February 26, 2015 Newsletter
Outdoor Security Lighting
Outside lighting deserves just as much attention as the lighting inside a building. Designing security lighting for the outside of a building brings forward a whole different set of concerns that can often be overlooked by facility managers.
Conducting a risk assessment is the best way to make sure vulnerabilities don’t get bypassed and are taken care of effectively. Depending on what businesses are in the building, and their hours of operation, the lighting needs will vary. There should be ample lighting in parking areas for customers if the business will remain open after dark.
Instead of worrying about the proper number and placement of fixtures outside, building managers may want to consider hiring someone with experience who can help them. Eco Electric specializes in designing and installing lighting configurations.
For those looking to increase the effectiveness of exterior lighting, but not wanting to drastically increase electricity use and cost, there are green options available too. Solar lights are an excellent option. They come in various levels of brightness and styles for different needs. They also come in a motion sensor variety, which is cost effective while also deterring would-be trespassers.
Contact Eco Electric for help designing and installing exterior security lights outside a commercial or residential building.
Power surges, one type of electrical power disturbance, can be especially damaging to components in residential or commercial buildings. They are considered to be the most destructive electrical power disturbances because they vary greatly in magnitude but usually only last millionths of a second.
When smaller power surges repeatedly happen in a home or building, it shortens the life span of appliances and electronics. Slow deterioration of the equipment occurs until eventually the integrity of the electronic components erodes completely.
Power surges can be caused by a variety of factors including lightening, high-power electrical devices, faulty wiring, downed power lines and grid switching. Out of these, lightening is by far the most familiar and powerful of the causes. When lightening causes power surges, electricity surges throughout the home following several paths such as cable TV or satellite, telephones lines or incoming electrical service lines.
To protect the home or business from power surges all of the bases should be covered including:
- protection of the incoming electrical service
- protection of phone and cable TV lines
- point-of-use surge protectors at sensitive and expensive appliances
When choosing power surge protectors, it is important to note that surge protectors and power strips are not the same thing. Power strips split outlets into multiple ports, while surge protectors are designed to protect electronics against surges and interference.
Make sure to purchase a surge protector with the right number of ports and one that matches the type of electronics that are going to be plugged into it. For example, electronics such as TVs will need a more powerful surge protector than a lamp. Check out the warranty as well. Some surge protectors have a warranty for devices connected to it if a power surge does get through it.
Unsure about the type of surge protector to purchase, or how many are needed? Eco Electric can assess the residential or commercial area for what is needed to protect it from power surges.
In this day and age, electronics are almost a necessity to function. Unfortunately, for them to function, they need to be charged. This means lugging around multiple charging cords and devices on trips or to important meetings. What if this could be remedied? That’s what the TechHive Lab set out to prove.
They tested how long it would take to charge two smartphones and tablets with a variety of charging sources. These were comprised of an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, and iPad 4 and a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. They used several different power sources such as the original charger for each phone and tablet, and the USB ports of a Mac and Windows 7 laptop. They also swapped chargers of each phone and tablet.
- The quickest way to charge a phone or tablet is to use its original charger
- It takes a very long time to charge a device with an alien charger
- Tablets don’t respond well to phone chargers
- Not all USB ports are created equal
The moral of the story: the original charger works best for charging phones and tablets. It is possible to use other chargers, but it might take a very long time.
Drops and Watts
Conservation is on the nation’s mind with regions experiencing drought and high energy prices. What many don’t realize is that water conservation and energy conservation often go hand in hand.
Homes with electric water heaters spend about one fourth of their electric bills just to heat water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water for everyday things such as showers and cooking. Water companies also use energy to purify and pump water and treat sewage.
With such an integrated system of water and energy, it makes sense that reducing one can help reduce the other. Most people want to lower their electricity bills so they focus on remembering to turn off lights and create heating and cooling schedules. While these are all great ways to conserve energy, they should also shift their focus to include their water habits.
Installing water-saving faucets, showerheads, and toilets can help cut down on water usage. When considering a new water heater, try to find the most efficient model possible to cut down on the energy used to heat the water. Also, setting the temperature on the water heater to the minimum comfort level cuts down on unnecessary energy usage.
If the energy bill is climbing, take a look at the water usage in the home or business. The overuse of water could be a large contributing factor to why the energy bill is increasing. The experts at Eco Electric can also help figure out ways to decrease the energy bill, helping to conserve both energy and water.