Category Archives: Lighting

What is causing my light bulbs to blow out so fast?

Are you still in the process of updating to CFL or LED lights in your home? Are you concerned that your older type of bulbs are suddenly blowing out faster than ever before? Even though you are updating, it is a good idea to investigate the reason for the sudden change.

Have you started using a different brand or batch of bulbs where you see the sudden change? The durability of the filament in these type of bulbs was already fragile. If the quality of these different bulbs is even a small amount less, that could result in them blowing out faster.

Light socket
Anything using electrical current requires a strong connection in order to work correctly. Light bulbs are no different. If the bulb is not able to make that connection effectively, it can result in arcing electricity that can lead to the fast blowouts.

Remove the bulb and look into the light bulb socket. Inside you should find a small brass tab that is slightly raised. If it has been flattened by over tightening bulbs in the past, that could be causing arcing electricity.

Turn off the power to the affected light socket. Once you have confirmed it is safe to work on, use your fingers or a pair of small pliers to bend that tab slightly upwards. Not sure how much? Take a look at another light socket and see the position of the tab to compare.

High Voltage & Vibration
Two less common causes can be excess voltage and vibration. Excess voltage can be caused by your home’s electrical system. If you have concerns that this may be happening, give us a call to diagnose the problem.

Vibration from appliances nearby or other mechanical devices can be causing the filament in these bulbs to snap prematurely. In these instances, once you switch to CFL or LED your problem should be satisfied.

If you would like help diagnosing and correcting any of these potential electrical problems in your home, Douthit Electrical can help! Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!

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How to Size Your Chandelier

So, you are considering adding a chandelier to your home. Perhaps you are redecorating or just want to find a way to add more light to a room. If you’ve always been intrigued by the change a chandelier can make, now is a great time to take on the project.

We applaud your adventurous spirit, and one of the most important tips we can give you is to measure and then measure again. A chandelier can add your own personal touch to a room if done properly. But if not chosen properly, it can also be a disaster.

No worries. Here’s a few simple instructions on determining how to size your chandelier. And, Douthit Electrical is always available to help you with installation, should you need assistance.

Room Formula
Add the length and width of the room in feet to find the diameter size of the room, use that same number in inches and that should be the approx. diameter of your future fixture. For example, a 10′x12′ room = 22′, so a 22″ chandelier should be the approximate size to purchase. A 12′x14′ room=26′, so a 26″ chandelier. Keep in mind these are only approximations. A couple inches more or less can still be the perfect accent.

Now as you might guess, just knowing the room size is not the only information you should take into consideration when choosing that perfect fixture. Where you are placing the chandelier is also a determining factor, and a very important one.

Dining Room Chandelier
If you are placing your new fixture above the dining room table, then you will need to take that into consideration as well. One suggestion is to keep the size 1/2 to 2/3 the width of the table. Another tactic is to make sure it is 1 foot less than the width of the table (to keep it from hanging over a guest’s head.)

We can discuss with you the many varieties available and provide expert installation at your convenience.

Douthit Electrical has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you need electrical service, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!

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It’s Time to Upgrade Those Kitchen Lights

What room do most homeowners like to upgrade the most? You guessed it, the kitchen. There is no other room in our home that we rely on more (well except for our bathroom, of course). We not only expect it to be pleasing to the eye, but to also be a functional part of our homes. Sometimes upgrading the kitchen can be a long expensive journey, and for that reason many of us put off upgrading for years and years.

What about changing the lighting? You’d be surprised how much updating light fixtures in our kitchens will give us a new perspective. Lighting can add brilliance to what was once in the shadows and give a more modern look to the overall appearance.

Here are just a few lighting options to choose from.

Above the sink kitchen light
Most of us have a light above our sink, but have you really looked at it lately? There are many types and styles of over the sink lighting that you can choose from. If yours is an outdated plain light fixture that doesn’t reflect your taste, it’s time for an upgrade!

Under Cabinet LED Lighting
Take a look around your kitchen at all those cabinets. Consider where you would put under cabinet lighting. Will it be more of a functional use or if it will increase the aesthetic appearance of your kitchen?

Pendant Lighting
Want to really show your style? Choose pendant lighting that truly reflects your personality. The choices you have at your fingertips are astounding!

Douthit Electric has been providing Charlotte with quality electrical services since 1990. When you’re ready to update the lighting in your kitchen, check out our money saving coupons and give us a call!

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Shedding Light on all the Different Kinds of Lightbulbs in Charlotte and Beyond

Hands holding traditional and energy efficient light bulbsChoosing the right kind of light bulb for your indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures is always a bright idea but doing so can be difficult with all the different varieties available today. Using the appropriate lightbulb for your lighting fixtures not only saves you money but it also makes them safer. Failure to use the correct style or wattage increases the risk of electrical malfunction.

At Douthit Electrical, we’re happy to help you take the guesswork out of choosing light bulbs for your lighting fixtures. Our indoor and outdoor lighting design service is all about balancing aesthetics and function, and choosing the right variety of light bulb is an important part of that. With our A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and decades of experience, you can trust us to help you find the best lighting solutions for your needs.

Here’s a quick look at light bulb varieties and their properties.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

These are among some of the most energy efficient light bulbs available and can last for upwards of 9 years! In fact, CFL light bulbs use 25% to 80% less energy than traditional light bulbs while lasting 3 to 25 times longer without compromising on qualities such as brightness or clarity. These can be used in the same ways as incandescent light bulbs.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Not only do these light bulbs look cool, but they’re also cool to the touch! It may not seem like much, but this unique property can even help to reduce cooling costs. Similar to CFL light bulbs, LED’s are praised for their energy efficiency and long lifespan. Although these are commonly used in under cabinet lighting, their versatility allows them to be used in many other ways and areas throughout your home.


The cheapest and most common light bulb variety, incandescents have all but been replaced by energy efficient light bulbs. With a short lifespan and the amount of energy they use, incandescents fall short of today’s standards for energy efficiency and sustainability.


The light bulbs are a variety of incandescent that give off a similar quality of light but use less energy. While they may be more energy efficient than their incandescent counterparts, they burn at a higher temperature and cost more money. Halogen bulbs are a popular choice for under cabinet lighting and for pendant lights.


This variety of light bulb is best for lighting large, open areas such as attics and basements, though they’re commonly found in offices. Many people find fluorescent lighting to be flat, harsh, and cold due to its blue hue, but there are several different varieties available with warmer tones and even different colors.

Discover all the brilliant ways lighting design can brighten your life by calling Douthit Electrical today! Whether it is for work, play, or a little bit of both, we have the best and brightest electrical solutions for your needs.


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Lighten Up This Winter With These Brilliant Lighting Design Ideas for Your Charlotte Home

Family RoomWhen most people think of interior design and decorating, they don’t consider the significance of lighting. While paint color, furniture, and decor are all things that enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space, interior lighting design plays a crucial role in determining the overall ambiance. This is especially true in offices, where poor lighting can lead to headaches caused by eyestrain, a decrease in productivity, and even boredom.

Similarly, your home’s lighting can impact your mood. This is especially true during the winter, where short, dark days and a lack of sunlight can lead to symptoms such as lethargy, irritability, and cravings for food. This is just one of the reasons why interior lighting design is important. You can improve your mood and the look and feel of any room with the right lighting!

One of our specialties here at Douthit Electrical is lighting design. Whether it’s accent lighting, task lighting, or even outdoor lighting, we can help you achieve the look you want by installing the right kind of light fixtures in the right places. We have the creativity and expertise to really light things up!

Here are just a few ways you can lighten your home up in the winter with lighting design.

Recessed lighting

Want to make a room look and feel bigger while highlighting unique architectural aspects? Recessed lighting is a great way to do so! It can also make the color of any room pop and adding a dimmer switch only increases its versatility. Because of these reasons and more, recessed lighting has become an extremely popular lighting design trend in the last decade.

Shower lighting

Everyone loves to take a nice, hot shower in winter and there’s no better way to enhance this experience than with lighting design! Adding recessed lighting to your shower provides ample illumination — which is important for safety — and creates a luxurious, spa-like atmosphere that’s perfect for relaxing.

Unique lighting fixtures

Lighting fixtures that make a bold statement are becoming a popular trend in interior and lighting design. These eye-catching fixtures often serve as a focal point while serving a functional lighting purpose. They’re perfect for kitchens and dining rooms where entertaining guests is likely to happen. Bowl and pendant lights are two examples of trendy lighting fixtures. Similarly, artisanal and repurposed lighting fixtures such as vintage milk cans add an authentic, rustic feel to any room.

Task lighting

In today’s digital age many people work remotely out of their home offices, especially during the winter when road conditions can be icy. Incorporating task lighting can make your home office more comfortable and create an atmosphere that’s perfect for facilitating creativity and productivity. Task lighting can also significantly reduce the glare of reflective objects such as computer screens and make them easier to view.

Let there be light in your home this winter and year round with Douthit Electrical’s top notch interior lighting design services in Charlotte!

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3 Scary, Spooky, and Simple Ideas for Safe Charlotte Outdoor Lighting This Halloween

The fear is here at Douthit Electrical this Halloween season!

Pumpkin Lights HangingIt may be hard to believe but it’s already that time of year again. With Halloween right around the corner it’s time to get ready for goblins, ghouls, and all kinds of scary stuff. There’s no better way to get into the spooky spirit of the season than by creating your very own haunted house, complete with hanging lights and the appropriate lawn decorations. But the only thing scarier than a monster is a Halloween-related injury or poorly installed outdoor lighting.

According to a study published in the 2010 journal Pediatrics, Halloween ranked fourth among holidays with the highest number of injuries resulting in emergency room visits, with the most common being leg injuries as a result of trips and falls. As common as these injuries are, there are simple measures you can take ensure your homemade haunted house is both safe and fun for your family and trick or treaters alike. Our team of professional Charlotte electricians’ and lighting designers are happy to help bring your Halloween lighting ideas back from the dead!

Here are three easy ways to safely and boo-tifully light up your home for Halloween.

Zip it up

Perhaps the easiest and most inexpensive way to prevent injuries caused by hanging string lights is to use zip ties. They can be used to keep lights out of the way by securing them to banisters, deck railings, fences, and even tree branches. Unlike nails, they require seconds to attach and don’t leave any surface damage behind. For an extra measure of safety and security, consider installing a security lighting system. They’re excellent way to keep your home trick-or-treaters safe while keeping ghouls at bay!

Tape it down

General extension and power cord safety is a must for Charlotte Halloween lighting. Be sure to keep extension and power cords off of hallways, sidewalks, paths, and other high-traffic areas. In cases where this is unavoidable, it’s best to duct tape your cords to the surface to keep them out of the way. This greatly reduces the chances that someone will trip or fall. Ensure that your extension and power cords are in good in condition and only use cords designed to carry the electrical load you need. Never use extension or power cords meant for use indoors outside. You can’t go wrong by sticking to decorative lighting and cords that have been approved and tested for safety by reputable laboratories such the Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Leverage your outdoor outlets

It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket and you shouldn’t plug all your decorations into the same outlet either. As a general rule of thumb, never plug more than three strings of lights together. Many homes have more than one outdoor outlet, so be sure to use them accordingly. Plugging too many lights into one outlet often leads to a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.

If you do blow a fuse, don’t blow your top! This common Halloween mishap happens to just about everyone. A circuit breaker is designed to trip or turn off as a safety feature when too much power is running through it. This cuts off the flow of electricity to prevent damage or worse, a fire. If this does happen, unplug all your hanging lights and head to your home’s electrical panel. For circuit breakers, look for a breaker that has shifted from the “on” position to “off” and simply move it back to the “on” position. For fuse boxes, look for any fuses that have melted metal or that are discolored. These can easily be replaced to get your lights shining bright again in no time!

At Douthit Electrical, we love Halloween just as much as anyone else. Our seasoned electrical professionals can help you have some safe, frightening fun this Halloween season with our outdoor lighting design expertise.

Give us a call today to see how!


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5 Brilliant Lighting Ideas for Homes in Charlotte

Family RoomMany people don’t put much thought into their lighting design in Charlotte. Many people will flip the switches to whatever light fixtures came with their home year after year, or maybe they’ll freshen the living room up with a new lamp now and then. Some people don’t realize the impact that lighting has on the atmosphere within a home. The truth is that changing lighting can alter the entire feel or function of a room. With help from Douthit Electrical’s creative lighting designers, you could take your home’s lighting to the next level. Our electricians think that the variety of options and the impact that they can make might just surprise you. Here are just a few lighting options that can improve the function or ambience of your home.

Closet Lighting – So many people out there are dealing with closets that are permanently dim, even when the sun is shining bright outside. When it comes to a tightly packed area like a closet, a little lighting goes a long way. When you can easily view everything in your closet, it becomes easier and faster to find what you’re looking for.

Unique Outdoor Lighting – Your outdoor spaces can become an extension of your indoor living space when you have the proper lighting. You can illuminate your deck or pool area to make those spaces more functional and desirable after sunset.

Workshop Lighting – Whether you’re making furniture, painting, or doing household repairs, your eyes need sufficient lighting. While big, overhead fluorescent lights are popular for workshops, there are other options available that can give your space a more enjoyable feel that helps to induce creativity and productivity.

Stairway Lighting – Most stairways have some kind of overhead lighting, but lighting that illuminates each stair can be absolutely beautiful. You can bring eyes to any piece of architecture with the right lighting to grab one’s attention.

Recessed Lighting – Many people opt for recessed lighting when doing a kitchen remodel. These versatile lights can be used on a dimmer switch to set a mood or for task lighting. Furthermore, they can use a variety of lightbulb types and can cover a wide area with light without feeling obtrusive.

At Douthit Electrical, our electricians can help you with any type of indoor or outdoor lighting design in Charlotte. We have bright ideas and the skills to make them a reality—just give us a call today!

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Different Types of Lightbulbs for Indoor & Outdoor Lighting in Charlotte

Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent, Halogen LampsIn the past, choosing a lightbulb at the store was easy because there weren’t all that many options. Nowadays, there are a plethora of options to choose from, so it helps if you go to the store knowing what you’re looking for. Use this rundown of the various types of lightbulbs to help you determine which bulbs will work best for your indoor and outdoor light fixtures in Charlotte. 

Incandescent – This lightbulb is the cheapest and the most common, but it won’t be for long because it is being phased out! Incandescent bulbs typically last for about a year, but won’t be able to meet new energy-efficiency standards.

Fluorescent – These bulbs work great for lighting large areas like basements, attics, and garages. They provide a flat, cold light, and last longer than incandescent bulbs.

Halogen – These bulbs are often used in under-cabinet lighting and tend to last about a year. Though similar to incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs use less energy.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) – Not only do CFLs consume less energy than incandescent bulbs, they also can last up to nine years! You can use these bulbs in the same places where you would use incandescent bulbs, and they won’t make the noise that florescent bulbs can make.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) – These bulbs are cool to the touch, and because they’re not allowing out excess heat, they can help save on air conditioning costs. These bulbs can last 20+ years and are very energy-efficient, but they will cost more upfront than CFLs.

Generally, you’ll want to equip your home with the more energy-efficient lightbulbs, but it’s up to you to determine which bulbs give you the type of lighting that feels right in your space! And remember, to avoid an electrical safety hazard, always choose the appropriate wattage bulb for each of your light fixtures. For help with outdoor and indoor lighting design in Charlotte, give Douthit Electrical a call today!

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Outdoor Lighting Options That Will Improve Your Home’s Functionality & Safety

House In The  DarkWhen it comes to your home, it isn’t just what’s on the inside that counts. With the appropriate outdoor lighting in Charlotte,  you can take full advantage of your exterior space. Whether you want to enjoy social gatherings on the patio well after nightfall or you just want to illuminate the dark to deter unsavory characters after hours, Douthit Electrical has the outdoor lighting option that’s right for you!

Outdoor Lighting That Will Keep the Party Going
Don’t let the sun dictate how long your gatherings will go. Our electricians can outfit your property with the right amount of light in all the right places so that you, your family, your friends can enjoy the warm spring and summer nights long after the sun sets. Just tell us what you’d like to be able to do at night and we’ll come up with the outdoor lighting design that will meet your needs.

Outdoor Lighting That Will Make Your Home an Unlikely Target for Burglars
No burglar wants to feel like he is out in the open being watched. Flood lights, motion detector lights, and walkway lights will help to deter criminals and make your home less of a target. You can even set up indoor or outdoor lights on timers so that it will look like you’re home even when you’re away on vacation.

While outdoor lights will encourage burglars to walk the other way, they will actually help to welcome your guests. Properly illuminated walkways can also help to prevent falls which are one of the most common causes of injuries on residential properties.

Outdoor Lighting That Will Improve Curb Appeal
With landscape lighting you can show off the exterior of your home at any time. Whether you want to illuminate a flower garden, statue, lawn ornament, fountain, or any other outdoor feature, we can install the perfect lighting for the task. Your home will look more welcoming that ever!

Don’t attempt an outdoor lighting project on your own. Our Charlotte electricians will make sure all electrical wiring and installations are done safely. Give Douthit Electrical a call today for outdoor lighting that you will enjoy for years to come!

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3 Common Electrical Problems That Our Charlotte Electricians Fix

Man Checking The Electrical Fuse BoxTripping Circuit Breakers – Many times circuit breakers are not prepared to handle the many electronics and appliances that we have in our lives today…microwaves, computers, coffee makers, televisions, toaster ovens, and so forth.  When you power multiple appliances at once, your circuit breaker may trip, and you lose power to those appliances.  This can be annoying, especially if it happens frequently, but it can also be dangerous because the circuits and wiring can overheat, potentially starting a fire.  Our electricians can upgrade your circuit breaker  so that it will operate safely while giving you the power you need to run your appliances.

Flickering Lights – Before you contact an electrician about a flickering light,  check to make sure that you have a bulb of the appropriate wattage in your light fixture and also make sure that it is connected properly.  Using a bulb that is not the correct wattage can lead to overheating and potentially a fire.  If you determine that your bulb is not the reason for the flickering, contact our electricians so that we can examine your system for faulty electrical wiring.

Non-Working Electrical Outlets – When an outlet doesn’t work, this can be a sign that the circuit breaker has tripped.  You can check your electrical panel to see if the breakers are in “on” position and switch them if needed.  If your outlet still doesn’t work with the breakers in the “on” position, it’s time to call your local electrician to investigate the issue.

At Douthit Electrical, we’re here to help you with these and any other electrical problems that you have in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.  Just give us a call!

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