Pendant lights are bang on trend at the moment, but choosing the right pendant for your space can be an art form. There are a few key factors to consider when working with pendants in your kitchen and dining spaces:
How much light do you need? This will depend on the amount of existing light in the space. A dining room with evenly spaced downlights may just need that extra sparkle of a single pendant to really pop. A kitchen lacking in natural light may need several lighting elements to improve visibility and ensure the area is user friendly.
Just like fashion, less can be more when using pendant lights. The dining area is where your family and friends come to make memories. Save your feature pendant for right above your table. Add two or three subtle pendant lights over your kitchen bench. This will tie the two areas together while making sure the spaces aren’t competing for attention.
Think about your kitchen activity when selecting your lighting. Pendants with an open or translucent bottom are perfect for your bench space as they direct light towards the task in front of you. Lighting the middle of the room is a common mistake in kitchens as this casts shadow across the task space.
The kitchen is often the heart of the home. Create ambient lighting by using multiple lower output fixtures rather than large, single lights. Consider installation of a dimmer to give your kitchen and dining space that cosy restaurant feel.
Create pendant envy among your friends and family by completing the quote request form and let us help you pendant right!
Everything You Need to Know About Queensland’s New Smoke Alarm Laws
A properly functioning smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death. When it comes to protecting yourself and your family, taking risks with safety is just not worth it. Recently in Queensland, the laws surrounding smoke alarms have changed for home owners. At Chalk Electrical we have done our research to bring you the basics of what you need to know to make sure your property complies with the new legislation.
From 1st January, 2017:
- Existing smoke alarms that are more than 10 years must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms
- All smoke alarm replacements or installations are to be photoelectric smoke alarms only
- Smoke alarms should be hard wired and interconnected
- Smoke alarms must be installed in all bedrooms and interconnecting hallways
- Properties for sale or lease will need photoelectric smoke alarms installed by January 1st, 2022. This is the responsibility of the home owner.
What are Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?
Photoelectric, also known as photo-optical, smoke alarms detect the visible particles of combustion. This means that for smoldering fires, they are extremely responsive to detecting smoke. Many houses are currently fitted with ionisation smoke alarms, which have been shown to be significantly slower in detecting smoldering fires. Photoelectric alarms are also less likely to be triggered by false alarms (e.g. set off when cooking).
What are interconnecting smoke alarms?
Having your smoke alarms interconnected means that when one sounds, they all sound. For example, smoke being detected in one part of the house will activate alarms in all parts of the house. This means that you can have peace of mind that your family is protected in all parts of your house.
Not sure if your home is up to standard? Call us to schedule a Home Smoke Alarm Safety Check and rest easy knowing that you and your family are protected.
Anyone who has survived an Ipswich summer will know that there are times you’d do anything to cool your house down. While ceiling fans and air conditioning are often the go-to option when it comes to cooling down, there are simple things that you can do to keep your house cool without incurring huge power bills. Keep these tips in mind and survive the Ipswich heat this summer!
Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the hotter parts of the day
Windows are a major source of unwanted heat in your home. Closing the shades can help to reflect sun and glare entering your rooms and can reduce the inside temperature significantly. Pay particular attention to north and west facing windows as these tend to let in the most heat.
Strategically open doors and windows during the cooler parts of the day
Queenslander homes are a wonderful example of how we can utilise our natural surroundings to cool our home. In the afternoon and evenings be sure to open opposite facing windows and doors to allow a cross breeze through your home. Just be sure to close the screens to keep out the mozzies!
Get the most out of your air conditioner
Make sure blinds / curtains and drawn and bedroom doors are closed when cooling the living areas of your home. Turn your ceiling fans on as well to help circulate the air around the room. Run your air conditioner at 24 degrees on low speed for longer, rather than waiting for the house to heat up then blasting the air conditioner. Overloading your air conditioner will not efficiently cool the space and you may shorten the life of the unit.
Consider insulating your home
According to Environment Victoria, insulation can reduce your energy use by up to 45%, meaning you could save big dollars on your power bill (http://environmentvictoria.org.au). Insulation increases the effectiveness of your air conditioning and come winter it will even keep your house warm as well.
Air conditioners are becoming a standard feature of surviving hot Ipswich summers. But with so many on the market, how do you choose the right unit and installer? By following our simple tips you can keep your house cool and your power bills down:
1. Choose a reputable, licensed electrical contractor
Installing an air conditioner requires skills in both electrical and refrigeration. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best unit available, if it’s not installed correctly it will never operate efficiently. Electricians that are licensed to install air conditioners require additional qualifications and must be accredited by the Australian Refrigeration Council. Be wary of quotes that seem too good to be true or are below industry standard and always ask to see the licence of any electrician working in your home.
2. Size matters
Selecting the right sized air conditioner for your room can increase the unit’s efficiency. Too small and the room will not be cooled, too large and you may face hefty electricity bills. The power output of air conditioners is measured in kilowatts (kW). For a standard bedroom we recommend 80 watts of power per square metre and for a living room we recommend 125 watts per square metre. This means that a living room measuring 30 square metres will require a 3.75 kW unit. We provide free education and advice regarding sizing and efficiency as part of our standard service.
3. Not all units are created equally
When it comes to air conditioners, like many other purchases, you get what you pay for. Those weekend specials at the local hardware store may seem like too good a bargain to pass up. It’s an air conditioner, as long as it blows cool air they’re all much the same, right? Wrong! Lower quality units often have a reduced lifespan meaning that you may need to replace the unit after only a few years use. Energy efficiency can also be an issue as low cost units often come with a lower rating, meaning they use more power. What you save off the shelf you pay for in your next power bill! Be sure to ask us which units we recommend to keep your expenses down.
4. Energy efficiency
With costs of living on the rise, running costs of air conditioners have never been more important. Choosing a unit with a high energy efficiency rating is a good way to keep costs down. The introduction of inverter technology in modern day air conditioners can reduce running costs by up to 30%. Energy efficiency is measured in star ratings and air conditioners can receive a maximum of ten stars. Generally speaking, the higher the rating the higher the savings. Efficient units help to build sustainability for our future, so you will be doing your bit for the environment as well.