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Switches, Outlets, and Fixtures
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
Switches, outlets and fixtures are the portals through which
you receive all the electricity flowing through your house. Switches
allow you to open and close electrical circuits and outlets provide
the plugs to power electrical appliances. Electrical fixtures
provide the variety of lighting schemes through out your house.
Generally, switches and outlets are installed after your walls are
completed. There are several different types of switches and outlets
available. The ones you select will have to function properly with
your circuit's wiring scheme. Outlets are pretty standard, but GFCIs
are required in some rooms. You must also consider box size.
Switches can be divided into single pole and three way switches.
Common single pole switches include light switches. Three-way
switches can control one light from two different places. For
example, a light switch on the top and bottom of a staircase.
GFCI outlets (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, also GFI) are
designed to prevent electrical shock and allow you to monitor the
electrical currents. You can identify a GFCI outlets by two little
buttons located on the front. Conventional outlets do not have these
buttons. They contain two plugs and are referred to as duplex
Electrical fixtures don't have to be the conventional light fixture
in the center of the room. There are many new ways to enhance your
lighting scheme with a variety of lighting fixtures. Maybe
installing a ceiling fan over a light fixture, mounting track
lighting, or introducing retro-fitting recessed lights.