Tips for Choosing the Best Electrical Contractor to Meet Your Needs

Shreveport Electricans

In our current world, we must have power for even the most basic tasks. We can no longer function without safe and reliable electricity. So we all need to ensure that this basic necessity is in “good hands” by hiring electrical contractors to look after the electrical work in our homes, offices, schools, churches, and workplaces.

It is not only the job of any electrical contractor to run wires and install lighting and appliances, but to also protect their customers from potential dangers such as electrical shorts, igniting a fire or getting shocked. It is important to hire an experienced and licensed contractor who follows all applicable electrical codes to insure your safety as well your family, friends, and co-workers.

Whether you are wanting to remodel an area of your home or business, or start from the ground up, choosing the right electrical contractor is one of the most important decisions you will make to determine the success of your project. Your particular project requires an electrician with experience and skill working on jobs similar to yours.

Here are some tips when hiring electrical contractors in Shreveport:

Check Appropriate Licensing

The first step when hiring an electrical contractor is to check his license to verify that the contractor is authorized to do electrical work in your area. This license gives you assurance that the contractor is trained to work in the electrical field and can handle the job by adhering to safety standards and local building codes.

In addition to the contractor being state licensed, individual electricians may be licensed as either Master or Journeyman electricians by their local governing authorities. If they are a “card-carrying” electrician, they will have passed a basic test on local code requirements.

 So, check the contractor’s license before hiring an electrician in Shreveport.

Check Contractor’s Insurance

The next step is to verify the contractor’s insurance certificates to determine if the contractor is insured or not. A licensed electrician by law must carry worker’s compensation and liability insurance for accidents and injuries that could occur while on the job. Hiring a contractor that only carries the minimum necessary insurance is opening yourself up to risk, so never be too shy to ask a company for a copy of their insurance certificates. This is very common and the contractor should have this information readily available.

Check Credentials and Training

As you decide on a contractor, you should evaluate their experience and capability based on their past jobs that are similar to yours. Don’t be too shy to ask the company what size jobs they typically do and what kind of jobs they have handled in the past. You should select a contractor who is a “good fit” for your and your needs.

Don’t forget that you aren’t just hiring the business owner. Select a commercial electrical contractor that conducts thorough background checks for new hires, so that you feel secure with the workers that are sent to your home or business.

Check Recommendations, Reviews and References

Next when hiring a contractor is to check their reviews, references, and recommendations. These give you a fair idea of what type of work the contractor is doing and also get an idea of the quality of work that the company has done. Ask the electrical contractor to provide contact information of some recent clients who had the same work performed as you are needing. Though it’s time-consuming to “vet out” each company you evaluate, it will help to insure you are making he right choice.

This will help you determine if the contractor is capable of the type of work you need to get done. Having a thorough check of reviews, references, and recommendations is important before hiring a new electrical contractor.

Check the Contractor’s Experience

When making a final decision, remember that cost is only one factor in your decision. It is often too risky to hire untrained electricians to complete electrical jobs in your home or business. Choose a company with lots of experience in the specific type of work you are having done. If the contractor asks for a large down payment or wants you to purchase the materials, that may be a sign that you need to find someone else.

Check Cost & Budget

Going with the lowest bid on your project may save money in the short term, but you need to make sure that the electrical contractor you choose has the appropriate licensing, insurance and experience for the work you want completed.

It is important to determine your budget before starting the job. It is also beneficial to have a good relationship with the contractor since he is in charge safety in our homes and businesses. The contract details should also be finalized and agreed upon before the work begins.


All these tips should be checked before you hire a new electrical contractor. Observe how the workers interact with you and/or your staff. Their demeanor should be courteous, knowledgeable and respectful. If you feel like they did a good job, be sure to take a few minutes after the project is complete to give your contractor a good online review or written testimonial to show you appreciation for a job well done.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters in Your Home

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

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.

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.

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.