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You can reduce light pollution

colorado light pollutionThe invention of electricity and the light bulb is the most important reason for the boom in technology, our society and how we enjoy our everyday life. We often take for granted that our world can be lit up instantly at the flip of a switch. Instead of going to bed at sunset we can continue our day into the night without the need for candles and oil lamps. We have come a long way since Thomas Edison wowed a crowd with street lamps of his first light bulb. 

With all of the pros, the light bulb has brought us there is one big con that affects every living thing on Earth. With our cities and towns brightly aglow with street lights, shopping malls, sports fields, and our front porch; many never realize that most of that light is being wasted and shining straight into the sky. That light scatters and blocks our view of the stars and also harms the life cycles of plants, animals and yes even humans.

Before the light bulb came along, just about 100% of all people living on Earth could look up and see the Milky Way with their own eyes.  For the entire history of humanity, they lived by the rise and set of our galaxy while witnessing it in fantastic clarity. Now it is estimated that almost 80% of people living today have never seen it and probably never will. 

When a massive power outage struck southern California in the 1990's people were shocked at when they looked up at the sky. Residents were reportedly calling 911 after seeing strange clouds sprawled across the sky and continuously hovering overhead. They had no idea they saw the Milky Way for the very first time. 

The scattered light also drains energy and bank accounts. According to the International Dark Sky Association  "An estimated 30% of street lighting is wasted light; defined as light that shines up into the sky where it does no good. Based on this number, it is estimated that in the United States alone 22,000 gigawatt-hours a year is wasted. At a conservative average of $.10 per kilowatt-hour, the cost of that wasted energy is $2.2 billion a year – enough to fund a new mission to Mars annually. In other terms, 3.6 tons of coal or 12.9 million barrels of oil are wasted every year to produce this lost light."

All is not lost, and there are ways we can all do our part to cut down on light pollution.

  • Shut off lights when you're not using them
  • Shield and lower that watts of the lamps outside
  • Use timers, dimmers, and sensors to keep the lights off in unused areas
  • Install lamp covers that direct the light down and not up

Reducing light pollution doesn't mean living in the dark, it means unsung lights more efficiently and productively. Contact Best Electric to find the best dark sky lighting solutions for your home. 

Source

You can reduce light pollution

colorado light pollutionThe invention of electricity and the light bulb is the most important reason for the boom in technology, our society and how we enjoy our everyday life. We often take for granted that our world can be lit up instantly at the flip of a switch. Instead of going to bed at sunset we can continue our day into the night without the need for candles and oil lamps. We have come a long way since Thomas Edison wowed a crowd with street lamps of his first light bulb. 

With all of the pros, the light bulb has brought us there is one big con that affects every living thing on Earth. With our cities and towns brightly aglow with street lights, shopping malls, sports fields, and our front porch; many never realize that most of that light is being wasted and shining straight into the sky. That light scatters and blocks our view of the stars and also harms the life cycles of plants, animals and yes even humans.

Before the light bulb came along, just about 100% of all people living on Earth could look up and see the Milky Way with their own eyes.  For the entire history of humanity, they lived by the rise and set of our galaxy while witnessing it in fantastic clarity. Now it is estimated that almost 80% of people living today have never seen it and probably never will. 

When a massive power outage struck southern California in the 1990's people were shocked at when they looked up at the sky. Residents were reportedly calling 911 after seeing strange clouds sprawled across the sky and continuously hovering overhead. They had no idea they saw the Milky Way for the very first time. 

The scattered light also drains energy and bank accounts. According to the International Dark Sky Association  "An estimated 30% of street lighting is wasted light; defined as light that shines up into the sky where it does no good. Based on this number, it is estimated that in the United States alone 22,000 gigawatt-hours a year is wasted. At a conservative average of $.10 per kilowatt-hour, the cost of that wasted energy is $2.2 billion a year – enough to fund a new mission to Mars annually. In other terms, 3.6 tons of coal or 12.9 million barrels of oil are wasted every year to produce this lost light."

All is not lost, and there are ways we can all do our part to cut down on light pollution.

  • Shut off lights when you're not using them
  • Shield and lower that watts of the lamps outside
  • Use timers, dimmers, and sensors to keep the lights off in unused areas
  • Install lamp covers that direct the light down and not up

Reducing light pollution doesn't mean living in the dark, it means unsung lights more efficiently and productively. Contact Best Electric to find the best dark sky lighting solutions for your home. 

Source

Why choose LED lighting over compact fluorescent?

led lighting coloradoThere are many reasons, as electricians, we recommend LED lighting over compact fluorescent bulbs (or CFL's), but the three principal reasons we'll discuss here are: Light Quality, Cost Effectiveness, and Environmental Concerns.

Light Quality - LED lights give off a whiter light than conventional compact fluorescent bulbs- resulting in significantly less strain to your eyes when trying to read or focus, a more unobstructed view of what you are looking at, rather than having the object be cast in a yellow glow, and light that is concentrated in one direction.

Cost-Effectiveness - While the upfront price of an LED light bulb is higher than that of traditional CFL's, this cost pays for itself over the life of the LED bulb. According to one study done by the environmental website Eartheasy (http://www.eartheasy.com), an LED light would cost $95.95 to run for 50,000 hours while a CFL bulb would cost $159.75 to run for the same time and would have to be replaced about five times during the process. 

Environmental Concerns - CFL light bulbs contain mercury - a highly toxic metal that poses serious health risks, while LED lights contain no such toxic chemicals or metals. Studies performed by the United States Department of Energy and scientists from Carnegie Mellon both found that LED lights are as efficient to manufacture as CFL lights and LEDs will become even more efficient in the future.

Contact Best Electric today and upgrade your home to energy efficient, LED lighting!

What is GFCI and why do we need it?

gfci outlet colorado springsOne of the most deadly electricity-related dangers is those that occur by electrical shock - especially when the shock comes from a ground fault. When electricity escapes the usual confines of the wiring of an electrically powered appliance, power tools, or even light fixtures, the electricity takes a shortcut to the ground. The result is called a ground fault.

When the electricity’s shortcut to the ground goes through a human body, the result is death or severe injury. According to This Old House Magazine, “About 200 people in the U.S. alone die of ground faults each year, accounting for two-thirds of all electrocutions occurring in homes.”

The GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) was invented by Charles Daziel, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California. GFCI’s typically monitor the electrical current flowing into and away from an appliance. It’s most critical function, however, is saving lives. When the difference in the current flow exceeds five milliamps (a significant sign that a ground fault is likely about to occur) the GFCI stops the flow of electricity and prevents electric fires, shock, or burns. 

Currently, the National Electric Code requires that GFCIs be installed in all areas exposed to moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and outdoor receptacles. 

Owners of older houses can retrofit $10 GFCI receptacles at those locations or have GFCI breaker switches (which run as much as $108 for 50-amp models) mounted in the main breaker panel. Portable GFCI adapters, which plug into regular wall receptacles, are available for about $40. 

“The great thing about GFCIs is that they protect you whether or not your wiring is grounded,” says Bill Grande, manager for safety products at Leviton, a manufacturer of GFCIs. Because lightning and other power surges can damage a GFCIs delicate circuitry at any time, Grande recommends the following monthly test: Plug in a light fixture and turn it on. Then push the device's test button. If the light stays on, the GFCI needs to be replaced.

Why does electricity need to be grounded?

grounded electricityMany times we are asked, "why does an outlet need to be grounded?". In older homes, it is common to find outlets that are not grounded. Over the years they've become the standard in all homes for safety reasons. Nowadays if you have an older home, it is a good idea to have your outlets updated and grounded.

It is easy to tell if an outlet is grounded or not. An ungrounded electrical outlet only has two slots for the plug, whereas grounded ones have three slots. The third slot is connected straight to the ground for safety measures. This provides an additional measure of safety should there be a short circuit from the appliance being used. 

With grounded outlets, if there were a short in the plug, the electrical current would flow through the ground wire and not risk an electrical shock to the person using the appliance. Many older homes still have ungrounded outlets, and it is always recommended for safety reasons to have a licensed electrician take a look at them and install the necessary upgrades. 

If you think your electrical outlets need to upgrade contact the professionals at Best Electric. 

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What Others Say About Us

I called Best Electric for a problem I was having with non-working pendant lights. Joe promptly called back to schedule an appointment. He arrived on time, was straight forward with the pricing and was able to diagnose and fix my problem in a relatively short time. While he was at my home he also was able to hang a new chandelier. I would highly recommend Best Electric!

I hired Joe Bartels and Best Electric Service to add a 240V circuit for a hot tub at my home. I couldn't have been happier with their thoroughness and customer focus. They worked with our installation schedule, listened to my input and were creative in routing the final conduit. Quick and very professional. They have my highest recommendation!

I was extremely pleased with the work Joe did for me this past week and wanted to say something positive so others would consider him for jobs.  But the rating has to be done through a google account, and I do not want to have an account with them - the information required is personal, and I have no doubt sold immediately to places that do solicitations.  But if there is a way to insert my comments, so they contribute to the rating system, here they are. I wanted to say this:  I have an older home and a not-so-robust budget.   Joe inspired confidence with his knowledge, solved a sticky problem for me with my new range, left everything looking good and accommodated my work schedule.  His fees were competitive and, most importantly,  I am confident the work will stand up to the test of time.  I would recommend him highly to anyone asking for an electrician.

Brands We Carry

  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • Siemens
  • General Electric
  • Square D
  • Cutler Hammer

Brands We Service

  • Siemens
  • Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Cutler Hammer
  • Federal Pacific
  • General Electric
  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • Casablanca Fan Company
  • Kichler
  • Square D

Areas Serviced: Black Forest | Castle Rock | Colorado Springs | Falcon | Fountain | Larkspur | Manitou Springs | Monument | Palmer Lake | Peyton | Security-Widefield | Woodland Park