Smart home lighting is beneficial for so many reasons, including helping individuals and families simplify and streamline their lives. The list of benefits continues, and we have touched on these in past blogs and videos, but today I want to focus on WHO smart home lighting benefits. SPOILER ALERT! Smart home lighting benefits EVERYONE!!!
Check out the #TipTuesday video below for more details on how Lutron's Caseta Wireless (and don't forget about Lutron's RA2 Select) is easy for the whole family to use and beneficial to everyone.
If you would like to know how Lutron's Caseta Wireless or RA2 Select can help streamline your day-to-day living, contact us to set up a free consultation. We're happy to help!
We’ve all been there. You make a promise you think you can keep, then life happens and you break that promise. If the promise wasn’t a major one, the fallout will likely be minimal…but if you had to break a big promise, well, that could have disastrous consequences. This is true in our personal lives, but this is also true in business.
Whenever I see a business “guaranteeing” something, I am initially inclined to get excited and buy into whatever it is they’re guaranteeing…but then my critical thinking kicks in and I look at just what exactly it is they’re promising…
For example, let’s say you see an ad in which a company is guaranteeing that they have the lowest price on a given item. On its own, that claim is a difficult one to make. It is unlikely that the company knows what each and every one of their competitors is charging for that particular item. If they don’t know what each of their competitors is charging, but they still want to be able to promise the lowest price, they may say that if you do find a lower price at a competitor, they will match it or beat it by a certain amount. Now that sounds like a promise they can keep!
In the construction industry though, making a guarantee or promise of any kind can be dangerous and we would advise you to be cautious. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
One of the main reasons it’s difficult to make promises or “guarantee” things in the construction industry is that on any project, big or small, there are so many variables to be considered. Not only are there a lot of variables, many of them are unknown until the project is well underway.
A perfect example of this happened to us recently. We were hired by a client who needed a switch replaced with a dimmer. Simple, right? Well, nine times out of ten it is simple, but not in this case. When we installed the new dimmer, the light fixture it controlled stopped working. Of course we then traced the problem to the light fixture and there we discovered the problem: illegal and unsafe electrical work had been done at some point in the past. In order to access and remove the unsafe wiring, we were forced to cut a hole in the ceiling. This was obviously not expected by us, and certainly not by the Homeowner. We of course explained the situation to the Homeowner beforehand, and she understood that this was necessary to make things safe (and to get their dimmer working, the reason we were actually there), but we all understood how unfortunate the situation ended up being. We always do everything in our power to limit, and usually completely avoid, cutting drywall, but in some cases, such as this one, it had to be done. This is why we don’t go out of our way to make sweeping “guarantees” and promises. Some just can’t be kept.
Although we don’t go out of our way to make grandiose promises or guarantees, there are certainly some promises we are confident in making:
If you don't have custom lighting in your closet, even your smallest closets, you don't know what you're missing!
Every home has a closet, likely quite a few! If you have a walk-in closet, chances are you have a light fixture in said closet, but in the rest of your closets chances are you don't have any light. Here is a recent poll that we did of our Facebook followers regarding what lighting they have in their bedroom closets:
As you can see, only 20% of people polled had pot lights, or custom lighting, in their bedroom closet. The remainder of people were tied, 40% having a regular light fixture, and 40% having no light at all. If you have no lighting in your closet, you may not realize how dark your closet is! Check out these before and after pictures of my spare closet (and pardon the mess!)
Spare Closet - Before Picture
Spare Closet - After Picture
In this case, this closet has 3, 4" slim LED pot lights installed. It is important to ensure you have sufficient lighting in your closet and this is not only achieved by the number of pot lights, but also by the layout. The video below explains this in more detail.
If you are interested in lighting up your life, or just your closets ;) let's set up a free, onsite consultation!
Once you have custom lighting in your closet, you will truly wonder how you ever lived without it!
There are many factors to consider when planning a renovation. There are so many factors in fact, that you may find you overlook the simple things, like switches, believing they don't require any planning at all. In reality, this fact could not be farther from the truth. Check out our latest #TipTuesday video to see what you need to consider for your switches when planning your next reno.
"#TipTuesday - Don't forget about switches when planning your renovation". YouTube, uploaded by Holly Parsons, 28 March 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFdI5LL2F20
If you still have questions, don't hesitate to contact us, we're #YOURelectricalcontractor and we're happy to help!
We are so passionate about home control we can't stop talking about it...see what all the fuss it about ;)
We are a full service, Licensed Electrical Contracting company but our passion led us to explore beyond the typical field of electrical renovations. This exploration led us to discover one of our greatest passions: Home Control.
Home Control can save you money, time and energy. But the best part about it is that it's just really awesome! We love to talk home control! Check out our video to see why! If you want to learn more, and there is so much more to learn, get in touch with us, we'd love to chat!
Call or text 519-362-5598
"Verve Home - Motorized Honeycomb Shades and Home Control". YouTube, uploaded by Holly Parsons, 22 May 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azIIktogUQg.
Create your perfect outdoor space with custom lighting so you can enjoy your outside space as much as you enjoy your inside space.
With spring on its way, (I hope!) it’s time to start thinking about creating your perfect outdoor space. More and more families are shifting their focus from the inside of their home to the outside. This has been a trend in warmer clients for a long time, but even here in Snowmageddon, ahem, I mean Ontario, folks are wanting to make the absolute most of their outdoor living space for as long as they possibly can. Custom lighting is absolutely the way to do that.
When you start thinking about adding custom lighting to your outdoor space, you should first consider the purpose of the lighting. Do you want to draw attention to a specific element in your outdoor space, such as a particular plant or tree? If you’re looking to focus on an element such as this, uplighting is something you should consider. Uplighting is perfect for showcasing this type of element as you can easily light the entire object from the ground up, as opposed to having a light beside the object, only lighting a portion of it.
Another benefit of uplighting is that is it very discreet. All of the wiring is run under ground, and the fixture itself is small and low to the ground so the focus is really on the element you are lighting, and not on the fixture itself.
If you are looking to illuminate a walkway or stairway, there are so many fabulous, energy saving options available for this type of lighting. The best part about this type of lighting is you are not limited to lights that you stick into the ground on a stake that can look inexpensive and untidy. If you’re lighting a stairway for example, small lights installed on the riser or the stringer can beautifully and subtly light each stair, providing a safety feature so you and your family can easily navigate the stairs when it’s dark, while at the same time giving your space a high-end, fashionable look.
Outdoor fixture installed
by Verve Electric Inc.
When you are choosing the light fixtures for your outdoor space, we do not recommend sacrificing quality for cost. Outdoor lighting should be seen as an investment. When you invest in quality outdoor lighting, you can be assured that it will withstand the test of time and the elements.
Outdoor lighting will certainly help to take your outdoor space to the next level, but you don’t want to take your energy bill to the next level too. To prevent this, we can integrate your outdoor lighting with the Lutron Caseta home control system. Using your smart phone and/or tablet and the free Lutron App, we can easily program your Caseta home control system to turn your lights on at dusk, and then off at dawn. This program will automatically adjust as the days become shorter, preventing your lights from coming on unnecessarily. We can also easily program your outdoor lights to come on and off at a specific time of night/day. There is also the option of geofencing. With this option, we can program your outdoor lighting to come on when you get within a certain distance of your home. This is an especially fabulous feature to use when you’re driving home at night. Having your outside lights come on as you approach your house allows you to easily navigate the path to your entry point and provides you with added security as you can clearly see your entryway and your keys to let yourself in.
No matter the type of lighting you choose to install in your outdoor space, you must make sure that all fixtures are installed according to the Ontario Electrical Code. For example, fixtures within a certain distance of water, (i.e. a hot tub) must be GFCI protected. When you are designing your lighting plan for you outdoor space, we can help you figure out if your fixtures requires GFCI protection or not. This can all be done during your free onsite estimate.
If you would like help designing the lighting plan to help create your perfect outdoor space, we would be more than happy to set up a free onsite consultation to discuss your plans. You can contact our office via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 519-362-5598. We can’t wait to help you and your family create your perfect outdoor living space!
"Outdoor Lighting and Home Control". Youtube, uploaded by Holly Parsons, 19 May 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX1MUP3g5Bo.
#YOURelectricalcontractor prides himself on his ability to explain the electrical renovation process to his clients in a clear and concise manner. After talking over any questions/concerns they may have with #YOURelectricalcontractor, homeowners can be confident they know exactly what they're getting in their renovation. That being said though, one topic that doesn't seem to ever get enough attention is that "ESA" cost on the estimate. Well, we've heard you, we've listened, and we're here to help! Here's what that ESA cost means to you, the client :)
Renovation projects can be expensive, and there are definitely ways to work with a budget, but there are certain costs that can't be avoided. One of these unavoidable costs is the charge for the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) permit.
When doing a renovation in your own home, whether you hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) or do the work yourself, it will require a permit from the Electrical Safety Authority. If you've hired an LEC, he or she will take care of pulling the permit for you. Your LEC will also schedule the inspection(s) for you. Every project will require a minimum of one inspection. Larger projects can require two or more inspections depending on the scope of work.
If you are undertaking a large electrical project, one requiring two inspections, the first inspection will be the "rough-in" inspection. This inspection must be completed and passed before this initial work is covered up. This means, for example, that insulation and drywall can't be done until the first electrical inspection is passed. If you're hired an General Contractor, they will ensure this is all scheduled appropriately. If you are running the project, make sure you coordinate all the trades accordingly. The pass for this initial electrical inspection will not be received until the day after the inspection was completed, so appropriate time needs to be left for all the trades to do their part.
When all of the electrical work is completed and passed, depending on the type of renovation or repair work you had done, you may require the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your bank or insurance company. This is an official document and there is no substitute.
Pulling the ESA permit, booking the inspection(s) and sending the Certificate of Inspection is a time consuming process. The ESA cost that you see on your estimate from your LEC covers this, including the costs your LEC pays the ESA for the actual permit, inspection(s) and Certificate of Inspection. The cost of the actual permit from the ESA is determined by the scope or work being done. Generally speaking, the larger the project, the higher the cost of the permit.
When you hire an LEC to do your electrical work, they will easily be able to determine exactly what permit you require. If you are doing work on your own home, you should speak directly with the ESA to determine exactly what permit you require, and if you are eligible to complete the work yourself. There are some instances where you must hire an LEC and cannot perform the work yourself. There are also some instances where it is simply a strong recommendation to hire a professional. You can get more information by visiting the Electrical Safety Authority's website at:
You can also contact ESA by phone at: 1-877-ESA-SAFE
I hope that clarifies that ESA cost on your estimate for you and that you see how important it is! As always though, we're here to help, so reach out with any questions :)
Until next time!!!
When you make the decision to renovate part of your home or business, the very next decision you make concerning this large investment is how much you’re willing to invest financially in your project. How much you invest in your project will of course vary depending on the size of the project you’re undertaking, your financial situation, and just how extensive you want the renovation to be. It’s a safe assumption though, that even if your renovation is a small one, it will still cost a fair amount. As the old adage goes, cheap labour isn’t skilled and skilled labour isn’t cheap. For most people though, the thought of their investment ends there. How much money will I spend on the materials and labour? That’s it…or is it? Consider this: you’re not only investing in your home, but you’re investing in the businesses you hire to do the work. Even more than that, you’re investing in the people you’re hiring that own, operate and work for these businesses. You’re ultimately investing in people.
Now that you know you’re investing in people, this investment seems to carry a lot more weight. When you call companies for estimates, and have 3 people come out to your home or business, and invite them into your space, you’re getting more than a piece of paper with a number on it. You’re getting their expertise, their skill, their knowledge, their hard work. When you ultimately choose a company to hire, you’re investing in them. You’re helping them to grow their business, grow their dream, accomplish their goals. You’re making a contribution to their success. If you hire the right company, and thus the right people, they will take your investment and invest it back into you. They will put in the time and effort to ensure your project is done right. They will make sure corners are not cut. They will work on your space like it is their own. They will appreciate your business, understanding that you had the choice to invest in anyone, but you chose them. A company that understands this will thank you for your investment in any number of ways, including a simple thank you card, a small gift, or possibly offering you an incentive for a future referral. Verve Electric Inc. is proud to be a company that understands the investment you make in us, and we in return want to invest back in you. We understand that our clients are not a part of our success and continued growth, but are the key to our success and growth. We are so proud to serve the people in our community, and have truly enjoyed forming the relationships we have had the chance to form in the past year. We are excited to continue to grow with you and give you the proper return on your investment.
Pay now...save later...think of it as the old adage, measure twice cut once :) When you are planning a renovation, there are many exciting things to think about, such as new paint colors, rearranging the existing pieces in the space, buying new accent pieces, maybe even buying new furniture! These are costly investments that really do pay off by helping to create your perfect space. While you're busy thinking about all of these exciting purchases and changes though, it's easy to lose sight of the more...I hate to say it...boring aspects of the job, such as the electrical devices. Yes, parts of our job can certainly be mundane. That being said, they are extremely important and your space couldn't really function without them! (Have you ever had a dinner party in the dark eating raw food? Likely not :) )
So we've established that some of the electrical elements in your space can be boring, read receptacles and switches, and in most cases these are also standard - standard location, standard height and standard color. When you're planning a brand new custom space though, you may need so much more than standard! If you have a custom countertop with an unusually high backsplash or an usual room layout for example, you may need switches and receptacles in non-standard locations and in non-standard finishes. For example, if the entire wall in your bathroom behind the sink is mirror, you may want a receptacle on one side. Not only will this be an usual placing, but you will most definitely want a mirrored plate for that receptacle. If you do not inform your electrician about these specific custom items in your space, devices will be placed in standard spots, at a standard height, in a standard finish. Can you picture a white nylon plate cover over a standard receptacle surrounded by a mirror? *shudder Although it is possible to relocate devices once they are roughed-in and then installed, it is a costly process. This cost can easily be avoided by scheduling a consultation with your electrical contractor beforehand. Use this consultation to review the specifics for your custom space so the electrical work can be custom to accommodate. This consultation will cost much less than re-working everything after the fact, and it will save everyone time and money and you can get down to the business of enjoying your space as soon as possible.
Our team is always more than happy to discuss your custom touches with you so we can help create your perfect space. Of course there are many electrical codes that need to be followed when determining placement and height of devices, but we will work with you to ensure that the required codes are met and your custom space looks perfect.
Until next time - happy consulting :D
Spring is in the air and that means so is change! I bet more than a few of you have opened the windows to let in this gorgeous spring air, then you've looked around the room and thought "What the heck?!" when you really took a good look at your furniture layout. Then you likely cranked the tunes and got busy dragging furniture around the room working on your feng shui.
Although it's hard work, you can pretty easily rearrange your furniture when you realize it doesn't actually work for you or the space. It's not so easy with lighting. If you have 16 pot lights in your kitchen, it is what it is. Unless of course you're willing to do a potentially significant, and costly, amount of damage to your ceiling. That's why, when it comes to your lighting, you need to have an in depth consultation with #YOURelectricalcontractor. Nathan will create for you a lighting layout, based on many different factors, including but not limited to shadowing, light spread, and the purpose of the room. Nathan will not only create the layout for you to ensure your space is perfectly lit, he will explain to you why the layout is the way it is and why you need "x" number of light fixtures or pot lights. In the end though, the decision is always yours, but Nathan is here to help!
So, to all those that are dancing around, rearranging their spaces today, dance on! But when it comes time to renovate, let #YOURelectricalcontractor plan your lighting layout...unless of course you want to see him come in and dance around while moving floor lamps or something... ;)