a Generator
A standby generator will require professional installation.  Initially you’ll need to assess your load requirements and the logistics of installing a generator in your home.  Connecting a unit requires advanced electrical and plumbing skills, as well as knowledge of local ordinances and building codes. You’ll also need permits before you start and inspections when you’re done.

Standby Generators Add Value and Peace of Mind
Typically having a standby generator on your property will increase the value of your home.  Buyers like the idea of having back up power particularly in regions where power outages are common.  Having a back-up system in place also provides “peace of mind” for those with family members or personal property that may be affected by loss of power for an extended period of time.

juice2Free Site Evaluation
Have questions on whether or not you would benefit from having a standby generator?  Contact us today at Artisan Electric and let our licensed pros do a free site evaluation.

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Surge Protection Can Save You Big $$$

August 17th, 2016 No comments

Lightning storm over city

You think it won’t happen to you and then BAM! the lightning flashes, the thunder crashes and so do all the electronic devices in your home. 

Your computer, your large screen TV, home entertainment equipment, your microwave, perhaps your electronic features on your refrigerator and other appliances.  All gone. Fried.

Surge Protection Protects Sensitive Electronics

Electrical surges can occur at any time.  The most damaging are those that enter the home through the power, telephone and cable TV/satellite lines like lightning strikes close to your home.  Actually it’s more common that surges result from motors and large appliances kicking on and off and creating electrical spikes within your home.

Today’s homes are more reliant than ever on appliances and electronics that are controlled by extremely sensitive microprocessor circuits. These circuits are easily damaged or disrupted by power surges originating both inside and outside the home.

wh_mainpanelProtecting Your BIG $$$ Investments

Many of us have invested significant dollars in our home computers and electronic equipment.  Wouldn’t it be wise to invest a little more to protect these major purchases?

Surge protection comes in multiple forms, but the approach that provides the best overall protection involves installing surge protection at different points in your home.

  • MAIN ZONE: Surge protection installed at the main power panel, cable TV/satellite service entrance, and telephone/broadband internet service entrance
  • INTERIOR ZONE: Individual surge protectors for sensitive electronics inside the home.
  • EXTERIOR ZONE: Surge protection for equipment located outside the home such as the air conditioning unit, pool pump or well pumps.

Sleep Easier

Physical damage, disruption or degradation to our electronic devices doesn’t have to occur the next time lightning strikes near your home.  With a well thought through surge protection plan, you’ll sleep easier knowing you won’t have to replace your 60” TV anytime soon.

juice2Free Site Assessment

Have questions or concerns about surge protection for your home or business?  Contact us today at Artisan Electric and let our licensed pros do a free site assessment.  We can then discuss the best way to protect your electronic devices.


May 13th, 2014 No comments

OUR “A “TEAM: In this day and age there is no way for any one electrical contractor to cover the full range of emerging tech that comes our way now. One of the best services we offer at Artisan is knowing when to call in for back up. Here is a list of some of our trusted tech professional resources that we co-op with.

a team

• Artisan Electric – residential / commercial / industrial electrical contracting and voice / data / audio services with full project management services – this is us
• Sound Lab – Audio / Video / Home Theater – (this is our primary local partnership with the always awesome Mark Baitinger)
• Hearing Loops – Indiana Hearing Loops Team of Sound Lab and Artisan Electric
• Profound Technologies – we use this company for the design and programming back end for Crestron installs – they are a nationwide major player
• ESCO Communications – high end communications contractor / AV / Integration specialists that we can partner with for design / build and install support
• Edge IT – IT professional services and network systems support
• Abstract Tech Group – another IT professional group that we work with for network systems support
• ESG – Electronic Systems Group – controlled access (biometric systems) / alarm / digital camera integration
• Backup Automated Generator Systems – this is us with support from our supplier Buckeye Power Sales. We are an authorized Kohler generator dealer / Installer
• KL Security Systems – safe rooms / vaults / IO Safe disaster proof digital hard drive storage systems (water proof / fire proof / crush proof)
• Johnson Melloh – high end PV solar and wet thermal solar design / build group that we work with

Let us know what we can help you dream up / design / or implement at your home or business!

Contact us HERE to get started with a free quote

Artisan Electric Earns Angie’s List Super Service Award

March 10th, 2014 No comments

Artisan Electric Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service


Artisan Electric has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

“This is the 4th year in a row that we have won this award, it means a great deal to us.  We strive every day to become better at what we do and maintain the highest level of quality and ethics.  Each and every client matters to us every time”

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Artisan Electric competes with in Greater Lafayette area able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.  Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on


Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.

Frozen Gutters & Down Spouts

February 19th, 2014 No comments

It has been a snowy icy winter here in the Midwest – reminding us just how mild the last few winters have been.  With changing weather patterns we seem to be heading back into a cycle of heavy winters and can expect to see more of the same.

With the heavy snow and ice build up this season we have seen more ice damming and gutter related roof leaks than ever before.  It is not a problem that comes up often – but when it does it can flood out a building very quickly from the roof down, and usually happens without much warning.  Often times we see that hard-to-reach icy gutter jams cause rot and roof damage over the course of years leading up to roof failure that is costly and very hard to fix in the winter / spring months when the water leaks finally present themselves.

ice on gutters

ice on gutters

There is a quality solution to this problem – commonly know as gutter tape, freeze tape, or heat tape.  The pro commercial version of these systems are installed in areas to be controlled and kept from freezing.  The systems are self-regulating and need to be GFCI protected, usually installed on dedicated circuits.  The systems are custom fabricated to fit each install and are the only truly effective way to address the situation and keep gutters, downspouts, and flat roof leading edges flowing correctly and the water shed where you want it.

We use the IceStop System thru our vendor rep Kirby Risk Supply.

Freeze tape picture

If you have questions about these systems we would be happy to help.  Just let us now your needs here.

The War Room Makers – Audio & Video Technology Specialist

November 22nd, 2013 No comments

Why us you ask?  Here is a little info about what our Audio / Video / Technology team brings to the table.

Mark Baitinger is the owner of Sound Lab:  Sound Lab is a professional custom electronics corporation founded by Mark in 1989.  Specializing in competitively priced System Design, Consulting, Retail Sales, Installation and Service, Sound Lab has been providing quality Audio/Video solutions for a wide range of large and small residential and commercial projects throughout Central Indiana.  In addition to his extensive background, certifications, and training in the A/V world, Mark is a Contacta affiliated authorized dealer and is advanced hearing loop trained.

Chris Voglund is the owner of Artisan Electric:  Artisan Electric was founded in 2004 by Chris, after 15 years of previous electrical contracting experience.  Specialists in residential, commercial, and industrial electrical contracting as well as voice, data, and audio solutions.  Chris is a degreed Journeyman Electrician, Leviton Network Systems certified installer, and has an extensive background in electrical service, live audio, sound reinforcement, recording, and performance space planning.

Profound Technology Group:  Our technology partner, Profound Technologies, is recognized as a world leader in the AV integration Industry – specializing in Crestron solution systems and programming. Combining complex and advanced audio video communication systems with custom programming to make simple to use, enjoyable end-use solutions.  

Paired together our companies provide a combined 100+ years of electrical, tech integration, and A/V experience – making us a uniquely qualified team for today’s demanding tech based design, project management, and installation services.  Couple that with our passion for A/V and our professional reputations we represent one of Indiana’s best teams for integration projects of all sizes.

 Mark and Chris joint project logo


Generator Systems and Emergency Power

November 20th, 2013 No comments

Who do you know that got spooked by this recent line of storms and the related power outages?

The reality is that with the continued deterioration or our aging power grids, line worker cut backs and under staffed utility providers, and the rapid increase in dramatic weather events these situations are going to become more common place.

Artisan Electric can help with mobile and back up power solutions, using certified and licensed journeyman electricians, licensed plumbers (for the gas line work) and the proven performance and 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE that comes with the KOHLER product line.

Artisan Electric is an approved vendor of Kohler Generator Systems thru Buckeye Power Sales.  We have the full package of solution, design, installation, warranty, and service that is second to none in the area.  When you think back up power think Artisan Electric

gen post plog pic top

gen post blg pic bottom

7 things you may not know about Artisan Electric

October 14th, 2013 No comments
  1. AE, in joint partnership with Mark Baitinger and Sound Lab, can now offer locally based certified installation of induction hearing loop systems.  For more information on looping systems and ADA compliance you can go to
  2. AE has been moving strongly into the field of full Audio / Video / IT integration.  With our partners at Sound Lab we recently completed a 200K project at Westminster Village.  This project included a full Creston digital media sever solution, on wall interactive touch screens, (3) hearing loops, and a wide range of other audio / video tech
  3. AE is about to head into our 10th year of business and remains one of the highest rated contractors in the greater Tippecanoe County area
  4. AE is a factory authorized vendor rep for Kohler Power systems, offering both residential and full line commercial backup generator systems with installation and 24 hour emergency support
  5. AE bills from a standardized rate sheet, provides a lifetime warranty on our workmanship, and never mark up our material. You can find this information in writing and download PDF formats on our website
  6. AE recently moved to our new shop on North 9th Street – we now have access to a forklift and loading dock as well room to keep all of our fleet vehicles inside. This location provides us a much better central point for service to the both cities and allowed the room needed for our recycling program
  7. AE is a full recycling partner!  In the beginning of 2012 we committed to limiting our land fill waste.  Now, approaching the start of 2014 we have made it to the point of going “dumpster free” and are now 95% recycling based, including eWaste, plastic, metals, cardboard, and paper