Tag Archives: lighting tips

Top 5 Outdoor Lighting Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

deck lighting

You’ve worked all month getting your outdoor space in tip-top shape for summer, so why not elevate your outdoor space with outdoor lighting? Adding lights to your outdoor space is a great way to enhance the ambiance of your home, while also allowing you to show off your beautiful yard, day or night.

However, there are a few things that can go south when adding lighting to your yard, which is why the professionals at Fusion Electric are showing you the top outdoor lighting mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Related Read: Fusion Electric: Kansas City’s Choice for Outdoor Lighting

1. Bad Placement

Believe it or not, bad placement of outdoor lighting can be just as bad as not having the lighting at all. Bad placement could result in over illumination and an overall imbalance to the look of your home. Strategic lighting can ensure safety, such as illuminating walking paths.

These lights come in a variety of styles that can also add a decorative touch to your landscaping. Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, make sure you can enjoy it after dark. Our electricians at Fusion Electric have the skills to install in-ground pool lighting, as well as above ground lighting on the pool deck.

Placing fixtures at the incorrect angles can also result in lighting glares. When choosing the placement and angle of your outdoor lights, aim for a balance and subtlety.

Related Read: Summer Outdoor Lighting Trend: Edison Bulbs

2. Not Enough Power for Outdoor Lighting

Underpowered lights can leave your home looking underwhelming. Spending time and money on lighting your outdoor space shouldn’t be ruined by a dull light, which is why it is important to buy lights that are powerful enough to light your space. Safety and security are two of the main reasons that homeowners choose to install outdoor lighting.

The brighter your lights, the more likely unwanted guests will be seen by neighbors or passersby and the less likely they are to risk getting caught. Flood lights can be motion activated as well. Cheaper, battery and solar-powered lights are usually not enough to get the job done and appear dim, so stay away from choosing these types of lights for your yard.

If you like to entertain with food and happen to have an outdoor kitchen or cooking area, Fusion Electric’s certified electricians can make sure your outdoor cooking area is set up with the correct type of lighting, as well as outfitted with convenient and safe outdoor outlets for all your cooking needs.

Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season

3. Wrong Color

Keep in mind the color or temperature of the lights you are choosing. If the color of the light is too warm, it can appear as yellow-tinted light that seems dated or dirty. However, if the light is too white it can create a sterile, commercial feel.

Finding the perfect balance of color that will enhance your outdoor space, rather than take away from it, is crucial for the curb appeal and ambiance of your home. Also, you may want to consider how a bulb’s light color with shift and change as it burns out, to avoid inconsistency with the other lights in your yard.

4. Lights That Glare

Bad lighting glare can be extremely distracting to guests, drawing their focus away from the bigger picture of your outdoor space. As we noted earlier, this can be avoided by the right placement of lights, but also by not overcrowding your outdoor space with excess lighting.

If you’re still having trouble with lighting glare after you’ve corrected the placement and angle of the lights, you will want to try frosted lenses or shrouds to eliminate this issue.

5. Contrast Is Key

While balance is important in lighting your outdoor space, choosing the right contrast for your lighting is key. Contrast is achieved by using layers of primary and secondary lighting, as well as background and soft lighting to create shadows and accentuating light. These accent lights are used to draw attention to specific areas of your landscaping.

You can highlight a tree, an outdoor statue or fountain, an arbor, or even an architectural feature of your home. Accent lights can be placed on the ground to point upward (perhaps into a tree) or placed in a tree to point downward highlighting something on the ground. While they provide a beautiful glow to your yard, they are generally not used for security purposes.

Lack of contrast can make your outdoor space feel washed out and boring, but by carefully identifying the focal points of your outdoor space and adding contrast to them, you can highlight your yard’s best features.

If you’re thinking of installing outdoor lighting, leave it to the professionals at Fusion Electric! Give us a call at (913) 648-9487 or check out our website for more information!

 

The Basics: Troubleshooting Tips for When Your Lights Won’t Turn On

fusion-electric-3A17-troubleshooting-for-lights-outSometimes we take advantage of the fact that when we flip a switch, the light comes on. We fail to understand all of the things that must be working properly in order for this to happen. When the day comes that you flip the switch and nothing happens, try these simple troubleshooting tips to diagnose the problem before contacting an electrician:

Related Read: Electrical Troubleshooting: Is It the Wiring of the Light or the Wiring of Your Home

Check the Basics

Despite how certain you are that the lamp is plugged in or that you flipped the right switch, check anyways. Far too often the obvious and simple are the most overlooked cause and sometimes even the culprit. Sometime a cord can come loose, or your forgot to flip the switch that powers a specific outlet, double and triple-check that everything is plugged in correctly.

Related Read: An Electrician’s Guide to Power Outages

Inspect the Physical

You are checking for more than the obvious here, such as the bulbs and cords. Be sure to unplug anything before inspection. For such fixtures as overhead or fluorescent lights, do a visual inspection of the housing unit. Anything such as a bad bulb or broken cord should be apparent. Often times a wire can become frayed causing it to no longer function properly. These are the things that might not seem apparent until a thorough inspection.

Related Read: 5 Warning Signs That Your Home’s Electrical System is Outdated

Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker could have shut off a circuit for any number of reasons. Checking for any issues here should be quickly resolved by switching on any breaker-switch that may have been activated. If you’re not familiar with the circuit breaker for you home, consider calling an electrician.

Outlet Tester

If the breaker switch didn’t resolve the problem and the light is on a circuit that is active, then a bad outlet may be the issue. Likely it’s an outlet that no longer has power running to it, using a test kit will quickly alert you if this is where the problem exists.

These quick fixes and tips will work often, and restore life back to normal. If you are still in the dark then contact us to get help or answers for any of your electrical questions.

Beating the Winter Blues: How The Right Lighting Can Brighten Your Mood

Winter brings great joy for some people sitting by a warm fire, sipping hot cocoa or playing in the snow. For some unlucky people, winter represents feeling tired, depressed or having an overall unhappy feeling. The good news is that winter time does not have to bring on the blues! Here some ways that the right lighting can brighten your mood.

Why So Blue?Seasonal Affective Disorder Light Therapy

As fall changes to winter, temperatures plummet in some areas and the sun shines less. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a seasonal related depression that typically starts and stops the same time each year, usually during the colder and darker months. However, it is believed that SAD is more likely related to the decrease in natural sunlight rather than the decrease in temperature.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Did you know that approximately five percent of people in the United States suffer from SAD? Another 10-20 percent also exhibit mild symptoms in the winter. This means that approximately 10 million Americans have SAD. SAD is more frequent is people who live further from the equator and there may be a genetic link as family history seems to play a role. Both women and men suffer from SAD, but women are approximately four times more likely to have SAD. There seem to be additional factors such as age as it most often develops between the ages of 18 and 30.

What are Some Symptoms of Fall & Winter SAD?

  • Low energy levels
  • Irritability
  • Oversleeping
  • Weight gain and craving high-carb foods
  • Difficulty getting along with others and increased sensitivity to rejection

Lighting the Way to Symptom Relief

An effective and simple way to alleviate symptoms of the winter blues is light therapy. Typical phototherapy treatment for SAD is the use of a 10,000 lux light box that includes a UV filter for about 30 minutes each morning. Other ideas to brighten up the day include:

  • Wake-up lights/alarms that gradually increase the lighting in the room to mimic the natural increase in daylight.
  • Smart bulbs that can be programmed to give off bright, cool tones in the morning and change to more warm tones towards afternoon and evening.
  • Light therapy lamps that produce between 7,000 and 10,000 lux, but emit no UV rays.
  • Install adjustable controls to lighting already in the home, providing the option of brighter lighting in the morning and decreasing the lighting throughout the day.
  • Increase the overall lighting in your home and/or office with the use of warm lighting lamps.
  • Get outside and soak up some sunshine during the day, even if it’s just for a 15-minute break at work.

Things to Consider When Adjusting Lighting

  • Avoid just increasing wattage on regular bulbs or sitting in front of lights that emit UV rays.
  • Can your electrical system handle the extra work? When adding additional lighting or different and stronger forms of lighting, avoid overloading outlets or extension cords.
  • Evaluate natural lighting in your home when determining where the most artificial light is needed.
  • Consult a professional when changing wiring or lighting controls.

 

Beat your winter blues by enhancing your home’s indoor lighting! Need help with installation or making sure your wiring is up to safety standards? Contact Fusion Electric today so experienced professionals can lighten up your winter!

Why Using LED Light Bulbs Is a Bright Idea

Why Using LED Light Bulbs Is a Bright IdeaHave you noticed your neighbors swapping out conventional incandescent lights with LED lights? You may wonder if this is just a trend or if making the switch is truly saving Kansas City homeowners on their electric bills.

In order to help homeowners make an informed decision, Fusion Electric is breaking down this bright idea and all the benefits that come with making the switch to LED lighting.

What Is an LED Light?

led-light-bulb-blue-background-fusion-electric-kcLED lights, or Light Emitting Diodes, were invented just eighty years after Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. Although they have been around for years, recent developments in technology have LED bulbs growing more popular as an alternative to conventional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.

You may have heard of them due to their energy savings and heat reduction potential, but the benefits don’t stop there. To compare potential annual savings between a typical incandescent bulb and an LED bulb, check out this handy LED savings calculator.

How LED Bulbs Work

The technology itself of an LED light is much more intuitive than an incandescent bulb. Incandescents work by heating a coil to the point at which it glows, while LEDs produce light by allowing negative electrons to combine with a positively charged solid, usually silicon or gallium. Since negative and positive particles attract each other, and the electron moves at the speed of light, the force of the negative particle combining with the positive ion releases light.

What’s Makes LED Bulbs Different?

LEDs produce a color of intense white light which is more energizing and better replicates natural light than the muddy orange hue of incandescents. If you are not a fan of bright LED light, you can now purchase different hues of lighting to best fit your preferences.

Once you find the LED bulbs you prefer, switching your home to energy-efficient lighting is easy! LEDs fit into any light bulb socket, and last anywhere from 6 to 30 years per bulb depending on usage.

Are LED Light Bulbs More Expensive?

With more recent technology, the LED is now more economically viable than it ever has been before. Check out the graphic to the left and you’ll see that LED lights require much less electricity per unit of light created compared to both the incandescent and fluorescent light bulb. This also means a few more benefits for consumers:

  • fusion-electric-lighting-statistics-bulbsFor every incandescent light bulb replaced by an LED, the consumer saves upwards of 50 dollars a year including the cost of replacements. This means that homeowners save hundreds of dollars annually by switching to LEDs.
  • Since electricity is produced primarily by coal and natural gas, LED light bulbs are better for the environment than incandescents. Furthermore, since LEDs don’t contain hazardous gases, they are also more environmentally friendly than fluorescent bulbs and safer for your home.

Thinking about making the switch to LED lighting? Contact Fusion Electric today and transform your Kansas City home into an electrically efficient machine! For more helpful electrical tips and tricks, check out our blog.

A Bright New Trend: Edison Bulbs

edison bulbs hanging fixture Fusion Electric

In recent years, the Edison bulb, also known as a filament bulb, has made a major comeback. They come in many different shapes, sizes and looks, but they are all known for adding a charming glow and an unforgettable ambiance to any setting. This retro bulb is all the rage in restaurants and homes across the country, and is now available to purchase in almost any hardware store.

Today we’re sharing some bright ideas on how Edison bulbs can be used in your home, as well as dishing out some facts you need to consider before buying them.

 

Create an Outdoor Oasis

outdoor-edison-bulb-lights-patio-fusion-electricEdison bulbs are the perfect touch to transform your outdoor area for the upcoming patio season.

Hang them from the trees, or even drape them through a pergola for an added sparkle.

There are so many different ways to use them outdoors, but there are a few things to remember when it comes to purchasing and installing.

  • When purchasing outdoor bulbs, make sure they are in fact, made for the outdoors.
  • Save where you can. Set a timer on outdoor lights to ensure you aren’t wasting energy where it can be saved.

Install an outdoor outlet. Don’t fuss with long extension cords that can be dangerous and inefficient.(Leave it to the professionals. Fusion Electric can help with all of your outdoor lighting needs and make sure the job is done right. Check out all we have to offer for your outdoor space.)

Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season

 

Bring the Charm Indoors

edison-fixture-kitchen-fusion-electric-indoor

Looking to bring the charm inside? Edison bulbs make great accent lights for anywhere in your home. Although string lights are most popular for Edison bulbs, there are plenty of beautiful fixtures and sconces featuring these rustic bulbs that are great for kitchens or bathrooms. Before you choose the perfect lighting for your home, consider these tips.

 

  • Remember your lighting goals. Consider what needs accenting in each space and choose your lighting accordingly. A funky fixture in a dining room can change the whole space for the better.
  • Make it pop! Try adding a fun fixture, such as one with Edison bulbs, to make a statement in your home. This is a great way to give a room a new look without a complete redesign.
  • Add a dimmer. A dimmer is a great addition to any light fixture. This way, you can change up the mood of the room anytime you’d like.

Related Read: 4 Ways to Make Your Outdoor Kansas City Space Amazing After Dark

 

Facts to Consider

single Edison light bulb

Although Edison bulbs are the latest craze, there are a few things to consider before adding them to your home.

Edison bulbs are considered an incandescent light, which are known for being notoriously inefficient when it comes to energy. Incandescent bulbs are widely used across the country, but because of their inefficiency, the US government is trying to phase them out. Many are in favor of transitioning to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) because they are much more energy- and cost-efficient.

Don’t worry, you’ve got options! For those who want a compromise, there are LED versions of the Edison bulb that are much more energy efficient. Another great alternative to the Edison bulb is the Plumen bulb. This bulb still has the rustic, exposed coils like the Edison bulb, but is much more up to speed on energy efficiency.

 

Call Fusion Electric to help with all your electrical needs at (913) 648-9487  or check out our website for more lighting tips and professional tricks.  

How to Switch Your Home to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Energy Efficient LightingDid you know that the average household dedicates about 5% of its annual energy budget to lighting? That might not seem like that much, but in the scheme of things it really adds up. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average household consumes about 909 kilowatthours (kWh) a month. The average costs of a kWh is about 10 cents, which puts the average bill around $100 a month. Why not pocket some of that cash every month? Switching the lighting in your home to energy-efficient bulbs will change your energy bills immediately, and you’ll continue to see those savings pile up for years to come with little maintenance. Here’s how to get started making the switch today.

Pick the Right Bulbs

The most popular energy-efficient light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although both the latter options can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. Plus, the initial higher cost is pretty minimal.

CFLs use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescents and last up to 10 times longer. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month. Don’t worry about sacrificing your favorite bulb options by switching either. CFLs come in the same brightness, color, and shape options as traditional incandescents.  

LED bulbs are great replacement options as they last 25 times as long as your typical bulb, and use even less energy than CFLs. LED bulbs also come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable. In addition to standard screw-in bulbs, LEDs are also offered in applications such as recessed downlights, desk lamps, kitchen under-cabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights.

Related Read: 5 Electrical Add-Ons Homeowners Love Right Now

Install Timers & Motion Sensors

Once you’ve picked out your bulb of choice, install a few extra features to save even more. Timers and motion sensors save you even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on when they’re not being used. You can use these features for both inside and outside lights.

For help installing more energy saving features in your home, call the Kansas City electrical pros at Fusion Electric. You can reach us at 913-563-7975.