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Lighting Upgrades and Artisan Updates

August 14th, 2020 Comments off

Have you considered updating the lighting in your home?

 

Ethan finalizing installation on a custom chandelier


 

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 even help you be more energized! Investing in your home as your sanctuary is now more important than ever. While working from home and students e-learning becomes the new normal, the lighting in our house is probably not the first thing we think of. Studies show that a bulb that is brighter, with a cooler white to natural daylight ranges best for reading and study. This is the equivalent of 4000k to 6500k. 

 

Take a look at this custom lighting project we completed last week:

 

Custom Lighting in Kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Room

Each room in your house requires different lighting layers in order to provide the light you need and to create visual interest. Some examples are:

  • Living Room: For such an all-purpose area of your house you should consider lighting fixtures that will spread an efficient amount of light like: table lamps, floor lamps, and sconces.
  • Home Office: In order to promote a productive environment you’ll want this to be brighter lighting fixtures than your ambient lighting so the contrast focuses the light in the specific area needed. Pendants and track lighting can be used to help achieve this.
  • Kitchen: Ambient overhead lighting and lower task lighting similar to the lighting for your home office are a great option to help to illuminate your counter space.
  • Bathroom: Consider lighting the bathroom mirror on either side and overhead ambient lighting to fully illuminate the room.

 

Custom chandelier we installed as part of this lighting project

Dimmers are also a great way to add versatility to your home that create a light source that is 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. The custom lighting project we completed to the right is equipped with dimmers.

 

 

 

 

 

John Buttacavoli

Meet our newest team member!

 

We would like to introduce John Buttacavoli our newest team member and Journeyman Electrician to the A-Team! John has relocated to our area from Illinois. He is a seasoned service technician and has a very deep skill set as a job lead and PM for commercial electrical projects. We are excited to have him on our team and look forward to watching him grow with us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L-R: Chad, John, and Ethan at this custom lighting project!

Ready to upgrade your home and not sure where to start?

 

Lighting design and solutions are one of our favorite things to assist clients with. We typically start with a walk thru with our clients to get to know their aesthetic and talk about ideas and options. We can help you with design considerations, placement of new lights, and installation. From there we can assist with visiting a local lighting showroom or on line vendors for fixture selections for your home to fit your taste and budget Give us the opportunity to help you achieve your home improvement goals call us at 765-414-3913.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Electrical Panels!

July 15th, 2020 Comments off

Is Your Home Electrical Panel Dangerous? Check Your Panel for Discontinued Breakers or Brands

Pushmatic Breaker Panel

What is a Pushmatic Home Electrical Panel?

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. 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.

 

How to tell if you have Pushmatic Breakers:

Take a look at your breakers… Can you flip your breakers left and right or are they buttons that you must “push” to activate or deactivate? If you have “push” button breakers you have a Pushmatic Electrical Panel! These breakers are now obsolete and replacement circuit breakers are hard to find and 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.

Besides just the Pushmatic brand there are also other outdated and unsafe electrical panels that you should be on the lookout for in your home:

    • Zinsco Panels: Zinsco or GTE-Sylvania panels were popular electrical panels installed in homes throughout the 1970’s. Zinsco is now defunct, but many homes still have these panels.

Why they’re unsafe: The circuit breakers inside many Zinsco panels melt to the main ‘bus bar’. This means the breaker can’t ever trip, even when there’s a short or overloaded circuit. So if there ever is a short or other problems, the surge of power melts wires and starts fires in your home.

    • Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Panels: For a long time (1950s-1980s) Federal Pacific Electric was one of the most popular manufacturers of electrical panels in the United States. And they were installed in millions of homes. But these panels are extremely unsafe.

Why they’re unsafe: FPE electric panels’ circuit breakers fail to trip when they should (when there’s a short circuit or circuit overload). This problem has lead to             thousands of fires across the United States. There are also many reports that FPE circuits in the off position still send power to the circuit. This can cause electrocution   when working on a circuit you believe to be off.

    • Fuse box: Fuse boxes are old electrical panels that use fuses instead of circuit breakers to protect your wires from becoming overloaded. When a circuit draws too much electricity, the fuse burns out and must be replaced.

Why they’re unsafe: Fuses aren’t inherently unsafe. They work just like circuit breakers (except they can’t be reset and must be replaced.) However, most fuse boxes in homes today are unsafe because they’ve been modified to try to serve today’s energy demands.

 

Time for an upgrade?

Check out this before and after of a panel upgrade we did this week! The A-Team is happy to set up a time to visit and inspect your home 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! Contact us today at Artisan Electric or call us at 765-414-3913 and let our licensed pros do a free site assessment.

 

Live Stream Your Next Event

April 21st, 2020 Comments off

How Can You Live Stream Your Next Event?

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When all the shelter-in-place orders went out the need to connect did not go away.  Classes had to be taught, businesses had to function, churches needed to congregate, and we all still wanted to be entertained.  All of which has to be done remotely at this time.

All of a sudden live streaming of numerous activities is being done everywhere to allow groups to take part in live events as they occur.  Not only can we view what is taking place, but we can also respond and participate.

Advantages of Live Streaming

What we are learning as we “keep our distance” from others is that live streaming offers several advantages.

  1. Participants view content as it takes place. This means those taking part can see and hear what is occurring. Concerts, church services, business meetings and classes are seen in real time.
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  2. Live streaming permits direct audience interaction. Face to face time with participants allows businesses to humanize themselves and connect with their customers.  The opportunity for direct dialogue for students, businesses and congregations makes for a more dynamic and productive interface.
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  3. For marketers no other content marketing channel provides the opportunity to connect with customers the way live streaming does. This allows product messages to be directed to highly specific audiences who want more information on what you offer.
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  4. Participants can take part from remote locations. Those that work remotely, travel or are just not able to attend can still take part through live streaming of an event.
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  5. Broadcasts can be viewed on multiple devices. This includes phones, tablets, TVs and computers. Having this capability means it is easy to participate from just about anywhere, as long as you have a good internet connection.

Getting Started with Live Streaming
One of the common myths of live streaming is that it is extremely expensive. Nothing could be further from the truth. With some basic equipment, it’s possible to get up and running. High-quality streaming is possible with just a small initial investment in gear.  See below:

  1. Video and audio source(s) – these are cameras, computer screens, and other image sources to be shown, as well as microphones, mixer feeds, and other sounds to be played in the stream.
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  2. Your audio setup. Too many people spend too much time thinking about picture quality, and not enough time considering audio quality. This goes beyond just having a good microphone, but also includes making sure the acoustics from wherever you are broadcasting from are good as well.
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  3. A video encoder – this is the computer software or standalone hardware device that packages real-time video and sends it to the Internet.
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  4. A streaming destination – the place your live video will become available online. Popular ones include YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook Live.
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  5. A stable Internet connection – so your stream doesn’t freeze, buffer, or drop off entirely.

Artisan Electric logoArtisan Electric Can Set You Up
Artisan Electric understands what is involved in putting together high quality live streaming broadcasts.  This entails what audio visual equipment is needed, how to address acoustic issues in a venue, and the intricacies of wiring and connecting everything together.

For those wanting to integrate live streaming into your business, church or entertainment venue, now is the time to get this capability set up.  Not only will it benefit you today, but it will provide the ability to connect remotely after we are all back together.

Image Credit: ID 132158252 © Zoaarts11 | Dreamstime.com

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.

How Hard is it to Update an Older Home with Today’s Technology?

August 29th, 2018 No comments

Got an older home where your new technology just doesn’t seem to fit?  Wiring isn’t in the right place, wireless signals are weak, internet speeds are slow, and when you lose power it’s a major task to restart everything?

Updating older home technology

Incorporating newer technologies into older homes sometimes requires a little extra effort.

These problems tend to have a common cause.  Older homes, especially larger ones, were not built with today’s audio/visual, computer and wireless devices in mind.  As a result your wireless technology just doesn’t seem to work at the level you expect.  Fortunately there are solutions to these problems that do not require you to move.

Improving WIFI Signals
Some of the simpler steps that can be taken to improve WIFI signal strength are:

  1. Checking your router to make sure it is not obsolete. To handle higher bandwidth applications you should be using models designated 802.11n at 300Mbps, or the latest 802.11ac at 1Gbps.
  2. Placement of your router. The more central the location the better.
  3. Add wireless signal extenders that boost the signal throughout your home.
Artisan rack

Additional equipment installed to enhance overall signal performance.

Streaming Applications
For those wanting to stream shows to their computers and high definition TV’s, taking the above steps may not be enough.  More sophisticated technology like POE switches and direct wiring via CAT6 and coax cable to the units may be required.  For older homes this entails more work because, unlike newer homes, they were not pre-wired for this type of application.

Taking It to the Max
Recently Artisan Electric, working in conjunction with Abstract Technology, wrapped up a project to significantly upgrade the network connectivity of a number of devices in a customer’s older home.

Because of the size of the home and the number of devices to be controlled Artisan installed a POE switch and 3 enterprise grade access points that boosted the WIFI signal throughout the home. In addition we ran new CAT6 network and coax cable to accommodate five TV locations and other electronic devices.  To top it off, the customer had us install a UPS battery backup that can run a full 100 meg WIFI network for up to eight hours.

Artisan Electric "gimme that juice" logoNot Every Project Is This Big
Updating your older home’s tech infrastructure doesn’t have to entail everything we did in the project above.  We’d encourage you to give Artisan Electric a call at 765-464-9184 and we’d be happy to come out, run a few speed and signal strength tests, and help you determine the best approach to making your beautiful home more tech savvy.