GTS Helps the Community



GTS has established a reputation for helping the community.  Our little family business has donated so much time and material to help transform five run down houses in the City of Milwaukee into nice places to live.  Together with Milwaukee Works and the Neighborhood Improvement Project (NIP), these houses were transformed over the summer of 2011.  The transformation of these houses was very challenging and frustrating to say the least.  Part of that frustration was due to the extremely tight budget of the City of Milwaukee.

This is what Joseph Farmer had to say about it.  “… for example; we would be putting in new receptacles throughout the house.  Every time we would open up the boxes to see what was in there, we would find something that made the job 3 times more complicated than just changing a receptacle should be.  The big thing was that the wires were corroded and needing to be replaced.  So, we would have to do it, but we were not paid for it.  We only were paid for simply changing the receptacle.  So, I would just out of good conscience, threw in a bunch of extra stuff just so that the people were not buying something that is not electrically sound.”

After the transformation of the first house was complete, the city of Milwaukee asked if GTS would continue to be their electrical contractor.  Knowing that we would not make much money but feeling great about helping others, GTS said yes.

Also last summer, we did a similar sort of project that was again staffed by Milwaukee Works at the Oneida Indian tribe’s community center in Milwaukee.  More from Joseph Farmer, “It is actually a really cool old building.  It was originally a firehouse way back when horses pulled the fire trucks.  They added on to the building and put in a couple of classrooms and a computer lab.  GTS was the electrical contractor for that project.  With all of the Milwaukee Works projects, I’m not supposed to lift a hand to do any of the actual work.  I just tell the trainees what to do, how to do it and supervise them, but I am not supposed to do the work.  This is actually somewhat frustrating at times.”

Neighborhood Improvement Project (NIP) is a program that assists eligible owner occupants in repairing their homes.  All repairs are based upon municipal building code violations, lead hazard reduction, health and safety concerns.  NIP is not a remodeling program.

Milwaukee works is a program that is helping thousands of very low-income families who are at extreme disadvantages for finding employment gain skills and re-enter the workforce.  These people are paid not by the company who hires them but rather through funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act and other sources.  This allows employers a source of no cost labor while they grow their businesses.  More importantly, it gives the employers a chance to evaluate their performance and consider them for employment when a position opens up.

If GTS had enough work, there are a couple of people from the Milwaukee Works that we would offer a job.  On each of these projects there are 6 guys and out of those 6 there are 2 and maybe a 3rd who get it, they understand, they like the work and they are full of all kinds of potential.  The others are just there just because it is a job.

This is our third time working with people from Milwaukee Works.  The people who did the rough were there for the whole time we were there.  Now on the finish, one group started it and a different group is going to be completing the finish.

Welcome to GTS


Welcome to GTS Electric’s new blog.  I will regularly be posting news and updates from GTS Electric Company.

What does GTS stand for?  Genuine Trustworthy Service!

Who is GTS?  We are a hard working, family operated business, offering affordable solutions for your commercial, critical power and residential electrical needs. State licensed and insured, we make it our business to ensure your project is completed professionally, on time and under budget.

Do we charge for estimates?  No.  Estimates are free!

What is our mission?  We are dedicated to seeing our costumers satisfied with everything we do on your site, from design/layout, to installation, to inspection/commisioning.

Now that you know who GTS is, call Tom at  262-367-2487 to find out how we can help you with all your electrical needs.

Garden Lighting



Garden Lighting

Written By Joseph Farmer, President of GTS Electric Company

Aesthetic lighting considerations for your prized outdoor spaces can transform your landscapes from “very nice” to “WOW!!!

Garden lighting is very big business, worth millions of dollars every year. There are so many different products available that we are spoiled for choice. For every need you might have there is something to cater to it, and more innovative and tasteful lights come out on a weekly basis. For the widest choice, searching online is the best option by far. In under an hour you can browse through catalogs to your heart’s content, and pick up some great ideas to style your garden in the process.

However, there is nothing better than viewing these products in the flesh, so a trip to garden center should also be on your list of things to do. There is no delivery charge here so bear that in mind. An online light may be cheaper at first, but when you add the shipping charge it may work out more expensive. You also have to wait for delivery from online shopping.

Spot lighting is one of the most common types used in gardens all round the world. They are quick to set up and you can adjust them very easily to change angle. Some of the latest kinds can change the intensity of the light, which you can use to reflect you mood if you like! Others rotate at differing speeds, and can do the work of many lights on their own. Colored bulbs are popular for changing the mood of the garden, which is good for the changing seasons. In summer you can bathe the garden in purples and blues to shine on the blooming flowers, and in autumn you can change this to more neutral colors.

Wrought iron light housings work well if you have other items of iron, such as railings. The light bulb is contained within a very stylish little house or lantern, and some even have leaded windows that have patterns on them, which will reflect across the lawn or plants and create shapes and shadows. The wrought iron will also weather very nicely, and they are very durable, and should last for many years without a lot of maintenance.

So back to the different kinds of light you may come across. Bollard lights are mostly used to light driveways and paths. They come in different heights, ranging from very small to over two feet high. The shape is like a small post, and that is what they are. The most common housing units come in aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, bronze and hardwood. Dimmer switches can be used to create a soft glow along the path that is inviting and brings calmness. This can work wonders to change your mood as you get home after a stressful day at work. The “trendy” look has the light contained in the post, as opposed to being on top of the post.

Colored lighting can be used to transform any garden in an instant. Usually the light casing has a colored filter that is used to create the effect. Most spotlights work in this manner, and you can change the filter color for a different color if needed. The typical colors used are red, yellow, green, purple, blue and white. There are other more elaborate colors such as moonlight which produces a cooling effect just like the moonlight. This is achieved by increasing the temperature of the bulb, and is mostly used with halogen lights. Honeycomb filters will spread the light over a wider range, and also split the beam into many unique patterns.

Down-lights and wall spotlights are used to point light in one direction. The down-light needs to placed up high and pointed downwards. Popular places are on walls, beams and on posts. The spot lights can be adjusted at different angles to point at a patio or a certain feature you want illuminated. Down-lights can also be placed in tree branches and have a hook that fits over the branches. If you use these then be careful not too put them in too deep or the branches and leaves may stop the light shining through. Adding frosted filters can help spread the beam all over the branches and gives an extra sparkle.

Up-lights serve a similar, but converse, purpose. Usually used to highlight and draw the eye upwards to accent a feature such as a chimney or flowering tree. And again, the color and intensity of the light can be filtered and adjusted to create just the right ambiance for your outdoor events.

Floodlights are generally used for security and just lighting up an area. They are usually on a sensor that comes on when you trigger it. You can also just have it connected to a switch and turn it on when you are about to go outside. Fitting a timer is also a useful idea for security when your not home and may deter any unwanted people because they are highly visible in your garden. The lamps are very powerful and do use a lot of electricity. Halogen is the most popular kind of bulb for these outdoor lights. The beam is not very focused, and will spread out all over the place, which is the intended result.

Joe, our Project Manager, has a great deal of passion and appreciation for aesthetic lighting design. Give him a call @ 262 367 2GTS-he’ll be delighted to arrange a design consultation for you, free of charge and with-out obligation!