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Electricity

A few days ago, a reader named Marcus asked me an electrical wiring question while I was doing one of my new livestreaming video broadcasts. Livestreaming video is so much fun because I get to interact with people in real-time just as if we were sitting at a table enjoying a lemonade or iced tea. Each of my livestreams in recorded, so if you can’t watch it live, you can replay it later.

This Amazon gift guide from @misskenzierae highlights some of the best finds on Amazon for the guys in your life including a handy charging stand, whiskey glasses, and a can insulator. 

There’s no need to light a million candles and dig out your flashlight the next time you have a power outage. These rechargeable LED light bulbs @lindsayroggenbuck recommends charge every time you turn off your lights and when the power goes out you can use them as backup.

Q: Tim, it's a very long story, and don't think I'm crazy. I'm building a new home and wondering if I can install all the electrical wiring myself. It's not a big home, but it's got all the things going on you'd normally have in a home, including quite a few three- and four-way switches. I've watched a bunch of online videos, I've read a few authoritative books and I'm feeling pretty confident. What am I missing? What would you do if you were me? —Margo F., Albany, Ga.

If you’re a home body and appreciate the summer months in your backyard, an upgrade to the lighting is a nice improvement you’ll enjoy for years to come. Landscape lighting can be practical and illuminate a dark path between the garage and back door or more fanciful used to highlight a striking flower bed or garden gate entry. A good choice is a solar spotlight landscape fixture with LED (light-emitting diodes) mini light bulbs. Solar lights turn on automatically at dusk, and since they are powered by the sun, they are very energy efficient compared to more typical low voltage incandescent lights. They use long lasting NiMH batteries to store the solar energy so even after a cloudy day they provide light at night.

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If you’re interested in setting your lamps up with some smart lighting but you’re not keen on smart light bulbs, you can use smart plugs and control your lighting from your phone or use voice commands with a digital assistant. Smart plugs are the perfect way to make sure your lamps are included in your lighting scenes, and they make it easy to set up voice-activated routines. Our favorite starter routine: setting it up so when you say, “Alexa, I’m home!” all of your lights turn on.

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