Electrical Questions

What are the most energy efficient light globes?

LED light globes are by far the most energy efficient light globes on the market today. The light they offer for the power they consume is without comparison and they are only getting better, brighter and cheaper. A Halogen downlight uses 6 times more energy than LED.

After the original seemingly high investment for quality LED globes your power bills will shrink and maintenance will almost be a thing of the past. A large number of manufacturers are offering a 3 year replacement warranty on LED fittings with some top end manufacturers offering a 7 year warranty.

An LED globe can be retro fitted to an existing down light but this is only a band aid solution compared to a dedicated LED complete fitting.

How do I stop my smoke alarm beeping?

Smoke alarms beep for 2 simple reasons.

  • Firstly, if there is smoke detected
  • Secondly, to get your attention

Like a crying baby they need something and will not stop making an annoying noise until they get it. The most common reason is a flat or low battery. This can be fixed by simply replacing the old battery for a new one.

Sometimes smoke alarms will beep because the power supply to them has been lost. This problem may require the attention of an electrician or could be a blown fuse. Even hard-wired smoke alarms have a battery installed for the rare times there is a blackout as you still want the smoke alarm to work during the blackout.

The simple rule is not to ignore or remove a beeping smoke alarm. There have been many house fires where the smoke alarms were either not operating or were non existent. Loss of life could have been prevented if installed correctly or simply installed at all.

If you change the battery and it is still beeping call the electrician.

Why do my lights flicker?

Lights can flicker for many different reasons. Sometimes when a large appliance is turned on it will “steal” electricity from the nearby lights causing them to flicker or turn off momentarily.

Incorrectly installed globes resulting in poor conduction of electricity is another common reason for flickering lights. You can try new globes and check that globes are installed correctly. If this doesn’t help, it’s time to call the electrician for a more thorough inspection of wiring and other electrical issues.

Are ceiling fans cheap to run?

The average ceiling fan on medium speed consumes about the same amount of electricity as a 60 watt light globe. In comparison to air conditioning, a ceiling fan is a very cost effective way to stay cool in summer and warm in winter.

Why do I need a safety switch?

A safety switch is a very sound investment for every house and the people that live in it. They literally save lives. Most people will never receive an electric shock in their lifetime, but unfortunately there are many of us that will be in the wrong place at the wrong time and receive one.

A safety switch can ensure that the shock you receive will be over in a mere 30 milliseconds as it only takes that long to trip the circuit. Safety switches continually monitor the electricity going in and coming out of a circuit and don’t distinguish between a person or other item if electricity is leaking. You will be very grateful to have a safety switch if you touch a faulty appliance or exposed wire.

Are LED down lights worth installing?

There are many types of LED down lights hitting the market and the majority of them can save you hundreds of dollars in electricity costs. The average LED down light consumes a tenth of the electricity required to power a halogen globe. That means you can run 10 LED globes for the price of 1 halogen.

After the initial investment, the savings will be obvious and much appreciated to those who choose this modern option.

Are my halogen down lights dangerous?

Halogen down lights are not dangerous if installed correctly. The electricians who install these lights are rarely the cause of house fires we have all heard about. It is more often the installers of ceiling insulation or other combustible materials being placed over the top of the down lights causing the problem.

A halogen globe is small but gives off a great deal of heat and requires space to dissipate that heat. When the correct amount of space is provided the halogen globes are a very safe type of light.

Why is my electricity bill so high?

Without exception, the main reason for high electricity bills are heating and cooling appliances. Air is not a very good conductor of hot or cold conditions, especially when most of the time you are trying to fight against the weather conditions rather than work with them.

An energy monitor can give you an up to the minute cost on your energy usage and very easily uncover the main contributors to your energy bill.

Is my television a big user of electricity?

Before the introduction of plasma TV’s, the television was only a small consumer of electricity. A very simple test you can do is place your clean hand on the screen of your televisions and see how much heat it is putting off. Generally the more heat it gives off, the more energy it is using. Plasma TV’s use significantly more power than LED TV’s because each gas cell needs to be excited enough to produce a bright colour whereas in LED the light is shared more efficiently across pixels.

With Plasma TV’s you are basically paying more for the energy being converted into heat.

Can I speed up my wireless internet speeds?

Wireless routers are very effective in open rooms and certain types of houses. Wireless signals flow better through wood and plaster than brick and steel. Your router should be placed in the most central place of your home or closest to where you need the signal most.

Cable and telephone outlets that supply connection to routers can be relocated to improve signal or if you need ultra fast internet, the devices can be hard wired using data cables.

Can I install my own garden lighting?

As garden lighting is commonly wired in 12 volt cables there is no legal requirement to employ the help of an electrician. The only drawback is that you have to make sure the system you buy has a long enough lead to reach the outdoor power point you’re going to use to power the system.

An electrician can install a switch and a dedicated outlet to supply the garden lighting system from the correct area.