Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
Mon-Fri: 7AM- 4PM
05 Apr 2018
power strip

Discover the Correct Way to Use a Power Strip

Nowadays, current home devices require some source of power. Having power strips and extension cords are beneficial because a home only has a certain amount of outlets. It is important to understand that incorrectly utilizing a power strip can potentially cause electrical damage to the strip itself and plugged in home devices. Read on to discover the safest and correct way to use a power strip.

Power Strip vs Extension Cord

First, there is a difference between a power strip and an extension cord. A power strip is a single length of a cable, which features a plug on one end and a line of sockets inserted in a plastic box on the other end. Extension cords are relatively similar, but are considerably longer and include only two to three plugs. It is important to note that extension cords are less stable and used for hours on end. On the other hand, a power strip can be used over a period of a few days.

Important Information to Know

Power strips are evidently easy to use (plug and use), but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • They are intended to handle small loads: a power strip allows one to use many devices all at the same time. However, they are not intended to power large or major home appliances such as a space heater or oven.
  • Pay attention to different voltage ratings: when selecting a power strip, find one that fulfills your voltage needs. If not, exceeding the maximum voltage on a strip can cause electrical fires and malfunctioning appliances.
  • Be mindful about avoiding extended use: although power strips have the capacity to power devices for a few days and potentially up to two weeks, they are not a proper replacement for electrical outlets. Likewise, overuse will cause the power strip to fail and defect plugged in devices.
  • Surge protection device: Make sure a power strip includes a surge protection device, which can be discovered on the box and by a small light or switch indicator. It protects the equipment if a short or surge happens.
  • Do not plug them into another power extension: If you plug in power strips or extensions into one another, the power becomes weaker and less stable. Worst of all, it can result to device damage and cause an electrical fire.

Overall, power strips and extension cords are excellent for powering up a home with multiple devices at the same time. Equally important, it is imperative to pay attention to voltage ratings, length of use, and being proactive. Correctly using a power strip means a safer home!

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.

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.

 

24 May 2016

All About LED Lighting

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

Energy Savings

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

LED Lighting Differentiation

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

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

Kitchen Under-Cabinet Lighting

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

Recessed Downlights

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

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

About Kirby Electric

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

27 Oct 2015

All About Light Bulbs

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

Incandescent

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

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

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

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

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

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

About Kirby Electric

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

11 Dec 2014

New Home Safety Monitoring Light Bulb

safety monitoring
A new Kickstarter Campaign is receiving lots of publicity for its goal: to prevent home burglaries. Boston Business Journal reports on how the Kickstarter BeON Home  hopes to deter criminals—using a light bulb that re-creates lighting habits when residents are away from home, even going so far as to turn on lights when the doorbell sounds.

The new bulb has additional intelligent attributes that users can trigger from an app:

  • Defense against power outages that eliminates returning to a dark house
  • Emergency lighting prompted by smoke detectors
  • Natural fading and dimming that makes indoor light more comfortable

Specs are simple but smart. BeON bulbs rely on 800 lumens of LED, Bluetooth technology, a microphone, processor, and rechargeable battery. Lights transfer information with one another, so every bulb in the building can be smarter and more efficient at all times.

What Could a Security Bulb Do For Businesses?

BeON Home plans to ship their intelligent bulbs out in summer 2015. There’s no information yet on whether the bulb could spawn an idea for commercial light safety, but it could be a promising way to reduce shrink and prevent loss solely or paired with traditional monitoring systems.

Keep Your Business Safe Now

Smart bulbs may not have reached the commercial and industrial markets, but you still have the ability to keep your company’s building safe now. Kirby Fire/Security makes it easier to manage all your monitoring services. Fire alarm design and installation, 24-hour UL monitoring, and CCTV are some of the ways we enhance commercial buildings.

A Strong Case for Effective Safety Monitoring

Commercial safety monitoring is important to a business’ bottom line. Not only does loss prevention affect business plans and budgeting, but damage from a disaster like a fire could potentially raise legal issues if necessary standards aren’t met.

Fire alarm installation is a simple but highly effective way to increase the safety of employees and protect property and products. If you’re unsure whether your business needs fire alarm monitoring, look at the following 2009-2011 statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • “An estimated 86,500 nonresidential building fires were reported to United States fire departments each year and caused an estimated 85 deaths, 1,325 injuries, and  $2.6 billion in property losses per year.”
  • “Smoke alarms were not present in  52 percent of the larger, nonconfined fires in occupied nonresidential buildings.”
  • “Outside and special properties accounted for the most nonresidential building fires ( 21 percent), while storage buildings accounted for the most nonresidential building fire deaths ( 29 percent).”

Security monitoring is another important way to safeguard against burglary attacks. In burglary cases, the loss isn’t always just from product or equipment theft, but also from damaged sustained to property during break in. Replacing windows and doors adds up to another expense.

The City of Woodinville, WA points out that “Businesses are four times as apt to be burglarized as homes, and small businesses are targets in over half of the commercial burglaries committed.” Among other safety steps, the City recommends not only installing an alarm, but posting visible notices stating an alarm system is in use.

Do you know which monitoring systems your business needs to prevent loss? See the   tools we use to keep businesses protected.

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. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to  get a quote.

24 Jul 2013

New Energy Efficiency Incentives for Older Seattle Buildings

While many owners of older commercial buildings would like to invest in energy efficiency upgrades, many steer clear of significant improvements due to cost concerns. However, the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation, which focuses on environmentally-conscious programs, is now collaborating with investors, a technology company, and a municipal utility to provide new energy efficiency incentives for older Seattle buildings when the owners make improvements, according to the New York Times.

How Will the Program Work?

Under the foundation’s plan, the owners of older commercial buildings have the potential to receive “new revenue, based on precise measurements of energy savings” if they or investors devote the necessary capital for major efficiency retrofits like replacing furnaces, boilers, or the building shell itself, the article explained. As part this program, Seattle City Light, a municipal utility, agrees to purchase back the energy savings that the building owners receive on a long-term basis and EnergyRM, a company that provides energy efficiency metering services and software-based analytics, will keep track of how much the building owners have actually saved by participating.

A critic in the Times article pointed out that Bullitt Center’s program is essentially an experiment and that many building owners would need to see hard data on how such a program actually plays out before proceeding with it. However, it is promising to see such an innovative incentive being offered to building owners—essentially allowing them to receive revenue from the value of the unused electricity, often dubbed “nega-watts,” after Seattle City Light buys them back for resale.

Kirby Electric Helps Commercial Buildings Increase Energy Efficiency

While the types of upgrades described in this article can certainly boost a building’s energy efficiency, yet another way to increase efficiency is through lighting retrofits, where old light fixtures are replaced with fixtures that save more energy. Kirby Electric helps companies go green by providing energy-efficient lighting and by designing low-energy lighting packages for commercial businesses.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. 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. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote.