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Update your lighting with the touch plate lighting system

touchplate lighting controls coloradoReady to experience the future of fantastic upgrades to your home’s lighting system?  Modern and stylish, touch plate low voltage lighting systems come conveniently packaged with all of the materials needed for a quick, professional, and affordable installation. Even more exciting? Touch plate lighting systems are controlled remotely from your smartphone or another electronic device.

Since the 1940's, Touch-Plate low voltage lighting remains among the last historical-era remote control lighting/wiring systems that are still manufactured. With a wide variety of switch styles to choose from, Touch-Plate devices are stocked regularly and available at home improvement stores or authorized dealers. Touch-Plate control stations deliver convenience and cost-effectiveness in a single unit system that includes the devices, the mounting brackets, the cover plates and the screws. Touch-Plate systems are also able to be wired to work with various other three-wire low voltage systems, like GE, Remcon, and Bryant -  for which replacement parts are more difficult to find.

The remote features of touch plate lighting systems give your home added security, convenience, and safety. Options are available for changing the light’s colors, setting various lighting schedules, and even incorporating automatic sensors.

For the most cost-effective and convenient solution, consider a combination of smart plugs, smart switches, and intelligent lights. You’ll want to go over everything with your electrician from Best Electric to be sure that all of your lighting solutions work on the same mobile device.

Recessed Outlets

recessed outletsChanging your outlets to recessed outlets doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but such a simple switch can make a huge visual difference in a home.

Recessed outlets are innies, not outies. These types of outlets go into the wall, allowing for the plug itself to take up space deeper in the wall. This feature alone shows the aesthetic quality of recessed outlets, removing a bulky plug from plain view and allowing it to be hidden behind various furniture. This also means no more awkward forced spaces between furniture and the wall. From TVs on a stand to TVs on the wall, a recessed outlet can fit them all! With these outlets, it allows the TV to be hanged on the wall without the protrusion of a plug sticking the bottom part up in an uneven fashion. Same goes for the use of electronic appliances in the kitchen. Countertop space can be saved with plugs and wires neatly tucked away, making the most of your cooking space.  

These outlets benefit the constant evolution of electronics greatly as well. Most homes are equipped with the standard two plug outlet, sometimes 4. With a recessed outlet, you get more outlets and more options. Styles come in 2, 4, and six plug outlets and also give the option to add other ports, like a USB port to charge your phone. There are also other ports available for video, audio, and other data. It is definitely not your grandmother’s outlet.

The steps for switching over to recessed outlets are simple, but not for everyone. It is recommended to get the help of a licensed electrician here in Colorado Springs, to install these new outlets in your home if you’re not sure what wires belong to what. Give Best Electric a call today and switch over to recessed outlets and make life easier in a day. 

It’s time to upgrade if you have knob and tube wiring

knob tube wiring jerseyMany home upgrades are made for the sake of convenience, functionality or even personal taste. But, there’s one upgrade that serves a much higher purpose: Protecting the safety and well-being of your home and family from the dangers of knob and tube wiring. 

Between the 1880s and the 1930s, the most common form of home electrical wiring was Knob and Tube. With the advent of modern advances in electrical technology, there are safer and much more efficient methods for electrical wiring. Additionally, there are many benefits to upgrading or phasing out and replacing the knob and tube wiring in every home.

The most common issue with Knob and Tube is that the insulation material that constructs the outer casing consists of rubber, which (over time) breaks down and degrades. What this means for homes with Knob and Tube wiring is that eventually, it becomes dangerous as moisture and air reaches bare, live wires.  Modern wiring systems, use durable plastic insulation materials - providing lasting protection.

While the complete conversion from Knob and Tube wiring to standard modern wiring is an investment, the benefits are well worth the costs. Ask your electrician how to gradually phase out your knob and tube wiring over time for cost-effectiveness. The safety this vital replacement provides far outweighs the tragedy and cost associated with a home fire or electrocution.   It will also most likely make you eligible for a significant reduction in your home insurance premium.

Space Heaters and Electric Blanket Safety

by Nicole Stevens

space heaterWinter in Florida may not feature any snow, but it does produce a chill that makes you want to pull out that electric blanket and a small space heater and warm up! With that kind of weather slowly creeping in for the season, a crash course in space heater and electric blanket safety is a great idea. Here you’ll find five top tips to keep your home safe this winter.

  1. Update your equipment! Sometimes it’s worth it to bite the bullet and get that new heater or an extra electric blanket just in case. Frayed wires can easily spark and ignite a fire inside your home. Any indication of a color change in your electric blanket means it’s time to discard that one and use a new one. The discoloration means the heating elements are beginning to burn internally.
  2. Never leave units on unattended. Sure it’s a welcoming thought to come home to a toasty home, but it could suddenly end up in flames. New unit or not, a space heater should never be left on unsupervised. Along with that, it’s advised to keep young children and pets away from the space heater as well. The surface can become incredibly hot and burn if touched.
  3. When purchasing a new unit, check for an automatic shutoff feature. This is especially important in heated blankets, as it will insure the unit does not overheat. Overheating can end up in melted elements and potential burns.
  4. Never use extension cords! Space heaters and electric blankets are only meant to be plugged into a wall outlet, never an extension cord.
  5. Keep space heaters on  level ground, preferably a tile floor. Never elevate heaters with furniture or place on carpet.

Following these basic tips will help keep your home warm and safe during a chilly winter. Make sure all unit purchased have been tested for safety and come with the marks UL, ETL, or CSA. That’s just one extra tip for insuring your home is protected.

Sources 1, 2, 3

Elon Musk - Puerto Rico

solar panels puerto rico muskThe island of Puerto Rico has seen many hardships, but none the likes of Hurricane Maria. A storm so powerful it knocked out power to 100% of the island, and only 10% regained power two days later. That’s 90% of a very populated island, the very same island who’s electrical company declared bankruptcy several months ago befortoe the storm. After the damage was surveyed, the cost reached that of the billions, an estimated $85 billion to be exact. Out of 3.4 million residents, 80% of them are still without power while 30% are still without clean drinking water (Coto - ABCNews).  

The time to restore all of the power to the island does not have an estimated time, only that it “will take a while." Not to mention the amount of money it will take to build an entirely new power grid, while Puerto Rico is still severely in debt already. At this point, it’s time to find new alternatives, and one of the hottest topics is solar power. That’s where Elon Musk and Tesla Technologies come into play.

The governor of Puerto Rico recently reached out to Elon Musk via twitter, saying “Could @ElonMusk go in and rebuild #PuertoRico’s electricity system with independent solar & battery systems?” to which Mr. Musk responded with; “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR” (Alexander – Telegraph UK/Twitter). A couple more tweets were sent back and forth, and Elon mentioned being happy to talk further about the project.

What this could mean for Puerto Rico is no more importing and burning oil for energy. Because of this method of power, it’s cost the island an exuberant amount of money. Along with planet and money saving, using Tesla’s solar power units, it is 100% self-powered, meaning there is no grid. If there is a power outage, this source of energy ensures no loss of power for 7+ days after an outage (and that’s just with one of the most basic and smaller options offered).

If Elon Musk decides to use Puerto Rico as the flagship project for Tesla Technologies power and innovation, it would greatly benefit the island in the long run. No longer burning up money on oil to power an entire island, but renewable sources that don’t come with high priced monthly dues. After a disaster like Hurricane Maria, it’s time to make some changes forward into how power is produced and kept on.

Sources 1, 2, 3

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What Others Say About Us

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 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 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

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

Brands We Service

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

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