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Can Lights vs. Traditional Lights

Shopping for new lighting in your home can be tricky. Whether you’re looking for some inspiration or ready to install. It’s essential to know the difference in brightness to understand what you need.

What are ‘Can Lights’?

“Can lights” are lights that are recessed into the ceiling. You typically find these lighting fixtures in your kitchen or your living room with multiple can lights to brighten the space. Can lights get their name because of their housing. When you see a can light, it looks a lot like a can. They are typically metal and cylinder shapes. These lights are great for lighting up places that need extra lighting in multiple parts of a room.

Benefits of Can Lights

Can lights are sleek since they are flush with the ceiling. This installation creates the illusion of a more spacious room. There isn’t anything dangling, which is useful for spaces such as closets, pantries and laundry rooms where you may not necessarily desire to have anything in these tight spaces.

What are ‘Traditional Lights?’

Traditional lighting fixtures are going to be lights that hang down from the ceiling, They can have crystals attached to the frame for things like a chandelier or an intricate design shaped out of metal to create a modern-looking fixture. These lights get their name from the inspiration of classical architectural styles.

Benefits of Traditional Lights

Traditional lights are suitable for creating an ambiance in a room. There is typically only one traditional light in a room, whereas a can light can have multiple in a single room. These lights can be used as a staple piece or as art that is front and center in a room. These lights are not necessarily ideal for small spaces but can be a great addition to a home looking for a “wow” factor. These lights are great over dining room tables, in front entryways or in the master bathroom.

No matter what lighting style you are drawing inspiration from, your friends at Gulf Coast Electric are here for all of your light fixture installation needs. Give us a call today, and see what we can do for the room of your dreams!

How Do You Put Out An Electrical Fire?

Extinguishing an electrical fire can be simple as simple as using baking soda, but how do you know when that’s the best course of action? Here are the best practices to follow in case of emergency. 


First, find the source of power, and immediately shut it off if this does not put you in harm’s way. Otherwise, shut off the electricity in your home to prevent the fire from spreading. Finding the source of the fire and stopping it will keep you from electrocution and further damage. 

Big or Small

If the fire is small, you can use baking soda to extinguish it. The sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda will put out the fire, a chemical also found in Class C fire extinguishers. You can also use a fire blanket or a heavy piece of clothing over the flames to deprive it of oxygen. 

With a bigger fire, never reach for water to preserve electric safety. This could electrocute and shock you, as well as make the fire spread more quickly. Use a fire extinguisher that is labeled Class C, which is specific to electrical fires. 

Safety First

If you are still unable to extinguish the fire, get out of the house. Call 911, and get all residents and pets out of the house. Make sure you have two or more pathways to ensure a safe exit, and remain a distance away from the fire in case of an explosion. 

Once you are outside, close the door behind you to contain the fire before 911 has arrived to prevent further spread and damage beyond the house. Do not attempt to go back into the house until the fire department has stated it is safe to do so. 

For safe electrical services that keep you from experiencing an electrical fire, call Gulf Coast Electric to have your electrical appliances inspected to ensure your safety.

Four Common Electrical Safety Tips You Should Follow

It’s important to know the basics of electrical safety if you’re a renter or homeowner. There are many things to remember to ensure you and your family’s personal safety, but here are four electrical safety tips to always keep in the back of your mind.

Pay Close Attention to Buzzing or Sparking

If you notice any of your appliances making clicking or buzzing sounds, or you see sparks when plugging or unplugging something, it may be time to replace that item. If you try to continue using the item, for example, a hairdryer, you could be at risk of electrocution the longer you continue to use it.

Never Let Your Electrical Products Get Too Close to Water

Everyone should know how dangerous it is to have an electrical item next to a bathtub or a puddle of water. To avoid a shortage, or electrocution, never let any plugged-in items touch or get close to water.

Avoid Overloading a Circuit

One of the easiest ways to start a house fire is to overload a circuit in your home. This means you are plugging too many powerful appliances into the same power strip or outlet, causing your circuit to work too hard. One way to avoid this is to evenly spread your appliances throughout your home, and plug them into different outlets.

Childproof Your Electrical Outlets

It’s important to educate any child old enough to comprehend electrical safety to never stick anything besides a plug into an outlet. If you have babies or toddlers, a great way to keep your outlets childproofed is to purchase some plastic outlet covers to keep their fingers and toys out of them.

Contact us at Gulf Coast Electric if you ever feel like you need a professional to inspect a faulty circuit or for any other electrical services! Our experts are always here to answer your questions or help you keep your home safe.

How to Tell if You’re Overloading a Circuit 

An overloaded electrical outlet or circuit is a common reason that may cause house fires. You may have an overloaded circuit in your home that you don’t even know about. Here are a few signs that one of your outlets or circuits is experiencing an overload.

A Flickering Light

If you observe one of your lights frequently blinking, dimming or flickering, even after switching the lightbulb, this is a clear sign that the outlet is probably experiencing an overload.

Your Breaker Malfunctioning

If your appliances that are located in a similar area all go out at the same time, your breaker probably tripped. You can fix this by going to your circuit breaker and resetting it by turning it off and then on again. If this happens often, that circuit is definitely overloaded.

A Buzzing or Clicking Sound

If you notice a quiet clicking or buzzing sound coming from one of your lights or appliances while they’re turned on, this can also be a clear sign that your circuit is being overworked. That buzzing sound should be a reminder to call a professional to check it out.

Feeling a Shock When Plugging Something in

If you feel a slight shock when you’re trying to plug something into an outlet, this is a big sign that the circuit is overloaded. Needless to say, you should not be shocked when you go to plug something into an outlet.

Noticing a Burning Odor

Even a slight burning odor coming from one of your electrical outlets could also be a warning sign that the circuit is being overloaded. If you still notice a burning odor after moving your appliances to another outlet or removing the appliance, contact a professional immediately.

Electrical safety is important in every single household. If you’re in need of any electrical services or you’re still unsure of whether or not you’re overloading any circuits, contact Gulf Coast Electric to have your electrical system inspected by trusted professionals!

How to Hide Cables and Ugly Wires at Home

Nobody likes looking at a pile of messy, tangled wires in their home – but with technology being so integral to our lives, it’s hard to avoid a charger-cable build up. If ugly cables have taken over your living space, try a few of these tricks to get things organized.

Electrical Safety

First let’s talk about why you need to clean up your cables. Aside from the obvious tripping hazard, cluttered wires can greatly increase your risk for an electrical fire. In addition, if a pet or small child puts an exposed wire in their mouth, they could receive a dangerous shock.

Invest in Command Hooks

You can hide wires behind the furniture you already own with command hooks. Hang a command hook behind your TV, under your desk or on the side of your end table – and never untangle a sea of wires ever again! You can purchase command hooks here.

Hide Them Away in Decorative Boxes

Whether you take this on as a DIY project or you buy a cable management box already made, your guests will never suspect what’s hiding behind your stylish wire-storage in disguise. Check out a variety of decorative containers here.

Create a Charger Drawer

You need a charger for your phone, laptop, tablet and even your smartwatch. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were all kept in the same place? To make a charger drawer, simply string a multi-outlet surge protector through the back of a drawer, then plug in each of your chargers.

Don’t let messy wires and cables take over your home, and above all else, practice electrical safety. Keep things tidy and organized to avoid potentially dangerous situations. If you need professional help hiding your TV cables or other wires in your home, contact Gulf Coast Electric today.

What is a Power Surge? 

What is a power surge and what damage can it do to your home? When there is a boost in electrical current in the power lines, additional charges are sent to your home outlets, causing a power surge. This happens when lightning strikes power lines or high-powered electrical devices turn on.

Common Causes of Power Surges

Lightning is actually the least common cause of power surges because the atmosphere has to be a certain condition for it to happen. It then has to strike the pole, lines or underground wires in order to cause a surge. One very common way power surges happen is from high-powered electrical devices, such as Air Conditioners or refrigerators. When these devices’ motors or compressors kick on, it uses a large sum of energy, disrupting the even flow. Over time, without surge protection devices, the surge can cause damage to different parts of electrical devices.

So how do you protect against power surges if you can’t tell when they’re going to happen?

Some of you may be thinking about the surge protectors you buy from the store. While those may prevent some damage to electronics and other devices, you don’t really know what’s inside it protecting your home. The key to high-quality protection is multiple stages of internal protection, blocking all damaging spikes to your equipment.

How can Gulf Coast Electric Help?

Gulf Coast Electrical services offers two different types of surge suppression: a base adaptor and electronic adaptors. The base adaptor is a one-time installation fee of $60 and $5 monthly fee for the basic technician service: an adapter installed behind the meter, as well as a plug-in suppressor. The suppressor protects the appliances you use most, such as the dishwasher, refrigerator and AC system. Electronic devices like computers and TVs must be protected with secondary surge protection.

Start protecting your home better and contact Gulf Coast Electric today to let one of our trained electricians perform and audit on your home’s electrical system!

3 Tips to avoid electrical accidents in the workplace

Electrical safety isn’t always at the forefront of people’s minds, especially in the workplace, but it should be. According to The National Fire Protection Association, 739 people died from an electrical cause in 2017.

Although many people have some idea of how to act around electrical current in their own home, some do not apply those same practices in the workplace. Below are three tips to avoiding electrical accidents.

Paying attention to electrical outlets

In the workplace, people tend to cram as many cords into one outlet or extension strip as they can, even though they wouldn’t necessarily do that in their own home. When more cords are plugged into an outlet than it can handle, the fuse blows, breaking the circuit to prevent a fire. However, a fire could start if something goes wrong. It’s best to be safe and only plug a few items into each outlet. If you see this happening at your office, notify management that additional outlets should be considered.

Know how to run cords

A common occurrence in many offices is running electrical cords under rugs to keep people from tripping. However, this can be a dangerous option. Cords that are run under rugs mean that they are being stepped on or potentially rolled over by various objects. This can damage the cord. Also, the added insulation on the top of it, the rug, can cause it to overheat and start a fire. Also, if someone later tries to move the cord and touches the damaged area, it could electrocute them. Cords should be run along the outer walls, secured by round cord clips.

Inspect items regularly

It’s a good idea to have someone in charge of checking cords and outlets regularly. Looking for damage to cords once a month can help prevent accidents, as well as protect people and equipment. Listening for a buzzing sound near outlets can help prevent circuit fires and overloads.

If you think an appliance or cord seems hot to the touch, you hear a buzzing noise or get shocked when unplugging something, call a local electrician today from Gulf Coast Electrical to get your office on the path to safety!

3 Overlooked Electrical Items in a New Home

Building your new home is a great way to get exactly what you’re looking for in a house. We usually picture how open our kitchen will look, how functional the laundry room will be and how beautiful the outdoor space will seem. But sometimes, we forget about adding the perfect touches inside the home. Inside – like the inside of the walls. Do you know what electrical services you should be installing to create the perfect home? Check out our top three features to consider when building your new home.

Energy efficiency

A lot of us are concerned about how much energy our families are using these days and how the rising costs are going to affect us down the road. If you’re building your new home, talk to your electrician about some energy-efficient and environmentally friendly options. If you decide you might want solar panels on your roof in the future, ask your electrician about pre-wiring for it during the building process.

Surge protection

Having surge protection on your home is always a good idea – but especially if you live in an area that is prone to thunderstorms. All of your wires are subject to surges. As the surge travels through them, it may find an appliance that isn’t using much power and fry it at a moment’s notice. Although some surges happen from within your home, lightning strikes are a pretty common cause for power surges, too. Make sure you’re protected from the start.

Security system

We all love to feel safe within our homes, and it’s important that we do. Whether you want a security system now or you decide that you’ll want one later on, talk to your electrician about wiring for one during the building process of your home. It’s much easier if you start now.

Build your perfect home from the inside out. Call Gulf Coast Electric for more tips and tricks on the perfect electrical features for you!

4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Outlets

Let’s be honest, it’s highly likely that the electrical outlets in your home are the same ones that came with the house when you purchased it. This is the case for most homeowners. The outlets on our homes aren’t given much thought at all – unless you are trying to plug something in. However, maybe it’s time to give our electrical outlets an extra thought or two. Keep your home in mind while we give you the four reasons to upgrade your electrical outlets.

Old Age

As we mentioned previously, it is highly likely that the electrical outlets in your home have been there since the house was built. No matter the age of your outlets, there are a few signs that indicate it might be time for an electrical upgrade.

Loose plugs

Have you ever plugged something into an outlet and it falls halfway or all the way out? This is a sign of an old outlet.

Cracked Plates

Your cracked plates have been collecting dust and debris over time, posing a major fire hazard.

Ungrounded outlets

A major sign of old age is ungrounded or 2-prong outlets

Smart Outlets

Out with the old and in with the new. Nowadays we have a “smart” version of everything. So why not have smart outlets, too? Smart outlets are not only going to be energy efficient, but they will be equipped with a USB port, as well. Almost all of today’s technology charges through a USB cable. Why not install smart outlets in your home so you never have to worry about a USB adapter again?


Do you feel like the outlets in your home are in the most inconvenient locations? One of the best parts about installing new outlets is that your electrician can move and add outlets to your liking.

Safety and Efficiency

One of the most important reasons to upgrade your outlets is for safety and energy efficiency. As we mentioned earlier, loose outlets can be a sign of old age and are also very inefficient. While your plug is only half plugged in, you are wasting energy and posing a great risk of electrocution. Additionally, cracked or painted plates are fire hazards. Maintain a safe and efficient home, and upgrade your electrical outlets.

Call Gulf Coast Electric to have a licensed professional upgrade your outlets today!


Why You Should Call an Electrician to Install a New Thermostat

Installing a new thermostat in your home sounds like no big deal. If they sell them on shelves at Lowe’s and Home Depot, they have to be easy to install, right? Wrong. You see, thermostats are more than just cubes of plastic mounted up on your wall. They are the brains of your HVAC unit. They coordinate the airflow through your entire home and help keep the system running as efficiently as possible (saving you money). Although we know you are handy and YouTube is always helpful in teaching us a thing or two, here are a few reasons you should call out an electrician when it comes to installing a new thermostat.


When it comes to replacing your existing thermostat, you can’t just pick any old thermostat off the shelf and cross your fingers it will work. A thermostat and HVAC system must be compatible. For example, most of the new smart thermostats on the market today are only compatible with low-voltage HVAC systems. Low-voltage systems are also known as “centralized” systems. However, everyone’s home is different. Hiring an electrician to double check the compatibility of your thermostat to your HVAC system will only save you time and money in the long run.

Lots of Wires

Who knows wires better than electricians? There is a lot of wiring involved in replacing thermostats. Whether it’s cutting, stripping or rerouting, not having confident knowledge in what you’re doing is an electrical safety hazard. In fact, it is possible, depending on the age of your old one, that the new thermostat will require additional wires. Play it safe, and call out a professional.

Pros do More

Some of you may be asking, “Why would I call a professional if the installation instructions are right here on the box?” Hiring a professional is ensuring that the job is done right. Also, the electrician will do more than just install the new thermostat, move it to a new location, and/or add new wiring. They will likely service your HVAC system and check on any other electrical issues throughout the home.

Save yourself the headache and reach out to an electrician from Gulf Coast Electric today!