Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
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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.

18 Jan 2018
resolutions

3 New Year Resolutions for Your Office Electrical System

As 2018 has arrived, setting goals and resolutions are meant to improve personal development. Have you considered any improvements on your lifestyle by creating resolutions for your office and business? With electrical systems, common goals focus on reducing energy bills and figuring out what to replace or update. Consider our three simple resolutions to help keep your business’s electrical system in optimal shape this year.

Shut Down Computes After Work Hours

Computers use a considerable amount of energy during work hours. As a business, you probably have multiple, dozens, or even hundreds running at the same time. Are computers left on after work hours? If so, your business could be potentially wasting an extensive amount of money just by leaving computers powered on. Turning your computers or running devices off during afterhours is one solution to be mindful of energy savings. Need to leave your computer on? To save energy, one solution is to leave computers on “sleep mode”.

Update Outdated Bulbs for LEDs

Business owners should highly consider LED light bulbs for their office. While LEDs may cost more upfront, your energy bills will not suffer. In fact, they use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs. LED lights also last 35-50 times longer in comparison. Want to improve safety in your office? LEDs emit little heat and the danger for an electrical fire is greatly reduced.

Reduce Total Energy Consumption

The start of the year is the best time to ponder about ways to reduce bills and overall energy consumption. Below is a various list of ways to reach that goal:

Note: Remember, being mindful and aware of can go a long way in the present and especially the future. Make sure the electrical system electrical tips and usage is up to date with energy efficient appliances and items. Start and end the year saving money and/or cutting down bills by eliminating over usage of electricity and keeping up with necessary maintenance. Happy New Year!

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.

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.

 

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.

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.