Installing safely, beautifully, and up to code!
North America is weird in that we unnecessarily use the most dangerous lightbulb sockets in the world. When lightbulbs were first invented they had two wires sticking out the bottom that were connected to screw terminals. This was necessary to provide the electricity they needed to work, but it was also very inconvenient when it came time to change the lightbulb—and they were very short-lived in the beginning.
A number of strategies were tried to make it easier, with every manufacturer having their own system so you couldn’t buy one bulb and put it in a competitor’s socket. We finally came to our senses and settled on the E27 standard lightbulb base that we use today, and variations on that.
Unfortunately, such a socket allows you to contact the electrified base when it is partially, or even fully, inserted. In response the 1960s saw us invent polarized plugs with one blade bigger than the other to make sure sockets were always powered in the same way; the part you could touch was always the “neutral” side, and the powered (or “hot”) side was the connector at the very bottom of the socket where it was difficult to accidentally make contact.
Nevertheless, older houses sometimes had the hot side and neutral reversed so many people were still shocked. Standards for new housing today make that much less likely, but DIY electricians often make mistakes in their own homes.
The rest of the world thought we were silly and invented much safer sockets where it was nearly impossible for someone to electrocute themselves. Instead of going along with them, however, we decided we would “just be careful”. The E27 socket was already so widespread that it would have been too expensive to be smart and change everything.
A bayonet style B22 or GU10 is a spring resistance, push-and-twist design that is very stable in its socket; it’s ideal in a location subject to vibration or motion. The other alternate fittings are push-in and pull-out, and are protected in such a way that the electrical contacts are completely within the socket before they can make an electrical connection. You can’t touch an electrified surface.
We’re much safer now…
As mentioned, modern wiring and polarized outlets have made our “silly” sockets much safer, so there is far less need to worry if you have a brand new home where no one but a certified electrician has ever done any work. It is something to keep in mind if you live in an older home where things are less certain. A simple tool like this can be plugged into any socket and will reveal if it is wired improperly
That is why we always advise that you hire licensed electricians for any work you need done. We can install new fixtures or dimmer controls designed for use with LED lighting products. With modern LED lighting capable of burning continuously for 11½ years, or 50 years at only 5 hours per day before failing, you shouldn’t’ worry if the socket style in unusual because you’ll probably never have to replace an LED bulb.
The exception to that, of course, is the poor quality LEDs being sold to consumers nowadays that only last 5,000 to 20,000 hours in a deliberate effort to sustain the “replace often” sales model of backward-looking manufacturers. It is better, faster, and less expensive to do the job right the first time. That’s why you’ll want to talk to us at Illuminations Lighting Design, where we only use top-quality, long-life LED bulbs and appropriate fixtures to assure that this is the last time you’ll ever have to worry about your lighting. If you need further proof, check out our testimonials page, and see what our delighted customers have to say about our excellent work and great service.
Take advantage of our design skills and our expertise to make sure you get the results you want and deserve. If contractors haven’t invested the time in training, and in the continuing education to make themselves true experts, then they have no business in your home.
It takes experience to know which fixtures, bulbs, and dimmers are appropriate. Often the biggest mistake is underloading a circuit because LEDs take so much less power that old-fashioned lighting.
Low-voltage LEDs for cabinets and library shelves require proper power supplies, the same as under counter lighting. This is often where amateurs and people new to LEDs make their biggest mistakes. Trying to get by with conventional dimmer switches and power supplies that aren’t suitable for the task is just going to cause problems and re-visits (and probably more money for “upgrades” to get rid of the buzz, humming, and headache-causing flickering.
We are experienced, licensed electricians, not some fly-by-night outfit that wants to turn a quick buck at your expense. There’s so many ways do a job incorrectly, so we urge you to call us, because… We’ll do it right!
While we are located in Houston Texas, and we provide commercial lighting systems and house lighting plans in Austin, Beaumont, College Station, Dallas, El Paso, Midland, San Antonio, and points beyond, 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… We may be “everywhere” but we’re always here for you!
Give us a call today at 713-863-1133 and say “Howdy!” We would love to hear from you and help to get you started on the path to more economical lighting, and reducing the size of your carbon footprint!