Hiring the Right Electrician
Make sure the electrician is licensed. Licensed electricians
and follow the electrical code and use only approved materials.
They can also obtain electrical permits.
Does the contractor have liability insurance? Are they covered
by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)?
Talk to your friends and family and find out if they have
someone they'd recommend.
Get the electrician to explain the job and how long it will
and the expected start and completion dates.
What quality of materials will be used - high end or economy?
What warranty is the electrician offering on labour and materials?
Get a detailed written estimate. This may require a site
determine the extent of the work.
Ask for references and use them.
Find out if the electrician is affiliated with any professional
organizations like Electrical Safety Authority or Ontario
If you get more than one bid, make sure you compare
apples to apples. Sometimes you might get a much
on one bid, but you may not be getting the same type of material,
type and quality of work and level of service.
Be wary of any electrician who asks for more than 30 per
of the fee up front.
Friends, family, other trades who are licensed may be able to do
some of the basics, however a qualified electrician can take professional
care of your needs. Electrical contractors licensed to work in the
Toronto area have a Master Electrician license and are
issued an E number that should be displayed on business
cards and invoices.
TOP OF PAGE
Lighting can transform a room, but with so many options, it can
become mind-boggling. Do you want to create a certain ambiance or
do you need practical lighting for a home office? Do you have artwork
you want to highlight? Should you buy halogen lighting? Recessed?
What about dimmers? Think about how the room is used and consider
the type of lighting that will compliment your home, your furniture
and your style. Philips has a great interactive web site 'Designing
with Light' that lets you experiment with lighting in every room
of your home. Visit www.nam.lighting.philips.com/us/consumer
Your lighting options
Ceiling fixtures and chandeliers: provide general lighting.
Dimmers: add drama and atmosphere.
Hanging fixtures, such as those used in a foyer, provide
general lighting at a comfortable level.
Pendants: a versatile way to create task or general lighting.
For a stylish accent, consider multiple pendants at various heights
over a particular area.
Portable lamps: provide general, task, and accent lighting.
Table lamps, floor lamps: versatile enough to complement
any style of décor.
Recessed lighting: hidden in your ceiling while offering
general, task, and accent lighting. Ideal for lighting artwork,
for home offices or adding interest and drama to a room.
Track lighting: versatile enough to offer any form of lighting.
Wall-mounted fixtures: offer general, task, and accent lighting.
Dim and Dimmer
Dimmers can create a whole new look in your home. Go from the practicality
of bright lights for reading or cooking to low lighting for a romantic
evening or movie viewing. Whether it's for your home theatre, home
office, dining room, bathroom or bedroom, there are many dimmer
options. You can even get a wireless radio frequency (RF) whole-home
control system that requires no new wiring. Dimming your lights
also cuts down on your electricity bill and makes your bulbs last
a lot longer. There are several types of dimmers on the market today:
Touch dimmers let you vary the intensity of the lighting
depressing a button. These systems permit one-touch recall
of the previous lighting level. .
Slide dimmers provide full-range, manual dimming control.
Rotary dimmers offer full-range, manual dimming control.
Some have a push-button operation that lets you turn the
light on and off and return to the previous lighting level.
Integrated or Multi-Set dimming systems let you create
multiple preset lighting scenes within a room. Recall the
scenes with the touch of a button from a single wall box
with hand held wireless remote controls.
For more information, visit www.lutron.com
TOP OF PAGE
Lighting Up Your Life
All light bulbs are not created equal. That's why it's important
to choose the one that provides the lighting you need. Of course,
you need the right bulb for your fixture. Light bulbs come in three
main types - incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen. Within these
categories you can get various shapes, sizes and levels of light.
Incandescent: 'Screw-in' bulbs used in most lamps. Available
in different colors and energy saving models.
Fluorescent: Good for lighting entire rooms since they produce
more light per watt. Longer life than incandescents. Newer compact
models are perfect for use in desk lamps and wall sconces.
Halogen: Gives you an instant-on white light and generates
up to 30 per cent more light than incandescents. Longer shelf life,
but they also cost more than incandescents. Quality halogen light
brings out the richness of stone and natural materials.
Always pay attention to the type of bulb you need
for a particular
fixture. Never exceed the wattage specified on the fixture.
Use outdoor weather-proof bulbs for exterior lights.
When buying pot light bulbs consider that MR16s last
while the GU10 bulb lasts about 2,000 hours.
Never touch the glass envelope when replacing halogen
The salts in your skin oils penetrate and weaken the glass.
This gives the bulb a shorter life and when it dies, the
doesn't just burn out, the bulb envelope shatters.
For hard to reach areas, use 6,000 hour bulbs. Keep
in mind that
they're not as bright as regular bulbs. A 60-watt 6,000-hour
is equivalent to regular 40-watt bulb.
The new energy saving compact fluorescence bulbs are
with a long life. Check to make sure they fit your fixture
and provide enough light.
Bathroom Ventilation Tips
Before you have your electrician install a bathroom fan, make sure
you have an outside exhaust with an insulated pipe. Buy the proper
size fan for the room and think about the noise level. Lower priced
fans are noisier. Check how many sones (how sound levels are measured)
in a fan. To judge the noise level, consider that one sone is equivalent
to the sound level of a refrigerator. A good energy efficient option
for a fan is an electronic timer that will turn off the fan after
a preset period. The exhaust fan can remove the moist air then shut
off automatically after a preset time.
TOP OF PAGE