Different Kinds of Light Bulbs

Light bulbs are probably the most commonly purchased of electrical supplies. But there’s still a lot of thought process that may go into your purchase. You may want to think about energy efficiency. You may want to think about what mood you are trying to create with the lighting in your home. Here we will review some options in light bulb buying. Hopefully, it will make your decision-making process a bit easier.

Different Kinds of Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: These are among the most energy efficient light bulbs. CFL’s produce a UV light and can be available for outdoor use. They may not hold up to power surges so it’s not advisable to use them in a workshop.

Light Emitting Diodes: Along with CFL’s, LED’s are also among the most energy-efficient light bulbs. They can also be used outdoors if indicated on the package. Because the bulb stays cool they do not contribute to heat build up and can help you save on air conditioning costs.

Fluorescent Bulbs: These are bulbs or tubes that emit UV light. They will not work without a ballast.

Halogen Bulbs: These run on halogen gas that increases the light output and rated life. They emit a high-quality light and can last up to a year.

HID Bulbs: These are primarily used in larger spaces like warehouses, commercial spaces and in streetlights. Because they don’t have filaments, they tend to last longer than most other light bulbs. They also require a ballast in order to function.

Incandescent Bulbs: Because these bulbs do not comply with current energy efficiency standards, they are being phased out. They are available for purchase, only while supplies last.

In addition to learning the different types of bulbs that are available, there are certain characteristics of bulbs that you may want familiarize yourself with. When buying light bulbs in electrical supply stores, be sure to look at the lighting label on each package. These will let you know what you can expect from your purchase including the brightness, estimated yearly cost, life expectancy, energy use, light appearance and mercury information of the light bulb.

The label will also indicate the Kelvin temperature of the bulb. This measures the light color or appearance of the bulb. A lower Kelvin number will indicate that the color has a more yellow appearance, while a higher number means the light has more white or blue tones.

Light bulbs are available in many different types of electrical supply outlets. If you are shopping for electrical supplies online, be sure to read the description of the bulb carefully to ensure you are buying the bulb you need. Look out for indications like whether it is suited for outdoor use, and whether it can be used for dimmable lighting or with a three-way switch. Electricians may purchase bulbs in bulk at electrical wholesale outlets.

Buying a light bulb seems like a simple task, but it may be more complicated than it seems. Hopefully, this article was valuable in educating you about the different types of bulbs available for your home or office use. Good luck finding the bulb that is right for you.

Exit Signs

If you work in any sort of commercial environment, it is a good idea to have the building or office equipped with exit signs. Exit signs can save lives. They are also often required to comply with building fire codes and insurance standards. If you are looking into getting exit signs for your commercial building, here are some things you should know.

Exit signs are available at most electrical supply stores. There are also online electrical supply stores that specialize in these signs. LED exit signs are recommended since they are energy saving, lowering costs and consumption.

Other options you may want to consider are Tritium power free exit signs. These require no external power source, electrical connection or batteries. They are extremely reliable and maintenance free.

A third option is photo luminescent exit signs. These are non-electrical so they eliminate operating costs. They do not require electricity or batteries making them virtually maintenance-free and easy to install.

Once you have these signs, it’s important to know the regulations that govern emergency lighting and exit sign requirements. There are many agencies responsible for setting these rules in place and it could get confusing. Regulations also may vary according to what state you are in.

If you are unsure of how to comply with your local emergency exit sign requirements, it may be best to reach out to the local fire marshal or inspector. It also may be a good idea to have your signs installed by a professional who is familiar with these regulations.

That being said, here are some general guidelines regarding the placement and visibility of the signs:

New exit signs must be placed in such a way so that they can be viewed from within 100 ft. in each exit access corridor.

Each sign must be readily visible and contrast against the background upon which it is placed.

No decorations, etc. should block the visibility of the sign.

All emergency signs should be tested on a regular basis by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). For more information on testing procedures, it is best to consult with the AHJ to make sure you are following all regulations.

Exit signs are important for your company’s safety and they are also necessary for your business to keep in compliance with the law. To make sure that your exit signs are being installed properly, speak to your local offices or consult a professional. Good luck keeping your commercial building up to code and protecting the people who work there.

Discover Safety Tips for Electrical Installations

If you are working with electricity and electrical supplies, it’s very important to make sure you are complying with recommended safety precautions. Whether you are an electrician, or a do-it-your-selfer, working with electricity can be a very dangerous undertaking. Here are some general rules you should be aware of and follow when you are working with electricity.

Electrical Installations

  1. Make sure your electrical supplies are in good condition. Do not work with frayed cords, damaged insulation or broken plugs.
  2. Take precautions when working on underground cabling. The digging that occurs can damage the wiring so be sure to wear insulated gloves. The damp soil surrounding the cable and ground faults can also be potentially dangerous.
  3. GFCI’s can be useful when doing electrical work as they protect against electric shock. They are designed to disconnect when they sense over current or short circuit faults. Be sure your GFCIs are properly connected and in working order monthly.
  4. Always turn off the mains when you are working on any electrical device in the home. It’s a good idea to put a sign on the service panel to let passerby’s know work is being done so nobody accidentally turns the panel back on.
  5. Be sure hands are dry when working with electricity. Water increases conductivity and should be avoided at all costs.
  6. Never use an aluminum or steel ladder when working with electricity. As these are conductors of electricity, an electrical surge can ground you causing the electrical current to pass through your body. Opt for ladders made of bamboo, wood, or fiberglass instead.
  7. When thinking about electrical supplies to use while performing electrical work, consider insulated tools.
  8. If you are going to be doing any soldering while working with electricity, be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions. Wear goggles and stay away from the fumes. Keep the iron in its stand when not in use and be aware that the iron can get extremely hot and cause burns.
  9.  Put a cap on the hot or live wire on an electric board or service panel. The bare ends of the live wire could short circuit with the neutral. The cap will insulate the ends of the cable and prevent shock if they are touched accidentally.

Working with electricity can be extremely dangerous, but taking the proper precautions when doing electrical work, and using the correct electrical supplies can decrease your risks of injury considerably. When considering what electrical supplies to use, look for a reliable electrical supply store. If you are buying electrical supplies online, be sure that you read the description carefully so you know the product will be the right one for your job. Electricians may consider buying products at electric wholesale suppliers. Good luck staying safe when performing your next electrical task!

Electrical Safety After A Natural Disaster

Unfortunate though it may be, natural disasters are part of life. Though many of us do not like to think about what might happen in the case of a natural disaster, it’s important to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Natural disasters can be particularly damaging when it comes to your electrical system. It can be dangerous dealing with restoring electricity if your power should go out during these times. Here are some things you should know if your power goes out as the result of a natural disaster.

Although you may not want another thing to deal with after a natural disaster, an electrical inspection may be necessary. If your electrical system has been flooded or if your electricity has not been turned on by your utility company because of the damage to your system, an inspection may be required. If you are replacing damaged equipment, electrical supplies or wiring, it may be necessary to get an inspection for those as well. Requesting an inspection may seem like a major inconvenience when you are trying to recover from a natural disaster, but being safe must be the priority here.

If you have electricity in your home, it may still be a good idea to get a licensed electrical contractor in to inspect your system to make sure everything is safe before turning your electricity back on. There could be damage to your system that may be hidden from view.

If it is determined that no damage was done to your home, you should still call your electrical utility company to get your power turned back on. They may require an Agency Request Inspection before doing so. This is a free inspection.

If your area is declared a disaster area, and there was flooding to your electrical system, you will need an L&I Agency Request Inspection. If no electrical problems are found, the utility company will be given the okay to turn the electricity back on.

If damage to your system was found, you will be given a list of what needs to be repaired. Then you will need to obtain an electrical permit for the repairs. Once repairs are made, you will need to get your L&I Agency Request Inspection. If there is no damage found at that time, the utility company will be given the okay to turn the power back on in your home.

At times, although it may seem like the damage to the electrical system in your home are an easy fix, it is always best to trust those repairs to a licensed electrician. He or she will know what is necessary as far as what electrical supplies to use to repair the system. Many electricians purchase supplies at electrical wholesale outlets. Electrical supply stores online are another good option.

When natural disasters happen, they can be devastating. However, it’s always best to be prepared. Hopefully, these tips can help you get back on track if a natural disaster hits your area.

Technical Math For Electricians

Are you interested in becoming an electrician? Well, if that is the case, you might want to make sure you are up on your math skills. Ohm’s law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage across the two points. The formulas related to Ohm’s law are the foundations of electrical supplies like electrical circuits.

Electricians Math

The first step you will want to take is to review certain fundamentals of math. Understanding the following will be useful: whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percentages, multipliers, percent increase, reciprocals, squaring a number, parenthesis, square root, volume, kilo and rounding off.

It’s also a good idea to review your basic knowledge of simple electrical supplies like an electric circuit. This consists of a load, a power source, and conductors. A switch will activate and deactivate the circuit.

Once you have mastered this basic knowledge, it’s time to take it to the next level, which is to apply this to what you need to know when doing electrical work. It’s important to understand the theory of direct proportion, which is to say that changing one factor will result in the change of another factor, so if the voltage increases by 25%, the current will increase by 25%. Inverse proportion is the opposite of this. In inverse proportion, decreasing one factor by 25% will result in an equal increase in the other factor.

Ohm’s law states E=IxR or Voltage=Current x Resistance. Two values here must be known to solve for the third. Similarly, a PIE formula circle determines the relationship between Power, Current and Voltage in which P=IxE (E being voltage and I being current).

A formula wheel combines Ohm’s law and the formula circle. The formulas in the formula wheel can be used for direct or alternating current circuits with unity power factor. In the formula wheel, you can determine the value of voltage, current, resistance or power based on the known amounts.

Power used in electrical supplies like fluorescent lights, motors or stove elements is considered useful work. The power used to make the electricity such as heating the conductors is considered wasted work. An electrician should be aware of this principal and be able to figure out the cost of power consumed in watts. This is based on a mathematical formula, P=I2xR.

An electrician should also understand that the voltage applied to a resistor can dramatically affect the power it consumes. Power is determined by the square of the voltage so if the voltage is doubled, power will increase by four times. Similarly, if the voltage is reduced by 50%, the power will go down by 25%.

Reviewing this information in a bit more depth will give you a good working knowledge to solve a wide variety of electrical problems. However, there is still much more to learn. Those wishing to find out more about the mathematics involved in electrical work should consider looking online for study guides where you can learn more advanced techniques which will increase your skill and knowledge. Good luck in your pursuit of a mathematical education as an electrician.

The Working Principle and Uses of a Servo Drive System

A servo drive system works as a supplier of power to electric servomechanisms. It is a kind of electronic amplifier that monitors a servomechanism’s feedback signal and continuously works to adjust it if deviates from the required limit.

Uses of a Servo Drive System

The Industry Applications of a Servo Drive System

Servo drives have various industry uses including robotics, factory automation, and CNC machining among others. They feature motor feedback, which gives them an edge over the AC and DC motors. The motor feedback is efficient in detecting random motion and making sure that the commanded motion is accurate.

How Servo Drives Work

A servo drive system works for keeping the motion of a network proportional to the command signal. It amplifies the signal after receiving it from a control system and then channels electric current to a servo motor for producing the required motion.

The control system commands a velocity, torque, or position by sending signals. The servo drive receives the actual status of the servo motor through a sensor attached to the motor. The drive then ensures the correct flow of the desired motion by adjusting the voltage frequency or pulse width.

The primary function of a servo drive is to create a balance between the rotating velocity of the servo motor and the commanded velocity signal. The process of adjusting the parameters to achieve the desired result is called performance tuning.

Servo Drive Products

You’ll find a broad range of products in the market for a servo drive system. A few has been discussed below:

Unidrive M700

It provides high-quality motor control for servo applications, permanent magnet, and induction.

Digitax ST

Digitax ST is a high-dynamic servo drive optimized for pulse duty. It has five varieties, which do the job of reducing developing and commissioning time while enhancing throughput with excellent motor control. They are flexible enough to be compatible with smaller and higher-performing machinery.

Epsilon EP

It is a small servo drive that is sufficiently versatile to be used for different functions as a simple amplifier to a programmable motion controller. The easy-to-use drive is available in various types, ideal for a wide variety of applications.

Unidrive SP

It is a tool that can control different types of industrial motors. It operates as a top-quality amplifier in servo mode. It is highly optimized for continuous duty applications such as labeling, winding, and printing.

Multi-Axis Modular Drive System (MDS)

It is a powerful and cost-effective bus solution for multiple servo axes (up to 8). It uses FM function module for providing scalable motion control functionality.

A Brief Guide to Electrical Relays for Dummies

Simply put, a relay is a kind of switch that is operated electrically. Many relays make use of an electromagnet to make a switch to function. However, they use other operating principles too. To understand different aspects of relays, follow this brief guide for electrical relays for dummies. It focuses on the definition of relays, their types, and applications.

Electrical Relays for Dummies

What are Electric Relays?

The functions of relays are to control a circuit or multiple circuits by a separate low-power signal or one signal, respectively. The first use of relays was in telegraph circuits. Currently, they are widely used in telephone exchanges.

Some Common Types of Relays

Relays are available in various types and forms for performing different functions. Some common types are discussed below:

Contactor Relays

An electric motor or other electrical loads require high power for their operator. Contactor relays can handle that high power. They switch devices in control and auxiliary circuits.

Solid-State Relays

Such relays control power circuits with the help of a semiconductor device. They apparently use no moving part for switching.

Protective Relays

Protective relays perform the function of protecting electrical circuits and transmission lines from short-circuits, overloads, and other faults. They come with attuned operating features and sometimes with several operating coils.

Protective relays are still in use, but digital instruments are mostly used these days for performing such functions.

Magnetic Latching Relays

The relays move their contacts in one direction with one pulse of coil power and then move the contacts back with redirected pulse. They are effective in applications where interrupted power has no influence on the contacts.

Railway Signaling Relays

The relays are larger considering the amount of currents and voltages they handle. Their contacts are spaced widely for protecting the system from short-circuits and flashovers.

Electrical Relays for Dummies: Applications

Relays are used in systems where it is required to regulate a high power circuit with a low power one.

Relays were first used in telegraph lines where they did the job of regenerating weak signals for further transmission. Similarly, early computers used them for logic and working registers.

Relays are used for intricate switching systems such as telephone exchanges. They are also used in production lines and machines tools for controlling the automated systems. They control a high current with small wiring and contacts in an automobile.

Another condition where relays are extensively used is in the radioactive waste handling machinery’s control panels. They are suitable for such conditions because of their better resistance to nuclear radiation than semiconductors.

Where to Buy Relays

Many manufacturers produce and market a broad range of relays and supporting accessories. All electrical supply stores, either brick-and-mortar or online, are supposed to have an excellent collection of relays for sale.

Types of the Most Popular Electronic Sensors

You’ll find electronic sensors and their supporting accessories in everyday objects such as lights and elevator buttons. They are widely used in some traditional fields such as the measurement of flow, pressure, and temperature. However, their applications have been expanded into more complex areas such as medicine, robotics, aerospace, airplane, and more with the advanced development in micro-machinery and microcontroller platforms.

Electronic sensors

What are Electronic Sensors?

It is an electrically operated device that identifies and responds to particular inputs from physical environments. The inputs can be any of the environmental phenomena such as heat, light, air flow, water flow, pressure, etc.

Sensor Accessories

Sensor accessories are tools and devices that support the installation, adjustment, or operation of sensor devices. A wide selection of sensor accessories is available in the market such as mounting brackets, adhesive backing, retroreflectors, conduit adapters, and more.

Types of Sensors Produced by Various Manufacturers

There’s a broad range of electronic sensors are available in the market. All the renowned manufacturers have their own line of sensors and their supporting accessories. Some of the most popular types are discussed below:

Inductive Proximity Sensor

You’ll see extensive use of these sensors in today’s automation industry. Their functions are to identify the presence and position of metal objects without any direct physical contact to help in process control. An inductive sensor can provide a long-term service because of having less mechanical parts.

Photoelectric Sensor

These sensors are used for identifying the presence, absence, or distance from a particular point of an object. They use an infrared light transmitter and a photoelectric receiver for their operation.

Laser Distance Photoelectric Sensor

They are used in applications where it is required to measure distance or a small spot size. They can provide high-resolution measurements and a high-level of accuracy even if employed in a fast moving process.

Fiber Optic Sensor

Such sensors are suitable for smaller systems. They are widely used in various industries as they are cost-effective, durable, and not affected by electromagnetic interference.

Position Sensor

These sensors are extensively used in a vast range of fields such as aerospace, security systems, hydraulics, nuclear, power generation, military, automotive, and a lot more. They can identify the movement of an object and transform it into signals appropriate for control, transmission, or processing.

Pressure Sensor

Mainly used in machine functions, factory automation, and steel mills, these sensors are used for detecting subtle changes in applied pressure.

Temperature Sensor

As the name suggests, these sensors do the job of metering the temperature in environments like wind farms, chemical plants, power plants, and machine automation systems.

Force Sensor

Such electronic sensors are widely used in general machine systems, power plants, and steel mills. They can measure both dynamic and static force and torque.

Electrical Raceways: Common Facts about their Types & Installation

Electrical raceways or raceway systems are an enclosed conduit that works as a passageway for electrical wiring. They mainly provide protection for wires and cables from various types of external damages and injuries caused by heat, weather, and water.

electrical raceways

Raceways also add to the aesthetics of a room by concealing those ugly wires mounting on a wall or behind your desk. It’s a versatile cable management tool used by both professionals and amateur home users.

Some of the various uses of a raceway system are:

  • Concealing wires and cables
  • Adding to the aesthetic of a space
  • Useful for installing new switches, telephone lines, and more
  • Acts as an essential part of the design of blade servers and sophisticated data centers
  • Used in indoors for data wires or electrical and telephone wires

Electrical Raceway Types

A raceway system can be defined just as a track for hiding cables. However, it’s features and functions are much more complex. There is a wide variety of raceways, each suited for a unique application.

Let’s take a look at the type that is most commonly used:

Surface Mounted Raceways

Sometimes, you need to install wiring in finished areas such classrooms, offices, a room in your home, or other similar places. In that case, you need a pathway that can aesthetically cover the wall-mounted cables without requiring you to drill holes in the wall and hide them inside. Surface mounted raceway (also known as wire raceway or cable raceway) comes in handy in such applications.

Secured to the surface, these raceways have an open face with a removable cover. They are effective when it’s not practical to drill through a concrete block or difficult to remold the existing wires placed inside a wall.

Depending on commercial, industrial, and outdoor applications, you’ll also find a couple more varieties of specialty raceways.


  • Allows adding new wiring to a finished area without requiring drilling through or cutting the surface
  • Makes removal or upgrade of circuits easier
  • Improves the aesthetics of any place by hiding ugly wires

Installation of Electrical Raceways

You have to maintain some rules and regulations for the installation of electrical raceways. Besides, it has to meet the requirements of NEC and NECA “Standard of Installation”.

Raceways have to be installed at the proper elevations, and coordination with other work including metal and concrete deck work is required. However, remember that you have to complete the installation before putting cables or wires within the raceways.

Raceways are suitable for moist or humid atmosphere. So, you can install them in exterior locations, particularly when the wiring is supposed to come in contact with water spray, grease, or dripping oil.

In all the cases, you have to provide secure fastening and support of conduit systems from the building’s structural system. Raceway installation requires professional skills. So, hire a professional electrician or a company for any such project.



Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and Its Types

They are digital computers used to control mechanical automation in industries by monitoring outputs and inputs. They make logic-based commands for electro-mechanical processes and industries. They are made in a special way to survive unfriendly conditions such as moisture, dust cold, and heat.

Programmable Logic Controllers

How a PLC is developed

Inside the PLC, there is a programmed microprocessor which uses computer language. The program is usually developed on another computer then sent to the controller via a cable. There is a specific language known as Ladder Logic that is used in the programming of a PLC.

Components of a Programmable Logic Controller

A PLC has a well-designed hardware system that makes is highly effective in its work areas. These consist of a CPU, microprocessor, input and output sections, power supply unit and memory. Each of this component has its functions that keep the controller at work.

  • CPU- This is also known as “the heart of the controller”. It is responsible for keeping the computer in check as well as performing functions such as arithmetic operations, managing computer interfaces, and logic operations.
  • Microprocessor- This device is used to feed the computer memory with the program.
  • Memory- Data is usually stored in this part. The system ROM stores the fixed data used by the CPU. There is also a Random Access Memory (RAM) that stores output and input data, time values and internal device’s functioning.
  • Input and Output Devices- PLSS use either analog or digital devices. These includes visual systems and robots. The output devices are tools such as solenoid valves and motors, lights and pumps.
  • Power Supply Unit- Many PLCs work under the normal power of about 220 VAC or 24 VDC. However, there are certain controllers that work under isolated power supply.
  • System Bus- There are four system buses that maintain the flow of digital signals within the controller. These buses are
  1. System Bus
  2. Data Bus
  3. Control Bus
  4. Address Bus

Types of Multiple Controller Systems

There are 3 types of PLCs.

Large Control Systems

They are made to suit your personal automation requirements. These include modular architecture, network options, and other Input/ Output functions. They are the most powerful and deliver top-range services if used effectively. They are made under maximum supervision in order to provide maximum performance and reliability.

Micro and Nano Control Systems

They are designed to provide a solution to basic control needs. They are used on simple machines to perform light duties such as compact packaging, simple logic, and control timing and relay replacements. They are also ideal for applications such as security systems, conveyor automation, and parking and building lot lighting.

Small Control Systems

They are ideal for mid-range uses. Without large systems, they give flexibility and features that maintain maximum performance. They are safety certified and standard for use, with modular, packaged and chassis-based designs. They perform activities such as building automation, batch processing, and machine control.

PLC Selection Criteria

When choosing a PLC, there are various requirements that you should consider.

Environmental conditions.

They affect the performance of a PLC. Normal PLCs should operate between 0 to 55 C. The number of I/O connections are determined by the number of analog and discrete devices.

Program Memory

Analogue devices require little program memory than digital devices. These devices include; sensors, current, voltage and temperature meters.

CPU Specifications

It is important to check the RAM and ROM specifications. Timers and counters store points in RAM. For long time data storage, there should be an appropriate CPU memory.