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

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 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.

04 Dec 2018
holiday lighting

Office Lighting Safety Guide During the Holiday Season

From a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, holiday lights are one of the most common office holiday decorations. For safety, it is important to realize which lighting options are best for your office. Plus, holiday lights will also require a source of power with the proper use of power strips or extension cords. Prevent potential office hazards by discovering our office lighting safety guide during the holiday season.

Best Holiday Lighting Option

LED lights are the best choice for holiday lights. In comparison to incandescent light bulbs, LED lights are energy efficient. For one, they use up 75 percent less electricity and last essentially 25 times longer. Most importantly, they are safe to use. Plus, utilizing LED lights reduces the risk of potential fires as they emit minimal heat. Spending a fortune already on holiday gifts? LED lights cost more up front, but last longer than other bulbs. The average rated life is up to 50,000 hours!

Lighting Tips

  • Avoid nailing or stapling light strings (to walls, roofs, etc.) to prevent impaired wire insulation.
  • Place lights over or above nails for outdoor lighting. Utilize hanging clips for indoor lighting.
  • Use a timer for holiday lighting can help prevent fire hazards and reduce energy consumption.
  • Use indoor lighting indoors, outdoor lighting outdoors (check packaging for usage instructions).

Power Strip vs Extension Cord

Holiday lights are often placed in unconventional places, such as ceilings or walls. Thus, several power sources to power office lighting may be required. Thankfully, that is where power strips and extension cords come in hand. For optimal safety, understand their differences. One, a power strip is an individual segment of a cable with one plug on the end with a row of sockets featured on a plastic box. Two, an extension cord is much longer and contains two or three plugs. Additionally, it is imperative to understand that power strips can be utilized for a period of a few days. Extension cords should only be used for hours on end.

Power Strip Holiday Tips

  • Avoid overloading power strips with major home appliances (space heater, oven). They are intended for small loads of power.
  • Do not exceed the maximum voltage on a power strip to avoid catastrophic electrical fires and malfunctioning appliances.
  • Abstain from overuse to avoid defecting devices. Power strips are not an efficient replacement for electrical outlets.
  • Always check for a surge protection device. This helps preserve equipment if a short/surge occurs.
  • Lastly, avoid plugging power strips and extension cords into each other to prevent weakening equipment, device impairment, and worst case scenario—an office home.

Note: All it takes is staying proactive about lighting hazards. Also, pay attention to voltage ratings to remain safe during the holidays. Remember to not overuse and to time or turn off holiday lights when necessary. Happy Holidays!

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.

16 Aug 2018
office outlets

Is it Time to Replace your Office Outlets?

Office electricity is dependent on electrical outlets. With time, electrical outlets may start to loosen or become discolored. If you avoid or are unaware of the signs to replace old outlets, there can be safety hazard such as burns or shocks. Therefore, make sure to have properly functioning outlets in the workplace and to always have a plan for worst-case scenarios. Discover 4 signs that indicate it is time to replace your office outlets.

  1. Damaged Exterior

Typically, the cover or exterior part of an outlet does not have much correlation to the functionality of an outlet. However, damage to the outer cover can indicate possible damage inside the outlet. To be proactive, we suggest replacing outlets that have a cracked or damaged cover to avoid future electrical issues that can arise in an office.

  1. Discoloration

Discoloration may be a cautionary flag that the outlet has been damaged, burned, or even poorly installed. Therefore, avoid using a discolored outlet at all costs. For one, scorch marks or melted elements are a result of a short circuit. Damage to the receptacle can lead to an unfortunate office fire. Call a professional electrician to inspect your outlets as soon as possible to avoid any hazards.

  1. Moisture

Outlets that are exposed to moisture can become damp and can start to function improperly. Inspect outlets located in the office kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas where water is present. This is why ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are legally required, especially for receptacles may experience moisture. They protect an office and residences from fire, electrical shocks and electrocution.

  1. Loose

If plugs do not fit or are falling out of an outlet, your office needs new outlets. Also, if a plug can only partially stay inside of an outlet, this can be a fire hazard. Loose outlets can be an indication of possible internal fatigue. Thankfully, replacing loose outlets is a simple fix. Making sure that plugs can fit securely in an outlet is another proactive step to establish a safe office!

Contact Kirby Electric for Expert Electrical Help

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

12 Jul 2018

What Causes Office Lights to Flicker?

Occasionally, offices can experience flickering lights. While this many appear normal, flickering lights can cause distractions. If this happens often, improper lighting can cause headaches, deplete energy, and eventually turn dim. Initially, why or how does this occur? Read on to discover why your office lights may be flickering.

One Bulb Flickering

Is there only one light that flickers in the office? LEDs and fluorescent lights tend to flicker more than other types of lightbulbs, therefore, it could be a normal issue. However, it does not hurt to be proactive. First, check if the light is screwed in or properly inserted in the light socket. Safely remove the lightbulb and screw it back in. If everything appears to be fine, the office light may be reaching the end of its lifespan. It may be time to invest in new LED lights.

Single Circuit Flickering

Flickering lights can also be a result of an overloaded circuit. Too many appliances plugged in on the same line can cause a power shortage. Plus, it could be possible the circuit wire is outdated. Typically, this issue commonly happens in old office buildings or residential homes that have outdated wiring that is not up to industry standards. If your office continues to experience flickering down the road, or the circuit breaker is not working properly, it may be time to hire a professional electrician for an inspection.

Office Building Flickering

Flickering lights that extend beyond a single room or circuit means there is a bigger issue to resolve. When an entire office experiences flickering lights, there could be a problem with the cable connections to an even larger power source. Protect your employees and office building by contacting a professional electrician to handle this large scale issue. Especially, since this problem can result to a fire hazard.

Contact Kirby Electric to Inspect Your Office Today

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial electrical solutions. We provide top electrical services such as, lighting retrofitsemergency service repairspreventative maintenance, and electrical inspections that best fit your building’s needs. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.