When to Fix-It-Yourself and When to Call an Electrician

Messing with electrical appliances and components is serious business. Hello, my name is George Tanner. I’m a retired electrician. I can’t even begin to tell you how many horror stories I heard over the years of working as an electrician. People who thought they could quickly fix something in their homes but never should have even tried. Some got hurt and others were lucky. My goal here is to provide you with some guidelines as to what electrical malfunctions are easily fixable by nearly any adult, and what you should never attempt on your own. One thing you are going to hear me stress more than once is that electrical components are not to be taken lightly. We protect our children from them; we also have to protect ourselves. I hope you find this blog to be helpful!

In the Right Light -- 5 Vital Tips for Lighting Your Kitchen Remodel

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When planning to renovate your kitchen, you've likely put a lot of thought into the layout, the appliances and the color scheme. But too few homeowners give sufficient attention to planning the lighting for their new kitchen. But lighting the kitchen properly is an important component of creating a useful and enjoyable new space. Here are 5 tips to make sure you're getting the best from your kitchen lighting plan.

Don't Use One Source. No matter how small your kitchen may seem, trying to use just one overhead light to cover the whole area is more likely to result in a headache than a benefit. To try and illuminate the whole kitchen, the overhead light source may be too bright and create a glare that overpowers the space. It's also likely to cause strange shadows in work areas and be a decorative monstrosity. 

Consider Shadows. But be sure to understand where shadows will fall depending on the placement of specific lights and angles. The best way to test each light source if you're unsure is to set up a temporary light, such as a single bulb or battery-powered light, in that spot and move around simulating normal activities. 

Illuminate Tasks. Task lighting is set up in specific areas to light up places where certain tasks are commonly performed (like chopping, cooking or washing). It's a good way to complement your main overhead lighting sources and ensure that each space is easy to use. Task lighting is generally a good idea for heavily-used counter spaces, the stove, any islands and the pantry. 

Don't Forget the Cabinets. Under-cabinet lighting is often forgotten in the overall kitchen scheme. But failure to provide sufficient lighting underneath cabinets can render a large portion of your counter space unusable or at least unappealing for preparation work. Lighting under cabinets is commonly done with strip lighting, hockey puck-shaped halogen lights or long linear bulbs.

Add Accents. Modern kitchens are not all work and no play anymore. In planning and designing your new kitchen, you've no doubt added attractive new features like beautiful back-splashes, a new island or wall artwork. Don't forget to light these spots with special accent lighting that will highlight them like they deserve -- such as a pendant light over a bar or island or cabinet lighting to show off your china

It can be difficult to understand all the ins and outs of designing a lighting layout for a kitchen renovation, so you may want to consult with a qualified electrician, such as RDS Electric, with experience in this specific area of the home. He or she can help you find the best way to both use and show off your new room. 

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11 November 2015