Illuminations Lighting Design offers a full range of electrical remodeling services—services which our customers have come to know and love. Feel free to visit our Testimonials page and read all the wonderful things they say about us. Our modesty makes us reluctant to mention that there are nearly 150 of them, but it’s only fair to warn you so you can bring your reading glasses and a cup of coffee—it’s going to take a while.
Our customers know that electrical remodeling requires more than just the ability to pull wire through walls or understand electrical circuits. It takes an intimate understanding of how houses, particularly older homes, are constructed. We regularly consult with builders, architects, and designers on behalf of our customers when they’re building new custom homes, so the electrical systems get designed and installed correctly, right from the beginning.
Expertise is the Difference
Older homes, however, need accommodations to achieve modern electrical standards. The real skill is to do so while making the fewest penetrations through walls or impacting the design or style of the home. It’s not a job for a freshly minted electrician who doesn’t even know what the word antebellum means, let alone how to work with it without doing irreparable harm.
Over nearly four decades of business, we’ve remained true to the Kretzschmar and Stephens vision formulated in 1980 that art lighting and electrical contracting could be synergistically combined. Stephens (right) taught theatrical lighting and was the lighting designer at Houston’s historical Alley Theatre.
Kretzschmar (left) had origins going back to his grandfather founding the prestigious Rulon Electric company of Texas, among the first in the state, and thus encouraging Kretzschmar’s interest in Electrical Engineering. It is as if the two men were made for each other and destined to meet.
Old meets New
There are a surprising number of generational homes in the state—homes that are passed from parents to children—where the same family has lived since it was built. Many are older than the invention of household electricity and acquired it retroactively, using the technology available at the time.
If you’re remodeling and find old wiring, it is a great time to replace it with modern, safe, up-to-code wiring. Some of the earliest wirings were called Knob and Tube (K&T), where ceramic knobs acted as standoffs to keep wires tight and not touching anything else, and little ceramic tubes were used when wires had to pass through beams or wooden boards so that they wouldn’t short-circuit if the wood were damp. It was a pretty good system in its day.
Of course, nowadays we have much safer systems with safer wires, grounded outlets, circuit breakers, and better quality fixtures with connectors that don’t overheat or pose fire hazards. The older wires for K&T were much heavier than modern wire because (a) the quality of the copper was lower and (b) a whole house had one circuit, so all the current ran through those two wires.
While all modern houses now have multiple circuits, some still retain K&T to run all of the upstairs lights (for example) and maybe one electrical outlet in each bedroom, which was the typical design. You didn’t need more in the early days when the only electrical appliances were lamps.
Nowadays, however, if everyone has something substantial plugged in, in each of those bedrooms that single circuit can end up carrying a very heavy load. Back then there weren’t modern plastics for those wires. They were coated with paper, fabric, glue, and sometimes with natural rubber (there was no synthetic rubber yet, remember!). In the century or more since they were installed, all that material may have simply fallen off as it aged, leaving bare copper wires inside your walls. It could be potentially dangerous.
ILD spends years training and certifying its technicians in advanced circuit configurations and panel upgrades, and we can apply these skills not only in traditional electrical configurations, but adapt them to custom homes and home automation systems that require electrical remodeling.
The modern Smart Home now has all sorts of automation, allowing you turn things on and off by simply speaking to the open air. We are now raising a generation of children who will never know what it was like to go and change the household thermostat if the house was too hot or cold. It is much the same to how you probably don’t remember having to get up and walk over to the television to switch it on, and then turn the dial to change channels.
One of the most common things people want nowadays it is backup power because of how frequently we have been without electricity in recent years because of strong weather systems. You can put an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) on your computer, TV, and TiVo—and that will last for several minutes— but what happens when the batteries run out? You’re in the dark!
With an automated auxiliary power backup system, it automatically detects the power outage, disconnects your home from the electrical grid, and starts your generator and then restores power to the circuit you have selected, such as your deep freezer, your refrigerator, your HVAC, and maybe even your computers and Entertainment Systems.
It might even include powering your household Security System. What? You don’t have a Security System? While we are there, we can also install outdoor security lighting as part of your electrical remodeling package to ensure that your family is safe even when the power is out.
Electrical Remodeling might sound intimidating, but that’s why you call us at ILD. We are experienced, licensed electricians, not some fly-by-night outfit that wants to turn a quick buck at your expense. There are so many ways do a job incorrectly, so we urge you to call us, because…
We’ll do it right!
At Illuminations Lighting Design we are delighted to be located in beautiful Houston, Texas, and while we provide service over quite a wide area, we always love to hear from River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Bellaire, Southside, Heights, and Royal Oaks, or whichever part of town you call home… But don’t forget that we provide expert services in Austin, Beaumont, College Station, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, and Midland as well.
Call us today at 713-863-1133 and experience peace of mind and excellent service as we contribute to your new home dream. Take a moment to schedule a design consultation or visit us on Facebook to learn more about our lighting and electrical services. We’d love to hear from you!