What you need to know
Household voltages can vary widely depending on many conditions. One of the chief contributors to that variability is aged powerlines, ancient transformers, and what exactly stands between you and the power station. At Illuminations Lighting Design we are very familiar with the infrastructure of Texas.
In some locations, you could share a power source with a nearby factory district (even if they’re over the hill and out of sight). Every time they start up or shut down a production line it could send voltage surges or brownouts further down the line, right to where you live.
Usually, power is delivered to homes at 120 volts AC (vac) of course. Surprisingly, our so-called delicate electronics are relatively immune to these variations even when approach 90vac to 140vac. Why is this?
Tougher than you think
Our modern electronics have never worked well with AC current—they were never designed to do so. Every electronic device that plugs into the household AC has a transformer that converts AC to Direct Current (DC). All our portable devices use batteries (DC voltage).
Those electronics can work over a relatively wide range of voltages. Imagine Something that requires 6 volts DC (VDC) whose source is a 120 vac transformer that experiences a 20% power reduction (brownout). Aside from capacitors built-in and designed to cope with such variations, it would mean that 6 VDC would drop to 4.8 VDC, and our modern electronics can handle that. It works the same for over-voltages, too.
So, We’re Safe?
No, because AC electric motors—such as those in your air-conditioner, furnace, refrigerator, washer, dryer, the rotisserie in your oven, your vacuum cleaner, your garage door opener—all these things respond very badly to small changes in voltages. Constant small changes in voltage cause significant premature aging; expensive items wear out much more quickly.
Our electronics, on the other hand, do not respond well to even a few milliseconds at thousands of volts. Those sorts of variables occur during thunderstorms with lightning strikes. That is why we have surge protectors; they can absorb these incredible loads and fail, or redirect them safely elsewhere before it affects your equipment.
Protection must be Two-fold
Illuminations Lighting Design can create your protective system to prevent endless minor voltage variations and to prevent huge electrical spikes. A sophisticated power conditioner can do both jobs, right at the point where power comes into your home, so it protects everything. We’ve been protecting Texas homes and businesses for years, and our customers would be more than happy to relate all their positive experiences to you about how we solved their toughest challenges.
If the voltage drops, a power conditioner, through some clever electronic manipulation, swaps amperage for voltage, meaning less current is available (we seldom run at full capacity anyway), and improved voltage is created; thus it stays constant. This swapping is necessary because the First Law of Thermodynamics says that you can neither create nor destroy energy.
If we detect over-voltage, the rule applies in reverse, and we increase the amperage draw and damp the voltage down. All this occurs automatically, in fractions of a second, and results in constant steady power that doesn’t hurt your expensive purchases.
These are dealt with differently. There are many ways to discharge a massive electrical spike. The most common is to make a direct connection to the ground, but with resistance that is far too high for standard household voltage to overcome. But, should a massive spike come along, it easily skips the higher resistance path in the home and goes to the ground, preventing damage.
All of your electronics, including your Home Automation System, face a risk from massive electrical surges due to lightning storms. It’s even worse in rural areas where there are long runs of electrical towers between the utility and the local distribution node near your home. Living in the city provides no assurances because lightning can strike anywhere.
Conventional electrical appliances and their motors face constant abuse from variable voltages in our ordinary power supplies. Almost every instance where you had to replace the pump in your hot tub or pool, or the washing machine or dryer, can be traced back to unstable or “dirty” power.
You need whole house protection. At ILD we can size up the system perfectly to protect you, your family, and your home.
At Illuminations Lighting Design we want you to be safe. You have likely experienced a loss from transient voltage spikes or varying voltage if you live in Texas—which is probably why you’re reading this. Don’t let it happen again!
We are experienced, licensed electricians who want to do the job you expect without emptying your bank account! Since there are so many ways do a job incorrectly, we urge you to call us, because…
We’ll do it right!
Call us today at 713-863-1133 and experience peace of mind and excellent service as we help you reach your dreams and keep your family safe. 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!