Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
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17 Nov 2017
lighting

The Impact of Lighting on Workers and Productivity

Workers today are spending more of their time in the office. While investing more time at work can be beneficial, are workers productive? Companies that recognize the factors that help drive productivity get more out of their employees, which results to better service, effort, and higher revenue for a business. Lighting is one component in the office that has an on one’s physical and mental state. Explore our blog to see how lighting has a direct impact on workers and their productivity.

Color Temperature Effects on Workers

Different light temperatures influence our work environment.  Lower color temperatures (warm colors) are typically used in intimate settings to help create an atmosphere of comfort and ease. Mid-range color temperatures are generally implemented in conference rooms to bring a welcoming presence, but the coolness can help bolster alertness. Lastly, high color temperatures that are “cold” colored are utilized in rooms where employees can brainstorm. This type of lighting has the ability to improve alertness and mood and reduce fatigue.

Blue Light: Best Choice for Productivity

High color temperatures/cooler colored lights are the most beneficial for employee productivity. Sun light, or natural light is favorable for workers stuck in the office all day. From the beginning to the end of the day, natural light has the potential to decrease depression and negative thoughts and boost one’s mood and energy. Plus, blue light bulbs have the capability to reduce eye strain and melatonin. A lowered melatonin will help workers be alert as melatonin is what helps control your sleep and wake cycles.

All in all, the best area to implement blue lighting is in areas or rooms where employees brainstorm or host meetings. This will help them feel more excited and engage in discussion or sharing ideas.

Call Kirby Today to Improve your Office Lighting

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

 

19 Oct 2017
static electricitiy

The Effect of Static Electricity on Data and Business Electronics

Remember as a kid when you would rub a balloon on your sweater and lift it over your head to make your hairs stand? Static electricity occurs when two objects rub against each other as one object leases its electrons, becoming more positively charged, while the other collects electrons, becoming negatively charged. While the balloon example appears harmless, static electricity can be a danger as it can damage electronics and potentially initiate explosions. Read on to explore how static electricity can be potentially dangerous and how it can affect business electronics and data.

Static Shock Dangers

Creating static shock can be dangerous in particular situations. For one, gasoline or other airborne flammable materials in the air can create explosions when in contact with static shocks. In very rare, but possible situations, static shocks can be dangerous for those with pacemakers as well.

Static Electricity and Electronics

To ease the mind, it is rather quite unlikely that one would be injured from an encounter with static electricity, although that should not be counted out. On the other hand, computers, office machinery, and other electronics are more prone to damage caused by static discharge.

For one, electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the release of static electricity when two objects touch, in comparison to a scaled-down replica of lightening. ESD can be dangerous to circuit boards on the micro level. The reason being so, is energy from a shock reaches through the closest object, destroying integral elements along its path.

Ways to Prevent Damage to Equipment from Static Electricity

Other than being informed, it is imperative to understand the ways to prevent damage from static electricity to equipment. Try implementing the following preventative measures:

  • Make sure that technicians that work on electronic equipment should utilize a ESD wrist strap—It will help deplete charge away from circuitry
  • Do not use compressed air to clean circuit boards
  • To prevent static buildup, treat the carpets. If possible, invest in static proof mats if problem persists
  • Abstain from placing synthetic materials and items (ex: plastic, polystyrene) near electronic devices—these materials are known to cause static discharge
  • Apply only non-static forming sprays on electronic devices

Do not forget that static charges can potentially destroy electronic equipment. In order to avoid damage by static electricity, it is important to be precautious, informed, and aware. If needed, contact your electric company to make sure that your residence, office, or business is properly protected from power surges and electrical storms. Also, surge protectors can help ensure that your building and electrical systems are intact and correctly grounded. Lastly, having “Zones of Protection” in your building can make not only the electrical devices safer, but also the people and employees will be safe as well.

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

 

 

18 Sep 2017
LED Lighting Myths

5 LED Lighting Myths Debunked by Kirby Electric

Lighting is essential with most everything we do—how we create it varies. Follow along to discover some of the most common and not so common LED lighting myths. Some of them may even surprise you!

LED Lighting Myths #1 – LED Bulbs Are Expensive

This is most definitely an LED lighting myth! Initial costs of LED lighting are usually higher; however, they require less energy to operate. This can result in significantly lower electric bills over time when compared to conventional systems. LED fixtures have a longer life, are more durable, and reliable, meaning they require less maintenance.  Annual lighting costs of LED lighting systems can reduce lighting bills up to 80%!

LED Lighting Myths #2 – LED’s Last Forever

Do LED bulbs really last forever? This is a myth. Like any light source, LED’s will fade over time. Although, well -designed LED lighting packages are said to retain 70% of their initial light output for six years or 50,000 hours. Furthermore, if you run your LED lighting system 24/7, you can expect your lights to last twice as long as fluorescents and many, many times longer than incandescent bulbs.

LED Lighting Myths #3 – LED’s Offer Poor Dimming Capabilities

This is most definitely an LED lighting myth! Kirby Electric’s LED lighting retrofits offer convenient, targeted dimming options based on your facility needs. Our advanced systems provide gradual dimming across a wide range of increments to create the perfect lighting conditions needed to carry out a productive workday.

LED Lighting Myths #4 – LED Bulbs Contain Mercury

LED bulbs absolutely do not contain mercury. Unlike their counterparts such as fluorescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, which contain hazardous mercury. Inevitable heat released from lighting is also lower with LED lighting. This can be beneficial when building managers are looking to achieve optimal working conditions for employees.

LED Lighting Myths #5 – LED Lighting is Too Blue

This is a common misconception. When LED lighting was initially introduced, the bulbs were heavily scrutinized for producing a harsh, cool light. Thankfully LED lights have evolved and are offered in a wider range of softer, warmer hues. Now there is a bulb for each and every room, depending on the desired ambiance and effect you seek to create.

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

11 Aug 2017
power

Electricity, Energy, and Power: What’s the Difference?

At Kirby Electric, we aim to educate others on proper electrical techniques and plans. Correct use of language makes a difference when discussing electrical construction and services. Electricity, energy, and power have become interchangeable in common, every day speech. However, these three terms have very distinct definitions and should not be used interchangeably. Read on to explore the differences between electricity, energy, and power and how to properly define them.

Electricity

Most define electricity as a form of energy or the flow of energy. Both of these definitions would be incorrect to assume. Electricity has to do with the charge of atoms. Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything, including you and the device you are reading this blog on. Breaking it down even further, atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Electrons move between atoms based on their electrical charge and magnetic forces. As these electrons move quickly, electricity is created.

Electricity can also be thought as being in two different categories, static and current. You can see static electricity when you pull laundry out of the dryer or when you rub a balloon through your hair. Current electricity is what flows through the lines and cables to your electric devices. Electricity, however, is not to be confused with electrical energy, or stored energy.

Energy

Energy gives things the ability to move and work. The definition of energy is the “capacity to do work.” In other words, energy is the total amount of work that is done. Work is defined as exerting a force over a distance. When you push something around, whether that be a box or a sofa, that is work. Energy makes it possible for you to do this work.

Energy is calculated by the strength of the force needed to move something over a distance. While there are many different types of units to measure energy with, the most common is watt-hour.

Power

While energy is about the total amount of work, power is how fast you are able to accomplish that work. This means power is how fast something can produce or consume energy. Say you are planning a cross country road trip. You have two means of transportation, a sports car or a racehorse. Assuming all other factors are equal, both can accomplish the means to cross the country. However, the sports car will be able to finish this task much quicker than the horse. Therefore, this means that the car can transfer the energy much quicker than the horse. The sports car has the higher power level and, thus, can travel faster.

Putting It All Together

While electricity, energy, and power all seem the same on the surface level, they are, in fact, very different. It is helpful to know their differences as you further your electrical knowledge. At Kirby Electric, we take pride in our electrical knowledge, and we are ready to assist you. We provide excellent electrical services for commercial and industrial contracting. Consider contacting us today to discuss electrical plans for you.

About Kirby Electric

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial contracting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

13 Jul 2017
electrical hazards

4 Common Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

Electrical safety is imperative to a safe work environment. Reports show that about 1,000 electrical related accidents occur a year in the workplace, which leads to about 30 recorded fatalities. Legally, employers must provide a safe work environment for their employees. Here at Kirby Electric, we promote electrical safety in commercial buildings. Therefore, we have comprised a list of the four most common electrical hazards that can occur in the workplace and how to prevent them.

Faulty or Damaged Wiring

Any wires or cables that are not functioning properly should be removed immediately as they pose a serious electrical hazard. Electrical cables that are frayed, loose, or have exposed wires need to be attended to and replaced. Damaged wires and cables can cause electric shocks and fires.

To prevent this, make sure to schedule regular check-ups for your electrical wiring. We can assist you in the design and construction of your electrical system.

Equipment Safety

Regardless of the type of electrical equipment, they can pose as dangerous electrical hazards if not used properly. Exposure to equipment that is live but presumed dead can cause severe injuries. Shocks from electrical equipment can also lead to falls from scaffolds, ladders, or other suspended platforms.

This is why it is imperative to practice equipment safety protocols when using electrical instruments. Having routine safety seminars and other educational sessions can help inform both employees and employers on safe electrical handling. Checking equipment properly before use is also a way to ensure that equipment is safe.

Overused Outlets

Outlets can only handle so much strain before it becomes a serious shock and fire hazard. Overusing the outlet can lead to overheating or a power shortage. This is a severe misuse of the outlet and should be handled immediately. If the outlet is posing as a threat, do not try and handle it yourself. We can help with any electrical concerns that you may have.

Water

When electricity or electrical outlets are exposed to water, there is a greatly increased risk of shock. Make sure at all times that electric equipment is kept away from any source of water. This includes making sure that all hands are dry when dealing with electrical equipment to prevent life-threatening shocks or burns.

Maintenance and Safety Checks with Kirby Electric

Preventative measures should be taken in order to provide a safe work environment for everyone. At Kirby Electric, we have a variety of services that can assist all of your electrical needs. Our inspection services can help you should any electrical concerns arise. Our preventative maintenance services is a proactive step in keeping your building safe. Plus, our emergency service repair hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is our job to immediately help solve your problem, so you can get back to doing yours.

Kirby Electric Prevents Electrical Hazards

Kirby Electric, Inc. offers premier electrical services for both commercial and industrial contracting. Our dedicated team can help manage your facilities and present energy management solutions. Contact us today and request a quote by phone at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

09 Jun 2017
natural light solutions

Natural Light Solutions in Commercial Buildings

Sitting in a dark office space not only can be discouraging, but it can also be bad for your health. Incorporating natural light in your commercial building can help to motivate employees and increase productivity. At Kirby Electric, we can help you create an electric system that benefits your building’s structure and takes advantage of natural light. Read on to find out more about different natural light solutions, and how Kirby Electric can help you.

Health Benefits

Studies have shown that there are many health benefits to having natural light in your commercial building. Not only does it appear to improve productivity of employees, it can help with your sleeping patterns too. CNN discovered that those with more exposure to natural light in their buildings throughout the day received 46 more minutes of sleep a night on average than those who were not exposed to natural light in their workspaces. More natural light can improve one’s mood as well.

Seat Positioning

Your workspace may be expansive, and natural light might not reach all parts of the building. This means that some employees in those darker areas might not be exposed to natural light. In a study done by Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, they found that the best place to put workstations is within 20 to 25 feet of the peripheral walls that have the windows. Daylight seems to vanish outside of this 20 to 25 feet area. This is a simple natural light solution to expose employees to natural light through a reordering of your building’s interior design.

Windows

If your building is fitted with lots of windows, you might be concerned about having too much natural lighting. Issues like too much glare can hinder employee performance. Heat from natural light too can make the building uncomfortable and end up costing you more money. A solution to this problem is to make sure that your windows have proper glazing. Windows and skylights with proper glazing can help reduce this glare while still providing enough natural light to boost employee performance.

If your building has no windows and no source of natural light, there are still some solutions for this problem. Forbes found that a change in interior design can help create an essence of natural light in your building. However, having a proper artificial lighting system can also help make the building a little brighter and more cheerful. The goal is to choose the right type of lighting, which we are more than happy to help with. Encouraging your employees to go outside during breaks and getting some actual natural light throughout the day can also prove to be beneficial.

Energy Saving Lighting

LED lighting and energy saving lights can help you take advantage of natural light while also giving you the most cost-effective solution. Here at Kirby Electric, our goal is to save you money and energy while also protecting the environment. With a LED lighting design, we can take create an electrical system that is most beneficial to you. Bloomberg also found that installing blue lights can help boost your brain, especially during the sluggishness of the midday. We can help meet these particular needs of your employees and provide you with great natural light solutions.

How Kirby Electric Can Help

Kirby Electric provides a number of services that can help you choose the right type of lighting for your building while also taking advantage of natural lighting. From electrical design, engineering, and construction, we can help find natural light solutions that are most cost-effective for you. With technology such as LED lighting and daylight responsive sensors, there are many different artificial lighting solutions that can assist in boosting employee exposure to natural light while also keeping your building properly lit. Not taking advantage of natural light can be a costly decision, and we want to help make sure that your building saves energy and saves you money.

Find Natural Light Solutions with Kirby Electric

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial contracting. We offer electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

18 May 2017
save energy with kirby electric in seattle, wa

Save Energy in Commercial Buildings This Summer

With the spring temperature rising, keeping your office cool can be expensive. As your company works toward keeping itself cost-efficient this upcoming summer, try considering alternative ways to save energy. Here are four tips to save energy in commercial buildings this summer.

Ventilate

Ventilation of commercial buildings can help to lower high energy costs and protect the environment. Natural ventilation, as discussed by the Construction Specifier, shows how businesses can make the most of their mechanical ventilation system while also lowering their energy bill. Such natural ventilation systems require little maintenance and can keep the building cool for employees during the warm summer months.

LED Lighting

LED lighting lasts longer and uses less wattage than other forms of lighting. The U.S. Department of Energy states that more commercial buildings are choosing LED lighting as their form of commercial lighting. They provide a more environmentally and economically friendly product. They found that LED lights can save about 75% more energy and last up to 25 times longer than other electrical lighting. LED lighting can help lower your company’s electrical bill and provide an alternative energy source.

Motion Sensitivity

Motion sensitive lighting shows to be effective in saving energy as it automatically functions based on occupancy of the building. Boston’s Challenge for Sustainability emphasizes the inexpensive installation of motion sensors and that your overall savings percentage can increase. Motion sensitive lighting can help especially in areas of your building where there isn’t much activity or where lights can end up being left on. Benefits of switching to motion sensitive lights, according to Challenge for Sustainability, include energy savings that can reach around 75% and total savings that can be around 35% to 45%.

Retrofitting

Inadequate lighting or electrical problems in your commercial buildings can lead to increased electrical costs. Save energy by retrofitting your buildings. We can help install electrical bundles that best fit your building’s needs while also protecting the environment. Schedule your energy audit here to start the process of saving energy for the summer today.

Save Energy with Kirby Electric

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial contracting. We offer electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at 253-859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

12 Apr 2017
office lighting

Office Lighting: 4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid

As you may know, there are countless lighting options available and every office space has its own lighting needs. Unfortunately, there are common mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to lighting that works best for their own office environment. Here at Kirby Electric, our services will provide our customers with more efficient lighting, while making sure they save money every time the lights turn on. Read on to discover the four costly mistakes that people make when choosing office lighting and learn how to avoid them.

Choosing the Wrong Type of Office Lighting

When choosing lighting for an office space, one should keep in mind that not all areas of the office can rely on one standard type of lighting. For example, the entrance might require a different type of lighting compared to the receptionist area or the executive’s office. It is important to select just the right wattage of lighting in order to encourage a productive and positive work environment. If the wattage is too low, it can create a gloomy atmosphere. When the wattage is too high, the lighting can be too harsh and taxing on the eyes.

Selecting Lights Without Planning

In order to choose the correct type of lighting, it is crucial to clearly plan out what type of lighting will work best for your office and to list all the factors that may affect your buying choices.  Like any other add-ons in the office, lights must be well planned for before they can be purchased. Also, it is advised to plan and figure out where the lighting should be installed and what the budget for lighting would be to avoid overspending. Having a strategy and a working plan will help you select the best lighting for your work space. Best of all, it will minimize the risk of making misguided lighting selections and facing disappointments down the line.

Not Taking Advantage of Natural Lighting

A common mistake that people make in regards to office lighting is not taking advantage of natural lighting.  Incorporating more natural light in your office creates a comfortable and healthy environment for employees, customers, and potential clients. Natural lighting can help save on energy costs, which equates to spending less money. Office workers who are more exposed to natural lighting tend to be healthier, happier, more productive, and alert. If there are windows in the office, it is a good idea to encourage employees to utilize and rely more on free light as much as possible.

Improper Installation

Although it might be tempting to install lighting in an office by yourself, it is generally advised to leave the installation to professionals. Occasionally, there are those who attempt to install and fix the lighting in an office themselves, which often results in lights being handled in the wrong manner. Lights should always be installed by professionals, since being around electric accessories could be dangerous. If not installed properly, one could face possible hazards such as burns, shocks, and electrocution. Improper lighting installation can also result in the lighting system failing to work, or it may not light the office as expected.

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 contacting us online or calling 253-859-2000.

20 Mar 2017
Low Voltage

Low Voltage Products at Kirby Electric

Did you know Kirby Electric offers low voltage systems along with their other great electrical services? Kirby Electric is pleased to offer clients fire alarm design and installation, 24 hour UL Fire monitoring service, security, CCTV, and telecommunication cabling services in the commercial and industrial markets. Explore this blog to learn about our low voltage products that can benefit your building today.

Fire Alarm Systems

Installing low voltage fire alarm systems helps save lives, protect people, and minimize costly business assets from being destroyed. A fire alarm system is crucial to ensure safety of everyone on the premises, while minimizing property loss in the event of a fire. At Kirby Electric, our installation teams are trained and certified in addressable fire alarm systems, voice evacuation systems, UL Fire RF radio communications, Area of Rescue/Refuge Assistance Systems (AOR), and Emergency Responder Radio Communications Systems (ERRCS). We also work with local fire departments to help meet individual needs and codes of each community.

CCTV Video Cameras

Information is key and with a CCTV Video camera system recording the happenings around your business, you can have the information you need. Here are some of the CCTV solutions that Kirby Electric offers: Indoor/outdoor cameras, mini-dome cameras, night vision cameras, Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras, Digital Video Recorders (DVR), Network Video Recorders (NVR), and flat panel monitors.

Voice and Data Network Cabling

To have a successful communications system, it is important to have reliable structured cabling. We offer innovative low voltage cabling solutions for commercial sites. Expect to receive proper installation of industry-leading products to ensure that everything is performing at its peak. Plus, we have worked with a variety of industries for our voice and data network cabling in the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue areas such as healthcare, education, travel, tourism, and government institutions. Our voice and data network cabling teams will provide you with the best customer service and equipment available.

Security Systems

We also strive to provide you with the most advanced state-of-the-art low voltage security systems in the industry today. Our security experts work with you to recognize the security needs of your business and provide you with customized solutions that are right for your business—nothing more, nothing less. No high-pressure sales pushing products you do not need.

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 contacting us online or calling 253-859-2000.

 

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.