Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
Mon-Fri: 7AM- 4PM
15 Feb 2017
Excellent Electrician - Kirby Electric

Which Qualifications Make For an Excellent Electrician?

When it comes to being an electrician, there is more to the job than being certified. While certification is mandatory, an excellent electrician typically has all of the following qualities and characteristics that we look for when bringing on someone new.

Academically-Minded

We understand a college degree is not necessary in order to become an electrician, but a high school diploma certainly is! At Kirby Electric we stress the importance of having a studious background and an ongoing willingness to learn and adapt. The following intellectual skills are what we look for in an excellent electrician.

Basic Algebra – It is typical to encounter some form of algebra throughout day-to-day work activities as an electrician. If you are feeling unsure about your algebraic capabilities, enroll in your local community college to brush up on your skills.

Reading & Writing Comprehension – Blueprints, documents, memos and more. All of these are part of your daily job as an electrician. What we care about is how well you can effectively communicate to others along with understanding written and verbal communication in return.

Critical Thinking – Assessing a situation, critically thinking, and analyzing before acting can save you time and money. That is why on every jobsite this may be the most important skill to master. Smart decision making is why Kirby Electric is the best in the Greater Puget Sound region.

Time Management

An excellent electrician can manage his time wisely. This is a skill often learned not taught, but an important one to say the least. We care about our customers, and consider their time just as valuable as ours. When we set a date of completion, we mean it.

Team-Oriented

When joining Kirby Electric, you are joining a team of highly trained and skilled professionals. An excellent electrician has the ability to seamlessly integrate their work style with others. Along with a team-oriented mindset, comes great communication and listening skills as well.

Superb Customer-Service

Nothing wows our customers more than our excellent customer service. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians is led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is focused on consistently delivering exceptional customer service.

Kirby Electric is Hiring!

Did you know Kirby Electric is currently hiring? If you are looking for a vibrant work environment that offers career growth and full benefits, including paid vacation, a 401K plan, health benefits and paid holidays, consider a future with Kirby Electric. Our open positions can be found here.

Join Our Team – Apply Online Today

Do you think you have what it takes to be an excellent electrician or employee with Kirby? Apply here. Kirby Electric is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction.  With over 20 years of experience serving the Greater Puget Sound area and Western Washington, we have acquired a solid, loyal growing customer base. Help us grow even more!  Learn more about our services here. Have questions? Contact us online or by calling 253-859-2000. We look forward to hearing from you.

20 Jan 2017

Energy Saving Solutions for Commercial Buildings

It is no secret that energy bills for commercial buildings can run rather high. Moreover, businesses may find it rather difficult to find efficient solutions to reduce them. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 20% of the energy consumed nationwide is from commercial buildings. Explore our blog for the top 4 energy saving solutions to help your commercial building reduce energy bills today.

Incorporate Efficient Lighting

One of the easiest and economical ways to reduce energy bills is installing energy efficient lighting solutions. LED technologies continue to improve and advance, which makes energy solutions vaster than ever before. Options include re-lamping, retrofitting, incorporating replacement products, and more for commercial buildings to accomplish substantial savings through efficient lighting.

Implement Reduction Strategies

Two main ways to save money on energy bills are:

  1. Figuring out how to pay for less energy = supply side savings
  2. Figuring out how to use less energy = demand side savings

Shifting energy usage habits will provide great results. Meaning, reducing top demand with more energy efficient lighting, pumps and vital strategic solutions will aide in energy bill savings. The lower the top demand and/or capacity, the less you pay for power.

Energy Usage Analysis

In order to figure out how a commercial building consumes energy, it is imperative to understand the power usage patterns. Understanding where and how energy is consumed can result in reduced energy costs and consumption overall.

Energy Products

Nowadays, one top trend for businesses is to meet sustainability initiatives. For example, implementing wind technology or solar panels are great technologies that reduce energy usage and will help businesses become less dependent on utility companies. For inside, LED light bulbs (light emitting diode) for lamps and other utilities that require light bulbs are beneficial for energy efficiency as well. In comparison, incandescent bulbs cost approximately 5-10 times the initial price of the bulb alone. LED light bulbs will last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescents and the cost of the bulbs. Overall, smart energy products are efficient ones.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

24 May 2016

All About LED Lighting

In recent years, there has been advanced improvements in lighting technology for light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. Known for energy-efficiency, LED bulbs continue to excel in durability and lighting quality. According to energy.gov, LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings and the future of lighting in the United States. Explore this blog to get all the information you need to know about LED lighting and how it can benefit your home.

Energy Savings

Did you know that residential LEDs use approximately 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting? Plus, by selecting a quality LED bulb, they can last beyond 25,000 hours, which is equivalent to over three years if used the entire 24 hours each day! Moreover, regular light bulbs discharge 90 percent its energy as heat, while LED bulbs retain heat and use energy more efficiently. Starting in 2012, relatively $675 million dollars was saved when approximately 49 million LEDs were equipped in the U.S. Shifting to LED lights altogether for the next 20 years could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs and can also positively impact the environment by evading  1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions!

LED Lighting Differentiation

Light source: Compared to other light bulbs (such as incandescent and CFL’s), the LED light source size is miniscule compared to the size of a pepper fleck. Also, the light source colors are combined with red, blue and green to produce a white light.

Direction: LEDs also radiate light in a certain direction, which lessens the need for diffusers and reflectors that are used to trap light. Also, this component helps with efficiency for a variety of uses (such as recessed downlights or task lighting).

Kitchen Under-Cabinet Lighting

LEDs are also excellent for kitchens, countertops and reading recipes. Essentially, the color can appear more “cool”, which is typically preferable for kitchen areas. It is important to understand that there could possibly be “shadowing” in your selected space and also always check and compare which products will best fit your preferences.

Recessed Downlights

Recessed downlights are regularly used in a variety of spaces such as bathrooms, hallways, offices, kitchens, and beyond. According to energy.gov, DOE has estimated that there is about 500 million recessed downlights in U.S. homes that have already been installed and over 20 million are sold every year. Not to mention, CFL and LED technology is able to reduce downlight wattage by 75% or more.

Visit energy.gov/energysaver/led-lighting for more information regarding LED technology and the additional benefits for your home.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

22 Apr 2016

Incorporate Green Lighting With Lighting Retrofits!

Did you know lighting accounts for more than 25% of energy used in most buildings? Together we can change this. Try making a difference this Earth Day and go green. Get your lighting package upgraded with Kirby Electric’s lighting retrofits. Check out how you can make a difference and what is in it for you.

Safety

As an employer, safety should be a top priority. Poorly lit warehouses can not only be dangerous, but extremely uninviting and unpleasant to work in. Create a more enjoyable and safer atmosphere with a new lighting package supplied and installed by us for you. Plus, well-lit workspaces keep your employees energized throughout the day, potentially increasing productivity!

Lower Utility Bills

Cut costs potentially in half with more efficient warehouse lighting! With over 20 years of experience, we have been on the front end of offering customers the most effective green lighting solutions for their buildings. By opting-in for a greener lighting retrofit, you can save money every time you switch on the lights.

Rebates

When you install green lighting, it can result in to rebates for your office building or warehouse. We work  in concert with the utility companies to provide lighting rebates back to you for implementing upgrades to your lighting.

Customization

Seeking a unique look and feel for your office space? We offer experienced administration, estimators, a design specialist and project managers that work with general contractors and owners to present a comprehensive green lighting design with competitive pricing.

The Planet!

Do your part. Give back to the planet by cutting down on energy consumption in your warehouse or office building. Some of our projects have reduced energy consumption by over 50 percent! Remember, resources are limited. This Earth Day, discover your options for green lighting with Kirby Electric.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000 or contacting us online.

28 Mar 2016

How to Save Energy in a Commercial Building

Did you know the average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes? Additionally, $200 billion is spent annually on electricity and natural gas for commercial buildings, which contributes to nearly half of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. As startling as that reality is, there’s plenty of ways to save energy.  Read on to check out some low cost improvements that can be made for reducing energy consumption in your office or commercial building.

Perform a Nighttime Audit

For a commercial building, it is likely a large portion of excess energy is being wasted at night. This is why an energy audit conducted after hours could help determine which sources of waste could be minimized or all together eliminated.

Monthly Maintenance

Each month, make a habit of checking and maintaining the cooling and heating equipment used in the commercial facility. This will help make sure everything is working correctly and efficiently.

Limit Lighting

Are lights turned off when they should be? It’s estimated that lighting consumes 25 to 30 percent of energy in commercial buildings. Depending on the space, free natural lighting from windows can even suffice over traditional lights. Not to mention, it’s free! Keeping lights off when not in use can not only reduce energy consumption, but it can also lower lighting expenses by 10 to 40 percent.

Enable Sleep Settings

Each office computer is equipped with a power management function. This should be enabled on each monitor so that it instantly goes to sleep when not in use. Additionally, all sleep functions should be enabled on printers, fax machines, copiers, scanners, and other various devices.

Unplug

Even when equipment is in standby or sleep mode, it still eats energy. For example, one building found that eight percent of their annual electric bill was allocated to their standby power alone. Luckily, there’s an easy fix to this, unplug what’s not in use! Talk with your office’s IT department or your office manager about whether unplugging certain products at night is a viable solution to saving money and energy.

Heating & Cooling

Set the thermostat to a lower temperature when the commercial building is not occupied. Have you checked the filters? They can help reduce energy usage by changing them out monthly. Also, make sure your vents are completely unblocked. As much as 25 percent more energy is required for air distribution when vents are blocked by furniture.

Educate!

There is no more affordable way to limit energy consumption, than basic energy education! Make it known how much energy is being wasted when certain actions occur. Plus, prospective employees want to work for an environmentally conscientious company.

Commercial Energy Management Programs

Did you know you can lower your business’s energy bills without engaging in a substantial investment? Puget Sound Energy offers commercial energy management programs that can be tailored to fit your building’s needs. The programs help identify problem areas, and provide suggestions along with incentives that can cover some or all of your implementation costs.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000 or contacting us online.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

08 Feb 2016

4 Preparation Tips for Workplace Power Outages

Workplace power outages happen.  Are you aware of an emergency plan at your work in case of a major power outage? According to the American Red Cross, around 40 percent of small businesses do not reopen after major disasters occur due to insufficient preparation or lack of a proper backup system. In contrast, having an adequate plan arranged ahead of time will ultimately help eliminate the difficulties of doing business during a power outage. To make sure your business and employees are safe and prepared, here are 4 quick tips to keep in mind if the power goes out at work.

1.Door Signage

At times, workplace power outages may require the business to close down for the day because work is unable to be completed or continued. It is imperative for staff to post a sign on the front door that allows customers and employees (who have not arrived yet) understand why the business is closed during regular business hours.

2. Stock Flashlights

One essential item you must have is a flashlight. Make sure there is one stored in the office and the stock room at all times. Also, having backup flashlights is an additional light source that will help you recognize which switches you need to flip to potentially bring the power back on. During workplace power outage, flashlights can bring security for workers and less panic as everyone can function and navigate around the room. Most importantly, don’t forget to have additional batteries in store just for convenience!

3. Prepare for Security Risks

Some businesses may encounter security risks during power outages. If you have security cameras or any electric powered protection devices, you may want to be cautious and contact local authorities to make sure your business and fellow employees are safe. You never know how long the electricity could be out of service. Make sure you act accordingly!

4. Food/Water

You never know how long a power outage will last. For safety’s sake, stock-up on extra food and water for employees and/or customers. Authorities may require you to stay inside your business for security or safety reasons during a workplace power outage, so always prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

Image Courtesy of www.Pixabay.com

04 Jan 2016

Ways You Could be Losing Energy in the Winter Time


When winter arrives, the chilled weather causes people to stay inside to keep warm and cozy. Unfortunately, this causes a lot of folks to use a ton of energy. Whether it means using a furnace increasing electricity use, bills tend to be higher in the winter because of this. On top of holiday spending with purchasing gifts, you don’t need extra bills to dampen your seasonal spirits! Discover how you may be losing energy in the winter and how to avoid costly energy bills.

  1. Close your Windows and Doors

According to The Energy Information Administration, approximately one-third of heat loss in homes occurs from just your windows and doors alone. With that being said, one of the best ways to prevent heat loss is to simply add blinds or draperies to help trap the heat to establish a thermal barrier. It is also critical to note that indoor cooling won’t occur when blinds or draperies are open during the early day time. This actually brings direct solar gain to your home to eliminate the cooling.

  1. Thermostat Set Too High

A common mistake everyone may go through in their homes is setting their thermostat high for various reasons such as: trying to make the house warmer the fastest way possible, or to maintain the heat throughout the day. Energy experts have acknowledged that households during a 24 hour period can save around 3 percent on energy bills for every lower degree you set on the thermostat. Also, do you have a digital programmable thermostat? You can actually adjust when you want your thermostat to turn on and off any time of the day. One suggestion is to have your thermostat placed at a moderate temperature of 68 degrees as you are up and about. Then, set it lower while you are out of the house or sleeping. This way, you can save around 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill!

  1. Inefficient Lighting

Are you using LED/fluorescent bulbs in your household? It may be time to do so if you haven’t considered them for the winter! Adding these bulbs could essentially save you $75 per year. Also, another reason to consider LED holiday lights is because older lights use approximately 10 times the energy of newer lights. Plus, LED lights are safer because of the fact they are cool burning.

  1. Electronic Tips

Staying at home means lounging around, which will probably cause you to watch TV and use all sorts of electronic devices. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind on how electronics are contributing to energy usage in your home:

  1. Standby mode on electronics: Even if you turn off plugged in devices and set to standby mode, this is still using energy to power little things such as displaying the time.
  2. Try considering purchasing a laptop over a desktop computer; laptops initially use less energy and don’t need to be permanently plugged in.
  3. Make sure to unplug fully charged electronics or batteries. Even at 100%, some chargers will continue to charge even when the device is not plugged in.

Want more tips? Check out energy.gov for more incentives on how to save up on your energy bill this winter.

About Kirby Electric 

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

Image 1: Image courtesy of lkpro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 2: Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Images 3: Image courtesy of Ventrilock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image 4: Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

23 Nov 2015

How Does Lighting Affect Your Mood?

Lighting has an effect on our mood and on the intensity of our emotions. Studies have shown that the brighter the lighting, the more intense a person’s emotions become. This is why our moods tend to change with the seasons, because of the difference in amount of light received throughout different parts of the year.

Bright Light

When it is sunny outside, we tend to be more optimistic, energetic, and helpful and our well being is higher. Bright lighting also causes an increase in feelings of warmth, even if the temperature in the room is not increased. People feel warmer when there is brighter lighting because the intensity of their emotions is being increased as well. For example, a person placed under brighter lighting will crave spicier sauce, see a person as more attractive and think of positive words as more positive and negative words as more negative. If that same person were placed under darker lighting, they most likely would crave sauce that was less spicy, and wouldn’t see a person as attractive as they did in brighter lighting.

Lack of Light

Lack of light and poor artificial lighting can cause us to have lack of energy and can trigger symptoms of depression.  The brain chemical serotonin which is responsible for maintaining mood balance, decreases on dark days and increases on brighter days. This explains why we are likely to experience seasonal depression during wintertime and why our level of energy is decreased in locations where there is less lighting. Dim lighting can also result in drowsiness and lack of focus, which is why most work places have brighter lighting, to improve employee motivation.

Light does have an effect on a person’s mood. Simple adjustments in lighting both in homes and offices can make a difference in the way a person thinks and feels. If you are thinking about your office and would like to change up the lighting, give Kirby Electric a call and see what kind of changes to your lighting system you can make!

About Kirby Electric 

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

27 Oct 2015

All About Light Bulbs

With technology changing daily, it can sometimes be hard to know what to use and what not to use in your home or business. Light bulbs are an out of sight, out of mind kind of item. You have them, but don’t replace them for quite some time and it may not seem important to have the latest and greatest light bulb. Installing the latest types of light bulbs will not only save you more money, but it will also benefit the environment. Don’t know the differences between different kinds of light bulbs, don’t worry! We have covered some of the most popular bulbs and what to expect with each type and whether or not to keep them or replace them.

Incandescent

This type of bulb produces light using electricity that heats a metal filament until it becomes “white” or hot. This is where they get their incandescent name as they were said to “incandesce”. 90% of the energy that is emitted from these bulbs is heat which can cause lamps to get hot. Incandescent light bulbs were the most commonly used bulb as well as the least expensive. It wasn’t until 2012 that these bulbs were in the beginning stages of being phased out in the United States. The reason behind the phase out is that they no longer meet federal energy-efficiency standards. It is recommend that if you currently use this type of bulb in any of your lighting, that it be replaced with a more energy-efficient option such as an LED.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

 CFLs work by sending an electric flow between electrodes which are positioned at each end of a tube containing gases. This action then produces UV light and heat, at which point, the UV light strikes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb. This is then turned into visible light. CFLs use about a quarter of the energy as incandescent bulbs but that doesn’t come without a risk. Unfortunately, these types of bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury which has been known to be harmful.

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

LED light bulbs work by sending an electric current that passes through semiconductor material. This in turn illuminates small light sources called LEDs according to Energy Star. LED bulbs are small and can be used in many different areas because of their versatility. These bulbs are also knows as “directional” light sources, which means they can emit light in a specific direction. LED bulbs use about 1/3 to 1/30th the amount of electricity as Incandescent or CFL bulbs. This means you are saving energy and reducing your electric bill.

It is recommended that eventually all light bulbs are switched out to something more energy and cost-effective such as an LED bulb. Kirby Electric can help your business solve its electrical and lighting problems with lighting retrofits! You can schedule an energy audit with Kirby Electric and find out how your business can go green and save money at the same time!

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.

02 Oct 2015

Fall and Winter Power Outage Preparation

The last major power outage in the Pacific Northwest was 5 years ago in November 2010. A week-long deep freeze resulted in a power outage for most home owners and businesses across the state. While our winters here in the Greater Seattle area never get nearly as bad as temperature drops in other locations, it is still important to prepare for electricity shortages caused by bad weather. Here are a few power outage preparation tips to get your business or home ready for the upcoming winter weather season.

1. Prepare and Stock an Emergency Kit

This will included the essentials, and any additional needs specific to your family or employees.

  • Water: 1 gallon per person, per day and a 3 day supply minimum
  • Non-perishable food
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Medications
  • Sanitation options
  • Extra cash

2. Keep a Full Tank of Gas

Many gas stations will not be able to supply gas during a power outage unless they carry back-up generators, so it is important to keep a full tank of gas—especially when you hear that a storm is in the forecast, along with a gasoline container stored in a safe place. Even if nearby gas stations still have power during an outage, many will inevitably be out of gas if the outage is due to freezing temperatures, since trucks delivering the gas cannot make it through the ice to supply stations. Share this tip with your teams at your business to help with individual employees’ safety.

3. Don’t Forget About Pets

Businesses that are pet friendly or homes that have four-legged family members sometimes forget to stock up on additional pet food, supplies, and any medications the animals are taking. And for the pets that need electricity for heat lamps or water pumps, make sure you have a battery operated back-up option to keep them safe and happy. Scaly, furry, and feathered family members will be glad you did in the event of an emergency.

Why Power Outage Preparation Matters

While not many weather-related power outages can be prevented, they can be prepared for. Becoming knowledgeable about electricity will help alíviate some of the stress from unexpected changes in our daily routines. Keeping your business or home as close to highly functioning through an electrical outage can be a more manageable feat when you’re prepared.

Even without power outages, are your electrical systems up to par? Contact Kirby Electric for more information on upgrading your lighting, electrical panels, and other important systems to make your office or warehouse safer and more efficient throughout the year.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric, Inc. is a premier electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical construction. Our dedicated and knowledgeable team of electricians, low voltage technicians and office staff are led by senior leadership whose core philosophy is consistently delivering exceptional service. Kirby Electric offers a wide array of services to meet the needs of our customers and ensure a smooth operation of their facilities. Learn more about our services by calling 253-859-2000.