Monthly Archives: June 2014

Save On Energy Costs

4 Changes Your Business Should Make to Save On Energy Costs

Now that summer is upon us, it’s a good time for small businesses to rethink their energy needs. With temperatures down South reaching into the 100s, things like air conditioning can skyrocket your energy bill.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to curb those costs.

Install Motion Detecting Lights

For years the most common energy-saving device has been to turn off the lights when you leave a room.

But, let’s be honest, no one remembers to do that!

In an office, it can be even worse. You want your employees focused on their work, not how much flipping the switch will save on your electric bill.

Motion detecting lights are the perfect solution. These lights will turn themselves off when no one is in the room, eliminating the need for everyone to remember. They work best for conference rooms and bathrooms, which are seldom used and can sit fully lit for days without anyone noticing.

Switch Up Your Other Lights

Harsh overhead fluorescent lights not only cost more to use, they also contribute to headaches and fatigue.

Do yourself and your employees a favor by switching up the lighting around the office. Try a variety of lamps around the office. Open the curtains and let in natural light.

Take some time to play with the light levels to ensure everyone’s comfort. There’s a balance between too much and too little light, and you want to find what works best for your company.

Turn Off The Screen

Everyone loves a good screensaver, but the truth is they take the same amount of energy as anything else on the screen.

Instead of screensavers, instruct employees to turn off the monitor or put it in sleep mode when they leave. This simple solution, spread across your whole company, will save a lot in energy costs.

While you’re at it, consider unplugging all devices when everyone leaves for the day. Plugged in devices still use energy, but simply switching off the power strip can reduce the amount used.

Just Go Home

This suggestion might sound crazy, but hear us out.

If employees are allowed to work from home, your in-office energy costs will obviously be lower. Many businesses enact a “summer schedule,” allowing employees half or whole days off on Fridays.

Thanks to services like Google Hangouts, employees can still communicate throughout the day and stay productive. Or, if you allow employees to work a few more hours on other days and take Fridays off, you’ll be popular as well as energy-efficient!

Schaffhouser Electric can help. Contact Schaffhouser Electric today!

kitchen_task_lighting

4 Tips For Lighting Up Your Kitchen

Like it or not, the kitchen usually becomes the gathering place in a home. Whether it’s hungry kids waiting on dinner or guests wanting to chat with the host, everyone comes together in the kitchen.

Yet the most important room in the house is often poorly lit. Many kitchens come with just a single overhead light, which isn’t enough even when it’s attached to a ceiling fan.

How should kitchens be lit? Check out our 4 favorite kitchen lighting tips:

Track Lighting

Track lighting is one of the best lighting solutions for a kitchen. There are endless options for configuring track lighting in your kitchen, and the fixtures can be situated to shine right where you need them. And not where you don’t. You can install track lighting that uses regular bulbs, or you can find lights that use LED if you’re more energy conscious. LED track lights are slightly more expensive at the outset, but the energy savings over time will more than pay back the investment. Track lighting also comes in a variety of styles that will fit with any taste, making them a great go-to lighting source for any kitchen.

Undercabinet Lighting

Even with great track lighting, your body and the cabinets can often block light coming from the ceiling.
Under cabinet lighting is the perfect pairing with track lighting. Under cabinet lights provide more direct light to the chopping and mixing happening on the counter, which makes the kitchen safer.
Homeowners can also add their unique style with under cabinet lights by choosing the type of light, spacing, and bulb size.

Dimmer Switch

Putting your lights on a dimmer switch is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it works just as well in the kitchen.
Changing to a dimmer switch allows you to use the highest wattage bulb your fixtures will take. Then, you have the flexibility of adjusting to suit your needs.
Thanksgiving dinner with 100 helpers in the room? You can throw the dimmers all the way up.
Small, intimate dinner party? A lower light will set the mood while still providing enough illumination for food prep.

Windows

Our last kitchen lighting tip seems so simple, but is often overlooked.
Any home is more pleasant when it’s full of natural light. If you have windows in your kitchen, use only the barest blinds or curtains you need for privacy to take full advantage of the natural light coming into the room.
Great natural light enhances any indoor lighting system, and that’s true in the kitchen, too.
Lighting a kitchen well isn’t hard or expensive. Simple tweaks can make the busiest room in your home an even better place to be.

Interested in lighting up your kitchen? Contact Schaffhouser Electric today!