Residential Electrical Design Tips


The design of electrical systems in residential settings is an important topic in construction. Lighting schemes and products are so vast that there are endless options for a homeowner, so it is up to the electrical contractor to take what the homeowner wants and apply the correct electrical design to the house. It is also important from an efficiency point of view to use products that save electricity.

Can Lights

  • When choosing can lights, remember that the larger the lights, the brighter the lights. This is why 6-inch can lights are better than 3-inch lights. Even though the 3-inch lights are sleeker, they will not produce the same amount of light, and the lighted area will be smaller.

    Don't forget to put can lights in corners. This prevents the shadow effect that you see in the corners of many homes.

    If you want super high efficiency with no heat production, then LED can lights may be right for you. Besides not producing any heat from the bulb, the light is a much cleaner white light. These fixtures and bulbs cost between 15 percent and 20 percent more than standard can lights, as of 2010. There are no statistics on energy savings because this is a new technology.

Occupancy Sensors

  • Switches are pretty simple. A lever either flips up to turn lights on or down to turn lights off. There are dimmer switches, but they are only applicable in certain rooms. Occupancy sensors sense when someone walks into a room and turns the lights on. The lights then stay on for a set amount of time (usually set at 30 minutes and 1 hour). Occupancy sensors can come with manual switches, too. This is a smart option and helps reduce electrical usage.

Bathroom Fan Timers

  • Bathroom ventilation fans are designed to be on a switch. There are bathroom fan vent switches that have a set timer built into it at 15-, 30- and 45-minute intervals. Simply press the button and the fan turns on for the allotted amount of time. This will save significant energy and prevent mold and mildew buildup.

Smart Power Saver Box

  • The smart power saver box is a box that is mounted directly above the main service panel where the electricity comes in and filters the electricity so there is less waste. This wasted electricity is from fluctuations in power distribution from the grid that normally is wasted throughout buildings. The smart box filters only the electricity needed to operate the building. Because this energy is not used, it goes back to the grid, helping power another home or business. This box saves an estimated 10 percent to 25 percent off your utility bill.

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  • Photo Credit electrical box image by jimcox40 from light image by Gonçalo Carreira from
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