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How to take the heat out of the bill for running your office air conditioning

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Most modern workplaces have air conditioning these days.

It allows businesses to regulate the temperature for employees, ensuring health and safety standards are met. It also allows office equipment to be cooled when necessary and provides a welcoming atmosphere for visiting customers.

Running air conditioning can cost businesses hundreds of pounds a year, though.

On an average electricity tariff of 15.41p per unit, the cost of running an air conditioning unit for eight hours a day for 90 days per year can vary from £75 to £326, depending on the size and power you need.

In an office, you may want to run your air conditioning for more than 200 days a year, which would more than double that cost.

As the warm weather of summer beckons, here are a few basic things you could be doing to help reduce that bill:

  • Keep your office windows and doors closed – it costs more to run a unit and it is less effective if windows are opened, for example.
  • Set your air conditioning to as high as is comfortable then use a programmable thermostat to increase temperature when no one is in the office. That could save you up to 10% on your bills.
  • Try to maintain a consistent temperature. Don’t be tempted to turn the temperature right down when you walk into a room – you may well forget about it and spend more than you need. It also isn’t as effective as maintaining a constant temperature when people are in the office.
  • Maintain your systems. Ensure filters aren’t blocked – cleaning them once a month could reduce energy consumption by between 5% and 15%. Make sure the evaporator and condenser coils are also clean. Keep trees and shrubs away from outside units.
  • Turn computers off at night. If your office has large numbers of them, that could be adding to the heat in your workplace.
  • Close blinds and shades to prevent heat building up from sunlight. This also protects workers using computer screens from glare.

Do you need advice on electrical installations, maintenance, or repairs in your office?Call our experts on 0845 003 6856. Find out more about our commercial services here: /commercial-services/.



How to get the right electrics for your new home office

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Setting up a new business from your home is an exciting time.

There’s so much to think about. You need to decide if you’ll be self-employed, in a partnership, or registering a limited company.

You need to get your business plan in order, sort out finance, and decide how you will reach your customers.

You’ll also need to decide where you’ll be carrying out your work.

For most home-based businesses, a home office is the way forward.

You need somewhere dedicated to work, somewhere on which you can close the door at the end of the day.

You don’t want your new business to overwhelm your home!

Your new office may be a spare room, study, or a garden room.

One important thing to consider is ensuring you have the right electrics for your new home office.

What do you need to consider?

What equipment will you be using? Most home offices have at least one computer or laptop, a printer, phones, internet connections, and points for phone charging.

Designers and photographers may need light boxes, some businesses may need other equipment such as overhead screens – useful for traders to monitor currency and stocks, for example.

For those starting a craft business, you may need equipment which needs electricity like soldering irons.

What lighting will you need? Alongside overhead lighting, you will probably need a desk lamp. Will you also need spotlighting for crafting or artistic work?

Where will your desk be situated? Look at the layout of the room and the natural lighting and decide where your desk should be. You need to ensure computer screens and other VDUs don’t suffer from glare from windows or overhead lights.

Will you need to move your broadband router? Some houses, especially older ones with thick walls, have Wi-Fi dead spots. Try your laptop out in your new office before you move in to ensure you get a usable signal.

Where will your electrical points and data cabling points need to be placed? Once you have the site of your desk, this should become clearer.

A good electrical engineer will help you design the layout of points to best suit your needs.

If you have a garden office, do you need extra cabling outside? Your garden office may not have any electrics in there at all, or its older electrics may need a total re-wire. Do you also need a fire alarm or security system for it? Get a proper survey to ensure you’ll be safe.

Looking for an engineer to install your home office electrics? Call our expert team on 0845 003 6856/ Find out more about our services here: /.


3 ways you could cut your office electricity bill

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For every savvy business owner, ensuring costs are as low as possible is one of the best ways to maximise profits.

One of the key areas you could look at is reducing the amount of money you spend on your electricity bill.

Here are three wonderfully simple ways your business could save money:

1.      Switch to LEDs

One of the best ways to get long-term savings is to swap your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs.

How much you’d save depends on your tariff and how often you use your lighting. But as an example, if you have an office with 25 lightbulbs, on for eight hours a day for five days a week, and you pay 10p per KWH, swapping them for LEDs would save you more than £490 in a year and more than £2,400 over five years.

That’s a substantial saving which factors in the extra cost of buying in LEDs which are more expensive to buy than incandescent bulbs.

Not only would you be saving money, you’d also be reducing your business’ carbon footprint. In this example, you’d reduce your CO2 output by almost 13,400kg over five years.

As they emit little heat, they also help you reduce your air conditioning bills. It’s win-win!

2.      Switch off computers at night

This is great for energy saving and office health and safety.

How much you save depends on how old your computers are. Generally, the older they are the thirstier they are for electricity.

Unless your computers are performing tasks overnight like a virus scan or backup, there’s no great reason to leave them on.

If you have dozens of computers in an office, the cost of leaving them on can soon add up – even those with power-saving features.

When it comes to charging laptops, check whether your laptop has apps which perform functions while charging. If so, charging overnight will be more expensive than charging for an hour or so in the day.

3.      Get up-to-date thermostats for your air conditioning and heating systems

The latest programmable thermostats can save you money – if you use them correctly.

Programme the thermostat to turn down sharply at times when your staff are not in the office, such as at weekends or overnight.

That could save you between 10% and 30% on your electricity bills.

You’re far less likely to save money if people are constantly tuning the thermostat up or down. Programming a consistent temperature for times when your staff are in the office will help avoid that.

Are you a business in South Wales or further afield looking to save money on your bills?

Call our friendly team for advice on 0845 003 6856. Find out more about our commercial services here: /commercial-services/.



Getting the right data cabling is vital for tech businesses

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Installing new data cabling for your tech business is a long-term investment.

So, you should ensure you get the best return on that investment. You need to get the best data cabling installers for your project.

Here are some important questions to ask when you’re looking for electrical engineers:

Will the engineers work with your IT department to design and install the system?

You need engineers who understand your business needs. Tech businesses live or die by the speed of their internet connections and the reliability of the cabling in their offices. You can’t afford to have breakdowns which cost you lucrative contracts.

Your engineers must work closely with your IT support department, whether that’s in-house or outsourced, to ensure you get what you need from the design of your system.

They must also work together to ensure installation goes smoothly.

Have the electrical engineers installed systems for businesses like yours before?

It’s always a good thing if engineers have worked in your sector. That means they understand it. It helps them anticipate problems before they occur.

What sort of testimonials do they have?

If their testimonials praise their speed, efficiency, and flexibility, rather than just praising the price, you’ll know quality is important to your electrical engineers.

As your engineers if you can speak to some of their previous customers. Good companies will be happy to arrange that.

Will they be installing the best quality cabling?

Reliability is king for a tech business. So, you need the best quality cabling you can afford. Many installers are accredited with manufacturers and have years of experience in working with their products.

What do you need?

Category 5 or 6 data cabling – This provides a single infrastructure which connects your computers and telephone systems in one network. It’s usually based on copper cabling which conforms to the category 5 or 6 standard for structured cabling.

Fibre optic cabling – As a tech business, it’s also worth considering whether you need this cabling. This is very useful for connections between servers.

Ethernet – This cabling carries broadband signals between internet-capable devices. Ethernet can cope with all the speeds needed for internet use.

Data points – Working out how many you need could be tricky for a growing tech company. It’s best to build a little growth into the equation from the start, installing a few more data points than you need rather than getting your engineers back in six months at extra cost.


Are you looking to install data cabling in Cardiff, Bristol, or further afield? Talk to our expert engineers about what they could do for your business. Call 0845 003 6856.

Find out more about our service here: /data-cabling/.


Is it time your office scrapped ‘the lightbulb everyone loves to hate’?

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Here’s one thing many office workers hate with a passion: fluorescent strip lights.

The light they give off is harsh and feels unnatural.

It can seemingly take an age for them to turn on.

When something goes wrong, they flicker and buzz annoyingly.

There’s a recognition in light manufacturing that fluorescent strip lighting is loathed by many.

General Electric’s GE Lighting division stopped manufacturing fluorescent bulbs at the end of 2016, concentrating on LEDs and halogens.

Its Chief Operating Officer John Strainic told reporters a fluorescent bulb had become “the light bulb that everybody loves to hate”.

Mr Strainic said they had become crowded out of the marketplace by incandescent bulbs and LED lightbulbs as LED technology becomes cheaper.

There are now several LED strip bulb alternatives like the GE Bright Stik and some LED alternatives can mimic daylight.

Industry insiders are waiting to see if other major manufacturers follow GE’s lead.


So, if you still have fluorescent tubes in your office, what can you do?

Research the cost of replacing them. LED replacements will cost more to buy than fluorescent bulbs, but they are cheaper to run, last longer, and will be a good investment in the long term.

Look at the lighting design in your office – could your lighting be used better?

You can design offices to create distinct spaces even within an open-plan environment, and one of the key ways you can do that is by using effective lighting in different areas.

A conference area might benefit from targeted downlighters or a central feature light, a kitchen area will need brighter lighting than an informal rest area.

Fluorescent lighting can also cause glare problems for people using equipment like computers or light boxes – could your new design diffuse the light for those workers?



Looking for bright ideas for your office lighting design? We can help – we design, install, and maintain commercial lighting in South Wales and beyond. Have a chat with our friendly team on 0845 003 6856 and check out our services for commercial clients: /commercial-services/.




Is saving cash on your energy bills your New Year resolution?


There’s a simple way you could be saving money in 2017.

Now’s the time to look at switching your traditional incandescent lightbulbs for LED bulbs because you could make substantial annual savings on your energy bill.

Energy experts estimate that if you swap out 10 100-watt non-LED bulbs for 15-watt LEDs, leaving them on constantly for 10 hours a day, seven days a week, you could save more than £300 a year, even factoring in the cost of buying the new bulbs.

Over five years, that’s a potential saving of more than £1,500.

That would also save more than 1,600 kilos of CO2 going into the atmosphere in a year, reducing your carbon footprint.

If those bulbs were on constantly for four hours a day, seven days a week, that could still be a net saving of more than £120 a year and more than £600 over five years.

How much you can reduce your bill depends on your deal and the tariff your energy company charges, but for both householders and businesses installing LEDs could prove to be a substantial long-term saving.


How do LEDs work?

LEDs are light emitting diodes.

They’re used in may electronic products like alarm clocks, watches, traffic lights, and television screens.

They come in the smallest sizes making tiny points of light in TV screens to the size of lightbulbs.

The light they produce comes from the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material – something which conducts electricity like aluminum-gallium-arsenide.

Electrons move across ‘holes’ in the material, attracted from areas with extra negatively-charged particles towards areas with extra positively-charged materials.

This movement generates light as energy is released.

Unlike an incandescent lightbulb, there is no filament which burns out, so LEDs last thousands more hours than incandescent bulbs and far less heat is generated.


Why are LED lightbulbs cheaper to run than incandescent bulbs?

The heat generated by incandescent lightbulbs is wasted energy.

In LEDs, a much higher percentage of the power is being used to generate light. So I takes less power to run them.

The effectiveness of how bulbs light a room is measured in lumens. Traditional incandescent bulbs produce 17 lumens per watt. LEDs produce 77 lumens per watt.


Why are they popular now?

In the past, the cost of producing LEDs made lightbulbs using them too expensive for widespread use.

Since 2000, however, the price of the materials used as semiconductors in LEDs has dropped markedly, so they have become much cheaper to produce and buy.

Even though they are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, the fact they last far longer means they are a good long-term investment. They have a lifespan of 50,000 hours or more. That’s 25 times the lifespan of a halogen bulb.


Looking for an electrician in Cardiff or South Wales to give you expert advice or a no-obligation quote? Check out what we can do for businesses /commercial-services/ and domestic customers /domestic-services/ or call us on 0845 003 6856.









Switch on to what great shop lighting could do for your business


Well-designed lighting can help your shop attract customers and keep them in store.

Ultimately, it can help you make sales.

Poorly-designed lighting can end up fighting against all the other good work being done in your shop to make it attractive to customers.

Here are our tips to getting your shop lighting to work for you:


Create product spotlights

If you have showpiece items which are likely to bring people into your store or keep them interested in staying in it, you could create a product spotlight area.

Clever lighting can highlight your showpiece product while dimming the lights slightly around it.

You could use overhead lighting, up lighting, or side lighting to give your items impact.

Your go-to item will really pop when your customers see it.


Create a route through your shop

You don’t have to draw arrows on the flooring to get your customers to follow the path you’d like through your shop.

There are several techniques savvy shopkeepers use to keep people in their shop longer – giving them the best chance of making a sale. Lighting can be a big part of that.

Make your threshold light and bright – it’s your first impression.

Retailers know that 90% of people will instinctively turn to the right when going into a shop, so it’s best not to fight this. Create your most impressive display there and light it well.

Create a clear walking path from that point around the store. Light the path more slightly more brightly than other areas to help people follow it, ensuring they can still see your products clearly.

Even subtle differences in brightness will make a subconscious difference.

Segment your shop into different areas

You could do this with the brightness of your lights and different colours to create areas with different moods.

You could dim lights to make people more relaxed in certain areas – especially useful if you have products in that area which enhance relaxation, like aromatic oils or candles.

You could create a light bright play area which would attract children to toys or books aimed at them.


Don’t over-highlight counter areas

Keeping counter areas to a minimum and getting employees to walk around the store helps to make it look busy and breaks down the ‘us’ and ‘them’ barriers between staff and customers.

Don’t spoil that effect by having a huge spotlight over your counter areas.

While you want people to know where to pay and get help, it would be better to make them a key destination on your shop walking route.


Whether you’re in fashion, electronics, arts and crafts, or food retailing, great lighting could help your customers have a lightbulb moment and make that purchase!


If you’d like experienced electricians who can help you design your shop lighting in Cardiff, South Wales, and further afield, call us on 0645 003 6856. Discover our services for retailers here: /commercial-services/.