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The Best Lighting Options for Your Kitchen

Many people spend a lot of time in their kitchen, whether it’s to prep and cook meals, wash a pile of dishes or find that perfect midnight snack. Because it’s a well-used space that is often the center of a home, it’s important to make sure kitchen lighting is both functional and welcoming.
As any residential electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA will tell you, this is no easy task. All lighting design works by layering three main types of lighting: ambient, accent and task lighting. And because a kitchen has so many different functions and work stations, the job is even more complex. Read on for some things to consider when designing your kitchen lighting:

  • Make sure to work with what you have: The way a space is laid out will certainly impact lighting choices. For example, if the ceilings are low and the kitchen is small, longer pendant lighting would not be appropriate. It would make the space feel more cramped and get in the way. Instead, for smaller spaces, recessed or track lighting would provide better ambient lighting for the space. Consider what is unique about your kitchen and what architectural features you might want to show off through your lighting design.
  • Consider how you’ll use the space: You’ll also want to consider how you’ll use the kitchen spaces. Which areas would benefit from direct task lighting? If you cook a lot, a light over the stove is helpful, and under-cabinet lighting provides shadow-free light for any meal preparation or cleaning without taking up a lot of space. These are just a few options for what to consider as you analyze your kitchen usage.
  • Think about what you want to showcase: Accent lighting is often decorative in nature and draws your eye to a specific feature you want to highlight. A well-chosen use of accent lighting can almost function like a work of art in itself by adding a flair to the room that would otherwise not be there. Installing one dramatic chandelier or a few unique pendant lights can spruce up a space and add more functional light as well. Just remember that the fixtures do need to fit the space you have, not the space you might want!

Every kitchen is unique, and it takes some careful planning from a residential electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA. The experts at Walsh Electric would be thrilled to provide the support you need for a kitchen lighting design project. Since 1985, we’ve worked with a wide variety of clients on residential lighting upgrades and have the knowhow and resources required to complete any job.

On top of residential design and installation, Walsh Electric is confident we can serve any complex electric problem in a timely manner. We have the most advanced electrical equipment and a dedicated staff willing to serve you quickly and expertly. Call today for more information on our services and to receive a free quote—we look forward to helping you get the most out of your kitchen!

How Lighting Can Affect Mood

Most of us hardly ever think about lighting, yet somehow we find ourselves smiling on bright sunny days or feeling gloomy when the sky is dark and overcast. Studies have shown that different kinds of lighting can impact mental, biological and emotional factors. The lighting can influence one’s mood and overall levels of productivity. Even the intensity of a light can directly influence how you react to things or interact with others.

Here’s a closer look at a few of the ways lighting can affect your emotions. Contact your electrician in Alexandria, VA for more information.

The power of natural light

People who spend more time outside in the natural light are much happier and get more sleep than those who spend their day in the dark or under artificial lights. But you don’t have to spend your day outside to reap the benefits of natural light. Simply having a window in the office can provide the same benefits. This is because exposure to naturally-occurring light helps the body stick to its natural circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, this can have an adverse effect during the winter months,when many people experience seasonal affective disorder because there’s less natural lighting available.

Cool, blue lights for productivity

Artificial light in blue-white tones and cooler temperatures are ideal for the office or a creative space. Studies have shown this tone makes people feel more alert, assists with concentration, prevents sleepiness and even boosts productivity. This is because the blue-toned light lowers the hormone melatonin, which causes sleepiness. On the other hand, too much artificial blue light can have negative effects. Using blue-tinted screens before bedtime can prevent the mind from naturally calming down and make it difficult to fall asleep.

Yellow for relaxation

Warm lighting has the opposite effect. The glow from a yellow-tinted lighting source can encourage calmness and foster relaxation. The right amount of warm lighting has been found to decrease the risk of depression, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Switch on a yellow light to unwind at the end of a long day or to prepare the mind and body for sleep.

Light intensity

Studies have found the intensity of the light can have a major impact on everything from how much we eat to the enjoyment of our food. People tend to eat less and at a slower pace in restaurants with soft, dim lighting. However, dark restaurants also encourage diners to order unhealthy food, while brighter lighting makes them more conscious of what they are consuming. One study suggested that lighting can even influence how much people enjoy their food.

Transform your space with the help of an electrician in Alexandria, VA

The right or wrong lighting can transform both your home and your life. Identifying the temperature, tone and lighting type best in line with the primary function of the room or building can be tricky, though. Luckily, Walsh Electric can help. One of our expert electricians in Alexandria, VA will identify the best lighting solution for the space before installing it just how you want it. Call us today to get started!

The Best Lighting Options for Your Bedroom

Picturesque bedrooms are a staple of social media posts and on the pages of home design magazines. The one thing every seemingly perfect room has in common is great lighting. The bedroom can be a busy place during waking hours. Finding the right lighting combination is important to creating a space you will want to live in after getting out of bed every morning.The best lighting will provide the right amount of illumination for tasks like dressing, reading, romance and relaxation before transitioning to sleep.

The right light will turn your bedroom into a spot that’s optimal for waking up to a bright and energetic room early in the morning,as well as for basking in calming mood lighting that’s ideal for unwinding with a good book at night. Ahead, an electrician in Alexandria, VA breaks down some of the most popular bedroom lighting options:

  • Recessed: Recessed lights are a great contemporary choice for the bedroom. This low-key lighting option works well with other ceiling fixtures, such as a pendant light. Recessed lights are also a great choice for walk-in closets.
  • Ceiling fans: Ceiling fans pull double duty by providing bright overhead lighting and helping to circulate air throughout the room.The ceiling fan can be flush-mount, semi-flush mount or drop style.They’re available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you’ll be able to find the perfect option to fit your space.
  • Pendants: Pendant lighting is one of the top trends in bedroom lighting. Hang two or three statement pendant lights above the bed to create a stylish spot while also freeing up valuable room on the nightstand. Another option is to hang a single pendant light above the vanity for a glamorous space to apply makeup.
  • Chandeliers: Chandeliers add a touch of elegance to any room. Select the right chandelier to fit the style of your bedroom. You will need a high ceiling to accommodate a chandelier. An electrician in Alexandria, VA can help determine the perfect spot for this luxurious addition.
  • Flush-mounted ceiling fixtures: This is the most common type of overhead light. Flush-mounted fixtures sit directly against the ceiling. The light bulb is covered with a glass cover. In most bedrooms, this might be the only light you really need to illuminate the entire space.
  • Wall sconces: Love to curl up in bed with a good book? Then wall sconces are a great option for you. Sconces are typically placed along the side of the headboard for a minimally invasive light. Choose a fixed option or a sconce with an adjustable swing arm to easily re-position the light.
  • Track lighting: Track lights are the perfect finishing touch for a contemporary or minimalist bedroom. This option can spotlight a particular item, like a piece of art or other accent. Track lighting also works to add a bit of subdued lighting to the vanity or dressing area.

Determining the right lighting choice can be tricky without the help and guidance of an electrician in Alexandria, VA. Call the experts at Walsh Electric today to begin the process of transforming your bedroom with a new lighting option.

How Energy Efficient LED Lighting Can Benefit Your Business

If you’re looking to make a quick, relatively easy upgrade to your business that will help you save some money, one of the best steps you can take is to upgrade all of your lighting to energy efficient LED lighting. It might seem like a big task to switch out all the bulbs in your building, but trust us—making the switch to LED bulbs is worth the time and investment it takes to get the job done.

LED bulbs are becoming increasingly common in new construction and additions, and more and more business owners are realizing their benefits. Here are just a few examples of some of those benefits, courtesy of an electrician in Alexandria, VA.

Long-term financial savings

There are numerous economic advantages that come with using LED lighting. While you do have to make the initial investment for the bulbs, which are significantly more expensive than standard incandescent lights, LED bulbs have come down quite a bit in price over the years.

LED bulbs use significantly less energy, even less than compact fluorescent bulbs, which means you’ll quickly see the effects start showing up in your monthly utility bills. This means these savings will eventually pay off the initial investment you make in upgrading all thebulbs on your property. Over the course of time, your general operating budget will also go down, because you won’t need as much money to regularly purchase new bulbs—LEDs last for years on end.

You will also see a slight decrease in air conditioning bills over the summer—incandescent and halogen bulbs give off a lot of heat, and if you have a lot of them in your facility, they’ll slightly increase the interior temperature. LEDs run quite cool, so you don’t have to worry about this unwanted excess heat.

Environmental benefits

If you’re using fluorescent bulbs, you probably have a hard time disposing of the bulbs. That’s because fluorescent bulbs contain traces of mercury, which means you need to take greater care of them when getting rid of them.This is not an issue with LED bulbs—you can simply throw them away like incandescent bulbs in standard garbage. And if the LED bulbs ever break, you don’t have to worry about the health risks associated with mercury exposure and the environmental risks of having it seeping into the dirt or water in the area.

Health benefits

LED benefits can even provide some health benefits to people working or doing business inside of your building. For example, because LED bulbs don’t flicker like fluorescent bulbs often do, you won’t have to worry about as many complaints about headaches or eyestrain. This will have a good effect on morale in your company.

To learn more about the various benefits associated with installing LED lighting in your commercial space, we encourage you to contact Walsh Electric to speak with a trusted electrician in Alexandria, VA. We are happy to answer any questions you have about upgrading the lighting in your facility.

Why You Need to Update Your Electrical Panel

electrical panel

If your home was built before the 1960’s, chances are you have a fuse panel. When circuit panels came about, the fuse panel was deemed unsafe and even many insurance companies refused coverage to homes that did not upgrade. So therefore, many people upgraded to larger fuses not understanding that the larger electrical load was not alone on the fuse but the wires as well. These wires when overloaded can quickly overheat leading to fire. Entire homes in the 60’s used the electricity of what a home today needs to just power a kitchen. As we use more and more gadgets, larger tvs, microwaves, etc. and homes are expanded and get larger and larger, the need for more power and more electrical service is warranted. If you have an undersized or out of date panel, you are at risk for complete shut down or even worse, a dangerous fire. Continue reading Why You Need to Update Your Electrical Panel