Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
Mon-Fri: 7AM- 4PM
11 Dec 2019
holiday lights

Safety Guide for Holiday Lights

Holiday lights instantly transform a home during the holiday season. In 1882, the very first holiday light was created and homeowners have been decorating their homes with holiday lights since the 1930s. Now, there are numerous variations for holiday lights in style, size, and color selections to participate in the festive spirit. With so many selections, which lights are the best and safest lighting options for your home? Explore our blog to discover the best and worst holiday lights with valuable safety tips.

Best Option: LED

The best choice for holiday lights are LED lights. Not only are they energy efficient, but they have a long life cycle and are safe. LED lights also last approximately 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs and consume 75 percent less electricity. Another benefit is LED lights increase safety with a lowered risk of a possible fire as they produce minimal heat. Best of all, though LED lights cost more than traditional incandescent lights, you will be saving money in the future as LEDs use less energy and do not need to be replaced as often.

Worst Option: C-9 Retro Bulbs

C-9 light bulbs are typically large with a bright light and retro aesthetic. The downside to these lightbulbs is they get dangerously hot and use a great deal of energy. For your own safety, you need to periodically check C-9 bulbs for excess heat production due to the possibility of a fire or electrical short. If you plan to use your holiday lights all night, you can expect your energy bills to increase.

Check Older Incandescent Light Strings

Consumer Reports recommends carefully examining older incandescent light strings before using them.

  • Check for frayed wires
  • Make sure wires are still pliable; not brittle
  • Hooking many strings together risks power overload

It’s normal for incandescent bulbs to feel warm.

Safety Tips:

  • Never nail or staple light strings to roofs, walls, and/or baseboards (this can impair wire insulation)
  • Hang lights over nails for exterior lighting, use hanging clips for interior lighting
  • Use a timer for holiday lights to help reduce energy usage or dangers of a fire
  • Make sure to use outdoor lights outdoors and indoor lights indoors- exterior lights will produce too much heat for indoor usage and in order to use lights outdoors, they must be weather-resistant (double check to see if lights are safe for both outdoors and indoors)

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.

12/11/19 This post has been updated to include safety information about incandescent light strings.

25 Nov 2019

Seattle Commercial Lighting Upgrades

Seattle Commercial Lighting UpgradesChoosing energy-efficient commercial lighting for your business is an important but often daunting task. According to Energystar.gov, replacing old fluorescent and incandescent lighting is an energy efficiency measure with “rapid payback”. “CFLs cost about 75 percent less to operate, and last about 10 times longer.” The fact is, commercial lighting upgrades are among the highest return-on-investment upgrades a business can make. When your company is ready to realize the savings of lighting retrofits, Kirby Electric can help. We specialize in Seattle commercial lighting upgrades.

Be sure you’re doing all you can to light your business efficiently by following these steps.

How to Upgrade Commercial Lighting

  1. Choose a Quality Commercial Electrical Contractor: Choosing a qualified commercial  electrician to install energy-efficient lighting is essential. Sloppy installation jobs and seemingly small mistakes could end up costing you valuable time and money later.
  2. Get a Customized Lighting Solution: The larger the project, the more time and effort you will often need to invest. We work together with your local power company. This means that as much as 50% of the cost of the project could come back to you as a rebate. Contact us for a quote on your project.
  3. Upgrade Old Systems: You do not need to start from scratch in order to improve your business’ lighting efficiency. If your business has pre-existing lighting systems, there are many affordable upgrades you can make. As a  Seattle electrical contractor, we’re happy to meet with you and discuss your options.

The formula for efficient lighting success is, “Technology + Effective Design = Performance and Energy Savings”. The latest proven technology coupled with an effective, efficient design will help your business maximize performance and energy savings.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric Inc. is Seattle’s premier commercial and industrial electrical contractor. For over twenty years Kirby Electric has been helping companies go green and save money. Whether you’re looking for Seattle lighting retrofits or electrical services for your industrial or commercial building, Kirby Electric is here to help. Kirby Electric is a Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network Certified Specialist. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote .

11/25/19 This post has been updated to include updated energy efficiency information.

07 Oct 2019

Benefits of Video Surveillance Systems for Business

Video Surveillance Systems for BusinessWhen a business is weighing costs v. benefits of CCTV or digital video surveillance systems, it’s helpful to consider the savings that can come from crime prevention. Also, it’s important to consider the peace of mind that a surveillance system can deliver. There are many benefits of video surveillance systems for business.

Theft Deterrence

A video surveillance system or CCTV system helps prevent theft and other crime in the work place. Also, when cameras are strategically placed, they can be an aid in solving crimes that may occur. Further, CCTV camera installation can help prevent shoplifting theft, which can be a costly problem.

Burglary Deterrence

A security camera on premises can deter burglars. For example, who wants to break into a business where the crime will be caught on camera?
And, if a burglary does occur, the criminal can be described, evidence can be collected, and the culprit is more likely to be identified and apprehended.

Personal and Property Protection

In addition to deterring theft and burglary, surveillance cameras can be effective in reducing graffiti and vandalism damage. Where security cameras are installed, crime is reduced.

View Live or Recorded Data from Any Location

We install technology that makes it convenient to watch surveillance camera feeds on TVs and computers. In addition, the data can be conveniently accessed from any location.

Peace of Mind

A security system offers peace of mind and helps keep businesses more secure. Besides being a great way to improve security, they can also make employees feel safer.

Use Multiple Security Methods

Finally, an integrated security system is an effective crime deterrent. Studies show that CCTV cameras are more effective when used with other security methods like security lighting and alarms. We’re low voltage contractors ready to help you configure and install your system. Call us at (253) 859-2000 to find out how low voltage surveillance cameras, lighting, and alarms can keep your business and your employees safe. As always, our estimates are free.

Kirby Electric, Seattle electricians specializing in commercial and industrial projects.

16 Sep 2019

5 Reasons to Switch to LED Lighting

5 Reasons to Switch to LED LightingMany businesses have discovered the benefits of lighting retrofits for their offices, factories, and warehouses. There are many incentives for companies to upgrade. To start with, the United States and governments around the world passed laws to phase out incandescent light bulbs, but there are many other important reasons to upgrade. The top 5 reasons to switch to LED lighting from incandescent lighting include these facts: LED lights last longer, they cost less to use, they’re fully recyclable, they reduce carbon emissions, and rebates help companies retrofit for less.

LED Lights Last Longer

First, an LED light bulb can last 25,000 hours or more. This is 25 times longer than a traditional incandescent light bulb. According to energy.gov, it’s a life of “more than three years if run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” And this is just one reason why LED lights are a great business investment.

LEDs Cost less to Operate

Also, LEDs don’t get hot like old-fashioned light bulbs. All that unnecessary heat production is really just wasted energy. In fact, according to the government, LED bulbs can cut energy use “by more than 80 percent”.

LED Lights are Fully Recyclable

Older incandescent light bulbs aren’t recyclable. By contrast, LED bulbs are fully recyclable. Also, LEDs don’t contain mercury and other harmful materials like fluorescent lights (CFLs). However, both CFL and LED light bulbs can be disposed of safely in special recycling bins located at local retail stores.

LEDs Reduce Carbon Emissions

If LED lighting was completely implemented in the United States over the next two decades, it would save “$250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions,” according to the U.S. government.

Rebates Help Offset Replacement Costs

Puget Sound Energy offers a business lighting incentive program to help offset the cost of LED lighting implementation. The pros at Kirby Electric can help you with your project.

Find Out More

These are just 5 Reasons to Switch to LED Lighting. There are many more. Find out how retrofitting with LED lighting will benefit your business and the planet. Contact us to see just how much you can save by installing LED lighting in your business or to get a quote.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. As your local commercial electrician, we can help with any electrical needs when it comes to upgrading older buildings, including equipment hook ups, rewiring or relocating panels, and lighting upgrades. We also work with electrical companies like Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, Lakeview Power and others that will provide a rebate for upgrading to a more efficient lighting upon approval of the project.

 

17 Jul 2019
LED Panel Lights

Benefits of LED Panel Lights for Commercial Businesses

For commercial buildings or workshops, panel lights are common bay lighting fixtures discovered in ceilings. In contrast to individual light bulbs, panel lights feature a combination of lights to produce an even distribution of light. If it is time for new or improved panel lights for your business, we highly recommend utilizing LED panel lights. Read on to discover why LEDs are a favorable choice for the workplace.

The Importance of Proper Lighting

For offices, buildings, or workplaces that utilize fluorescent lighting, it is time for an upgrade. According to a study by The American Society of Interior Designers, nearly 68% of employees are dissatisfied with their workplace lighting. Unfortunately, this is most likely due to poor fluorescent lighting placed above that causes aggravating and bothersome health issues for employees. On top of flickering lights and improper lighting color, fluorescent lighting can lead to eye strains, neck pains, stress, anxiety, headaches, migraines, and lack of concentration.  Fortunately, implementing LED lighting is a leading solution to improve lighting conditions and office environments with excellent benefits.

  1. Excellent Quality of Light

First, LED panel lighting reduces the physical and mental side effects of fluorescent lighting due to its exceptional light quality. LEDs provide a balanced, equal distribution of light throughout the entire space or designated area. Most importantly, LEDs for all lighting solutions are also safe.  Compared to incandescent light bulbs, UV lighting from LED lights are harmless. Plus, LED lights will emit less heat and do not have mercury. Above all, employees will feel more productive, less stressed, and will feel safer with new LED light panels.

  1. Going Green Means Saving Green

There is no better feeling than saving—whether if it helps the environment or relating to finances. LED light panels will make your business more “green” and eco-friendly. Also, LED lighting is more energy-efficient than fluorescent lighting. Even with greater light quality, LEDs lose less energy and use less electricity. Plus, energy savings correlates to saving money. Overall, implementing LED panel lights can save your business up to 90% energy savings. Invest in the best!

  1. Long-Lasting, Durable

On top of saving money, one of the best parts about installing LED light panels is the increased longevity of LED bulbs. There will be less maintenance and worry with LED light panels as they have an estimated lifespan of 100,000 hours. Compared to other less efficient light bulbs, LEDs last 100 times longer than incandescent bulbs and approximately over 12 times longer than compact fluorescent lighting solutions. Therefore, LEDs have less lumen depreciation. Therefore, the quality of light will diminish over a longer period of time, instead of abruptly failing to work like other light bulbs.

  1. Smarter Lighting Solution with LED Panel Lights

Lastly, take control of your workplace atmosphere by adjusting lighting when necessary. Need to adjust the light based on different settings or areas in your workplace? LEDs can include smart technology to control brightness and timed usage. Dim the lights if necessary with wireless control. Save even more money by scheduling when lights should go on and how bright they should be at any given time of the day. Providing adjustable LED panel lighting can show your employees that their workspace and health matters. Thankfully, the concentration will be focused more on the task at hand, and not on the eyes.

We Can Help Install LED Panel Lights for your Business Today

As Seattle’s premier electrical contractor, 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.

17 May 2019
bay lighting

High Bay Lighting vs Low Bay Lighting for Your Business

Every business facility requires specific lighting solutions based on environment and safety. Bay lighting offers well-distributed lighting to open spaces in large buildings. Keep in mind; it is important to identify which choice of bay lighting your building may need based on height. Discover key differences between high bay lighting and low bay lighting to properly light your business.

High Bay Lighting

Generally found in industrial and commercial environments, high bay lights are intended to be installed 20 feet to 40 feet above the floor in high-ceiling, open areas. For maximum efficiency at the height, they are placed, high bay lights will require specially engineered reflectors while LED high bays will need specifically engineered lens angles. As a result, the reflectors or lens angles will minimize wasted light and will make sure light will hit the floor.

Low Bay Lighting

For residential homes, retail, and public buildings, low bay lighting is the best lighting solution. They are intended to be placed in ceilings under 20 feet above the floor (generally 12 feet to 20 feet).  Also, low bay lighting feature lens angles to help position lighting in designated areas.

Are They Interchangeable?

No. High bay lights and low bay lights are meant to be used in their designated environments. While there are no major consequences, using high bay lights in low ceilings will cause overpowered brightness. On the other hand, using low bay lights in high ceilings will decrease overall visibility.

Choose Smart: LED Bay Lighting

Maximize your lighting efficiency by using light-emitting diode (LED) bay lighting. LEDs are the most energy-efficient light bulbs to date. Plus, they are more durable, cost-efficient in the long run. They also provide better light quality than any other lighting solution. Best of all, LED bay lighting will enhance visibility for warehouse workers to improve safety conditions. Unlike fluorescent and HID lights, ease your mind of replacing LEDs because they have a longer life cycle.

Kirby Electric Can Find the Best Lighting Solutions for Your Business

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.

06 May 2019
electrical engineering

Electrical Engineering at Kirby Electric

Technology for power systems is always evolving. Kirby Electric is a prominent electrical engineering and consulting firm in Seattle. We understand the specific electrical engineering demands of our customers in the greater Seattle area. Certainly, our professional team of electrical engineers will make sure your power system will remain updated and reliable. Read on to discover the benefits of choosing Kirby Electric for your electrical engineering needs.

How Electrical Engineering Benefits You

Generally, an electrician is a familiar occupation that deals with troubleshooting, repairing, and installing electrical equipment, wiring, and circuits. Similarly, electrical engineering is just that, but a step further. Electrical engineers have the ability to test, produce, and design power systems with innovative solutions to improve a building environment. Therefore, they are a significant asset for construction and manufacturing business to thrive in today’s technological society.

We are Current with Technology Improvements

As technology changes are inevitable, one can expect constant changes and updates with their power system. Moreover, new hardware and software will develop. Therefore, new regulations and laws will need to be followed. With Kirby Electric, our electrical engineers will make sure your power system is updated and complies with the newest regulations. Be at ease as our services and systems feature the latest technology and equipment.

Why Choose Us

Furthermore, Kirby Electric has an experienced team of electrical engineers that can design your power system. Plus, we will ensure safety for years to come. Our electrical engineers keep sustainability in mind to make sure your power system will last a long life cycle. Our team has the ability to design power monitoring and automation solutions that align with your business’ proper power consumption usage.

Contact Kirby Electric for Electrical Engineering Services

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.

04 Apr 2019
warehouse lighting

Best Lighting Solutions for Warehouses

Lighting has a direct physical and mental impact in the workplace. For one, proper lighting improves safety conditions by reducing accidents in warehouses. However, it is important to combine both natural lighting and correct electrical lighting to improve workplace conditions and employee health. Read on to discover the benefits of proper warehouse lighting.

Understand Warehouse Space

It is imperative to know your warehouse landscape. By figuring out which lighting solutions are necessary, this will save you time and money, by. Certain areas may feature more natural light than others, which requires less need for artificial lighting. Typically, windows, doors and loading docks will not need extra lighting. Regardless, it is important to understand how to correctly fill in the shadows where it gets dim. For example, the ceiling is the most imperative space to implement lighting. Warehouses that feature high racks will require more illumination as the material is closer to the roof.

Electrical Lighting: Three Light Sources

Warehouses generally feature three types of lights:

  • Metal halide: A quality white lighting solution that has been utilized since the 1990s and is typically found in stadiums and parking lots
  • Fluorescent lighting: Less expensive, but not as efficient as LEDs
  • LED lighting: The most energy and cost efficient lighting solution in warehouses and industrial settings

We encourage implementing LED lighting out of all lighting types based on efficiency. Fluorescent lighting may be cheaper, but LEDs consume less energy and last much longer, reducing energy costs in the future. Also, LEDs are becoming more prominent because its lighting can be adjustable and easily dimmed when necessary.

Color Matters

Lighting color is an important component, especially for warehouses. Every warehouse will experience different seasons and weather conditions based on location. Change lighting when necessary to avoid employee discomfort. Employees need to see properly, while being able to easily read labels and recognize materials. The best solution and light color for this is natural light.

Invite Natural Lighting

We highly promote taking advantage of natural lighting. Open up windows and blinds, but make sure they are maintained and kept clean. Control how much lighting comes in and out by implementing blinds and shades to adjust natural lighting in the warehouse.

Studies show daylight can boost productivity and employee happiness. Plus, natural lighting stimulates a calming atmosphere, which reduces stress. Furthermore, the use of natural lighting is said to improve employee attendance and also reduce the risk of illnesses.  Not only are mental pressures and tensions reduced, but natural light can also reduce energy bills by using less energy for lighting solutions.

What is the Right Warehouse Lighting for Your Business?

Whether inviting natural light or utilizing electrical lighting, it is most important to select proper warehouse lighting. Ignoring employee and workplace needs for proper lighting solutions has its repercussions as it negatively affects productivity and overall employee satisfaction. Also, light is an important aspect of vision. Vision is approximately up to 85% of one’s perception of the world. Dim or harsh lighting can affect employee moods and perception of work, while causing headaches and eye strains because the eyes need to work strenuously in order to see. Overall, choose lighting based on your warehouse environments and employee needs.

Kirby Electric is a Warehouse Lighting Expert

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.

22 Feb 2019
retail lighting

Best Retail Lighting Options for Your Retail Store

Lighting is an essential component to brighten and set the mood of any room. However, it also has an impact on how customers perceive your retail store. Today, there is stiff competition among businesses and competing brands. Selecting the best lighting solutions can give you that competitive edge you are looking for. Also, thoughtful lighting designs help captivate the customer’s attention while making them feel welcomed. Read on to discover the best lighting solutions for your unique retail store.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting (also known as general lighting) is the primary lighting source of a store. Its general function is to create a comfortable environment for customers. Also, it should provide an adequate amount of light to make the whole store visible. It is important to select the correct ambient lighting that matches your business environment. For example, coffee shops should avoid harsh lighting. Customers want to enjoy their coffee or catch up with an old friend. Contrastly, other stores focus on highlighting their products. Therefore, ambient lighting should effectively showcase products without any issues.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is utilized in areas where employees or customers will perform a particular job duty. For example, stockrooms, dressing rooms, and checkout counters need specific illumination. Additionally, make sure areas with task lighting are not overly bright. For one, it can confuse customers and reduce the effectiveness of the lighting. Most importantly, we suggest installing ambient lighting first. This will help easily scout out which areas will benefit from task lighting.

Decorative Lighting

If a store needs to establish its personality, utilizing decorative lighting is the way to go. Decorative lighting is when an ornamental lighting component is added to enhance the store’s design and aesthetic. Plus, decorative lighting adds flair and can make a store stand out. Chandeliers and pendant lighting fixtures are two common examples of decorative lighting that adds character to a space.

Accent Lighting

Lastly, what part of a store needs to be highlighted the most? Accent lighting can help bring awareness or importance to particular products or areas of a store. Most importantly, it captures the attention of the customer. Therefore, utilize accent lighting in window displays, mannequins, or shelves. If ambient lighting will not do the trick, accent lighting can brighten areas of a store. For one, areas such as dark corners can benefit from this lighting solution. Your bottom line may reap the benefits too!

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.

22 Jan 2019
energy saving strategies

Energy Saving Strategies for the Workplace

The New Year helps motivate positive changes by influencing resolutions toward business success. However, improving your workspace can impact mood and productivity. Keep your office environment in mind by discovering beneficial ways to conserve energy. Focusing on energy conservation is quite easy and relatively inexpensive or even cost-free. Explore three of our easy energy saving strategies to keep energy costs down this year.

  1. Discover Current Energy Use

First, start by examining current electrical bills and begin to understand and analyze regular usage patterns. In particular, figure out how much energy is consumed during after-hours. Also, check for any unusual spikes of energy consumption. Do you see any trends? Evaluating energy consumption patterns in the past can help set the basis for energy saving strategies in the future. This will help uncover where improvements can be made.

  1. Unplug Devices Not in Use

One common mistake that everyone tends to commit is leaving office devices and equipment plugged in, especially when they are not being used. It is important to know that plugged in devices, whether on or off will drain energy. Also, practice turning off electrical devices and unplugging anything electrically powered at the end of each workday to help reduce energy consumption.

  1. Involve Employees

Encourage your employees to become more energy efficient! To take it a step further, try implementing “eco-friendly” competitions and provide rewards. This can be a fun way to increase office morale, promote a positive office culture, and enhance productivity. For example, encourage employees to use reusable utensils, cups, and plates. Finally, make them keep track of their usage and track it as an office.

  1. What Else Can I Do?

There are endless ways to conserve energy in the workplace. Whether it is something small or monumental, any effort can have a significant impact in the future. If you want to go above and beyond, discover this comprehensive office energy checklist: https://www.energy.gov/eere/femp/office-energy-checklist

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.