We Love Electricity
Welcome to Circuits At Home, your source for information on all manner of home electrical equipment, from wiring to light fixtures, and from security cameras to video gear. Whether you need to light up a room, fill it with sound, or secure your perimeter – we have you covered. Circuits At Home offers general information on how different types of home electronics operate so that you understand the advantages of different technologies. And we provide detailed gear reviews and comparisons so that you can make an informed decision when you decide to purchase.
Lights play a number of critical roles in any home. Interior lighting is a necessity if you hope to do anything productive at home in the evenings. And some areas of your home without natural light – like closets and bathrooms – require lighting 24×7 in order to be useful. Be sure to check out our list of garage lighting to make sure your workspace is always properly lit, and our roundup of solar powered motion security lights to help keep your property safe and protected. Solar deck lights, solar gutter lights, and solar lamp posts will also help illuminate your property.
But lights also play a part in the decoration of your home. Everything from accent lighting to highlight pieces of art, blacklights and pool lights that set a party tone, to billiard table lights that bring the man cave together are vital parts of how your home looks and feels.
Lighting on the outside of your home is just as important as on the inside. Using solar path lights will help illuminate your pathways at night, solar outdoor spotlights provide security, while solar flagpole lights will do the same for flags. Lighting can also be festive. For example, in December many houses compete to have the most extensive display of solar Christmas lights in their neighborhood.
The lighting draws your attention, it sets the mood, and it can make the difference between a house and a home. That is why we spend a lot of time covering various types of lighting fixtures and bulbs here. We want to make sure you know about the latest lighting gear and how it can impact your everyday life. Of course, it isn’t lighting that uses electricity – other household items like large room electric space heaters, window air conditioners, and wet and dry vacuum cleaners for home also pull their fair share of watts.
Other appliances like electric tankless water heaters, portable ice makers, under-counter ice makers, and garbage disposals require a solid home electrical system as well. And don’t forget the garage – your electric lawnmower and other power tools all are hungry for electricity.
While there are exciting wireless technologies available – from WiFi to Bluetooth – the reality is there are still a lot of wires and cables necessary for the average home. Wireless phone chargers now exist, but all they eliminate are the wire to your phone. Those chargers still need to plug into an electrical outlet to provide any juice. The same goes for all manner of devices, from electric toasters to energy efficient space heaters – they all require proper wiring to provide electricity.
Audio cables like subwoofer cable and MMCX cable are still very much alive and well in most homes, as many devices require a physical connection between source and speaker. That goes for outside the home too – some outdoor speakers are hard-wired rather than wireless. The same goes for network and video cables. Ethernet cables are still run in many homes, along with coaxial cable and HDMI cables to sent Internet and video signals to the proper devices.
Devices outside your home need cables too. Video surveillance systems often run a hard line back inside your house. And many accent light systems need the right wiring – often underground – to bring power to external illumination. And for times that you need to temporarily extend power beyond your home or garage, you might try a retractable extension cord reel. Though the name doesn’t indicate it, wireless dog fences also require outdoor wiring to keep Fido in the yard.
Some devices may not need to be wired directly into the grid because they are powered by the sun. Solar-powered devices not only save on your electric bill, they save the environment too. Many devices around the home can be solar-powered. For example, check out our list of solar attic fans, or even solar powered pool heaters. But solar technology can be used for more than just the home. Also, RV solar kits can power up all of the appliances in a recreational vehicle and take you off the grid.
All of those reasons are why we still write about the many wiring and cabling needs people to face in their homes. If you are handy and want to work on your own wiring, you will almost definitely need a good set of wire strippers.
The modern home is literally filled with electronic devices. Of course, we all use portable electronics – laptops, tablets, smartphones, solar atomic watches, cameras, and even LED lights for photography and video. But there are many more electronic devices scattered around most homes. For example, check out these lists of wifi thermometers and box fans.
The kitchen is often ground zero for electronics, with everything from large appliances like refrigerators, microwave ovens, and electric smokers down to smaller items such as mixers and grinders. Everyone is busy these days, so modern electrical devices are brought into our homes to save us precious time doing mundane tasks. For example, electric fireplaces will save time chopping wood for a traditional fireplace, electric mops will clean up spills faster, and electric snow blowers will save time on shoveling snow.
Entertainment is the primary use for all that time we save with kitchen electronics, so we need more electronic devices to help us relax and amuse ourselves. We have flat-screen televisions, streaming media players, video game systems, digital antennas, and high-quality audio systems to give us the sights and sounds that we love. For those of us that still have old tapes, a VHS to DVD converter may even be present. To charge these we need power, so we may use things like solar generators, wall outlets, or solar chargers. At work, electronics are often used to make our jobs easier. For example, delivery drivers may need bluetooth headsets for truckers.
Computing is another big source of electronics, with things like routers, network attached storage options, printers, scanners, and more now commonly found in homes around the world. These electronic devices are critical to helping us learn, work, and communicate with the rest of the world from the comfort of our own homes. And electronics can even help keep your home safe – like electronic door locks that can give you key-less access to your home.
And all of them need to attach to the Internet to reach their full potential. So every home needs wireless access points, routers, and WiFi extenders for home to ensure your entire property has coverage. And don’t forget to protect your network with firewalls for home use. As well, all of these devices need to be maintained, so make sure you have a mechanic tool set, oscilloscope, and multimeter (an accurate one tested with multimeter test leads) to monitor the voltage in these electronics.