The Spotlight will highlight topics spanning industry news, safety, product and equipment reviews, codes and much more! We look forward to a dialogue with you.

Surge Protectors

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In order to hook your television to your DVD player, cable box, and game systems, we all turn to those surge protectors and/or power strips. You have seen them before, but you probably haven't heard of the hazards that could be linked to them. 

It is important to be aware of the dangers that they can present, so that you can be sure to avoid them. 


A company in Houston thought their office would be protected while using their surge protectors. Unfortunately, they walked into their office the next day and it was filled with smoke and melting power strips.

“The surge protector had absorbed all of the energy it was capable of absorbing and melted down as a result. The surge protectors involved were not on a recall list”

Click here for more information related to this incident and access to the entire article from NMSU.EDU.

“Power strips and surge protectors don’t provide more power to a location, just more access to the same limited capacity of the circuit into which is connected. The circuit likely also serves a variety of other outlets and fixtures in addition to the multiple electrical items you might be supplying with the power strip.” -ESFI.ORG

Always Remember: It is never a good idea to plug your heater into an extension cord or a power strip. If the power strip or extension cord overheats it could be very dangerous and can cause a fire!

Also, it is very important to keep yourself up to date on all recalls involved with these products! It could really make a difference in your safety. has a great article chocked with safety tips that can help you stay protected. Click here for more information.

Keeping you safe and informed is our number one goal!

Until Next Time, 

Your Ice Co Team!

Safety Matters!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ice Co Electric has been committed to work safety since our doors opened. That’s why we have regularly documented safety training on electrical hazards in the work environment. Maintaining safety is essential for providing successful business operations.  

Safety comes in many forms. From being safe in the workplace, watching your surroundings at night, wearing the proper attire, and locking your doors to prevent a break in.

Your family means a lot to you, just like our Ice Co Electric family means a lot to us. That’s another reason we strive for safety at every turn, every day.

This week, our focus is on safety in general. It’s crucial to remember ways to be safe and to strive for safety everyday. 

It is critical to wear the proper uniform for your work station. Whether it’s just closed toed shoes or completely decked out with your hard hat, ear plugs, goggles, etc. Your uniform is designed to keep you safe!  

Being safe doesn't only prevent yourself from harm, it prevents your work family from being harmed as well.


Even if your job is in an office at a computer, there are ways to keep yourself safe. Posture, eye level, and the position you sit can have a tremendous amount of strain on your body. Here are some tips to prevent yourself from an injury. 

Failure to follow these guidelines can result in strain to your back or neck. It can also cause your posture to deteriorate. Paying attention to the way you sit can make a dramatic change in your comfort level while working. 

Click here for more tips and a step by step process to finding your perfect chair position to avoid discomfort.

Keeping you safe and informed is our number one goal.

Until Next Time,

Your Ice Co Team!

Winter Fire Prevention

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

People are at a greater risk of electrical fires in the winter months, from the lights in and outside of your house, to the cooking in your home, and even unsafe heat sources.  

Winter officially began on December 21, and you have probably been using your heater more often than the previous months. The heater is great for keeping you warm, but it comes with consequences (if you don’t know what to do to ensure they are in fact safe).

Since a house down the street from me busted into flames last week, it got me wondering what measures need to be taken in my home, to prevent that from happening.

You are probably thinking, “That will never happen to me”, right? It CAN happen to you.

FEMA shares statistics to help citizens understand the severity and prevalence of winter fires:

  1. 905 people die in winter home fires EACH year
  2. $2,091,000,000 in property loss occurs from winter home fires
  3. 67% of winter fires occur in one- and two-family homes
  4. Cooking is the LEADING cause of all winter home fires
  5. 5PM – 8PM is the most common time for winter home fires

FEMA and states that heating equipment is involved in 1 in every 7 reported home fires and 1 in every 6 home fire deaths. The months that heating fires occur in half of the time are in December, January and February.

Knowing what to do and when, can help you from being a victim of a winter house fire.

Call a qualified electrician if you have:

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discolored or warm wall outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Sparks from an outlet

Remember to always have ALL of your electrical work done by a qualified electrician.

If you are remodeling your house or buying a new home, you should have it inspected by an electrician as well.

If you have a portable heater in your home, make sure to keep it in a secure place with nothing around it and never use an extension cord for the heater. Also, make sure to turn it off and unplug it when not in use. You should never sleep or leave your house with it on.

Make sure to keep your heater maintained and serviced on a regular basis.

It is important that you check your smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working condition. It is recommended to replace your fire alarms every 10 years.

Generators that are portable should never be used inside your house or garage. Keep it outside far away from any doors or windows.

Click here for a full list of tips customized for your home needs. 

Remember to always have an escape plan that is studied by everyone in the home. Everyone in the home should know ways to escape if something unfortunate like this happens.

Click here to create your fire safety plan online.

Keeping you safe, warm and informed is our main goal!

Until Next time,

Your ICE Co Team

The Incandescent Light bulb Phase Out

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Last week’s blog discussed LED energy efficient bulbs and the cash savings and benefits from purchasing them. This week we are going to discuss what has happened on January 1, 2014, that will change the way you buy your light bulbs. 

Many people love the fact that they can buy a light bulb for only $0.99. Surprisingly though, that cheap light bulb will cost you around $7.00 a year to burn!

The new bulbs that you will have to buy will be more expensive than $0.99, but will only cost around $1.00 a year to burn. That means you will save $6.00 a year per bulb. In the end, your energy efficient light will pay for itself.


You will now have three choices when buying light bulbs. The three choices are limited to LED, Halogen, and CFL’s. describes each bulb and their attributes.

“Halogen bulbs act most like incandescent bulbs, and have very similar energy profiles. A halogen bulb will last only about 1,000 hours and consume approximately 43 watts for the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent light. They're the least expensive of the non-incandescent light bulbs, available for approximately $1.25 per bulb. Their per-bulb economy has a trade-off of energy economy, as they use over two-thirds as much energy as incandescent bulbs.”

“CFL bulbs offer a great combination of efficiency and economy, but they have their own drawbacks. CFL bulbs are available for about $2, can last 10,000 hours, and consume 13 watts for the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. However, fluorescent light is much cooler than incandescent or halogen light, making it appear more blue than white to eyes used to the warm, orange-tinted light of incandescent bulbs. Many users simply dislike how CFLs look. CFL bulbs are also the hardest to dispose of safely, as most contain a trace of mercury and must be recycled at a proper facility.”

“LED bulbs are the most expensive up front, but offer the most efficiency in the long term. They can cost between $12 and $50 each, but they can last 25,000 hours and consume 10 watts for the equivalent of a 60-watt incandescent bulb. LED bulbs can have adjustable colors, and don't have any toxic chemicals that need to be disposed of safely.

In the long run, LED bulbs are the superior choice, but they're going to remain the most expensive one because of the numerous electronic components used in each bulb. According to Mertz, LED bulbs might reach a low price of $4 to $6, but they simply won't dip below that or anywhere near the price of halogen or CFL bulbs because of the cost of the parts. “

Of course, you can still buy the incandescent bulbs until they run out at your local hardware store. 

There is a lot of controversy over the phase-out, but if you look over the facts, you can end up saving a lot of money.

Click here for more information similar to this chart.

Source - Pcmag

Energy Efficient Products – Switching to LED Bulbs

Thursday, December 26, 2013

You have probably heard of energy efficient products before, maybe from a friend or neighbor bragging about how they saved money on their electricity bill from using these same products.

If you are like me, you are skeptical.  Can I really save money? How much? Which products should I buy? Are they all the same? 


This week I’m going to answer some of these specific questions, and what you are about to read, might just surprise you.

My husband has a passion for his reef aquariums in our home. This Christmas he wanted to spend a decent amount of money on some new LED light fixtures for ONE of his reef tanks. By a decent amount, I mean $600.00! For lights?

Of course, knowing my reaction, he had a couple benefits ready to unload on me. After he rambled on about how awesome they will look, he finished off his persuasion by telling me they will save us money on our electric bill and future replacement bulbs. Save? Now we’re talking!

The accounting major in me wanted the numbers, details, all of the facts. After a little digging I found out that the t5 florescent light bulbs will need to be replaced every six months, (depending on usage) at an average of $150.00. That is already an annual cost of $300.00 a year, without including the cost of electricity.

The average LED light will last around 50,000 hours. That means that the LED light will pay for its self in less than one year. The LED lights also require less energy to run all day long. 

Switching to an average perspective, I calculated the normal cost for a regular 60w house hold bulb. The results were pretty astounding. Let’s say you have a 60w bulb that runs for 4 hours a day and cost $1.44 to purchase.

The LED with the same light output only runs 7w and cost $11.99. At a rate of $13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, I would save $11.89 per year on electricity and pay for the bulb in .93 years.

The initial cost for LED lights may be more, but as I have proved to you today, they will save you money long-term. 

Working in the Winter Weather

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brrrrrrrr………. its cold outside!

Are you dressed for the weather?? As we find ourselves right in the middle of a VERY cold winter, we thought it would be appropriate to share some tips for working in this chilly weather.

Dress in layers. Make sure the layers closer to your body are a tighter fit and the outer layers are loose. This helps trap the heat!

Protect from Wet. If you start to get hot, take off a layer. Sweat can cause the inner layer to be useless!

Don’t forget the hands and feet! The best hand protection can be a simple thin glove under a pair of good leather gloves. And wool socks can be great but using an overshoe can help keep your feet dry.

DID YOU KNOW?? Over half of your heat will escape through your head! Protect your head with proper head gear….put on a warm hat!!

Still not sure what to wear?? Check out these tips.

STAY HEALTHY! Oh the weather outside is delightful but the germs are oh so frightful! Here are some tips to keep you healthy during this season.

Wash your hands!

Don’t sneeze or cough into your hands – use a tissue or the inside of your elbow!

Don’t touch your face!

Exercise regularly!

Eat your greens!


 For information on cold related injury prevention, check out what the CDC has to say!


MERRY CHRISTMAS from the ICE Co. Team!!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Jeff Kramer of Phillips demonstrates (in a presentation posted on the website of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Portland, Oregon Section), that LEDs are taking over, with this picture of a beautiful bridge in Sao Paolo, Brazil:


And speaking of the Illuminating Engineering Society (“IES”), the IES “is the recognized technical authority on illumination. For over 100 years; its objective has been to communicate information on all aspects of good lighting practice to its members, to the lighting community, and to consumers, through a variety of programs, publications, and services.” The IES has an informative interactive website, Discover Lighting, An Introduction to Lighting, found here.


Enjoy exploring their website!

ICE Co. Electric

Power. Current. Grounded



Monday, September 09, 2013

In this high tech world we live in, just about everything is digitized. So it should come as no shock that even the construction of buildings is taking on a high tech digitalization before groundbreaking ever begins!

Building information modeling, or BIM, is the process of taking the idea of a building and basically building it within a software program first. From the ground up. This helps the decision makers tackle any issues and work out any kinks long before they are faced with them.

The use of BIM in the architectural and construction industries is on the rise! A tool like this can help save companies from having to solve some of those unexpected problems when they are in the middle of construction deadlines.

Here are some great resources to get more information about BIM.

BIM Special Edition from McGraw-Hill

A short video explaining BIM

Digital Building Lab at Georgia Tech

So before you start your next building project you should check out BIM. It can even help you figure out where to put all your electrical work that you know you want to hire us for!

Project Spotlight- Kitchen

Monday, September 09, 2013

This long overdue project spotlight is for a residential project in Portland.

We had the opportunity to work with Timothy J. Schouten, AIA Giulietti/Schouten Architects, and Ella Mills, Lighting Designer Both brought innovative and successful design aspects to the table. JDL development was the General Contractor with whom we always enjoy working with.

This project made good use of the WAC lighting LED tape to illuminate the ceiling clouds above the kitchen and dining areas. The product was also used at the toe kick of a buffet table, and to provide cabinet shelf lighting.

We also used a Philips eW Powercore LED under cabinet fixtures for all under cabinet lighting. Finish product pops light to the backsplash and counter top.

In the kitchen we installed a cluster of designer pendants mounted from the ceiling cloud structure, which acts as accent light in that area.

Enjoy the select photos, and visit again for future project spotlights.

Happy Trails
ICE Co. Electric
Power. Current. Grounded.

Green Creative

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Green Creative’s New High CRI Directional Lamp 

Green Creativity announces availability of it’s new, crisp LED series high directional lamp. It was designed specifically for accurate color rendering, such as retail, food, museums, and art galleries. Previously they were forced  to choose between high color rendering, or energy saving efficiency. Now they can have both. It comes in 3000K and 2700KK CCT as well as narrow flood and flood beam angles and is even dimmable. Energy Star qualification is currently pending.


If this seems like something that would make sense for your Business, contact ICE Co and we can install them for you.


For more information:


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