4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Kitchen with Under Cabinet Lighting

One of the easiest additions to make when upgrading your kitchen is under cabinet lighting. Affordable, versatile, and efficient, this upgrade makes good sense in many ways. Today, there are many forms of lighting available, and you can find exactly what you are searching for. Strip lighting will illuminate a large area. Puck lights cast light on specific areas, and tape lights will throw consistent light across the entire span of countertops. Installing more than one type will give you the options you need for a very versatile application. Here are reasons to consider installing at least one type of lighting under your cabinets.

Shed Light on Tasks

A well-lit workspace is easy to function in. Adding under cabinet lighting directs brightness to your work area, and eliminates shadows thrown by your body. Whether you are watching your cookie dough to assure it is properly mixed, or reading a recipe, it will be clearer and easier with under cabinet lighting. This direct illumination, placed exactly where you need it, is the last bit of lighting to complete your room. When added to your recessed, ceiling and pendant fixtures, it allows the whole room to be bathed in brightness.

Improved Ambience

When not working in the kitchen, the same lights may be dimmed to give a nice warmth to the area. In many of today’s homes, the open floor plans mean that every bit of ambiance in a space is influential to the decorating scheme. Use your under cabinet lights to add a nice glow.

Overnight Safety

Use your under cabinet lights to keep this central area of the home lit. Whether traversing through in semi-darkness, grabbing a glass for a late-night snack, or getting meds for a sick family member, you will appreciate the glow of your lights. LED lighting is also more cost-effective, so if you want to make it appear you are home and awake, leave them on for security reasons.

Highlight Accents

Well thought out lighting layouts will allow you to showcase a collection of spices or accent a dried flower arrangement. Beautiful countertops, backsplashes, and appliances become art when the light is thrown on them in a darkened space.

The trend toward LED lighting in the last few years increases the safety of the installation, and these lights may safely be left on around the clock. They are inexpensive to purchase and operate, and fun to use. Today’s options include color changing tape lights that can be set to a beautiful accent color and left dimmed for a designer look, and area lighting for feature accents. Lighting is much more than a necessity for tasks.

Ready for an Upgrade?

If you would like to add new lighting to your kitchen, business or living space, give us a call. We can help you decide which lights will meet your needs, and our professional electricians will install them quickly so you can enjoy them.

No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at Westphal Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!

7 Tips for Power Strip Safety

Our homes are full of electrical devices – more now than ever before. We depend on electricity to maintain our quality of life almost as an extension of ourselves. This includes the need to provide power to major home appliances, our heating/cooling system, but also mobile devices and smart home products. This burden leads many people to depend on extension cords and power strips to keep everything running or charged.

And yet not everyone understands how to use power strips properly.

Here we take a look at some basic dos and don’ts so you can keep your home as safe as possible.

1. DO USE POWER STRIPS WITH INTERNAL CIRCUIT BREAKERS

Always buy power strips that feature internal circuit breakers. This is an important safety feature that enables the power strip to shut down when there’s a power overload.

2. DO USE POWER STRIPS AS SPARINGLY AS POSSIBLE

It’s never a good idea to use power strips for every outlet in your home. In fact, you should use them as sparingly as possible and only when really needed. Plus, you should get in the habit of unplugging your power strip at night and when you leave the house.

3. DON’T USE AN INDOOR POWER STRIP OUTDOORS

Indoor power strips are not designed to be used outdoors where they will be exposed to moisture or changes in the weather. Keep in mind that moisture can damage the power strip and even cause dangerous accidents.

4. DON’T PLUG A POWER STRIP INTO ANOTHER POWER STRIP

You might be tempted to plug a power strip into an open slot on a power strip when there isn’t an open wall outlet. Also known as daisy-chaining, this very bad idea creates an overload and increases the potential for a deadly household electrical mishap.

5. DON’T OVERLOAD A POWER STRIP

Many homeowners make the mistake of using every available slot on their power strips. It’s also important to be extremely mindful of the types of devices and household appliances you plug into a power strip. For example, never plug in major appliances such as your refrigerator or dishwasher – doing so is a major fire hazard!

6. DON’T USE A POWER STRIP THAT FEELS HOT

Be sure to check your power strip for their temperature. If you notice one is hot to the touch, unplug it immediately.

7. DON’T PLUG A HAIRDRYER INTO A POWER STRIP

Bathroom appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons should always be plugged directly into wall outlets. That’s because power strips aren’t designed to handle that much amperage.

The constant flow of electricity in the average home is something most people take for granted, especially when it comes to the convenience of plugging into power strips. Hopefully, this list of 7 dos and don’ts for power strip safety will help you avoid common household mistakes that could put your family in danger.

Ready for an Upgrade?

If you are considering a an electrical upgrade for your home or business, give us a call. We can help you evaluate your electrical needs, and our professional electricians can make the necessary improvements to get your home fully and efficiently powered.

No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at Westphal Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!

Westphal & Company Awarded ISN RAVS Plus® for their Commitment to Safety

Westphal & Company, a leader in electrical construction, has been awarded the RAVS Plus® by ISNetworld (ISN), one of the largest global safety compliance groups.

ISN RAVS Plus®  is a review and audit by ISN® of written health, safety, and environmental (HSE) programs that have been implemented by contractor customers throughout their organizations. Participation in the RAVS Plus® program is by invitation only and recognizes a company for outstanding commitment to safety.

Achieving ISN certification requires a significant commitment, ensuring that all regulations have been adhered to or exceeded, and serves as an easy and verifiable way for potential customers to check that any potential contractor they are planning to hire meets all of the necessary requirements.

Westphal’s management, supervisors, and field personnel view job site safety as a shared responsibility. All employees are obligated to comply with company safety policies, stop work activities when safety hazards are encountered, and report safety concerns to supervisors or management personnel.

Safety is Westphal & Company, Inc.’s priority for every project big and small. The ISN’s RAVS Plus® award is proof of the company’s commitment to the safety and health of its employees.

About Westphal

Since 1931, our reputation has been founded on integrity and craftsmanship. We design and build quality electrical and telecom projects for clients from a wide variety of industries. We pride ourselves on knowledge, consistency, and safety.

Our company culture thrives on a people-first mentality and is designed to give our team motivation, resources, and opportunities to excel and grow as individuals and professionals. Investing in our team members’ development and promoting from within are two reasons why Westphal & Co. is among the top electrical contractors in the Midwest.