Switches, outlets and fixtures — the gateway to electricity

SWITCH-Electrician-St-LouisSwitches, outlets and fixtures — the gateways of electricity in your home — get used so often that they become second-nature. The circuits in your house were designed to provide seamless delivery of currents, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the same outlets and fixtures forever.Part of the fun of homemaking is discovering new and improved resources to make your home look and function even better. If upgrading, replacing or repairing fixtures and outlets is on your “to do” list, here are some things to know before you contact a St. Louis electrician.Light switches are the on-off ones that activate your main light sources. Your home may contain single-pole switches that activate one set of lights; and it may also contain three-pole switches that control lights in two locations (like the ones at the top and bottom of your stairs). An electrician in St. Louis can show you on the latest technology, like switches that operate through timers or photoelectric eyes that sense daylight; or advise you on the safe switches to use if your home has aluminum, as opposed to copper, wiring.

Outlets pepper every room of your home. Today’s two-pronged, 120-volt outlets come with a built-in “ground” (that half-circle-shaped hole) to ensure that inside the wall, the hot wire doesn’t make contact with the neutral one, which could lead to electrical shock or fire. Look at your home’s outlets – they don’t have the little half-circle (some don’t in older homes), you need to add a grounding adapter to stay safe. You may be able to install one yourself, or you can contact an electrician to do the work for you.

Electrical fixtures are fun to shop for. You can dramatically alter both the look and the performance of your home through three categories of fixtures.

  1. General, or ambient, lighting – wall-mounted lamps, chandeliers, recessed lights or track lights – are available in a range of styles, from traditional to cutting-edge.
  2. Task lighting zeroes light into small areas. These practical fixtures are ideal for areas where you read, sew or cook.
  3. Accent lights can include everything from lava lamps to LED stand-up fixtures. With their specialized shapes and illumination, they can draw attention to your art, your garden – or just to themselves.

When you’re ready to explore ways to upgrade your home, a St. Louis electrician can be a great resource.

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