April 18, 2024

You need electrical panels to make everything run. That much is obvious, but are there things you can do to your panels to make them easier to use?

The answer is a resounding yes.

You have many design choices, feature selections, and optimizations that you can put into each of your panels. Doing this can simplify tasks, lower labor costs, improve performance in your power grid, and avoid countless problems that lead to trouble at later dates.

In fact, you can consider four aspects of electrical panels that make them easier to use and more effective in their roles.

Labeling and Documentation

The very easiest and most reliable way to make electrical panels more user-friendly is to label and document them thoroughly. Map every circuit connected to the panel and make it clear what areas and devices are controlled by each switch on the panel.

Put labels on the panel itself. Also, print out a circuit map that is thoroughly labeled. If possible, you can create a digital map as well. Across all of these documents, it should be easy to keep track of the panel, update changes, and find what you need, when you need it.

It’s a minor investment of time that makes future work considerably faster and easier. If you utilize nothing else on this list, labeling and documentation will still transform any task that requires you to access the electrical panel.


When possible, customized electrical panels simplify tasks and offer streamlined performance — especially for specialized operations.

Customizations come in many forms. Some panels are customized simply to accommodate special power concerns. Others can be optimized for layout, positioning, access, protection, or material.

When you get the right panel for the job, you eliminate risks, make work related to the panel faster and easier, and avoid long-term problems that plague uncustomized panels.

The easiest example is to consider a panel in a corrosive environment. A customized panel can resist corrosion and might have additional protective layers. These aspects of the panel better protect the circuits within, last longer, and actually make maintenance easier over the long haul.


These days, you can look for a lot of special features to pack into your electrical panel. You don’t necessarily need every feature at every turn, but finding the right features makes a huge difference. Here’s a list of common modern features to consider:

● Timers
● Sensors
● Dimmers
● Motion detectors
● Smart Circuits
● App enablement


Lastly, quality of life improves when you optimize your panels. In general, you can optimize for power efficiency or energy efficiency. Noting that these are distinct optimizations, you often have to choose one over the other. Power efficiency often helps high-power devices run better. Meanwhile, energy efficiency lowers utility costs over time.

If you’re not sure which to prioritize, you can even run an optimization problem between power and efficiency — calculating the sweet spot and then designing the panel around that optimization.

Optimized panels offer a little more flexibility in their use and often require less attention over time.