Wall Socket Receptacles are electrical fixtures within the home used to connect power cords to the home's electrical wiring system. Each wall socket, or electrical receptacle, features a female connector that is designed to accept a male plug connector. Wall sockets make it easier and safer for occupants to power appliances, and are designed to minimize the risk of electrical shock, burns, and other related dangers.
Each type of wall socket features a unique design that allows it to accept only a single type of plug. This receptacle design varies by country, where different design standards and electrical codes have resulted in a wide range of plug connectors. Wall sockets differ in the shape and quantity of plug connector pins they will accept, as well as the configuration of these pins or prongs. Some accept plugs with two prongs, while others will only accept three-pronged plugs.
Many wall sockets are polarized to make it impossible for users to plug objects in to the wall incorrectly. Polarized USB Outlets are configured to only accept a plug in such a position that the grounding and live wires within the wall correspond to the same wires within the plug. In a simple two-pronged outlet for example, one of the plugs is designed to be wider than the other so that the plug will only fit when inserted correctly. Non-polarized wall sockets accept plugs of any configuration, and pose added risk to users.
Dimmer Switches are an affordable, easy way to make a big difference in your home’s lighting appeal as well as in your energy use. An often-overlooked decorating secret, a dimmer switch can change the mood of a room with just a touch.
Why Should I Consider Dimmer Light Switches in My Home? There are many good reasons to install dimmer switches around your house. When the lights aren't functioning at full capacity, they use less energy and save bulb life. Dimming lights can make a room more comfortable and create a lovely ambiance for a party, gathering, or event. Locations for Installing a Dimmer Switch When people think of Triac Dimmer switches, they often think of dining rooms or entry halls, which are common areas to find them. However, replacing a light switch with a dimmer can be useful in many different rooms and areas around a home:
Bathroom. Being able to dim the lights first thing in the morning will allow you to start your daily routine without a bright light assaulting your eyes, providing an easier transition from sleeping to waking. Also, adding a dimmer switch can give the effect of candlelight without introducing a fire hazard. For ultimate relaxation at home, lower the lights before taking a luxurious bath.
Bedroom. Rarely do you truly need bright light in the bedroom. To keep your bedroom a place for rest, incorporating a dimmer light switch can inform your body that the day is winding down and encourage better sleeping habits. If bright light is needed, your windows and skylights are a natural source.
Kitchen. While full light may be needed for some tasks in the kitchen, the ability to turn the lights to a lower level can come in handy, especially for early morning coffee-making or late-night snacking. The Smart Dimmer switch can differentiate the cooking area from the dining area; use overhead lighting above the island or kitchen table to distinguish the areas for bigger gatherings.
Smarter than the average plug!
Have you ever wished that your appliances could do the thinking for you? That your house would just run itself? Or even that you could save energy without having to run around the house every night to switch off all the power points?
Finally, there is an easy, way to make your wishes come true! Smart plugs are the first easy step into home automation, and they will have you wondering how you ever got by without them.
Before we get into the awesome things you can do with them, you might be wondering what a Smart Plug is, and what makes them 'Smart'?
What makes Smart Plugs 'Smart'?
A Smart Socket is like a power-point adapter – it fits between your power socket and the appliance you wish to plugin. At its most basic level, it simply turns things on and off. But, when connected to a smart home platform, it becomes a very nifty device.
They are considered ‘smart’ because they let you control your appliances from an app on your phone from anywhere. The good apps (like carbonTRACK’s) even let you set schedules for your smart plugs so you can turn appliances on and off at set times and on specific days.
Some smart plugs also go one step further and collect information about how much energy the appliance connected through it is using. This is an incredibly useful feature for the energy-conscious consumer.
So how do you control them? Most smart plugs communicate (using your home’s Wi-Fi network) to a central control hub. Then, the hub uses your Wi-Fi to send information to an app on your phone.
The carbonTRACK Smart Plug is a little different. It communicates to the carbonTRACK hub using ZigBee Protocol – a short-waves communication technology that is a lot like Bluetooth, except better because it runs off much less power than Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
In some ways, not much changes with smart switches. You’ll still be able to control them from the wall just like you always did.
The bonus with smart switches is the added functionality you’ll enjoy. Some come with remotes that enhance manual manipulation while you’ll also be able to dim the lighting when the mood dictates.
The other key benefit is that smart switches work effectively with your existing fixtures, even if they’re unsuitable for a smart bulb.
Installation is permanent and also more involved, but the results make this extra effort worthwhile.