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

30 Jul 2015

Choosing Office Lighting

Don’t let old lighting affect your employees’ safety and performance. Having the right office lighting is important. Not only can it save you money and energy, but it can also affect how productive your employees are. Dim lighting is unhelpful to finishing any task, and doesn’t make those under it energetic.

3 Types of Office Lighting

Depending on your industry, different types of light are more effective than others. If you have an open office space, you’ll need to ensure the lighting you chooses works for everyone. And if you have an industrial area, like a warehouse, your lighting must be adequate for the work being done beneath it.

  • Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is incredibly common in offices, medical facilities, and many professional buildings. Its bonuses? It adds uniform, adequate lighting for employees without creating dark corners. Plus, unlike suspension, recessed lighting doesn’t use up any valuable ceiling space, important for lower ceiling buildings and workplaces with special machinery or extra storage.

  • Motion Activated Systems 

Motion-activated lighting could save you money. How? In infrequently used areas, motion-activated lighting turns on exactly when you need it, and not a second before. It also helps if this lighting is an areas like a stock room where employees need both hands to transport items and don’t have to worry about flipping a switch on and off.

A time not to use motion-activated systems: in rooms that workers are constantly in. If employees are present nearly all of the time, a motion-activated light probably won’t save much electricity, and time won’t be lost flipping the switch.

  • Suspended Lights

Suspended lighting lives up to its name, hanging (an often short distance) from the ceiling. It’s common to see suspended lighting extended from the ceiling via sturdy chains, and these lighting fixtures come in metal to be sturdier than their name suggests.

One place suspended lighting might not work well: stock or storage rooms with tall storage fixtures. High shelving that employees access frequently can mean ladders and heads coming into contact with suspended lighting if not installed properly.

Lighting and Employee Health

Another important factor in choosing commercial lights is how the lighting affects your employees physically. OSHA warns that too much light can lead to headaches or eyestrain, and that workstations should be carefully situated to reduce glare on computers.

It’s not just the lights you switch on that affect our eyes. According to OSHA, brightness contrast from the computer to the office is at risk for causing headaches and optical fatigue. To reduce risk, keep walls and ceilings in “light, matte colors and finishes” that help keep contrast to a minimum. Keep this in in the next time interior design choices are made!

Whichever lighting you choose, make sure it’s with your office and industry in mind. What keeps  a warehouse running isn’t what an office needs, and vice versa. Avoid an ineffective work environment with the right lighting, and make it energy efficient so you and the environment benefit in the long term. From car dealerships to pizza places, we’ve handled the unique needs of businesses around the Seattle area. Find out more: request a quote for what your business needs.

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.

(Image courtesy of Antranias via Pixabay.com)

05 Mar 2015

4 Tips for Business Energy Efficiency

Business energy efficiency tips
The Give Grid
is an Australian project and website offering ways to save energy. The project provides benefits like free workshops, webinars, and plenty of information available on energy-saving. Because business energy efficiency can directly affect a company’s bottom line, finding ways to implement office retrofits and updates can be crucial.

On its site The Give Grid provides energy audits of various buildings around Australia. By showing efficiency opportunities for existing buildings, The Give Grid seeks to create models other businesses can follow to cut back on energy. Here are some tips culled from energy audits and The Give Grid to help increase your office’s efficiency.

Tip 1: Upgrade to LED

An energy audit of a 4,300-square-foot, single-story brick building revealed that 17% of annual energy costs went towards lighting. Part of the solution? Trading fluorescent tube lights for LEDs. Don’t overlook any lighting—you can even replace fluorescent exit signs with LED fixtures.

Tip 2: Unplug Equipment

A top-floor office space around 17,000-square-feet that houses 45 employees revealed a huge opportunity for energy savings. The office’s audit showed that computers, printers, and similar electronics pulled a significant amount of power—approximately half of the location’s energy. Part of the fix? Turning off equipment whenever possible.

Even when off or in standby or “sleep” mode, equipment can still eat energy. In this case of this office, 8% of the yearly electrical bill was for standby power. Solve this problem by unplugging equipment when possible so that it doesn’t have the opportunity to continue using power. Talk with your office’s IT department about whether you can unplug electronics like computers overnight to stop this energy loss.

Tip 3: Make Windows Energy-Efficient

For buildings with many windows or glass walls, like this Tasmania structure that was audited, energy film, lined curtains, and other window treatments designed to control temperature are recommended. Better controlled temperature means employees are less likely to be reaching for the thermostat and increasing energy costs.

Tip 4: Retrofit Watercoolers and Vending Machines

A common tip from the office audits was to add timers to vending machines and water coolers to save energy usage outside of business hours. The lighting and cooling capacities of vending machines utilize energy that isn’t needed when employees are out of the building for extended periods.

Update your office for energy savings that can balance your bottom line. Kirby Electric is experienced in updating existing or outdated systems and installing commercial lighting and electrical systems. See some of the businesses we’ve helped power around Washington.

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.

(Image Courtesy of khunaspix via FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

25 Feb 2015

Renewable Energy Gets Greener

Renewable Energy Gets Greener
Engineered trees could complement the ecological benefits of trees like this in urban areas

News outlet CNN recently reported on an inventive way for nature and technology to meet—in a steel tree designed to generate power for heating, lighting, and charging.

CNN writes that the French “Arbre a Vent,” the tree created to turn air into energy, has changed preconceptions on what renewable energy really looks like. The goal is simple: to turn air currents into energy wherever possible, particularly in cities where practical and aesthetic needs call for an alternative to traditional devices such as wind turbines.

A prototype of the artistic tree will be “planted” in Paris for two months starting mid-March, and developments and ideas will continue to flow as a result of its innovation in wind power. On the horizon, according to company engineer Julia Revuz, are “mini wind turbines” that could fit into a variety of crowded urban landscapes.

Something From Nothing: Renewable Energy

The idea of using a plentiful resource (wind) to create energy has motivated eco-friendly thinking for years. Last year we learned about the possibility of creating electricity from garbage, and Vermont’s City of Burlington managed to receive their power exclusively from natural sources: water, wind, and biomass (material from organisms, usually plants), ThinkProgress reported.

Get More Efficient

Retrofitting means enhancing or adding to something existing. In the electricity industry, retrofits are especially necessary in older buildings that don’t have today’s advanced electrical systems. Newer electrical systems not only save operating costs, but they also focus on eco-friendly output. Looking at warehouse electrical costs, Kirby Electric discovered a way for a poorly lit warehouse to save nearly $10,000 yearly, and install brighter lights that make working conditions safer and more productive.

Learn more about lighting retrofits and how they could change the way you do business.

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.

(Image by rakratchada torsap via FreeDigitalPhotos.net)