Electric Currents



Welcome to Culver Electric Currents—your monthly e-source for industry news and product information, including the latest educational and promotional items, trends, tips, stories, and events.

This month, learn about the growing impact smart lighting is having on cities, commercial buildings, and homes. Also, read about product solutions for new home buyers, addressing different learning styles in the classroom, and teaching latchkey kids about electrical and gas safety.

Culver Company’s Products Group can help you select or create the right educational and promotional products for your outreach efforts. Be sure to check out Culver Electric Currents each month for your industry product news.

Smart Lighting: The Foundation for a Networked Future


The lighting industry is going through a remarkable transformation. Led by the progression of LED (light-emitting diode) technology and the rise in popularity of connected devices, “smart lighting” is driving the evolution of smart cities, smart buildings, and smart homes.

While their widespread adoption will create revenue implications for the utility industry, municipalities and consumers alike have accepted the integration of smart LEDs enthusiastically. Their ability to save energy and, therefore, money will see the continued growth of a new industry. The global smart lighting market, estimated at $9.1 billion in 2014, is expected to exceed $51 billion by 2025.


LEDs are ideal for smart lighting projects; they have a long life span, are extremely efficient, and have negligible amounts of the hazardous chemicals that are found in other bulbs. Equally important is the fact that they can be enabled with sensors. Cities and the building management industry are drawn to the seemingly unlimited capabilities that an intelligent, networked sensor can bring. Systems with sensors can adjust the luminosity or shut down lighting entirely by detecting occupancy and daylight. Most of the newly installed smart lighting systems are expected to be wireless, and together with the Internet of Things (IoT), will be the catalyst for a host of supporting industries.

Currently, significant energy savings are being pursued through street lighting, where varying levels of luminosity are needed. Major cities have already begun installing and retrofitting their street lighting systems with smart LEDs. In Chicago, for instance, a local utility is working with the city to add LED streetlights with sensors to its existing smart grid network. Depending on the location, lights can be dimmed during certain hours and others can be turned up in an effort to improve neighborhood safety. Smart lighting is just the beginning for intelligent control systems. It has the capacity to offer cities many additional applications with little incremental cost, including:

  • indicating the need for streetlight maintenance and repair
  • pulsing streetlights outside a home that has called for 911 assistance
  • traffic light controls
  • parking and traffic management
  • electric vehicle charging stations
  • electric, water, and gas metering


The same opportunity exists for commercial buildings that, in North America, are known to waste large amounts of electricity on lighting. In commercial buildings, sensors can measure occupancy levels, allowing lighting systems to shut down or dim when not in service. The future for building management systems companies is not without its own concerns, as future networked sensors will begin to impact HVAC and physical security. A similar revolution is happening in residential homes, where wireless devices can be used to adjust or turn off lighting and other appliances remotely. Future evolution could see biometric sensors that could determine stress levels and adjust lighting and temperature accordingly. How we interact with our surroundings will be changed forever.


Even with all of its potential, the expansion of smart lighting will create serious implications for those affected. For utilities, the fact that some industry professionals believe that LED systems have the potential to reduce energy consumption by 70 percent will mean significant revenue loss for utilities. Utilities will have to work with state public utility commissions to develop energy conservation incentives and other forms of reimbursement to offset lower revenues.

For cities, cost is an ever-present concern. Though existing lights can be retrofitted with sensors, many cities are struggling financially and have priorities that are higher than improving street lighting efficiency. There are a number of creative financing options—such as bonds, leasing, and energy savings performance contracts—but these sometimes exceed initial cost projections.

Consumers, on the face of it, seem like the ultimate winner in this new world of intelligent lighting. The IoT evolution, converging with networked lighting, opens the door for an increasingly smarter home. Many homeowners welcome the newer features that a connected home represents and eagerly anticipate its ability to make life easier. Others, given the current political climate, are concerned about the extent of personal data that will be generated and shared with marketers. Either way, intelligent, networked lighting represents a tremendous opportunity for energy savings and more, that it’s hard to imagine a future without it.

Watch for next month's Electric Currents Newsbrief. For information about additional electric safety resources, call us at 800-428-5837, email solutions@culverco.com, or visit www.culverco.com/catalog.

May Is Electrical Safety Month: Help Your Residents Stay Safe


Electrical Safety Month is always a good time to remind residents about basic electrical safety around the home. Moreover, this time of year represents the highest rate of buying and selling homes. With so many homeowners familiarizing themselves with a new home, combined with the increasing trend toward DIY renovation, there’s an increased potential for electrical accidents around the home. Consider the fact that each year, electrical accidents in the home cause approximately:

  • 60 electrocutions
  • 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents
  • 51,000 fires


A large majority of these accidents can be prevented through education. Booklets and brochures designed to reach homeowners, in plain language, can help them avoid common household electrical accidents and keep everyone safe. We offer many options for reaching residents in your community, including:

Electrical Safety and You, Grade 9–adult, #25170

  • Simple pocket guide that clearly illustrates electrical safety rules and best practices
  • Concise text, quickly educates about where electricity comes from and how it works
  • Provides practical steps to respond to electrical fires and shock


Electrical Safety at Home Brochure, Grade 7–adult, #44120

  • Key electrical safety information distilled into a convenient, easy-to-mail brochure
  • Tips for home wiring and proper responses to blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers
  • Electrical safety to protect children also highlighted


Outdoor Electrical Safety and You, Grade 9–adult, #25060

  • At-a-glance information on what and what NOT to do to stay safe while working outdoors
  • Safety tips for making exterior home repairs and improvements
  • Also available in Spanish


Outdoor Electrical Safety Brochure, Grade 6–adult, #44260

  • Outdoor home safety emphasized
  • Includes storm and fallen power line safety
  • Safe practices for tools, ladders, cords, overhead, and underground power lines


Each booklet or brochure includes your logo and contact information, making a strong statement about your commitment to customer safety. It’s a great way to enhance your image as well as dispense important safety information.

See our online catalog for more options, including Electrical Safety at Work, #43100, Personal Safety: A Guide for Seniors, #25125, and more. Let us help you reach your key audiences with the right message and make a lasting impact this Electrical Safety Month and beyond. Call us at 800-428-5837, or email solutions@culverco.com.

Home Alone: Teach Kids How to Stay Safe


Did you know that one in five children—11.3 million children—spend time alone and unsupervised during the after-school hours and often throughout the summer months? Many of these kids begin their self-care responsibilities at about 8 years of age and, according to the American Journal of Nursing, often experience stressful or even dangerous situations without ready access to adult guidance and support. These facts remind us that there is an ongoing need to teach kids how to be safe around electricity and gas at home. Implementing your outreach program during National Electrical Safety Month in May will provide added emphasis through the efforts of organizations nationwide and the focused attention of the media and community.

Culver’s Stay Safe Around Electricity and Natural Gas booklet (#37990) is written for children grades 3–6 and combines essential electrical and natural gas safety basics with a particular focus on where electricity and gas are used in the home and the potential hazards that can result. Gas leak recognition, response, and prevention are included, as well. The learning is fun with challenging puzzles and age-appropriate word games. Also available in Spanish (#36200).

Reinforce learning with a Scratch and Sniff Natural Gas Safety Card (#87055) to teach kids first-hand what a gas leak smells like. The card has a one-inch area of natural gas scent (mercaptan). Additional designs and/or card formats also available.

Empower children with critical safety principles for when they are home alone, and you’ll gain the added benefit of the parental good will. For pricing and ordering information, give us a call today at 800-428-5837 or visit www.culverco.com to view our full catalog.

Yes! We can do that!
Are You Covering All Learning Styles With Your Safety Message?


What’s the best way to educate about electrical safety? Many of you have recognized the benefits of partnering with your local school systems to get the word out effectively. However, some students learn best visually, some are audio learners, and others are kinesthetic learners. Providing a variety of media and activities through your outreach efforts ensures you’ll successfully convey your message to every child in the classroom.

Adding a video component to the mix gives teachers a structure around which a comprehensive lesson segment can be built, and you’ll reach both visual and auditory learners. When you pair it with puzzles games and activities found in printed materials, all styles of learning will be covered.

Culver has created a selection of educational videos to help make safety lessons engaging and memorable. For example, in Kato’s Electrical Safety Video Game Adventure, Kip and his new friends are transported inside a video game, where they must learn to avoid nine electrical dangers and how to stay safe:

Lessons Learned:

  1. Keep away from substations and transformers.
  2. Stay away from frayed and broken electrical cords.
  3. Never overload an outlet.
  4. Never use water on an electrical fire.
  5. Water and electricity don’t mix.
  6. Unplug the toaster before taking out stuck toast.
  7. Fly kites in open areas away from power lines.
  8. Never throw things at insulators.
  9. Stay away from fallen power lines.


Mr. “Positive” shows them the good and useful side of electricity and Mr. “Negative” teaches them how to avoid the dangerous side. These colorful and dynamic animated characters keep kids focused as they learn how to stay safe and to protect others.

Educators give it rave reviews, so offer it to teachers in your service area, along with any of the Kato-themed materials—it’s a great way to create a learning segment around electrical safety.

Visit www.culverco.com/videos to preview our educational videos.

For additional information about all of our electric safety resources, call us at 800-428-5837, email solutions@culverco.com, or visit www.culverco.com/catalog.