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Home & Office Lighting Updates

January 31st, 2020 Comments off

Brighten the Dark Days of Winter with Updated Lighting

Winter brings dark, gloomy days and long nights.  Much of this time we spend indoors.  If our homes and offices are poorly lit, then even our time inside can add to the gloominess of this time of year.

By adding new lights, replacing old fixtures and rethinking how you light each room, your home or office can take on a new appearance and help you be more energized.  Using newer lighting products can even save you money.

Assess Each Room or Work Space

Lighting should be tailored for each room or work space.  Rooms that are used for multiple purposes will require different lighting schemes than kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.  Assess how a space is used before doing a lighting makeover.

Lighting in layers allows you to choose light fixtures that provide light where you need it and add visual interest as well.

  • Ambient or General Lighting
    Ceiling fixtures and chandeliers provide light throughout a room.
  • Task Lighting
    Add extra light to areas where chores and activities get done. Reading, cutting up food, applying makeup, and work areas benefit from task lighting.
  • Accent Lighting
    Add interest to the décor or unique features of your home.  Lighting over a painting or display, or below or above cabinets will set these areas apart.

Lighting Upgrade Options That Inspire

Here are some suggestions we have to upgrade your lighting and not only enhance the ambiance of a space, but also make it more functional.

  • Use wall-washing recessed lighting fixtures around the perimeter of a small room to illuminate the walls and make the space feel larger, or highlight artwork or other special features.
  • A combination of ceiling lights, wall mounted sconces, and table lamps can create an overall look that resonates.  Adding sconce lights to living rooms and dining rooms is a very cost effective way to spruce up a space and really change the look of a room.
  • Install under-cabinet light strips in the kitchen, desk area, or workroom. The light will shine directly on the work area and make any task easier. Switch them off when you leave the job.
  • Illustration of white switch with dimmer

    Install dimmer switches on as many lamps and light fixtures as practical. Dimmer switches and controls add versatility – creating a light source that’s customizable to your needs.

    Set a different mood in your dining room, bathroom, bedroom and even outside on your deck or patio. You’ll have control over the intensity of light around your home and save energy at the same time.Being able to dim the lights in a given space is one of the quickest and most affordable changes that can be made to dramatically affect the lighting in a space.

Not Sure Where to Start

Talk to the designers at a local lighting showroom to discuss your options.  You can then select lighting that fits your taste and budget.   Artisan Electric can also help with design considerations, placement of new lights, and installation.  Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

December 12th, 2019 Comments off

Will You Need an Electric Vehicle Charger in 2020?

For those who like to be on the cutting edge, you probably already know where your local electric vehicle (EV) charging station is located. For the rest of us, the need may not be as eminent, but in the not too distant future, EV charging stations will be everywhere including our own garages and where we work.

Electrical Vehicles Are Here to Stay

An electric vehicle charging station supplies electric energy for the recharging of plug-in electric vehicles. The usable battery capacity of a first-generation electric vehicle is about 20 kWh, giving it a range of about 100 miles.

Tesla was the first company to introduce longer range mass production electric vehicles, initially releasing their Model S with battery capacities of 40 kWh, 60 kWh and 85 kWh, with the latter having an estimated range of about

300 miles. The new Tesla Cybertruck and Roadster are coming to market with ranges of over 500 miles and performance unmatched by most supercars.  As of August 2018, there were 800,000 electric vehicles and 18,000 charging stations in the United States.

What type of charger will I need?

Charging an electric vehicle is as simple as connecting a normal electrical appliance; however to ensure that this operation takes place in complete safety, the electrical installation must comply with standard safety regulations. These include being grounded, having a circuit breaker to protect against overloads, and be protected from accidental contact.

Level 1 — Home Charging cords are standard equipment on a new EV. Level 1 charging only requires a grounded (three-prong) 120V outlet and can add about 40 miles of range in an eight- hour overnight charge. Overnight Level 1 charging is suitable for low- and medium-range plug- in hybrids and for all-electric and battery electric vehicle drivers with low daily driving usage.

Level 2 and Beyond — Home and Public Charging typically require a charging unit on a 240V circuit, like the circuit used to power a common electric clothes dryer. With a typical 30 amp circuit, about 180 miles can be added during an eight-hour charge. Common public chargers are typically Level 2 chargers that can be found at offices, grocery stores, and parking garages. Many companies are now offering what is being called “wall connectors” that take a 50 or 60 amp circuit but are 50% faster than then 30 amp home charging connections – these are now becoming the preferred choice for EV customers.

DC Fast Charging — Public Charging is the fastest currently available recharging method. It can typically add 50 to 90 miles in 30 minutes, depending on the station’s power capacity and the make of EV. These are also known as SuperChargers.

Potential Home Upgrades Needed

To accommodate charging EV’s at home, especially if you want to charge the vehicle more quickly and to higher capacity levels, many homes will need to have their electrical service increased.  Many electrical services in residential homes are only 100 amps and are not sized large enough to accommodate charging circuits (even some 200 amp services may not have the capacity).  It is very important to get these designed and installed right as an EV will likely be the most expensive investment you make that “plugs in”.

For some, these are decisions you are already making, for the rest of us, it’s just a matter of time.  If you need assistance in understanding what it takes to GO EV we are here to help!

SMART Home Device Integration

November 22nd, 2019 Comments off

How To Make Your Home Smarter & More User Friendly

Just about anything that runs on electricity can be automated to make your home smarter. With so many options available with today’s technology, the first step is to determine what you want to accomplish.

Connect your entertainment, lighting, climate and security devices into one singular hub … like your phone.

Do you want to be able to monitor packages left at your front door; control your thermostat from outside the home; or alter light levels and play music throughout your home?

Once you outline your wish list obtaining the specific products and having someone install them will go much more smoothly.

Building, Renovating or Just Adding to Your Existing Home?

The perfect time to install home automation technology is during the building or renovating process. The most advanced systems often require wiring and other structural considerations. But with all of today’s SMART products connected via the internet, many home automation projects can still be implemented in existing homes with little or no physical changes needed.

Integrating Home Automation Systems

The goal for many home owners is to integrate their home automation devices so they can sync their entertainment, lighting, climate and security devices into one singular hub.  This lets the owner more easily control several devices and monitor usage and control settings – even if they’re not at home.

Popular Home Automation Applications

Lighting Control
Smart light bulbs allow you to set the mood and dim lights remotely from your phone or control hub (i.e. Alexa).  Through verbal instructions lights can be turned on and off, and a home’s lighting can be programmed to save electricity.

Home Security
SMART home security systems allow you to monitor your home’s door locks, lights and security cameras remotely. They can also communicate with visitors via the built-in microphone and two-way talk. Cameras can also monitor the inside of your home when you are away. These devices send alerts to your phone when someone comes to your door – great for keeping track of packages, or to detect unexpected activity.

Smart Home Entertainment center

SMART television and sound systems paired with control hubs can provide enhanced viewing and listening experiences.

Environmental Control
Your heating and cooling system can be programmed to turn on/off or up/down automatically at certain times or temperatures.  Monitoring and setting changes can be done from your phone or voice hub.  This approach can provide more timely adjustments to your HVAC system and save energy and money in the long run.

Entertainment Systems
SMART television and sound systems paired with control hubs can provide enhanced viewing and listening experiences.  Streaming services offer multiple options of video and music content that can be accessed and managed through centralized control devices.

Professional Assistance Normally Required

Designing and installing home automation systems including lighting, security, environmental and entertainment systems requires a degree of expertise.  Understanding where to locate the devices, how to install and wire them, and programming them to work together may come easier to some than others.

For those without a tech background, finding a home automation contractor to plan and install your devices will ensure all the pieces work well together.

 

 

 

Artisan Electric January-February Offer

October 10th, 2019 Comments off

Book Your January/February Electrical Work Now and Save 10%

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Artisan Electric is offering 10% Off work scheduled now to be completed in January and February.  Take advantage of this offer on those projects you have been putting off.

Residential and Commercial Projects

  • Data, voice, structured network, video, and sound system cabling – Leviton Certified
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  • Audio & video consulting and solutions design for business, venues, and churches
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  • Rewiring and modernization of historic properties with non-destructive rewiring techniques
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  • LED lighting conversion and retrofits
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  • Home theater design, install, service wall mount TV, monitor, and projector installation and service
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  • Residential and commercial generator backup systems – Kohler Power Systems Certified Dealer
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  • Power conditioning, surge protection, UPS systems – Surge Assure Authorized Vendor
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  • Service upgrades and Inspection Repairs

Schedule Artisan Electric Today and SAVE

Give us a call at 765-414-3913 and we’ll be glad to take a look at your electrical project and provide a free estimate with 10% off if booked in October or November 2018 to be completed in January or February 2020.  Call for details.  Some conditions apply.

Electrical Preventive Maintenance

July 15th, 2019 No comments

Don’t Neglect Preventive Maintenance on Your Electrical Systems

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We perform preventive maintenance on a number of items around our homes and businesses.  This includes your HVAC system, your security system and your vehicles.  But how often do we schedule preventive maintenance on our electrical system? 

Your home’s wiring to your lights, appliances and computers, as well as your electrical panels, electrical outlets and switches all require maintenance as your home or facilities age.  Making sure your electrical components are working properly is essential to maintaining your family’s and employee’s safety.

electrical maintenance

A Home Maintenance Electrical Checklist  

Give your home a timely electrical checkup to ensure that your wiring, circuit breakers, outlets, and plugs are in good working order and are used safely.  Several of these items can be done on your own, but others, particularly if they need repairs, will require a licensed electrician.

  • If you have breakers tripping and fuses blowing on a regular basis, it’s time to bring in an electrician to inspect your home.
  • Having your electrical panel inspected is important.  Depending on the age of your home or business older panels may no longer be adequate or safe.  Those with older style circuit breakers or fuses may need to be replaced.
  • Also with the increased electrical loads that newer appliances and technologies require, older electrical services may need to be upgraded to 200 or 400 amp units.
  • On newer electrical panels all wiring connections should be tightened periodically to ensure each breaker works properly.  Outside service connections should also be checked and the overall condition of any outdoor equipment monitored.
  • Electrician working on outdoor electrical panelBe sure all your circuits are properly grounded. A circuit consists of wires transporting electrical current to your lights and appliances, so properly grounded wiring is connected to a ground wire in your home.
  • All outlets near wet locations such as kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms should be Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).
  •  If you have children or grandchildren, put protectors in all your outlets or replace them with tamper-resistant outlets. These outlets are now required by code in all new homes.
  • Replace any frayed wires in your house that can potentially cause shocks or fires.
  • Replace all plugs that wobble or fit loosely in the socket.
  • Any indication of dimming lights, flickering lights, a sizzling sound, or a burning odor mandate a prompt inspection.
  • Extension cords are a temporary solution. They shouldn’t be used to power home appliances on a permanent basis. Most extension cords are not rated to handle air conditioners, refrigerators, or space heaters that draw high current.

Artisan Electric logoArtisan Electric Preventive Maintenance

To learn more about what’s included in Artisan Electric’s preventive maintenance service calls, please just give us a call.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Commercial Facility Electrical Maintenance

July 15th, 2019 No comments

Preventive Electrical Maintenance for Commercial Facilities

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With the additional wear and tear that commercial properties and industrial sites place on their electrical systems, it is critical that they are inspected regularly.

commercial electrial maintenanceKeep your Property Safe

When you own or operate any commercial property, you have a responsibility to keep it safe for your employees, customers, and/or tenants.

One of the best ways to ensure the safety of your commercial property is to have regular electrical maintenance performed.  Even the smallest problems with an electrical system can be extremely unsafe, and you may be held accountable for any injuries that occur on your property.

Keep Your Electrical Equipment Working Smoothly

No matter what kind of business you own or property you manage, you rely on your electrical system and electrical equipment every day. That’s why it’s so important to keep your electrical service and all electrical equipment well maintained.  This will extend the life of your electrical systems.

Minimize Major Electrical Problems

By addressing electrical system concerns early, you put off the day major maintenance will be needed, and perhaps prevent it from occurring at all.  Catching serious problems that might go unnoticed saves on downtime and repair/replacement costs.

Artisan Electric logoPreventive Electrical Maintenance

To learn more about what’s included in Artisan Electric’s preventive maintenance service calls, please just give us a call.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Career as an Electrician

June 26th, 2019 No comments

Want to Make a Good, Secure Living?  Try the Electrical Trades.

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Most people when they pick a career are looking for something they enjoy doing; that will provide a challenge; and offer some security.  According to industry experts, becoming an electrician checks all these boxes.

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electricians tool belt
High Demand Profession

Not only is doing electrical work challenging and fulfilling, it is also in high demand.  Every day, the shortage in the skilled trades becomes more acute.  According to numbers from the National Electrical Contractors Association, 7,000 electricians join the field each year, but 10,000 retire.  Currently there are 20,095 openings for electricians.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 14 percent job growth for electricians through 2024. This is twice the national average of 7 percent. Electricians may also enjoy greater job security.

What’s the Job Entail?

The main tasks associated with being an electrician are wiring buildings for electrical power, lighting, or communications systems (and maintaining or repairing those systems).

An electrician is a tradesman specializing in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment. Electricians may be employed in the installation of new electrical components or the maintenance and repair of existing electrical infrastructure.

Electrician Duties

  • Interpreting blueprints of electrical systems to determine the location of outlets, circuits, and other equipment.
  • Visiting construction sites to install control, wiring, and lighting systems on new buildings.
  • Making service calls to inspect circuit breakers, transformers, and electrical components.
  • Using testing devices to troubleshoot problems in electrical equipment.
  • Working with power and hand tools to replace or repair faulty electrical wiring or parts.
  • Adhering to the National Electrical Code and local and state building rules.
  • Training and managing the work of other employees.

electrician drawing circuitHow to Become an Electrician

High school students who are interested in a trade can start by taking whatever relevant classes are available, such as industrial arts.  Completing high school is an important step, since most trade and technical schools (as well as many apprenticeships) require a high school diploma or GED.

Complete an associate degree (which typically takes two years) or a certificate (which could take anywhere from a few months to a year or more).  There are different types of trade schools, such as vocational schools, career colleges, and technical institutes. Some feature a range of different programs, while others specialize in certain areas.

There is simply no better way to learn the electrician trade than completing an apprenticeship over four years.  With apprenticeships, you get paid to learn from experienced professionals in real work environments while also completing formal classroom training.  When you complete your apprenticeship you will receive an industry-recognized credential as a journeyman electrician.

Artisan Electric logoHow Can Artisan Electric Help?

We would encourage anyone interested in a career as an electrician to stop by or give us a call at Artisan Electric.  We will be happy to answer your questions and encourage anyone to explore all the possibilities in our field.

Pushmatic Breakers and Panels

April 23rd, 2019 No comments

How can I tell if my electrical panel uses Pushmatic circuit breakers?
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The Pushmatic panel board was a widely used circuit breaker panel installed in homes built between 1950 and 1980. This is a distinctive panel because it is the only electrical panel brand that does not have switches that flip left and right. Instead, the breakers are rectangular buttons you must “push” to activate or deactivate.

pushmatic breaker box


Pushmatic breakers have a distinctive design.

Obsolete, Hard to Find Replacement Breakers

ITE Pushmatic electrical panels and circuit breakers do not have any proven design flaws that can cause a fire or shock hazard, but they are obsolete. As Pushmatic breakers age springs inside rust, corrode, and break and they become hard to trip and reset.  Some insurance companies will not insure a home with this type of panel.

Replacement circuit breakers are hard to find and when you can, they are expensive.  The design of these old electrical panels also makes it impossible to add new circuits and loads to the already limited spaces in the panel.

Not Built for Today’s Electrical Loads

working on electrical panel

A qualified electrician can update your electrical panel if needed.

Houses built 50 or more years ago usually have 60 or 100 amp services and the load placed on these older components often exceeds their design capacity.

Many houses built before 1970 did not have central air conditioning, microwaves and dishwashers. Refrigerators were 18 cubic feet and no one had more than one television set.  Fast forward to today’s electrical load needs and we find 200 amp service is the most common with larger homes requiring 300 or 400 amp services.

What are Your Options?

Artisan Electric is happy to set up a time to visit and inspect your home’s or business’s electrical panel and service.  If it still uses Pushmatic breakers then we’ll provide you with options to replace this obsolete system.  Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Knob and Tube Wiring

March 22nd, 2019 No comments

Is Knob and Tube Wiring Safe?

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For those who relish the grandeur and charm of an historic home built in the 1950’s or earlier there is the possibility of your home having knob and tube wiring.  The older the home, the more likely this will be.   Knob and tube wiring was a common wiring method used beginning in the 1870’s to the late 1940’s.

knob-and-tube wiring

Knob and tube wiring must meet specific NEC standards to be used in a home today.

Knob and Tube wiring is not inherently dangerous.

The dangers from this form of wiring arise from its age, failing insulation, improper modifications, and situations where building insulation covers the wires.  It has no ground wire and thus cannot service any three-pronged appliances or outlets.

NEC code and most local jurisdictions do not specifically say that knob and tube wiring is illegal, however there are very specific requirements if it is to be left installed and in use (NEC 2008 – article 394). Knob and tube wiring is only rated to be used in free air, uninsulated spaces.  It is also only rated for a load of 15 amps.  Many inspection jurisdictions will now require it to be removed for a permitted project or remodel.

What Should I do if I have Knob and Tube wiring in my home?

Realistically, complete replacement of the old wiring is the best option. The presence of knob and tube electrical wiring means the house was probably built 60 to 100+ years ago when this was the only wiring method available.

Demands on a home’s electrical system have increased significantly over time and old wiring cannot safely and reliably handle the electrical requirements of today’s lighting, appliances, and electronics.

rewiring old house that had knob and tube wiring

Rewiring a home that has knob and tube wiring will make it safer and more attractive to future buyers.

How much does it cost to replace Knob and Tube wiring?

If you decide to replace knob and tube wiring in your home, hire a professional electrician for the job.  Expect to pay around $10,000 to $20,000 to rewire a 1,500 to 3,000 square foot home.

Keep in mind that the resale value of your home will increase after this work is completed, so not only is your home safer for you and your family, your home is also now more desirable to potential future buyers.

How does Knob and Tube wiring affect insurance rates?

Insurance companies are wary of homes with knob and tube wiring and view them as a potential safety hazard, and therefore a claim waiting to happen. Premiums for policies for these homes can be high.  Most insurance companies will require an inspection by a certified electrical contractor.  If unsafe conditions are found, the insurance company will require the knob and tube wiring to be completely replaced prior to issuing or renewing a policy.  Many insurance companies will no longer insure homes with knob and tube wiring due to the risk.

Artisan Electric logoQuestions?

If you have questions regarding knob and tube wiring or need someone to inspect your home’s wiring, one of Artisan’s experienced electricians will be happy to arrange a time to stop by. Just give us a call at 765-414-3913.

Arranging for a Contractor to do Home Improvements

January 29th, 2019 No comments

Ready to Sell Your Home?  Line Up a Contractor Now!

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Home For Sale Real Estate SignIf you are planning to sell your home, spring is the prime time to put your house on the market. 

To get a leg up on the local competition there are a few things that every homeowner can do to make their home more attractive to potential buyers. 

Pre-Sale Inspection
If you have been in your home for a while, and especially if it is an older home, you should consider arranging for a “pre-sale inspection” using a qualified home inspector.  The cost is minimal to get a detailed report that will identify any significant problems with your HVAC system, electrical system, plumbing, foundation and water in your basement or crawlspace.

Why you ask should I find out about these problems now?  Because any serious buyer is going to have the home inspected.   If the problem is significant enough, like a code violation, it could derail your potential sale.  Or at a minimum, future buyers will want you to fix the problem, or lower your asking price to cover the cost of them making the repairs.

Pre sale home inspectionRecommended Updates
Making a good first impression and having your home appear ready for a new family to move in is important when buyers visit your home.  Addressing the items below will go a long way in making a favorable impression.

  1. Change dated light fixtures.
  2. Update older ceiling fans or install ceiling fans in bedrooms. They add value to your home.
  3. Install new porch and outside lights.
  4. Paint old kitchen cabinets and install updated hardware.
  5. Replace worn or stained carpeting.
  6. Repaint dark or marred walls with neutral paint—not
  7. Replace old drapes and window coverings.
  8. Replace broken window glass.
  9. Replace the roof if necessary. Most buyers are reluctant to purchase a home if the roof needs replaced.
  10. Update your outdoor landscaping.

home contractor

Now’s the Time to Line Up a Contractor
In the Greater Lafayette area the housing market is projected to remain strong in 2019.  If you need work done that requires a contractor, the sooner you line one up, the sooner the work will be completed.  For those looking to put your home on the market in the spring, NOW is the time to find someone to do the work you want done.

Artisan Electric is happy to help on any upgrades or projects requiring an electrician.  This can involve upgrading to a higher capacity electrical service to installing new lighting both inside and outside your home.