Monthly Archives: April 2011

Home Backup Generator

A home backup generator is very useful to have in case of a power failure. It can keep

the lights and the freezer going. A larger home backup generator can ensure everything electrical in your house keeps running as it should. When you’re looking for a home backup generator, you need to know what size of generator to buy. How do you work out what you need in a backup home generator? At Electricians Los Angeles we install and repair home backup generators.

Home Backup Generator

Home Backup Generator

What Type of Home Backup Generator Is Best For My Home?

Types Of Generators

When it comes to a home backup generator you have a choice between one that’s small and portable or a larger unit that’s wired in to your house electrical system and that will automatically take over in the event of a power failure.
With a portable generator, one of around 5000 watts, you’re not going to be able to run everything in your home, but you will be able to take care of the basics. This means you’ll have light and you’ll be able to make sure the food in your freezer isn’t ruined. Usually this will mean a large extension cord from the generator with small cords to the appliances. That’s a lot of work.

Calculating Wattage

Your home backup generator needs to create a greater wattage than the appliances you’re running can use. That’s simple mathematics. To know the size of generator you need you need to know how much wattage each appliance pulls.
That’s not too difficult to find. Either the owner’s manual or simple research will be able to tell you. A light fixture with a 60 watt bulb pulls 60 watts, for instance. Total up all the lights in your house that you’ll want to run from the home backup generator to give the figure for lights. Think about which appliances are vital, such as the freezer and refrigerator. Total up the wattage for each of them. You need to allow a cushion between the total wattage you need and the amount put out by the home backup generator.

Startup Wattage

One problem is that the start up wattage of many appliances is much higher than the running wattage. In the case of a refrigerator, for example, it’s more than double the running wattage. You need to be able to factor this in when calculating the total wattage. This is why having a comfortable cushion of power is so vital. That start up wattage is also known as the surge wattage, and is there in every appliance when it’s first switched on.

Powering Your Home

You’ll find that a home backup generator will have an extra surge capacity to allow for the surge when appliances are switched on. With a 5000 watt generator this will be an extra 1000 watts. This will increase with the size of generators, but still leave a cushion. To power everything in your house you’ll need a home back generator that runs between 20 kilowatts and 30 kilowatts; the larger generator will give you the extra amount you might need.

For a free estimate, please contact us today!

Lighting Design

Lighting design can be a major factor in why many people cannot immediately identify why they may like or dislike a particular room or interior. Proper lighting and illumination is the single most critical factor in designing a pleasing interior environment. A successful lighting design is pleasing to the eye, focuses attention on key room features and eliminates shadows and “hot spots”. There are several lighting applications that can be used to meet specific lighting needs or to achieve a desired special effect. Need help with a lighting design, then please call Electrical Services Los Angeles for guidance and to have them install your lighting design in your home or business.

What Are the Different Types of Lighting Design?

In lighting design, GENERAL or AMBIENT LIGHTING refers to an even overall level of light provided to make a room or space comfortable and safe for its intended use. Recessed lighting is very popular as a general lighting source. Recessed lighting may be in the form of 3″ to 8″ diameter “can” type fixtures consisting of a “trim” and a “housing.” Recessed “trims” are the visible portion of the recessed light fixture and are available in hundreds of styles and colors to control the spread of light, reflect the light and/or match a particular decor or theme. The “housing” is the actual enclosure that is installed into the attic and connected to the power system. Different housings are available for new construction and remodel construction where attic access is difficult. Where recessed lighting may be in contact with building insulation, an “IC” rated housing is required to prevent a potential fire hazard. In may office environments, general lighting is provided in the form of luminous fluorescent ceiling panels.

Lighting Design

Lighting Design

Another component of lighting design is TASK LIGHTING which typically refers to the higher level of light provided on work areas such as kitchen islands, countertops and desks. Additional light is directed to these areas using recessed, track or pendant fixtures. Concealed under-cabinet lighting is also frequently used by lighting designers to provide task illumination without seeing the source (fixture). Fixtures with either low or line-voltage halogen or xenon bulbs provide a whiter, warmer light than fluorescent under-cabinet lighting. 5 watt xenon or halogen lamps spaced 6 inches apart are suitable for most task lighting purposes where the fixture is within 24″ of the work surface. Whether recessed, track or under-cabinet style, low voltage halogen or xenon lighting fixtures are smaller than line voltage lighting but require a transformer to change the voltage from 120 volt to 12 volt. The transformer is included inside many low voltage fixtures but is also sometimes separate depending on the particular fixture and style.

ACCENT LIGHTING. To be effective in lighting design, accent lighting should be approximately four times the level of ambient (background) light in an area. Focusing light on an “accented object” or “area” draws attention to a picture, vase or other focal point. Here again. Halogen lighting type fixtures provide a whiter, brighter appearance than standard incandescent or fluorescent type fixtures. The selected fixture should be directional, either a swivel or gimbal type fixture to aim the light exactly where it is needed. Adjustable surface mount fixtures, track fixtures and even recessed style fixtures are available with “aimability” in mind. For a dramatic museum-type effect, some fixtures can include a focusing lens for pinpoint accuracy.

WALL WASHING is a type of Accent Lighting that creates an area of uniform illumination that may desirable for a series of photos or artwork. Wall Washing reduces the texture of the wall surface. Often the reflected light can create ambient light in the remainder of the room that is pleasing and restful. WALL GRAZING is opposite from Wall Washing in that it creates a dramatic highlight and shadow effect on surfaces such as draperies, stone or brick. Ceiling light fixtures for Wall Grazing are placed closer to the wall than Wall Washing in order to highlight the three-dimensional effect.

Another type of lighting design, DISPLAY LIGHTING consists of small low voltage lighting fixtures to illuminate cabinets displaying keepsakes, ornaments, dinnerware etc. Many under-cabinet fixtures (as described above) are suitable for display lighting. Small space xenon fixtures used on a “Mini” or “Linear” track have unparalleled design flexibility. Tiny fixtures may be spaced anywhere along the track making it possible to create an even distribution or highlight task areas. Lamp choices from 3W to 20W allow illumination levels from a subtle glow to a brilliantly lit area. A “Light Baffle” often serves as a holder for the track and as a visual shield, concealing the halogen or xenon bulbs. An innovative use of the baffle is as a rigid support, such as spanning the edge. Installing lighting can be a very difficult and dangerous job. That’s why Electric Services Los Angeles is here to help with any electrical projects you may have, so call us today.

In lighting design, COVE LIGHTING gives a room a more open appearance by illuminating the perimeter of the room where the walls meet the ceiling. A large crown mold or soffit is built around the perimeter of the room providing a concealed space for a continuous halogen or xenon track lighting. Cove lighting looks best with a smooth, even wash of light. Fixtures should be placed at least 4″ from the wall with 6″ to 9″ being ideal to minimize scalloping. The ceiling height above the lamps should be not more than twice the distance from the wall. The lamp spacing and wattage will depend on distance and brightness level desired. For a medium light level, a good starting point is with 5-watt lamps spaced 6″ on center, with a track spaced 6″ from the wall and 10″ from the ceiling. From this reference point you can design the light level up or down as desired. A room with a dark ceiling, or a brightly lit room may need a higher light level.

Lighting design that is thoughtfully considered can make a world of difference and will be an improvement that lasts for many years. Many home improvement stores include sample displays of the various lighting systems and fixtures mentioned above. As with most appliances and electronics, there is a wide variety in the quality of lighting fixtures available. Be sure your purchase is from reputable well known company with fixtures that are either UL or ETC listed. There are numerous online retailers that offer name brand fixtures delivered to your door at very competitive prices.

For a free estimate on you next electrical project, please call Los Angeles Electrical Services today!

Electrical Home Improvements

Electrical home improvements like minor problems with light fixtures or electric outlets in your house may inspire you to get into do-it-yourself mode. A two plug outlet where only one plug works or a light fixture that sputters on and off are annoying and easy to fix yourself.

Electrical Home Improvements

Electrical Home Improvements

Safety is a key issue when doing any kind electrical home improvements — especially when a repair calls for messing around with live wires, outlets, ceiling fans installations or light fixtures.

Those who have attempted electrical home improvements and failed will admit that the results can be, well, downright shocking…

What Do I Need to Know Before Attempting Electrical Home Improvements?

Major electrical home improvements usually need to be done by a Los Angeles electrician licensed to work in your area, but minor repairs to appliances, outlets and other wired objects in your home can fall into the do-it-your category as long as you make sure that the power is off before you start!

If you are working on any sort of wiring project, it is important to use the right wiring and connectors. For example, inside wiring that stays warm and dry will not be safe to use in external outlets where water can be a hazard.

If you are not sure that you have the proper equipment, ask someone who has experience or get a Los Angeles electrician to do the work. Poorly done wiring work can cause fires and electrical shocks. Normally, you can ask at the shop when you buy your supplies to make sure that your wiring will be safe.

You can definitely save money and aggravation with do-it-yourself electrical home improvements. Start simple and take on the more complicated projects after you’ve gotten familiar with the process by doing the easy stuff.

Whether a do-it-yourself job around the house calls for fixing a light fixture, hanging a ceiling fan, installing a doorbell, or rewiring an heirloom lamp start with some tips from online experts before you begin the project.

Looking a for an electrician in Los Angeles? You have come to the right place. We are here to help you with any of your electrical problems in a residential or commercial property. Call us today for a free estimate!