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Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in Your Home
Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016 12:00am

An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter or AFCI is a type of electrical outlet or circuit breaker that trips when it detects a potentially dangerous electrical arc. Arc faults in homed are one of the leading causes of electrical wiring fires nationwide.

Sometimes confused with its common cousin, the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI, the purpose of an AFCI is to prevent electrical fires from "arcing" whereas a GFCI is to prevent electric shocks from poor grounding. Both serve an important purpose in reducing injury or saving lives.

An AFCI distinguishes between a harmless arc occuring in normal operation of switches, plugs, and motors, with an undesirable arc that occurs for example, in a hair dryer that has a broken wire in the cord and can lead to a fire.

AFCI breakers have been required for circuits feeding electrical outlets in bedrooms of homes by the electrical codes for many years. Since 2014, U.S. code has increased requirements to extend to outlets in most rooms of new homes.

AFCI's commonly come in two forms; receptical, and a circuit breaker style that is located in a breaker box. Although circuit breaker style AFCI's look similar to conventional circuit breakers which only respond to overloads and short circuits, AFCI circuit breakers also protect against arcing conditions that may lead to a fire.

When an AFCO trips at a receptical, it is not difficult to track down the issue, often being a defective appliance. But when a AFCI trips at a circuit breaker level, it can be a tedious and time consuming task to track down the specific location of the fault that is automatically tripping the breaker. However since the AFCI circuit breaker is protecting just one circuit, at least that narrows down the troublesome circut so only items on that circuit need to be checked rather than the entire home.

If you are having problems with AFCI's in your home, please call us and let us help you fix the issue and help protect your family and home.




The Pros and Cons of LED Lamps
Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:00am

LED lamps (also known as LED light bulbs) are solid-state lamps that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as their source of light.  LED's have been found in consumer products since the 70's with the advent of LED calculators, watches, and alarm clocks.  However it is only recently that technology has provided not only clear white light LED's but also lamps with enough intensity to light up a room, both at an affordable price.

Color:
Conventional light bulbs come in various colors such as soft white, daylight, or cool white lamps. Early LED designs did not all emit a very pleasing light familiar to most consumers. Thanks to the latest technology, LED lamps are now available in soft white or daylight to fit a variety of applications.  Exterior accent lighting is often much softer or warmer in tone compared to kitchen or garage lighting which is sometimes brighter toward daylight color.

Intensity or Brightness:
LED's are efficient and that is what led them into first being used in portable battery operated devices such as watches and pocket calculators.  When the power is increased, LED's can offer substantial light output and still remain very efficient.  If one LED is not enough, manufacturers sometimes combine 4, or 8 individual LED's into one housing to increase overall brightness.

Cost:
One by one, manufacturers have solved many of the downsides of LED lighting.  However that still leaves cost, not just the cost of the unit itself but the "total cost of operation". LED lamps are hands down much more expensive per unit than CF (Compact Fluorescent) or incandescent bulbs. However a conventional light bulb may only last 2000 hours compared to the 40,000 hour lifespan of most LED units. What is the cost of 20 conventional lightbulbs in a true comparison?  Then there is the energy savings itself derived from the different power ratings of each bulb usually given as Watts.  LED bulbs do save electricity and sometimes a lot of it. Manufacturers are quick to advertise their savings on the outside packaging of their products.  Many tests do show that their claims are reasonably accurate.

When it is worth it to buy a LED bulb?
Lets take two applications.  The first would be a closet lamp or maybe even a dining room light which is rarely used.  Now compare this to a kitchen light, or even a bathroom light that is left on all night long.  It would make more sense to upgrade a kitchen light or security light to LED simply because it is left on so much. In other words, given the same investment, it is better to save a percentage of a lot than the same percentage of a little.

Another good application for LED lights would be in a den with a tall ceiling where changing bulbs is very difficult or impractical.  A homeowner might pay a lot to never have to change a bulb again for years and years in such a ceiling.

In summary, LED's offer a lot of advantages but only in particular cases where their cost is truely justified by their true overall utility (cost of operation) as well as other possible "logistics" and other specific case-by-case benefits to the consumer.




Our New Website is Here!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:00am

Grace Electric is pleased to launch our all new website. Our new website gives us much more control over website updates and displaying some of our newest projects.  We hope you enjoy the new look and please contact us if you have any tips or suggestions for improvements.

Contact Information

Grace Electric, LLC
128 Dalton Street
Shreveport, Louisiana  71106

Phone:
318-683-1171

Fax:
318-683-1175

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Weekend Emergency Service Available

Grace Electric, LLC, Electrician, Shreveport, LA

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