Commercial Lighting

Energy Management in a Commercial Environment: Why and How

Posted by on Jul 31, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Energy Management in a Commercial Environment: Why and How

Energy Management in a Commercial Environment: Why and How

Energy costs can be a huge item in your P&L statement. Here in south Florida it’s even more intense because of the power demand caused by using air conditioning throughout most of the year. These extra energy costs represent money you can better spend on running or improving your business. This is why it’s crucial for you to practice good energy management habits, and to teach your employees to do the same.

Energy management is a system of practices that reduce energy costs across the board. They can be simple set-it-and-forget-it ideas or common practices, but the one thing they all have in common is that they save money and reduce your business’ power usage.

Why Bother With Energy Management?

If you’re not running a factory or other large business, can the savings be great enough to justify the extra time and effort? In fact, there are two reasons to use an energy management system, both of which will show different benefits for your business.

Practicing energy conservation for savings can add up over time. By putting multiple techniques into practice you may save fewer than a hundred dollars a month, but that be a significant savings by the year’s end. This can make a big difference for a business that’s running on a 1-2 percent profit margin.

The other side of the energy conservation picture is doing good for your community. When you cut down on your energy usage, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. The less energy you and other businesses use, the better it is for the environment. You’ll be doing good for the world, plus earning the respect of potential customers who value companies with a social conscience.

How to Save Energy in Your Business

Manage your energy use by upgrading your equipment as well as developing new practices in your business. Begin with small steps like changing all the light bulbs in your building to energy efficient LED bulbs. They only use about 10 percent of the power of traditional bulbs, plus they give off less heat, which is good for any business that needs to constantly cool the building. Include your outdoor lighting and the lights in your security system in this energy makeover. LED lights are just as bright as incandescent or fluorescent types, giving you the same bright security lighting profile.

Have timers installed on all your electrical equipment, both inside and out. This will eliminate wasted power from people forgetting to turn off lights or equipment. You can add individual timers for small items such as desk lamps, but it’s best to get a licensed electrician to install timers for your main lighting and equipment systems. A commercial electrical West Palm Beach contractor will not only be able to correctly install the timers the first time, he can also arrange a maintenance schedule for taking care of all the electrical equipment in the building.

When it comes time to replace old and worn-out equipment, always check the energy ratings to find the one that uses the least power. Energy efficient machines, even those that initially cost more to install, can be cheaper to use over its lifespan.

Manage standby power usage by requiring that all employees unplug equipment when they’re done using it. Machines with an internal clock or standby setting, such as coffee makers and printers, will drain power even when they’re not in use. These so-called energy vampires can drain a significant amount of power in 24 hours without ever being touched. Make unplugging a habit throughout your business.

Involve your employees in your efforts to reduce power. Reward innovation when it comes to saving energy. If you instill a sense of pride in your team because they’re doing good for the environment, they’ll be more likely to help you in your energy management efforts.

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Renovating Business Premises? Discover What to Budget for Electrical Work

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical, Commercial Lighting | Comments Off on Renovating Business Premises? Discover What to Budget for Electrical Work

Renovating Business Premises? Discover What to Budget for Electrical Work

Figuring out what the electrical for your business premises renovation will cost can be a tricky business. It’s almost impossible for any commercial electrical contractor to provide an accurate estimate without having a significant amount of information to go on. There are fixed and variable costs involved, and different contractors will all calculate things a little differently.

A lot will hinge on the building in question too, and how extensive the electrical repairs and additions will be. Here are a few costs that you might want to consider factoring into your budget (and mentioning to contractors who provide pricing!)

1. The Extent of the Renovation

There are renovations, and then there are renovations! Are you doing a basic, superficial remodel of your business premises, or are you completely changing the purpose and use of certain spaces? If you need to make major changes like changing the phase of power in a part of your building, or adding a new area completely, that will have a big impact on costs.

2. The Existing Electrical

If your business premises is older, it may have electrical that is “grandfathered in.” That means that even though it’s not up to current codes and standards, it’s considered acceptable because its existing. If you make changes to the electrical system, that might change, and you might need to rewire your premises completely. This is why it’s so important to have a commercial electrical contractor inspect your premises before quoting on any changes or renovations. They may need to do a lot more than simply add to your system!

3. Working Conditions

The conditions under which the work on your existing business premises needs to take place can have an impact on the price that you pay for the electrical portion of your commercial renovations in South Florida. If your electrical contractor has to work nights or weekends, for instance, or if they will be working in confined spaces, that can increase the cost. This is another good reason to ensure that your contractor knows what the work will entail before they provide a quotation.

Planning and Requesting a Quotation

Even if you call a commercial electrical contractor to ask for a ball park figure for your business premises renovation, all they can give you without all of the facts is a rough estimate, that will very likely be vastly different to the final cost of your project. The more information you can provide about what you are doing, how it will be done, and what the electrical contractor will need to do for you, the more likely you are to get an accurate estimate of costs.

Spend some time planning and designing your new space. Get some preliminary plans drawn up for the design. Invite commercial electrical contractors to visit your premises to assess the extent and scope of work to be done. Get a few estimates of cost, and build in a health five to ten percent contingency.

Commercial renovations (or any renovations for that matter) are some of the trickiest types of construction to price accurately, because there are always unknown factors hidden in your walls. A little planning and forethought, and working with a good contractor, however, can help to develop a plan that fits your needs and your budget.

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Latest Green Building Electrical Trends for 2016-2019

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting, Energy Savings | Comments Off on Latest Green Building Electrical Trends for 2016-2019

Latest Green Building Electrical Trends for 2016-2019

A few short years ago, green building was just another fad. Something that happened on the fringe of construction, which avant garde architects and designers incorporated into their designs along with weird angles, and which was not really something the average person thought about.

Thanks to rising energy costs and increasing concern for the planet, however, green building has moved squarely into focus for most consumers and contractors, and it’s becoming one of the important things to consider when building or renovating. Here is what you’re likely to encounter in terms of electrical in green buildings in the next few years.

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How Advanced Lighting Controls are Changing the Face of Commercial Lighting

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting, Smart Lighting | Comments Off on How Advanced Lighting Controls are Changing the Face of Commercial Lighting

How Advanced Lighting Controls are Changing the Face of Commercial Lighting

You’ve heard of smart buildings and building management systems, but you might not have heard specifically of advanced lighting controls, or about how new technologies are making it possible to automate lighting and create more energy efficient spaces.

That is exactly what many companies are doing in commercial buildings, and as an electrical contractor in South Florida, we are excited to see how these commercial lighting advances can benefit our commercial and residential electrical customers.

How Advanced Lighting Controls Work

Lighting controls can be a simple as sensors and switches, or a much more complex system linking many different light fixtures and switches. In their simplest form, they may use day/night or photosensitive switches to manage lighting in a smaller commercial or residential building, but single fixtures or a series of many may also be routed though network bridges to digital management systems and integrated with other building management systems to allow for remote control.

That advanced technology offers so many exciting benefits, including exponential improvements in control, timing, and programming, as well as reporting and even remote control.

Essentially, as buildings have got smarter, so has the technology available to manage them, and today, the level of control over lighting and other systems can be as complex or simple as a building owner chooses. These controls are far superior on a granular level, and offer management possibilities that are as different to legacy system as, well, day and night!

What Are the Benefits of Advanced Lighting Controls?

Older, legacy, analog-based lighting controls were not much more flexible than the dimmer switches your parents or grandparents had in their 1970’s home. They were clunky and cumbersome, and they offered a limited range of settings and control.

Today, with the range of digital lighting controls to choose from, we can offer customers an almost infinite number of settings and a layered control system that allows for complex parameter setup.

That, in turn, can lead to greater energy efficiency in buildings, improved security and increased comfort for building occupants. Since these smart lighting systems also minimize operation time for lighting installations, they also reduce long-term maintenance costs for the buildings they are installed in.

Going Smart

For our commercial clients, going digital with lighting controls makes a lot of sense. The good news is that it does not have to mean a complete replacement of all of your current lighting systems. Many advanced lighting systems can be retrofitted to existing systems with minimal changes in wiring and equipment.

Customers who do choose to upgrade both their aging lighting equipment and the management system that runs them can take advantage of existing energy savings by utilizing advanced lighting equipment based on LED and other technologies to reap the maximum efficiency benefits.

Whether you choose to upgrade your lighting and your management system, or whether you retrofit your existing system now with a view to upgrading in the future, it is certainly an exciting time for lighting, and there are sure to be major leaps in management and control to come. An experienced electrical contractor in South Florida can provide all the advice and assistance you need.

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Importance of Emergency Exit Signs in Business Premises

Posted by on May 16, 2015 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting | Comments Off on Importance of Emergency Exit Signs in Business Premises

Importance of Emergency Exit Signs in Business Premises

The emergency exit signs and lights are among the most important parts of your building’s safety system. In the event of a fire or other building emergency, people can’t always rely upon their personal knowledge when it comes to finding their way outside. Strangers to the building won’t know the best exit routes, and even those familiar with the building layout can become confused. Exit signs and lights have to be bright and clear, able to be viewed through smoke and in darkness. They’re a crucial item on your regular electrical maintenance list.


State and federal regulations cover the electrical safety features in your business, and this includes any exit signs and lights attached to them. According to the federal government, signs must be at least 6 inches tall with letters at least 2 inches wide, except the letter “I.” Signs have to be illuminated by a reliable light source. In order to comply with this ruling, most lights are wired to a standby generator to ensure the power to the sign stays on, even during a blackout.


Regular inspections ensure that emergency exit signs point in the right direction and remain lit during any emergencies. Electrical maintenance schedules should include changing any light bulbs associated with the sign, both internal and external, as well as inspecting and maintaining the emergency power supply attached to these lights. This may include topping off fuel tanks, lubricating moving parts, or even cleaning the environment around the generator itself. Signs should be securely affixed to the walls, and inspectors should check screws or other fasteners to make sure they haven’t begun to come loose. The law says that all emergency exit signs should be capable of being illuminated for at least 90 minutes without going out. A regular inspection will test this and repair any lights that don’t comply with this ruling.


The placement of your exit signs is a crucial part of their design. Legally, they have to be no less than 80 inches above the floor to the bottom of the sign. Great care should be taken that the sign isn’t obstructed by any object in any direction. Check nearby doors and other moving objects to make sure they don’t cover the signs at any time. Additional exit signs should be attached next to the door latch, and a sign in Braille should be provided. If you have any large doors in your business building that look like they may be exit doors, regulations say that you have to post a sign stating that this is not an exit.


Illuminated exit signs may offer an obvious benefit of pointing the way outdoors during a fire, blackout, or other emergency, but they have secondary benefits, as well. Insurance companies can give discounts to businesses that are compliant with safety regulations. Local governmental authorities sometimes have the power to levy fines and punishments if you don’t comply with the laws. Also, in case of any type of emergency, having abundant lighted exit signs all over your business can help to prevent frivolous lawsuits after the fact. Unfortunately, people will sue for almost any reason, and any evidence you have that can prove you took logical precautions is a large point in your favor.

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How Replacing Light Ballasts Reduces a Business’s Electrical Consumption

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in Blogs, Commercial Lighting, Energy Savings | Comments Off on How Replacing Light Ballasts Reduces a Business’s Electrical Consumption

replacing light ballastsStudies show that at least 30 percent of most business’s electric bills are due to lighting. One of the simplest ways you can cut down on your electrical consumption is by replacing your fluorescent bulbs with new, more efficient versions and with the ballasts in the fixtures to go along with them.

The Purpose of Light Ballasts

Light ballasts are devices to limit the current in an electrical circuit. In a fluorescent light, it limits the amount of current that goes through the tube, preventing it from burning out prematurely. Every fluorescent light fixture has a ballast of some type, but newer high efficiency models are designed to work with high performance bulbs that use much less power.

Advantages of New Ballasts

Replacing light ballasts in your place of business will save your company money, but it will also turn your business into a greener, more efficient workplace. Among the benefits are:

  • Raising the efficiency of your lighting fixture
  • Reducing energy loss
  • Creating more light with less power
  • Lowering your monthly energy bills
  • Reducing residual heat

Types of Ballasts

Fluorescent ballasts come in two varieties, electromagnetic and electronic. If you’ve got older fixtures in your business, your lights may have electromagnetic ballasts installed. They use electromagnetic induction to start and operate the voltages in your light. There is a coil of wire inside these ballasts that combine with an electromagnetic field to transform voltage. These ballasts limit the flow of current to the light but don’t change the frequency of the input power. The bulb will light up on each half-cycle of the power source, which is what causes the signature flickering of most older fluorescent bulbs.

Electronic ballasts, on the other hand, use a solid-state circuit to transform voltage. Unlike the electromagnetic ballasts, they can also change the frequency of the power. This means that electronic ballasts can reduce or even completely eliminate the flickering in your fluorescent lamps. Because of their solid-state circuitry, as opposed to the electromagnetic ballasts’ magnetic coils, electronic ballasts are more efficient and will run cooler.

Financial Benefits

It may seem counterproductive, spending money to replace all the lighting ballasts in your business, just to save money, but they will end up paying for themselves in a surprisingly short amount of time.

  • First of all, the reduced use of electricity lowers your monthly electric bill immediately. You’ll see a significant difference in the amount of power you use each month.
  • Next, the light ballasts allow less power to flow through the bulbs, so you’ll need to change them much less often.
  • Thirdly, the newer lighting system runs much cooler than old fashioned fluorescent lights, so you’ll save even more money by not having to use your air conditioning as much.
  • Finally, the fact that you’re using green technology is a great selling point for customers and clients, and may cause an increase in business because of your ecologically-minded business practices.

Make changes today by replacing your light ballasts and reap all the benefits you can. For information and advice or an estimate to fulfill your electrical requirements, contact Static Electric for a free consultation.

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