Tag: lighting

Halloween Lighting and Extension Cord Safety

halloween lighting and extension cord safety

Halloween is a great time to spook your neighborhood out with exciting decorations and festive lights. However, the true horror would be doing all of that without practicing electrical safety. The last thing you need is an electrical fire on your hands. But you don’t need to worry too much about that because the pros at Roman Electric are here to tell you all you need to know about Halloween lighting and extension cord safety!

1. If Using Old Lights, Be Sure to Inspect Them Before Use!

It’s smart and cost-effective to use older decorations. However, before you put them up, be sure to look at them and see if there are no frayed or loose wires, broken bulbs or loose connections. If ignored, these seemingly small problems can turn into major fire hazards.

2. If Putting Up Outdoor Lights, Use an Outdoor Extension Cord

Many people make the mistake of using indoor extension cords outdoors—do not make this same misstep! Indoor extension cords do not have proper insulation, which often protects outdoor cords from temperature changes and moisture outdoors. In addition, indoor extension cords have lower amperage ratings, meaning they would not be able to power outdoor lights and decorations. Use an outdoor extension cord for your outdoor decorations as it will be a much more durable option. You can easily find an outdoor cord at your nearest home improvement store—make sure you check the label for the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) approved outdoor rated cord.

3. Make Use of Your GFCI Outlet

Make sure you plug your decorations into GFCI outlets. GFCI stands for “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter”—an outlet with a GFCI can protect people from electrocution. If you plug an appliance into a GFCI outlet and the appliance is exposed to a lot of water, the GFCI can sense this interruption and shut power off immediately. A GFCI outlet can quite literally be lifesaver, so be sure to make use of it this Halloween.

4. Use Weatherproof Outlet Covers

The weather can be quite unpredictable these days—that’s why it’s important to take the right precautions to protect your Halloween decorations from it. One way you can do that is to use weatherproof outlet covers. A lot of these outlet covers can protect your outlets while decorations are still plugged in and in-use.

5. Use Hooks to Hang Up Your Lights

Make sure to never nail in your string lights on trees or walls. Instead, use insulated hooks while hanging your Halloween lights and decorations.

6. Use LED Candles for Your Pumpkins

To avoid risk of burns or even a fire, use an LED candle instead of a real, wax candle. It will have the same spooky effect while being completely safe to use!

Have any more questions about safe Halloween lighting? Our team of professionals will be more than happy to help you out! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service with us on our website!

Lighting Techniques for High Ceilings

lighting techniques for high ceilings

Figuring out indoor lighting for your home is already difficult. Figuring out indoor lighting for a home with high ceilings is even more difficult. However, if you are spending a lot of your time indoors recently (like hopefully, many Americans) now might be a great time to research some lighting techniques for your home’s high ceiling. This way, you can decide what will work for you and get a general idea of what you want your indoor lighting to look like. To help you out, the pros at Roman Electric have created a helpful guide about the most flattering lighting techniques for high ceilings!

1. Pendant Lighting

If you want a lighting fixture that draws attention and gives your home a more contemporary feel, consider adding pendant light. Pendant lights are usually larger lone fixtures that are suspended from the ceiling. Available at various home improvement stores as well as online, pendant lights come in various designs and offer different functions. Some of these lights can provide simple ambient lighting while others come in the form of fans that also have lighting fixtures. If you want something functional that also makes a bold statement, consider adding pendant lighting. This kind of lighting will look best in your living room and will serve both functional and decorative purposes.

2. Layer the Lights

If you want to use indoor lighting to really bring your home together, you will have to layer lighting. Generally, there are three types of lighting:

  • Ambient lighting is created by the primary source of light in the room.
  • Task lighting is meant to provide lighting for a specific task, work or activity.
  • Accent lighting is meant to draw attention to specific decorations, art or artifacts.

For ambient lighting, consider using recessed lights or pendant lights – or you can use both. Both these lights can be great for a high ceiling and won’t look out of place. In fact, they will add a modern look to your home. However, make sure it doesn’t look too overwhelming and isn’t too bright. It’s best to figure out ambient lighting before and work around it. Once you have decided what you want for ambient lighting, consider the other needs of your home. Do you often do a lot of reading in your living room? You might need effective task lighting for that—any kind of floor lamp might work. Do you have artwork or decorative pieces you want to highlight? You can use accent lighting to bring attention to them, specifically recessed lighting.

3. Use LEDs!

LEDs or light emitting diodes are energy-efficient alternatives to incandescent bulbs. They use at least 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. So, if you want to save up on your energy bills, use LED lights for your high ceiling lights!

Want more lighting tips? Contact the pros at Roman Electric! Call today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service with us on our website!

Recessed Lighting Options for Your Porch

recessed lighting for your porch

Recessed lighting is a commonly used lighting option, especially indoors. It is installed directly in the ceiling and allows the look of a well-lit home without the fixture being too visible. Recessed lighting is  highly functional, versatile and contemporary. If you are thinking of adding new lighting to your home, we recommend recessed lighting. When it comes to the exterior of your home, you can still consider recessed lighting, especially for your porch. A well-lit porch is necessary to ensure your safety, especially when you’re coming back home at night and you have little lighting. If you are considering adding recessed lighting to your porch, here are some options the pros at Roman Electric recommend!

1. First Things First: Choose LED Lights

Yes, we have recommended LED lights countless times, but that’s only because of how great they are! LED lights have many options, are dimmable and often come in shatter-proof encasings. In addition, LED lights use up to 75% less energy than incandescent lights and can last 25 times longer. So, if you’re considering what kinds of bulbs you should use for recessed porch lighting, we recommend LED lights!

2. Use Outdoor Lights Only

This usually goes without saying but we still want to mention it here because it’s very important: Only use lights that are meant for outdoor use. If you use indoor lights outdoors it will expose these lights to moisture and debris – which they are not designed to handle. This can most likely end up being dangerous for you and your lights, so make sure you use outdoor recessed lights. You can usually tell which lights are meant to be used outdoors as they will have labels that say “For Damp Locations” or will have a proper UL rating.

3. Consider Lighting Controls

Lighting controls such as dimmers, motion sensors and timers are great because they create energy-efficient lighting and save a significant amount of money. However, if you want to install recessed lighting with lighting controls, it is best to consult a professional before you do it. Many recessed lights are not meant to be used with lighting controls. For example, if you use recessed lighting with no dimming capability with a dimmer, these lights won’t perform well. In fact, they might continue using the same amount of energy while giving you a poorly lit porch. So, do your research before you add lighting controls to your recessed porch lights.

4. Consider Recessed Lighting Techniques

There isn’t just one way to add recessed lighting to the exterior of your home. There are various downlighting, sizing and spacing techniques to consider. In addition, when it comes to recessed lighting you want to consider the different lighting “trims.” The trim is essentially the shape or cut of the fixture in which the bulb sits. There are various trims such as flangeless trims, flanged trims, adjustable trims and wet location trims. These options give homeowners the chance to play around with the aesthetic they want to achieve with the appearance of their lights.

Trims also have functional purposes—adjustable trims are better for sloped ceilings whereas wet location trims are better for areas where there is moisture and humidity. Baffle and specular trims can reduce glare to prevent harsh lighting whereas open reflector trims emit a higher degree of light.

Before you look into all these options, techniques and trims, consider the type of porch you have and the ambience you want to create. Ideally, you want your porch to be well-lit without too much of a glare. So, a baffle or specular trim might work for you. Since a porch is a wet location, you might want to consider recessed lights with wet location trims as well.

Have Questions About Choosing Recessed Lighting for Your Porch? Call Roman Electric at 414-369-3798 or Schedule a Service online!

Proper Lighting for Stairs and Hallways

proper lighting for stairs and hallways

A poorly lit staircase or hallway can be inconvenient and even cause safety problems for you or your family. That’s why it is important to make sure your stairs and hallways are well-lit just like the rest of your house. If you don’t know what lighting you should choose, don’t worry because the pros at Roman Electric are here to help you out. Here is a quick guide on choosing proper lighting for the stairs and hallways in your home!

1. Choose LEDs!

Before you start deciding what kinds of lighting designs or fixtures you want, it’s important to know that LEDs are most likely the best choice. Residential LED lights use at least 75% less energy and can last 25 times longer than standard incandescent lighting. LEDs can also come with dimming capabilities and don’t radiate heat, making them a safer option. So, if you’re planning on changing up the lights in your stairs and hallways, make sure you choose LED lights!

2. Avoid Glare

One of the most common mistakes when choosing indoor lighting, whether it’s for the stairwell, hallway or living room, is picking harsh lighting. Most people do this simply because they want to light up potential dark corners to prevent eye strain and tripping. However, harshly lit areas do more harm than good and don’t make your home seem like the welcoming and warm place that it is. That’s why it’s important to pick softer lighting that is functional AND aesthetically pleasing. The best and easiest way to achieve this is by mounting up wall-sconces. They are easier to maintain, and they illuminate your hallway or stairwell without being too imposing.

3. Use Pendant Lighting

If you want to make a statement, we recommend using pendant lighting. This is a bold way to provide functional and decorative lighting over your stairs and hallways. There are various designs and types of pendants on the market available online as well as in your local home improvement stores. Keep in mind that in some cases pendant lighting might either provide too little or too much lighting in your hallways and stairwells, so consider the structure of your home and your lighting needs.

4. Use Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting, which is often achieved by “can lights,” has become a common method of indoor lighting because of its versatility.  It can be used to provide accent lighting, create shadows and illuminate specific parts of your home. Consider using “can lights” to provide softer lighting in your hallways and stairwells. This lighting method is an easy and affordable way to achieve a more contemporary feel for your home.

Want More Stairwell and Hallway Lighting Tips? Contact Roman Electric!

We hope this guide on proper lighting for stairs and hallways was helpful. If you have more questions about the ways you can light up your home, get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service on our website!

Where to Install Bullet Lights Around Your Home

where to install bullet lights

If you’re wondering what bullet lights are and where you can install them around your home, this blog is for you. Check out this guide by the pros at Roman Electric to learn about the best places in your home to install bullet lights.

What Are Bullet Lights?

The term “bullet light” refers to the small and narrow fixture of the light. Bullet lights provide directional and accent lighting to highlight a specific feature in your home. These lights can also be placed outdoors, so if you have a plant, tree or fancy garden feature on your landscape, a bullet light would do a great job of highlighting it. These lights can be made from a variety of materials such as copper, brass and aluminum. In addition, LED bullet lights can last for longer periods of time without consuming a lot of energy, giving homeowners considering bullet lights an energy-efficient option!

Where Can You Install Bullet Lights Around Your Home?

  1. Highlight A Landscape Feature in Your Front Yard

If have certain features in your front yard that you want the neighbors to see, a bullet accent light might be a good option. These lights can make the exterior of your home stand out in your neighborhood and create a warmer and welcoming ambiance. However, before you install these lights, it’s best to contact a professional who can help you figure out the logistics regarding installation and wiring. In addition, call 811 before you do any digging and electrical work in your front yard. Texas811 points out where in your front yard you have utility lines, so you don’t accidentally hit them when performing any installations.

  1. Stay Safe with Flood Lights

Using flood lights is one of the most common ways to provide outdoor lighting for homes. Flood lighting is this common because it can light up driveways, streets and dark corners. This can enhance the security, safety and comfort of your home. Plus, flood lights can be modified with timers and motion sensors in order to consume energy more efficiently. Bullet lights can make great flood lights because of the intense, focused lighting they provide.

  1. Highlight A Painting in Your Living Room

If you have a specific feature in your living room such as a painting or piece of art, bullet accent lights are a great way to bring attention to it. If you have been to an art museum, you might have noticed that paintings and sculptures are emphasized with accent bullet lights, in order to be more eye-catching.  You can do the same thing in your living room to highlight you artistic abilities, while adding a unique, contemporary feel to your home.

Want to Install Bullet Lights in Your Home? Contact the Pros at Roman Electric!

If you want to learn more about where or how you can install bullet lights in your home, get in touch with Roman Electric. You can call us today 414-369-3798 or schedule a service on our website!

Creative Ways to Light Your Home

creative ways to light your home

If you are looking for a fun project to start off the new year, consider changing up the lighting in your home. Good and unique lighting can make your home well-lit as well as give off the ambiance you want! If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. The pros at Roman Electric have come up with a helpful list of creative ways to light your home.

1. Solar Pathway Lighting

A shadowy, unlit home at night is both unsafe and aesthetically problematic. Plus, it makes it harder for anyone walking in the front yard a little harder to see, increasing the chances of tripping and falling. To prevent this from happening, add some solar pathway lights. These lights are inexpensive, come in a variety of styles and designs and since they are solar powered, they won’t take up any electricity. These great pathway lights can come with photovoltaic cells that absorb sunlight, which helps to light the bulbs at night. Lastly, these lights are easy to install as they don’t require any wiring or cords—simply stake them in the ground and they’re ready to go!

2. Add Under Cabinet Lighting to Your Kitchen

Task lighting is important for various rooms in your home such as your kitchen. Having areas where you work, cook or perform tasks, require decent lighting—hence the name “task lighting.” If you find that the lighting is poor in your kitchen, consider adding under cabinet task lights. Plus, when installed properly, undercabinet lighting can add a more contemporary feel to your kitchen. For this type of lighting, LED bulbs will most likely be the best option, since they use less energy and last longer. Plus, they are dimmable and, more importantly, don’t radiate heat so you don’t have to worry about sweating into your food.

3. Get Creative with String or Fairy Lights

If you want to add some creative lighting to your kids’ rooms, you can never go wrong with string or fairy lights. Here are some ways you can creatively light your own or your kids’ rooms with these fun lights:

  • Hang Them Around the Mirror

One way you can add a nice, unique ambiance to a bedroom is by hanging string lights around the mirror. Use damage-free hooks to properly secure the lights and make sure you use LED bulbs in plastic encasings. Incandescent bulbs with glass encasings are more vulnerable and can radiate heat.

  • Fairy Lights in A Jar

Fairy lights are smaller and thinner than string lights and can be battery operated. You can either hang them in different areas around your room or put them in a jar to create a small lamp for yourself!

  • String Up Lights with Photos

The combination of hanging up lights with photos is very popular, especially among young adults. It gives personality to rooms and creates a warm, cozy effect.

4. Use Candle Sconces for Soft Lighting

If there are areas around your home that would benefit with soft lighting, consider using candle sconces. Your bathroom could be a great place for this, since bathroom lighting is usually harsh and unflattering. Using candle sconces with battery operated candles will achieve softer lighting and more importantly, will require less electricity!

Light Up Your Home with Roman Electric!

If you want to learn more about different creative ways to light your home, get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service with us on our website!

Why You Should Choose Christmas LED Lights

choose christmas led lights

We have talked about LED lights a lot before, but that’s because homeowners should know how important they are. These lights have great features that distinguish them from their incandescent counterparts, making them good for various uses including as Christmas lights. If you’re not sure why you should choose Christmas LED lights, let the pros at Roman Electric convince you!

1. They Are Energy-Efficient

One of the best qualities about LED lights is that they are energy-efficient. According to the Department of Energy, residential LED lights can use at least 75% less energy while lasting 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. If you replace five of the most frequently used lightbulbs in your home with ENERGY-STAR LED bulbs, you can save $75 per year. So, if you’re looking for Christmas lights this year, consider using LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs to save up on your utility bill!

2. They Can Be Safer

Christmas LED bulbs do not have to be made of glass. These bulbs can come in epoxy lenses, making them shatter resistant. In addition, LED bulbs do not radiate heat, so you won’t have to worry about burning your fingers when fixing up the lights. This specific feature makes them a better option than incandescent bulbs and even CFLS – which are considered a better alternative to incandescent lights.

3. They Are Versatile

LED lights seem to get better with each year—the same can be said for Christmas LED lights. There are various Christmas lighting options on the market, with lights being sold in different colors, shapes and sizes. In addition, they have a lot of features such as timers and dimmers, allowing you to control your Christmas lighting.

4. They Can Work in Cool Temperatures

If you live in a particularly cold climate and you’re worried about your lights faltering, you should consider LED lights. These lights have no problem working in various weather conditions, making them more durable. LEDs can get more efficient as the temperature outside gets lower.

5. They Are Non-Toxic

LED lights are the most environmentally friendly option on the market. CFLS contain toxic mercury which can be harmful to you as well as the environment. LEDs don’t have any mercury, making them a greener alternative. LED lights are also 100 % recyclable—so not only are they energy efficient, long-lasting and shatter-resistant, they are far better for the environment than other lighting options.

One Thing to Keep in Mind…

While LED lights have excellent features, they also have a high up-front cost. Incandescent bulbs are relatively cheaper, which is the one quality that gives the standard bulbs a bit of an edge over LEDs. However, it is also important to note that while incandescent lights might be cheaper, they might be eating a large chunk of your electricity bill over time. LEDs are expensive at first but will save you some money in the long run.

Light Up Your Home with Roman Electric

If you want to learn more about why you should choose LED lights, get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service on our website!

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

christmas lighting safety tips

With Christmas almost here, it’s no secret that homeowners have started decorating their homes in various decorative lights. While you share this fun and festive tradition with your loved ones, remember to stay safe. Any little mistake or oversight and you might be dealing with electrical problems that could potentially harm you or your family and friends. To help you stay safe, the pros at Roman Electric have some helpful and effective Christmas lighting safety tips.

1. Use LEDs!

If you are thinking of purchasing new Christmas lights, skip the incandescent bulbs and get LED lights instead. According to the Department of Energy, LED lights last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting and use at least 75 % less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. These lights also don’t radiate heating and can come with epoxy lenses, making them less likely to shatter. Incandescent bulbs are far more vulnerable to breaking and burning fingers—switch to LEDs today!

2. Don’t Use Old Lights

Before you hang up your Christmas lights, make sure your lights are not broken and the wires are not worn out. If you notice your lights are old or deteriorated, it is best to get newer lights. Older and broken lights can be dangerous in addition to being inefficient.

3. Outdoor Lights and Indoor Lights are NOT Interchangeable

Make sure the lights you use are meant for outdoor or indoor use. You can’t use lights made for indoor use outside and vice versa. Be especially careful with extension cords—if you are using them outside, ensure they are rated for outdoor use (check the packaging for signs such as “Safe for Outdoor Use”). Make sure you plug these cords into GFCI outlets, which protect you from shock if the cord is exposed to water.

4. Avoid Candles

Although candles might create the soft ambiance you want, it’s usually not a great idea to use them in great quantity. If you decide to use candles, make sure you keep them far away from the tree. A lot of Christmas tree fires (yes, there is such a thing as a Christmas tree fire) are caused by candles that have been placed a little too close to trees.

Pro tip: Try battery operated candles! They are safe, affordable and they achieve the soft glow you desire!

5. Don’t Leave Lights On

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your Christmas lights (outside or inside) when you go to bed. Leaving lights on throughout the night can cost you a lot on your electric bill. To prevent this issue, you can get lights with timers that allow the lights to shut off automatically!

Stay Safe This Holiday Season with Roman Electric!

We hope these Christmas lighting safety tips have been helpful for you. If you want to learn more about how you can practice electrical safety while having a fun and festive Christmas, get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule an appointment with us on our website!

 

 

 

 

Lighting Tips for Your Outdoor Patio

lighting-tips-for-your-outdoor-patio

One of the most enjoyable activities we can partake in during the summertime is a relaxing night spent outdoors on the patio. Kicking back with friends and family around food and drinks is something everyone enjoys, and it’s even better when you get the opportunity to host at your home.

However, nothing can derail an idyllic night outdoors like a wonky lighting setup. With the right lighting, your patio becomes the place to be, with just the right amount of illumination that highlights what you want. But the wrong lighting means you and your guests won’t be able to enjoy the time together like you’d hoped. Here are a few lighting tips for your patio from the lighting experts at Roman Electric!

Assess What Your Patio is Used for

The first step in lighting your patio is to figure out how you want your space to be used. Not every patio is built the same, and what makes one shine might make another look cramped and oversaturated.

Is your patio going to be more relaxed with a low-key environment centered around a fire pit? What about a livelier barbecue area where people can crank up the music and splash in the pool? The function of your patio is integral to figuring out the lighting setup, so get a rough idea of how you and your family are planning to use it before going all-in on lighting purchases.

Don’t Overdo It

Thanks to the lack of natural light, it doesn’t take much to highlight the areas of your patio that you want to show off. One of the biggest mistakes that some people make is thinking that they need a lot of artificial lights to effectively showcase their patio – but the opposite is true.

You won’t need much. In fact, with just a few types of lighting, your patio will sparkle and stand out. Here are a few types of patio lighting that you can choose from, although the list isn’t exhaustive by any means:

  • Footpath lighting
  • Floodlights
  • String lights
  • Luau lights
  • Light coming from fire in a fire pit
  • Lanterns

Pick a couple of these lighting types and space them out to work in tandem to create an ideal patio lighting setup.

Style, Substance or Both?

But again, you’ll need to keep in mind how you plan to use your patio. If it’s going to see a lot of foot traffic – perhaps in a home with lots of small children that could find their way out there – then you’ll want to avoid delicate lighting setups that wayward visitors could stumble into.

But if you’re just setting up for a peaceful getaway with a few friends, then you can go with a more elaborate setup. Just plan ahead and take your future situation into account before you invest in something that will need adjusting soon.

Roman Electric: Your Outdoor Lighting Pros

No matter what your lighting situation is – whether you’re thinking about investing in a patio for the first time or just need some advice on how to tweak your current lighting setup – Roman Electric can help! Let our trained experts make sure everything will go smoothly, and give us a call at 414-369-3798!

How to Choose the Right Light Bulb

how to choose the right light bulb

Buying the right light bulb used to be a simple, straightforward task. There weren’t many options – if any at all – so your choice was easy. When Thomas Edison figured out how to create light bulbs, he definitely didn’t imagine the vast array of specialized bulbs we have access to today, but here we are.

Figuring out which type you would benefit most from can be time-consuming and a real head-scratcher. But it doesn’t need to be! The different varieties of light bulbs have different benefits and drawbacks, and we’re confident you’ll be able to find the right one with the help of the lighting pros at Roman Electric!

Let’s Work Through the Types

It’s best to start with a breakdown of the different types of light bulbs, just so you’ll have an idea of how the varieties you’ll encounter at a store will work.

  • Incandescent bulbs – These are what you probably envision when you think of a light bulb. They use a filament to emit light, and they’re the cheapest. But they’re also the most prone to breaking and to burning out, so you have to weigh how much you care about cheaper bulbs versus replacing them more frequently.
  • CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) – All of those twisty bulbs you’ve seen are CFLs. They’re better for the environment and have a pretty long shelf life. However, they’re not great at emitting ambient light for a room.
  • Halogen bulbs – Usually brighter than incandescent bulbs, and they’re more efficient. These resemble the harsher light you see during daytime, which makes them not so great for lamps and things like that. They’re better for direct task lights.
  • LEDs – These bulbs are more expensive to buy, but they’re electric-based instead of heat-based. As a result, they last much longer and are way more efficient.

What Do You Need?

If you’re just aiming for the bulb that will light up your living room the best, then it’s hard to go wrong with an incandescent bulb (if you don’t mind replacing them somewhat frequently) or an LED (if you’d prefer to just get one bulb and forget about them).

But other times we need different features. For example, perhaps you need a bulb with dimming capabilities. If that’s the case, then you’d want to avoid CFLs, which can’t dim at all.

Look for the Lumens (and the Warmth)

It’s obviously a good idea to figure out how bright you want a light bulb to be. Brightness is measured in lumens (not wattage, which is just a way to tell how much power the bulb needs to emit light), and a traditional incandescent bulb that you’d use in a living room lamp will give off anywhere between 300-600 lumens on average.

With that baseline, you can begin to get an idea of how powerful you need a bulb to be when you’re browsing the aisles at your local hardware store.

 

Light bulb shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. If you’re in the market for a new lighting setup or just need a few pointers on how to make your space really “pop,” give the lighting experts at Roman Electric a call at 414-369-3798 today!