Interior Restaurant and Bar Lighting Ideas

Interior restaurant and bar lighting is essential to customer experience. It impacts how your patrons will feel as well as how the food appears and must therefore appeal to their senses. Focusing on fixture designs and not functionality is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid. While lighting must integrate with architecture and interior design, defining the purpose of the space and how it is used is critical to proper illumination. Simply put, setting the right mood promotes comfort, a longer stay and bigger order.

Our experienced commercial electricians share 3 tips to help you create a lighting plan that will make your restaurant more appealing to your customers.

  1. Color temperature: Every light source has a different color temperature. Even the subtlest difference in white or yellow, for instance, can impact whether or not your customers enjoy the meal. What is the right temperature? It depends on how the space is used. Warm hues are preferable for dining as cooler colors give of greenish hues which can make the food look unpalatable. Research also shows that amber lighting in bars helps people relax and encourages them to drink more.
  2. Brightness: Dim lights are likely to have your patrons fumbling in the dark while going too bright makes the environment harsh and uncomfortable. Once again, lighting intensity depends on purpose and the mood you want to create. Soft lighting for instance, creates a romantic atmosphere for a cozy meal. A night club will have different lighting from a restaurant that is also a dance venue.
  3. Placement: Now that you have selected the right color temperature and brightness, the final step is lighting placement. Getting it right is important both for highlighting interior design as well as functionality. Tables typically have overhead lighting. While bars have soft lights, it is also important to make them seen from the opposite side. Dance and the stage areas require enough lighting to see other dancers and performers as well as the band or DJ. In our experience multiple layers of adjustable lighting contribute to a successful design. You can control illumination to suit different occasions or times in the day. LED solutions are ideal as they are energy efficient and help control your overheads.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer a full range of commercial electrical services for the hospitality industry. From restaurant and bar lighting to refrigeration equipment, our tailored solutions can help you improve your bottom line. For over 25 years, restaurant owners as well as industrial plant managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom plan to improve customer experience while lowering your energy usage and maintaining a safe workspace. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can count on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

Energy Saving Tips for Commercial Refrigeration

Essential to food operations and grocery stores, commercial refrigeration equipment operates round-the-clock and contributes to high energy bills. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), commercial refrigerators typically consume up to 17,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and large ones around 38,000 kilowatt-hours. Selecting energy-efficient models and making a few operational changes can make a significant difference to your energy bills.

In this article, our experienced commercial electricians share 7 tips to help reduce your energy usage on refrigeration:

  1. Make sure there is adequate space around the equipment: Proper air flow over the heat exchange coils increases efficiency and helps maximize equipment lifespan. Avoid placing refrigerators near prime cooking appliances that emit heat.
  2. Keep the refrigeration system clean: Making sure the condenser and evaporator coils are dust-free helps improve heat transfer, thus lowering the amount of energy used. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for equipment maintenance.
  3. Ensure that gaskets have a tight seal: This prevents warm, humid air from entering the refrigerator that makes it work harder to keep the inside cool. The cooler your refrigerator, the less energy and wastage of food!
  4. Turn off door heaters: Only keep them on when condensation is visible on the doors. Installing adaptive controls which turn on and off automatically when necessary reduces your effort and energy bills.
  5. Install motion sensors for case lighting: Also consider upgrading to LED lighting in refrigerators. In addition to consuming less energy and lasting longer, they give off less heat.
  6. Add night covers or curtains: This prevents refrigerated air from escaping so your commercial refrigeration equipment does not have to run at full power after business hours.
  7. Install automatic door closers for walk-in coolers: This prevents loss of energy from open doors. Never prop open the doors either.

In 2014, the DOE announced new standards which aimed at making commercial refrigerators and freezers 30% more efficient. Replacing old equipment with newer energy efficient models will deliver savings on every bill. Products with the Energy Star label are, on an average, 20% more efficient than standard models.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer a full range of commercial electrical services including refrigeration equipment installation, upgrades and repair. Our tailored solutions for improving energy efficiency have helped hundreds of clients significantly lower their operational expenses. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom plan to lower your energy usage and maximize equipment service life. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can count on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial refrigeration projects.

The Importance of GFCI Protection for Commercial Kitchens

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected receptacles are critical to ensure safe operations in institutional and commercial kitchens, and wet bars. Poorly maintained electrical appliances, damaged electrical cords, wet floors and lack of electrical safety training for employees results in the risk of electrical shocks in kitchens. GFCI protection has therefore, become mandatory. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that all receptacles (including 15- and 20A, 125V receptacles) be GFCI-protected, irrespective of whether they are located in countertop areas. More sensitive than circuit breakers, they act faster to protect you, your staff or patrons from electric shock which causes burns, heart arrhythmia or nervous system damage, even death. Kitchens in restaurants, hotels, schools, churches, dining halls, and similar facilities must have GFCI protection.

GFCI Protection vs Regular Circuit Breakers

It is important to understand how GFCI and regular circuit breakers work. Standard fuses and circuit breakers protect the wiring and electrical system from a fire in the event of an overload, but they are not adequate to protect people. Also, the current required to trip a regular circuit breaker is many times greater than the amount needed to inflict a fatal shock.  The GFCI on the other hand, is specifically for protection from electrocution, not fire. The device typically kicks in as little as 1/40th of a second, potentially saving you or your staff from electric shock.

Types of GFCI Protectors

There are two types of GFCIs. GFCI receptacles are most common and similar to a regular wall outlet. GFCI circuit breakers replace traditional ones and provide protection to all receptacles on that particular circuit. An experienced commercial electrician can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each to make an informed decision. Test your GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker every month to ensure it is working properly.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer tailored solutions to install GFCI protection for the outlets in your institutional or commercial kitchen. Our expertise with design and installations helps optimize safety and energy efficiency. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom GFCI installation plan to protect your business. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

5 Tips on Parking Lot Lighting

Are you considering installation or upgrades for your parking lot lighting? A well-lit commercial property provides a welcoming space for your clients. It also promotes employee and visitor safety by preventing accidents and deterring criminal activity. Our expert commercial electricians share 5 important points to consider when formulating an efficient parking lot lighting plan.

  1. Evaluate your needs or current lighting: Intensity, uniformity, color, energy-efficiency and cost are important aspects of lighting design. For existing lighting, survey the light levels to determine what changes need to be made.
  2. Determine how much light is adequate: This is largely dependent on the type of business you run. An auto dealership and retail complex might want brighter parking lot lights than an office building that is largely unused after-hours.
  3. Maintain uniformity: Typically, the distance between lighting fixtures is responsible for uneven lighting. Presence of trees and other types of landscaping can also make the task more difficult. Your commercial electrician might have some suggestions on how to overcome landscaping obstacles. For existing lights, map out high and low illumination areas to pinpoint where changes are required.
  4. Consider cost-efficient LED lighting: LED lamps start up instantly and provide up to 100,000 hours of light. They can be replaced easily, and the design flexibility supports retrofitting fixtures to existing poles. In addition to maintaining consistent light intensity and temperatures for the lifespan of the lights, you also get added safety with shock and vibration resistant fixtures.
  5. Invest in surge protection: Your commercial electrician can identify and install the right surge protection device (SPD) which will withstand spikes and save you thousands of dollars in damages to your newly-installed parking lot lighting.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer tailored solutions to install or upgrade parking lot lighting in your commercial or industrial facility. Efficiency, safety and creating a good impression on your customers form the basis of our lighting plans. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom parking lot lighting plan that will highlight your business while keeping your energy costs in check. Our extensive experience with light level and load calculations, and fixture layout design expertise contribute to efficiently-lit outdoor and indoor spaces. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

Warehouse Lighting Controls May Lower Electricity Costs

Efficient warehouse lighting controls can help lower your energy bills and overall operational costs significantly. Keeping all lights on all the time is an expensive way to run your business. Our expert commercial electricians share simple ways to make your lighting more cost-efficient. 

  • Install motion sensor lighting: They sense occupancy and either dim or turn lights off when the space is not in use.
  • Use dimmers: Upgrade to ballasts and LED power drivers with dimming capabilities. Lowering brightness even by a fraction can reduce your energy usage and costs.
  • Switch to scheduled lighting and task tuning: Sophisticated centralized controls allow you to schedule when lighting is turned on and off based on the time of day, week and month to conserve energy. You can reduce usage even further by tuning lighting output to occupant requirements rather than have standard bright lighting across the facility.
  • Join a demand response (DR) program: Many utilities offer reimbursements for participating in a DR program which allows them to control lighting and thermostats based on the load factor.
  • Consider daylight harvesting lighting systems: Sensors determine when artificial lighting is required based on the availability of natural light.
  • Invest in plug load controllers: Having the ability to automatically cycle loads off based on work hours and occupancy can result in measurable energy savings.
  • Promote personal control: Educate your staff about energy efficiency and encourage them to turn off lights when a space is not in use. Installing remote controls, desktop dimming switches and virtual online switches can help with your energy conservation efforts.
  • Have an energy management strategy: Centralized energy management software tools will enable your warehouse manager to monitor and control usage more efficiently. Some systems are also able to detect when individual lights are out or malfunctioning. This helps with efficient maintenance and repairs.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer tailored solutions for your commercial or industrial facility. Whether you are installing a completely new electrical or lighting system, expanding, or upgrading your facility, we have the capabilities to enhance efficiency, safety and energy savings. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom warehouse lighting/electrical plan to reduce your operational costs. Our extensive experience with light level and load calculations as well as fixture layout design contributes to a more efficient environment. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for economical electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

Importance of Surge Protection

Surge protection should be an integral part of every industrial, commercial and residential electrical system. Yes, it is true that surges in electric current are natural and have always occurred. However, the increasing use of sensitive electronics which are highly susceptible to damage make surge protection critical.

What causes a surge?

Power surges are quick, temporary spikes in voltage that occur when the electrical charge in the circuit gets a sudden boost. One study revealed that 63% of surges originated from within the facility. What caused them? Load dynamic changes on large machines, motors and light load panels turning on and off, etc. The remaining 37% were the result of external factors such as utility grid switching, electrical accidents and lightening.

What surge damage means for businesses

Utility experts estimate that power-related problems cost US companies more than $80 billion a year.

Below is a quick overview of how surge damage drives up your business expenses:

  • Higher equipment repair and maintenance costs
  • Expense of replacing motors, machines and electronics that are destroyed
  • Shorter equipment lifespan leading to early replacement expenses
  • Equipment failure resulting in unplanned downtime and loss of productivity
  • Electrical accidents and workplace injuries

How to protect your facility from surge damage

A high quality surge protection device (SPD) minimizes the risk of internal and external surges and saves you thousands of dollars in damage.  A properly-designed and installed SPD can withstand significant voltage spikes. An experienced commercial and industrial electrical contractor can help you find the right one for your facility as well as connect it correctly to your electrical system. 

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer tailored solutions for your commercial or industrial facility. From new electrical system installation with surge protection to facility upgrades and lighting, we are fully equipped to meet your specific needs. Energy-efficient solutions, quality workmanship and exceptional service have helped us make customers for life. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom plan to protect your business from harmful electric surges. We will ensure stable electrical power transmission to your sensitive electronics and machines. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

7 More Tips to Reduce Business Energy Costs

According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, combined annual energy costs for U.S. commercial buildings and industrial facilities amounted to $400 billion as of March 2015. With an earlier survey in 2007 revealing that almost 30% of this energy is used inefficiently or unnecessarily, reducing any wastage is a top priority for business owners.

Our team of experts here at J&S Electrical offers more tips to help you streamline usage and reduce your energy bills.

Upgrade outdated equipment with Energy Star solutions: Heaters and air conditioners lose their efficiency over time and tend to use more power than necessary to achieve set temperatures. Many local governments provide tax incentives for purchasing energy-efficient appliances for your business and these can help offset your cost.

Maintain your HVAC system: Regular tune-ups and cleaning as well as timely repair will keep your heating and air conditioning equipment functioning at optimal efficiency.

Optimize use of daylight: Try to make use of natural light as much as possible. Installing skylights is one way to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Also switch off extra lights in corridors, stairways, conference rooms, workstations, the reception area and cafeteria.

Consider switching to solar power: While installing solar panels might seem expensive initially, solar power is free and the setup cost can be recovered in a few years through the continual energy savings. The federal government also offers a tax credit for solar systems installed at business premises which can help reduce your expenses.

Plant more trees on your business premises: They can shield your building from the summer heat as well as the cold winter winds which will help reduce your cooling and heating bills.

Involve your employees in energy-efficiency initiatives: Educate them about the energy-saving features of your high-efficiency equipment and appliances. Encourage them to come up with their own ideas for reducing energy usage and cost. Provide incentives for achieving goals; it is a great way to keep employees invested in energy-saving programs.

Set energy saving goals: Assess your energy usage and set clear goals for improving your efficiency. Identify areas of improvement so you can monitor and measure progress.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer tailored solutions for your commercial or industrial facility. From new electrical system installation to facility upgrades and lighting and energy savings, we are fully equipped to meet your specific needs. Quality workmanship and exceptional service have helped us make customers for life. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us for a custom plan to make your business more energy efficient. Our vast experience and attention to detail enables us to complete projects on time and within budget. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

7 Tips to Reduce Business Energy Costs

Reducing business energy costs involves implementing energy-efficient operational procedures. Inadequate equipment maintenance and unsustainable practices are the main causes of high energy bills.

Our team at J&S Electrical Contractors offers 10 tips valuable tips to help reduce your operational expenses.

  1. Divert high energy usage to off peak hours: Familiarize yourself with the time-of-use pricing your utility company offers. Try and schedule high usage for low or off-peak times when the rates are reduced. Train your employees to follow this practice and determine how you can lower energy usage with more initiatives.
  2. Get an energy audit done: Have a professional energy auditor (or an energy audit company) assess your business premises for potential energy savings through equipment replacement, operational practices, or building systems and envelopes projects. To reduce cost, check with local utility companies about free energy audit programs and incentives for improving energy efficiency.
  3. Replace existing bulbs with CFLs and LEDs: Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent ones. They also last up to 25 times longer.
  4. Switch off equipment when not in use: Make it a point to turn off (and unplug if possible) office equipment, the microwave, coffee vending machines, lights and air conditioners after-hours and on weekends and holidays. These continue to draw power if they are plugged in. Encourage employees to use the hibernation feature of computers and laptops. You may also consider plugging these items into a power bar with a switch that can be easily turned off when they are not in use.
  5. Opt for energy efficient devices: Selecting energy-efficient equipment and appliances can result in significant savings over the years. Look for ENERGY STAR® products which are certified for their energy-efficiency.
  6. Invest in a programmable thermostat: It can automatically adjust the temperature of your office or factory when no one is working; thus, bringing you significant energy savings. In addition, lowering the temperature by one degree during winter and increasing it a degree in summer can reduce power usage by up to 10%.
  7. Look out for small drafts: Check windows and doors for leaks and seal them properly. Even the smallest drafts can drive up your heating and cooling costs.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer customized solutions to meet the specific requirements of your commercial or industrial facility. Quality workmanship, personalized attention and on-time, within-budget project completions have earned us the continued loyalty of our customers. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country depend on us for a wide variety of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Ask us how to make your business more energy efficient. From new electrical system installation to facility upgrade or expansion, our vast experience enables us to seamlessly co-ordinate every aspect of your project. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. Detailed preparation and attention sets our company apart. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can rely on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions and exceptional customer service.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

A Closer Look at Transformers

Transformers transmit electrical energy from one circuit to another. Since their main purpose is to increase (step up) or decrease (step down) voltage, these electrical devices can be used for a variety of needs ranging from power distribution and measurement to the charging cradle of your cell phone.

Below is an overview of the main types of transformers and their application.

  • Power transformers: Generally used for increasing or decreasing voltage in a power distribution network. Electrical utilities typically use a “step up” transformer to increase voltage and reduce the amount of energy that is lost during transmission over long distances and “step down” to decrease voltage before it reaches consumers.
  • Distribution transformers: Used to step down voltage for distribution to residential and commercial users.
  • Instrument transformers: They reduce high voltage and current to lesser values which can then be measured and safely used by conventional instruments.
  • Single-phase transformers: Often used to supply power for residential lighting, receptacle, air-conditioning and heating needs.
  • Three-phase transformers: Constructed by winding three, single-phase transformers on a single core to achieve cost-effective power distribution.
  • Two-winding and auto transformers: Two-winding and auto transformers are typically used to step up or down voltage from the transmission grid to the distribution grid. When the high and low voltage is greater than 2, it is more cost-effective to use a two-winding transformer. Auto transformers are preferred when the ratio is less than 2.
  • Core and shell transformers: A core type transformer has two vertical legs or limbs with two horizontal sections. HV and LV coils are placed on both limbs. A shell type transformer on the other hand, has a central limb and two outer limbs. Both HV, LV coils are placed on the central limb.
  • Oil cooled transformer: Large transformers used in power distribution or electrical substations that have their core and coils immersed in oil which both cools and insulates them.
  • Dry-type transformers: Air-cooled transformers that provide an economical method of correcting a lower or higher voltage rating for efficient operation of electrical equipment.

As a valued customer of J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., you will receive tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of your industrial or commercial facility. Our quality workmanship, personalized attention and on-time, within-budget project completions ensure that you are fully satisfied. Discuss your transformer requirements with our team. We will seamlessly co-ordinate every aspect of your project.

Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From transformer installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can count on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions and exceptional customer service.

For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country rely on us for a full range of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services. We will be happy to add you to our long list of happy customers.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.

Differences Between Residential and Commercial Electric Wiring

Residential and commercial electric wiring are vastly different, right from the quality and grade of material used, to load and energy requirements as well as the installation process. Since there are many factors that go into designing and installing an electrical system, it is important that you hire the right electrical contractor for the job.

Here is an overview of the 3 main differences between commercial and residential wiring below for your understanding.

Residential Wiring

  • Insulation – Completely covered with sheath insulation to protect wiring as well as residents from electrical shock.
  • Location – Usually hidden from view within wall interiors, rafters and attic crawl spaces in your home.
  • Load – Uses a single phase circuit of 120 volts with the exception of appliances such as air conditioning units, refrigerators, washers and dryers which use a 2-phase circuit of 240 volts.

Commercial Wiring

  • Insulation – Has a higher level of insulation which is thermoplastic, high-heat resistant, nylon coated (THHN) for protection from corrosive substances.
  • Location – Typically run through tube-like conduits which provide protection from damage but are easily accessible for servicing.
  • Load – Generally a 3-phase electrical system, with 2 smaller legs each running 120 volts plus 1 wider leg running 208 volts—this reduces workload on individual wires but provides higher output when combined.

At J & S Electrical Contractors, Inc., we offer customized solutions to meet the unique needs of your industrial or commercial facility. Our customers are assured of quality workmanship, personalized attention and on-time, within-budget project completions. For over 25 years, plant and facility managers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and across the country rely on us for a full range of electrical, commercial and mechanical contractor services.

Discuss your new electrical system installation, facility upgrade or expansion with our team. We will seamlessly co-ordinate every aspect of your project. Our commercial electricians are fully licensed, certified and up-to-date with technology and safety codes. From installation to maintenance and emergency repairs, you can depend on us for cost-efficient electrical solutions and outstanding customer service.

Call us at 215-633-8330 to learn more about our electrical services. Or request a quote online for your commercial and industrial projects.