All posts tagged northern kentucky

Making the Most of the Outlets in Your Small Space

power strip with multiple cords

From first apartments to the currently popular tiny houses, many people live in small spaces, which may also translate to a small number of outlets. With the number of electronic devices an average family owns today, running out of outlets in a small space can definitely happen.

If Possible, Install New Outlets

The most effective and permanent way to cope with not having enough outlets in a home is to add more. However, this is easier said than done. If you are renting from someone else, you will need their permission to add more outlets to the house or apartment. If you own your home, creating a new outlet on a blank wall is still challenging and it best handled by a license electrician, like Rose Brothers & Sons in Walton, Kentucky. Wiring will need to be run from another electrical source and unless you know exactly what your walls are made of, you may be in for a surprise when you try to make room for an outlet in one of them.

Give Existing Outlets or Switches an Upgrade

Are many of your outlets occupied by charging mobile devices like tablets and phones? Traditional outlets can be fairly easily switched out for outlets with built-in USB ports, so you can plug in your device without taking up a socket. One of the most common configurations for these outlets has the standard two sockets with two USB ports, giving you plenty of room to charge your phone and tablet while still keeping your lamp and alarm clock plugged in. Adding an outlet with USB ports is similar to converting a two-prong outlet.

If you have a single light switch in a place where an outlet would also be convenient, replace the switch with a switch/outlet combination. This solution works especially well for bathrooms in older homes that may not have any outlets at all because the switch is often located on a wall near the sink and mirror.

Other Ways to Add More Outlet Space in Your Northern Kentucky Home

If you are not at all handy, the number of sockets per outlet can be increased without changing the outlet itself. Adapters that plug into a socket of an outlet instantly add four new places to plug things in. If space is small where the outlet is (e.g. behind a piece of furniture), use an adapter with rotating sockets so plugs lay parallel to the wall instead of sticking out and being in the way.

Power strips are similar to adapters in that they only use one outlet space and provide six to eight more places to plug things in. Many power strips have the added benefit of providing surge protection for sensitive electronics, including computers and TVs. Some armoires and entertainment centers come with built-in power strips, increasing your outlets and providing additional storage space.

If you need power somewhere not near one of your few outlets use extension cords. Some brands have multiple outlets along the length of the cord. If you don’t want the extension cord to show, use a cord cover that runs along your baseboards and conceals it. Be sure not to run extension cords under things that could crush them or disrupt the electrical current and cause a fire.

If you require assistance with increasing the outlets in your home, or any other electrical service, call Rose Brothers & Sons Electric and Construction. We serve all of Greater Cincinnati, Southern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky, including: Florence, Ft. Mitchell, Villa Hills, Union, Ft. Wright, Hebron, Burlington, Covington, Erlanger, Independence, Ft. Thomas, Newport, Owenton, Park Hills, Cold Spring, Edgewood, Walton, Dry Ridge, Verona, Crittenden, Sparta, Alexandria, Glencoe, and Williamstown.

 

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Emergency Electric Repair Service

Emergency electric repairPower outages are not an unusual experience in the Midwest; after all, we do have some exciting weather events from time to time. Power failure is only one of the emergencies that can occur when it comes to electricity. Damaged or faulty wiring, falling tree limbs breaking a live electrical wire, and sparking electrical plugs are just a few of the emergencies that require a professional, licensed electrician.

What to Do When the Lights Go Out

I’m sure that all of you know how to change a light bulb, despite the multitude of jokes that exist on that topic. But what if it isn’t just a blown light bulb? What do you need to do if you lose power to your home or business?

  • Turn off all major appliances and lights. This will prevent a surge or circuit overload when power is restored.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed to prevent food spoilage. .
  • If your neighbor has lights but you don’t, reset your home circuit breakers. If your neighbor’s home is also dark, there is probably an area wide power failure.

Emergencies happen when you least expect them to. That follows true even with your electricity. Being prepared is your best defense when it comes to losing power. In the Midwest, snowstorms and ice storms are pretty typical in the winter months, and with them come broken tree limbs and downed power lines. Unfortunately, an electrician is not of great benefit if the entire power grid is down. Planning ahead can have you calmly weathering a power outage.

Make sure you have on Hand

  • A working flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Battery Powered Radio and spare batteries
  • Charged Mobile Phone
  • Fresh Water (if your water pump relies on electricity)
  • An alternative cooking source that does not require electricity
  • A current list of emergency contacts.

Consider a Power Backup System

If being without power is not an option for your home or business, consider having a power backup generator installed. A backup generator can be hard-wired into your electrical system. Within seconds of a power loss it will engage automatically. If your business is dependent on a steady power supply or if you have health issues that require electrical machinery to run without fail, a standby generator is recommended.

Damaged or Faulty Wiring 

If you have had work done in your home by an unlicensed person, you may have wiring that does not meet building codes. Faulty wiring is a fire hazard. Have you ever felt a slight shock or vibration or heard a buzz when you turn on a light or an appliance? These are all clues that you need to have the wiring in your home checked by a qualified electrician. Changes in temperature and old age can lead to frayed wires or cracks in wiring insulation. If you’ve ever smelled an overheated transformer, the smell is distinctive. Unfortunately, faulty electrical wiring, and the resultant potential electrical fire, is odorless and invisible. You need to be vigilant of subtle changes in the way your appliances behave and call an electrician for a home electrical evaluation before you need emergency electrical repair.

Falling Tree Limbs, Live Electrical Wires

That tree that you love in your front yard can create an electrical emergency if a limb breaks during the next storm and brings down the electrical wire that runs under it. Utility companies try to be diligent in trimming tree limbs above power lines but if you notice a potential problem area, notify your electric company. If you see a downed electric line, stay back from the area and maintain at least 100 feet of space from the live wire. Call your power company immediately. If you are in a vehicle that comes in contact with an electric line, stay in the vehicle and wait for assistance. If you must leave the vehicle, jump clear with both feet together, insuring that you do not come in contact with the ground and the vehicle at the same time. Maintain your feet together position and shuffle away while maintaining contact with the ground.

Sparking Electrical Outlets

Your electrical outlet should not spark, or be hot to the touch. If you experience either of these, or if you notice charring around the outlet, stop using the outlet and call for an electrician.

For assistance with any home emergency electrical repair, or for assistance in electrical preparedness, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric Service or schedule an appointment through our webpage. We proudly serve Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and the surrounding areas.

 

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What Causes Power Surges In A Home?

what causes power surges in a home

A power surge is defined as “an unexpected, temporary increase in the current or voltage of an electrical circuit.” This current increase can be compared to the rush of water that occurs when a dam breaks, and it can be just as damaging. But instead of destroying buildings or trees, it can wipe out anything that uses electricity.  So, what causes power surges in a home?

Causes of Home Electrical Power Surges

Lightning – A lightning strike is by far the most spectacular cause of power surges. It is also one of the most predictable. If you hear thunder or know a storm is approaching, you can take precautions to protect your electronics.

Blackout or intentional power outage – Blackouts occur when too much power is being used at the same time and the grid shuts down. Utility companies occasionally turn off the electricity to entire areas to do maintenance. These two situations don’t actually cause a power surge. It’s the return of electricity afterward that can cause a surge.

Downed utility lines or switching grids – A utility line being damaged or destroyed can send power surges through other operational lines and into your home. If the electric company has to change grids to accommodate usage in a certain area, an electric surge may occur.

Large appliances – This type of surge is minimal and limited to your home. When an appliance that requires a larger amount of electricity shuts off, a small surge may occur and affect more sensitive components.

How to Prevent Damage from Power Surges

The best way to protect yourself from home electrical power surges is with surge protection devices. Two types are available. The first one is a surge protector that plugs into your outlet and protects only the devices plugged into it. While effective against some surges, this type will not hold up against extremely strong currents, leaving your electronics susceptible to damage. A quality plug-in surge protector can cost anywhere from $20 to over $100, so don’t use them on items that are inexpensive to replace.

The second type is a whole-house surge protector that is installed at the electric panel. It senses electrical spikes and sends them to the ground instead of allowing them into your home. Whole-house surge protectors are hard-wired into your electric panel and should be installed by a licensed electrician. Many surge protection companies offer warranties against damage when their products are used.

Because larger appliances can cause electrical surges when they power down, avoid plugging sensitive electronics – like a TV or DVD player – into the same circuit as a refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher, or air-conditioner.

When you hear thunder or know a storm is on the way, unplug computers, home entertainment systems, and small appliances before lightning strikes. If your power goes out, turn off or unplug electronics and wait a few minutes after the power comes back on before using them.

Rose Brothers & Sons provides electric repairs and installation in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas, and is qualified to install surge protection in your home.  Call today, if you need more information about what causes power surges in a home.

 

 

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Lighting Trends for Your New Home

 

lighting trendsPicking out lighting for your new home can be overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from! Stay up to date with the latest trends in home goods and finally be able to be one step ahead of the Jones’. At Rose Brothers & Sons, we want you to stay in the lighting trend loop. We’re going to give you all of the latest lighting trends for your new home.

2016 Lighting Trends

Getting Back to Brass and Vintage Glass

You know you have that favorite shirt sitting in the back of your closet that you can never bring yourself to get rid of. As you know, everything eventually comes back into style. Well, most everything. According to Progress Lighting, vintage and rustic fixtures from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are making a comeback. Vintage glass and brass accents made a bold statement during that era and they’re still trendy today.

Pendant Lighting

This lighting trend makes a statement that combines tradition and nuance. You can personalize pendant lighting to make it unique to your own home. Mix and match different styles of these light fixtures to make it your own. According to New Home Source, you can combine a couple of pendant light fixtures at various heights to make a fun and unique chandelier of your own.

Oversized Fixtures

Make a dramatic and bold statement in your new home by adding an oversized light fixture to your home. Oversized fixtures are a bold focal point for homes with large foyers or high ceilings. These trendy fixtures give your home some modern flair rather than opting for the classic and traditional glass chandelier.

Nautical Twists

According to Progress Lighting, navy is the top color trend for 2016. Compliment this beautiful color with a lighting fixture that adds a nautical twist to your home. Beveled or seeded glass light fixtures create that nautical feel in your home that you’re looking for. These nautical elements will make you feel like the shore is right outside your window.

We hope that these 2016 lighting trends will help you add some modern flair to your new home. At Rose Brothers & Sons we want to be your first call when installing your new light fixtures. We are electricians and electrical contractors serving Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas.

 

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5 Ways to Save Money on Electric Repairs

Electric repairs

Having the hassle of dealing with electric repairs across the home are enough stress for anyone, the last thing you want to worry about is the repairs breaking your bank account. Just like it is important to keep your electric appliances working properly, it is also important to find cost-friendly solutions to your problems from a trusted company like Rose Brothers and Sons. Like most everyone else, you might want to know some tips on how to save your money on electric repairs. Here are our top 5:

Easy Tips To Lower Your Electric repairs Budget:

  1. Preventive Maintenance. As the old saying goes, “be proactive instead of reactive.” Guess what? That can apply with electric repairs as well! There is no need for expensive repairs if you perform preventive maintenance beforehand. Regular maintenance can help the life expectancy of all of your major systems. For example, changing the filter on or deep cleaning a furnace can make it last much longer. For other appliances or systems, a deep clean, visual look over, or removal of debris can keep everything in working order. All of these can potentially prevent any costly repairs down the road.
  2. Off-Season Repairs. Just like your favorite fruits and vegetables, repair items have fluctuating prices dependent on the season. Finding the off seasons for certain systems or appliances are key in finding the cheapest prices for repairs on them. For example, furnace maintenance prices surge during the fall, so get yours checked out and repaired during the summer!
  3. DIY (Do-It-Yourself). If you are even slightly handy, you can go online to find tutorials on how to solve some of your electric problems on your own. The power of YouTube is amazing when you realize you can use the website to solve your real-world problems!
  4. Salvaged Materials. If you do end up fixing some of your own problems by hand, or can have any input on the materials used by your contractor, try out salvaged materials instead of new. Not only is it much cheaper, it’s also great for the environment. If bought secondhand, many materials can be bought for the fraction of a new price.
  5. Manufacturer’s Rebates. You know those fliers you receive whenever you check out at a store that give you chances to get money back on your purchases? Those are rebates and rebates are excellent ways to save money! When purchasing new appliances or materials, check the specific manufacturer or store for online rebates. Some may require surveys or a lengthy online questionnaire, but it is always worth it to get money back!

 

There are many ways to save money on electric repairs and these are just 5. If you are looking for electric repairs in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas, look no further than Rose Brothers and Sons for a convenient, efficient, and cost-friendly solution to your needs.

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Winterize Your Home In 10 Easy Steps

winterize your homeIf you have lived in Northern Kentucky for very long, you are aware that our winters can bring extremes in temperatures. Protect your family, home, appliances and budget by preparing your home for winter.  Here are a few tips to winterize your home.

  1. If you have an electric water heater, insulate it (If you have a gas-powered water heater insulation creates a fire hazard.) Insulate pipes leading to your water heater. This will cut down on the workload for your water heater.
  2. Seal any air leaks around your windows and doors. Put this on your fall schedule and you won’t be sorry. Caulking the leaks will save money on your heating and cooling bill.  If you can see light around your doors, your heat is escaping causing your heater or furnace to work longer and harder. Another way to check for leaks is to hold a lighted candle near your window on a windy day. If the candle flame bends, your window is leaking.
  3. Check the glazing on your windows for gaps or cracks. Glazing needs to be replaced periodically. If you tap on a window pane and it rattles your glazing may need replacement.
  4. Reduce the temperature on your thermostat when no one is at home and at night when all are sleeping.    Replacing your old manual thermostat with a programmable thermostat will automate this chore. Consider putting a timer on your water heater so that it isn’t heating water when it won’t be needed. Better yet, switch to a tankless water heating system.While this will only be done once when you winterize your home, you will be glad you took the time to make recommended replacements.
  5. Clean your gutters of debris. Check for any branches that might have grown and are hanging over electrical wires and have them removed.  
  6. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Hot air rises so you want your fan blowing up so that the warmer air circulates around the room.
  7. According t the Department of Energy, door drafts can waste anywhere from 5-30% of your heat. Try making a draft snake to place at the foot of your door.
  8. Shut off the water supply to your irrigation system and outdoor spigots. Hire a contractor to blow out any water remaining in your irrigation system.
  9. If you have a chimney, make sure it is ready for use. Chimneys should be cleaned at least once per year.
  10. Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Replace old batteries if necessary.

For assistance with your home winterization plans call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric or visit our webpage at www.rosebrotherselectric.com. Our electricians proudly serve Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and the surrounding areas and will be happy to help you winterize your home.

 

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What Should I Do When The Power Goes Out?

power goes out

There are a multitude of reasons as to why you might lose power in your home; Weather conditions, service accidents, and storms of varying levels of severity just to name a few. Because you can never be sure if your power outage is going to be for an extended period of time or for just a few minutes, it is important to be fully prepared for both scenarios. Keep your home and family safe with these power outage tips from Rose Brothers & Sons Electric where our electricians proudly serve Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, and the surrounding areas.

When The Power Goes Out Short Term

Stay calm. Check outside your windows and see if you can tell if your neighbors have also lost power. If you discover that you are the only house on the block that is missing power, the problem is probably based within your home. Check circuit breakers, replace blown fuses, and check all of your outlets if you still don’t discover the problem and then call an electrician.

If you noticed that your neighbors have also lost power, call your electric company. While electrical suppliers usually know when areas on their grid lose power, it is always helpful for your own peace of mind to call and find an estimated time for repairs. While you are waiting for the repair, unplug all of your appliances with electrical components, like television sets, computers, and microwaves. By unplugging these items, you can avoid damage from the power surge once the power has been repaired.

Long Term Power Outage

The best thing you can do for long term power outages is to be prepared beforehand. Keep spare batteries, flashlights, candles, matches, and a basic first aid kit in a spot that you can locate easily. Consider buying a flashlight that stays plugged into an outlet at all times and is then ready and charged when your power goes out. If you have a generator, make sure you have the supplies you need like gas and that everything has been installed properly. Don’t wait for an emergency to check these things!

Just like with a short term power outage, check to see if you are the only house that has lost power and then check your breakers and fuses. If you are the only home that has lost power and you are unable to restore it, it is time to call an electrician. If your electrician comes and explains to you that the problem may take a while to resolve, unplug all of your belongings to avoid damage from power surges once power has been restored. In addition to this, turn off all of your breakers except for one, so you know when power is restored. Empty all your food from your refrigerators and freezers and leave the doors wide open. If someone you know has electricity, see if you can store food there. Utilize your windows to control the temperature of your home, open south facing curtains and blinds in the winter to let sun and heat into your home and always keep your blinds closed at night.

Electrical Repairs When The Power Goes Out

If you have a power outage or are in need of an electrical repair, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric is here for you. We are proud members of the BBB, Angie’s List, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and other reputable organizations so you know our service is among the best. Call our team of experts today for all of your electrical needs.

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The 411 on Backup Generator Safety

 generator safetyBefore you consider buying or renting a portable backup generator, it is important that you consider a few backup generator safety tips to ensure you choose the best option for your home and need.  Every year people purchase backup generators for times when the power is out.  Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe:

Choosing a Portable Backup Generator

There are a few good models when it comes to purchasing or renting a generator.  Make sure you look at the size of your generator and make sure it can handle the wattage you will need to turn on all the lights and appliances you have to use.  You can get the amount of power you need by looking at labels on the appliances you plan to operate.  If you are operating lights, the wattage is the number.  Your generator should be rated for amount larger than your overall need.  You also need to accommodate a surge of power when the generator kicks on.  An electrician can help you determine the size generator you need.  If you are using a generator for more than just emergency needs, your electrician may recommend a more permanent set up to power your house.

Portable Generator Hazards

A gas powered generator is a safety hazard if you don’t use caution when operating it.  The toxic exhaust can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or death.  There is a hazard of electrocution or electric shock and because many portable generators are gas or diesel fueled, there is always a fire hazard.  You should read over the generator safety tips carefully before using a backup generator.

Backup Generator Safety tips

  • Never operate a generator in a closed in area.  Opening windows and doors will not make it safe for indoor use.  Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous and can quickly overcome you.  Never operate a generator in a garage, basement, crawlspace or other area that is enclosed.  If you have it near an open door or window CO can come inside.  The only way to detect CO in the air is to have a carbon monoxide detector that will sound an alarm when levels are too high.  If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded, you should get fresh air immediately.
  • Keep the generator on dry, even ground.  Don’t operate next to water or in the rain.  Make sure your hands are dry when you touch the generator.
  • Cool the generator down 2 minutes before adding fuel.  This will make sure it doesn’t ignite.
  • Never use the generator around combustible items.
  • If you use extension cords make sure they are properly rated for outdoor use and are in good condition.  A three prong plug is important.
  • Never attempt to power your entire house by plugging directly into an outlet.  This “backfeeding” can cause electrocution miles away.  If you need to power your entire house, your electrician can install a power transfer switch which will do the job safely.

If you have questions about using a backup generator or generator safety, your electricians at Rose Brothers and Sons Electric can help.  We proudly serve Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and the Southern Indiana area.

 

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Electrical Contractor for Your New Home

electriciansChoosing the correct electrical contractor is incredibly important if you want your plans to run smoothly. At Rose Brothers & Sons Electric, electrical contracting serving Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati, and Southern Indiana, we understand how important it is to find the right team for the job. Here are 5 helpful tips for choosing the best electrical contractor for your new home.

1. Know What You Need

Make sure you have clearly defined the electrical project that you are preparing to have completed. Is it a minor repair? A complete renovation? Decide when you need the project to be completed by because this can be a factor towards rather or not an electrical contractor will work for your schedule. Give your contractor all the details possible on what you need done to make sure that they can give you proper estimates and time frames.

2 License and Insurance

After you have figured out exactly what you need the first thing you should look for is an electrical contractor who is licensed and insured. A licensed electrical contractor has completed all the necessary courses and training to perform their job safely and properly. Always ask to see a contractor’s license and make sure it is up to date.

3. Credibility and Experience

Don’t be afraid to ask a potential contractor for references from previous jobs and about their special qualifications. Many contractors will have special qualifications, accreditations, or might be Master Electricians like those at Rose Brothers & Sons. All of these extra factors about your contractor could make them the perfect fit for the job you need done, or the wrong fit. An easy way to check the standard of your contractor is to see if your contractor has a Better Business Bureau business review and accreditation. You can also browse the contractor’s website or review sites to look for reviews about experiences other people have had with that contractor.

4. Rates and Quotes

It is always a good decision to get at least three different quotes for your project, more would be better, but definitely get three. Make sure your electrician gives you quotes with precise breakdowns of all the prices so you can compare them to the other quotes you receive. Because of the quote process it is incredibly important to know exactly what you need done or else unforeseen expenses may arise.  You also don’t want to compare one quote to another without having similar breakdowns.

5. Go with Your Gut

Lastly, the best thing you can do is go with your gut. Pick the contractor that you feel the most comfortable with after talking to them. Ask your electrical contractor as many questions as you need to feel secure in your choice. You need to be confident that your contractor will understand what you need and have a good attitude about communication in the future.

Electrical Contractor In Northern Kentucky and The Surrounding Area

If you are looking for a contractor for your new construction, Rose Brothers & Sons Electric is here to meet all your needs. We are a locally, family owned, and trusted electrical contractor that can handle anything from small repairs to industrial and commercial electric. We pride ourselves on our A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and our excellent record on Angie’s List. Call us today with any questions you may have so we can help you get started on your next electrical project.

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6 Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Nighttime Curb Appeal

Nighttime curb appealAs we move into fall and winter our days become shorter, which means our homes will be viewed more in the dark than in the daylight. Here are six outdoor lighting ideas to keep your nighttime curb appeal going strong long after the sun goes down.

Add Some Nighttime Curb Appeal

Outdoor lighting ideas

Indirect Lighting – Indirect lighting generally consists of placing lights near a home or trees. Uplighting is a very common type of indirect lighting, where a light is placed at the base of a tree or near a home’s foundation and is pointed upward.

Path Lighting – Path lighting not only increases your curb appeal, it also keeps people walking on a walkway or sidewalk safe. But don’t settle for a bunch of boring plastic solar lights un-inspiringly lining your path. Consider using different styles of complementary lights to add interest. And place them throughout a landscape bed bordering the path where they can accent an interesting plant or shrub. Just be sure they are close enough to provide lighting for safe walking.

Hardscape Lighting – Trees and plants aren’t the only things on your property besides your house that you can illuminate. Rope lights can be attached to stone or wood fences for a strip of light, or individual lights can be installed on the underside of porch railings. While it may not technically add to the curb appeal because these features are behind your house, other hardscapes that can be lit are gazebos, outdoor grilling areas, and fireplaces.

Moon Lighting – This unusual name has been given to lighting that is installed high up and shines down like moonlight. It is often put in trees so that the light is softened as it filters through the leaves.

Water Feature Lighting – Water features don’t have to only be enjoyed during the day, they can shine at night too with the proper lighting. Uplighting on a fountain can have a dramatic effect and lighting a landscape pond can let your evening visitors both enjoy it and prevent falling into it. The majority of pools come equipped with a pool light for nighttime swimming, but a lit-up pool is also beautiful to just sit next to on a nice evening or even enjoy through a window from inside. With the properly located lighting, a small waterfall can be breathtaking.

Combination Lighting – Don’t feel like you need to pick just one type of outdoor lighting for your home. Some of the most stunning looks can be achieved by using multiple types of lights. Just be sure your lights aren’t going to keep your neighbors up at night because they are aimed at their house, or that a small plane will want to land it your yard because it’s lit up like a landing strip. Keep it understated and tasteful.

Now that these landscape lighting ideas have convinced you to shed some light on your home, what’s the next step? Call a Northern Kentucky licensed electrician at Rose Brothers Electric to improve your nighttime curb appeal today.

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