Archive for the ‘Electrical Tips’ Category


bathtubWe have all seen the photos of the sparkly crystal chandelier over the romantic claw-foot tub and  for that reason we actually have quite a few clients who want this glamorous look.

I fully understand. It just looks so-o-o wonderfully decadent. BUT – here comes what I always tell my clients:

Electricity and water do not mix. Period!
Someone might just one day reach up and touch the chandelier. You can’t tell from looking at it if  it is properly grounded or not or if it has  a short that’s otherwise not obvious.
Standing well-grounded in a bathtub full of water,  THAT’s a recipe for disaster! More »


Cable Lighting is Safe and EffectiveWhen you look at cable lighting with its exposed wires it’s natural to be somewhat leery and question the safety of this kind of a system.

Looks really great, but can you really  LEAVE it up there like that? What happens if the parakeet lands on it? Or how do I exchange the bulb without getting electrocuted?

Having encountered questions like this for many years and relied on what I read in the helpful manuals by Tech Lighting (AND my own hands-on-experience : No, it doesn’t even hurt if you touch the wires while the lights are on; I tried it.) I wanted to have a more precise response.

I therefore went to the website of US patents and found this: “Track lighting using line voltage must have guards to prevent the user from touching the conductors, whereas in low voltage track lighting the track is often open and unprotected because there is no danger of electric shock. A variety of low voltage track lighting, termed cable lighting, comprises two, parallel conductors in the shape of metal wires or cables which are mounted several inches apart strung out between anchor points in walls or ceilings and at one end connected to a low voltage transformer. In most cable systems the cables support light fixtures via contact organs which rest upon the cables or are attached to them by means of of some kind of clamping device.” (

“There is no danger of electric shock”. That’s it. Of course you have to be careful like around anything with electricity, but since the 110V household current is stepped down to 12V through the transformer there is actually not enough current running through the wires to cause any harm to you – or your parakeet (if he stays on one wire and doesn’t get cocky and tries to straddle both wires. That might wake him up!)

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Tech Lighting Bye Bye Kable Lite. Cable Lighting in the Kitchen.

Step One: Design Your Kable Lite System
The first step in designing your Kable Lite system is to determine what it is you are trying to light. You will need to decide where the heads, pendants or functional art pieces should be installed to put light where you want it. See Heads, Pendants, & Functional Art for thumbnails of all available fixtures. Refer to the indicated spec sheets for detailed specifications, including lamp type and maximum wattage. Choose your fixtures, then add accessories if desired. We offer a broad range of colorful and decorative accessories and functional optical controls.

Determine the cable separation of the run. Generally, the higher the ceiling, the wider the cable separation can be.

We recommend the following:

Ceiling height
Cable separation not to exceed

Different fixtures have different cable separation requirements, so make sure the fixtures you’ve chosen are compatible with the cable separation.

Draw your Kable Lite run. Remember, Kable Lite is designed to make straight lines and simple turns. The cables must be placed so they pass over the locations of all the fixtures. Kable Lite surface transformers and power feed canopies have 24″ feeds, so your Kable Lite run must pass within two feet of the junction box. Determine how many feet of cable you’ll need.

Step Two: Add Power and Hardware to Complete the System
Add up the wattages of the lamps you’ll be using on the system; this will help you select a transformer. A remote transformer with power feed canopy provides the cleanest look, but the remote transformer must be installed in an accessible, remote location. The surface transformer simply mounts to a nearby junction box. Use the information on Selecting a Transformer to help you choose the right transformer for your installation; also see Hardware for Kable Lite transformer and power feed options. Kable Lite power feed canopies and surface transformers have 24″ feeds; if this drop is shorter than you require, or if you prefer the look of hardware, you’ll need optional hardwire feeds.

See also guidelines on selecting turnbuckles in the Hardware section. We recommend putting a pair of turnbuckles on each side of the run for visual symmetry.

You will not need to add supports to your run unless it’s long (over twenty feet) or has heavier elements (such as glass pendants). Review and add support or turn hardware if required—see Hardware.

For all of our Kable Lite system options, such as feeding power through a wall or ceiling or changing cable separation within the run, see Hardware.

For a step by step guide through the process of specifying a complete Tech Lighting system see Generating a Bill of Materials.

(Courtesy of Tech Lighting LLC)