ECN December 202

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The revolutionary new junction box for lighting

VOLUME 40 NO. 12 • DECEMBER 2020




25 COMPETITION Win one of three starter kits, courtesy of Quickwire



SAFE ISOLATION KITS SAVE LIVES The need for increased vigilance and improved safety behaviours when it comes to safe isolations has prompted Ideal Industries to call for improved regulation and compliance on safe isolation of live electrical services to drive safety best practice and save lives. Brett Smyth, General Manager of Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the essential role safe isolation kits can play in electricians’ safety on site and the opportunity for electrical wholesalers to generate sales by offering this simple safety product. Statistics show an alarming amount of injuries or fatalities each year in England from electrical distribution – and many of these incidents are entirely preventable.

Only one in five electricians carries a safe isolation lock out/ tag out kit to ensure that the isolated distribution network is not accidentally switched to live while they are still working. As a result, these professionals are often failing to protect themselves and their colleagues from accidents. So what can be done?

Turn to page 14 to find out more.


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CONTENTS… Regulars 6 Editorial Goodbye 2020!

8 Industry News Win £25,000 with Christmas e-cards; ECA calls for tougher action on fair payment; £2.5m to support electrical waste refuse and recycling; and more

14 Cover Story Brett Smyth, General Manager of Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the essential role safe isolation kits can play in safety on site

16 Contract News Walworth Road bus garage goes electric; Dutch soccer club in install disinfection lighting; REL awarded M&E package for school refurbishment; and more

18 Training Darke & Taylor looks at the benefit of investing in apprentices

19 Advertisement Feature The next generation of smart home advisors

20 Key Issue Under strain: Handling the stresses of the electrical industry

22 Advertisement Feature Firesafe has released its latest innovation in Hush detection under the ‘raseries’ brand

23 Ask the Expert HagerGang Rewards: What are you waiting for?

24 Project Focus Northampton College prioritises student safety

25 Competition Win one of three starter kits, courtesy of Quickwire

26 Advertisement Feature Get up to speed with the Ethos 8400

31 Advertisement Feature Improving smart lighting for car parks, industry and warehouses

33 Advertisement Feature Aico launches Smarter Homes, Safer Communities virtual conference

48 Company Showcase Sponsored content from across the sector

4 | December 2020

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SPECIAL FEATURES: Cabling & Cable Management writes on preparing your cabling 27 BASEC for Power over Ethernet

Smart Buildings transformation of property and 28 Digital construction industries is ‘extremely slow’ – but there may be a solution, according to Beckhoff Martin, Chairman and CEO 30 Graham of the EnOcean Alliance, looks at how smart spaces can welcome employees back to work Smart buildings call for a smarter 32 approach to data installations, writes Ideal Industries in simple and smart 34 Keeping with Link2Home Krise, Managing Director at 36 Glen Megaman, discusses the importance of human-centric lighting and how its implementation can improve both productivity and wellbeing works with Vodafone UK to reduce its 37 Mitie carbon footprint

Test Equipment certificate software solution: 38 New NAPIT FastTest invests in new luminaire 40 Ovia testing equipment

UPS & Power Distribution VX25 Ri4Power panels deliver 42 Rittal’s ‘impressive’ solution for renewable energy project Roberts from CMD looks at the 44 Stephen need for solutions designed to provide the power and data reliability needed to allow working from home to become a permanent choice Uninterruptible Power writes on 46 Kohler the importance of a robust maintenance and servicing programme



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ello and welcome to the December issue of ECN. I’m sure that many of you will be glad to see the back of 2020! However, with the hope that the elusive COVID-19 vaccine may be just around the corner, I’m sure we can all allow ourselves some optimism that life may return to something resembling normality in 2021. Although this year has been tough, it has also shown how the industry has pulled together. Marshall-Tufflex has been awarded the UK Business Hero award for the incredible work it has undertaken to combat the challenges presented by COVID-19. Apprentices made redundant by the fallout from COVID-19 were offered a lifeline by the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust, which actively helped in seeking alternative employment for apprentices whose posts disappeared, and placed many out ‘on loan’ to companies to keep their training and skill sets up to speed.

Published monthly by All Things Media Ltd., Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent ME5 8UD. Tel: 01634 673163 Fax: 01634 673173

Emergency Lighting

In October, the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum hosted two webinars to advise and answer questions on redundancy, restructuring and other urgent employment issues. At the time, Vaughan Hart, who co-chairs the CICV Forum’s Skills and Workforce Sub-Group, said, “Such an unprecedented and tumultuous period throws up many questions and we are keen to advise our fellow professionals and support them however we can.” Although 2020 was not the year that everyone expected, we must try to remain hopeful and positive about the year ahead. You could also finish the year on a high, by winning one of three starter kits, courtesy of Quickwire. Thank you for all of your support during the year and for making my first few months at ECN so enjoyable. Hopefully I will be able to meet some of you in person next year! Have a very Happy Christmas and see you in 2021.

Carly Wills, Editor

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STUDIO:  MARK WELLER T:  01634 673163 E:




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January Issue Advertising deadline: December 17 Editorial deadline: December 14

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The editors and publishers do not necessarily agree with the views expressed by contributors nor do they accept responsibility for any errors in the transmission of the subject matter in this publication. In all matters the editor’s decision is final. Editorial contributions to ECN are welcomed, and the editor reserves the right to alter or abridge text prior to the publication. Overseas Subscription Rates: Europe £60.00; Rest of World £70.00. Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved. Printed by Micropress, Reydon Business Park Fountain Way, Reydon, Southwold, IP18 6SZ.

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INDUSTRY NEWS WPD RAMPS UP PROGRAMME WITH POWER FLOW DATA ACCESS Western Power Distribution (WPD) has launched the next wave of its digitalisation programme, with the release of its new Real-Time Power Flow Data Access, providing customers and stakeholders with access to live data on energy production and use across the Midlands, South Wales and South West. The new data access tool will allow customers, academics and innovators to view live information on electricity demand, import and generation across the WPD network. The solution will also display historic data, supporting in-depth comparisons and research by third parties. Users will be able to dive into the data, accessing generation split by key types such as solar and wind, providing a deep understanding of the make-up of energy on the network in real-time. WPD’s ambition is that the real-time data resource should provide three key benefits to network stakeholders: •  Better connections and planning •  Supporting cutting edge research •  Democratising innovation Western Power Distribution,

IT’S A £25,000 CRACKER! With Christmas events cancelled across the country, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity has just the thing to lift the spirits of employees, suppliers and sub-contractors. Many companies already opt for an e-card or ‘charity cards’ but this one comes with the opportunity to win a share of a £25,000 prize pot! With many people working from home, there seems little point in sending conventional cards or gifts by post this year and the Christmas cracker e-card is also environmentally friendly. What better way to spread some Christmas cheer than by giving the recipient the chance to win a top prize of £10,000 whilst raising much needed funds for charity. Cards cost just £1 each and you can choose from five great designs. Or if you’d prefer your own design then you can simply choose a plain ‘cracker’. You will then receive your e-card with your personalised greeting, company logo and unique reference number. Forward this to your contacts and all they have to do is register the card for a chance to win top cash prizes. The prize pot consists of: •  1 prize of £10,000 •  1 prize of £5,000 •  5 prizes of £1,000 •  10 prizes of £500 The draw will take place on 18 December 2020 at 20:20hrs and it promises to be a party atmosphere too, so don’t miss out! Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity,


UKCA UPDATE FOR CABLE STOCKISTS AND DISTRIBUTORS Be prepared for the upcoming changes and ensure the cables you source remain compliant for supply into the United Kingdom, warns BASEC. Following the announcement made on 1 September by the UK Government, in respect to UKCA marking, there will now be additional considerations for all importers and distributors in the UK cable market. As of 1 January 2021, UKCA marking will become a requirement. The UKCA marking is a new UK specific product marking, which will need to be used on all construction products and goods being placed on the market in Great Britain, across England, Wales and Scotland. It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking. Cables are currently classified under the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) in respect to reaction to fire properties – the UKCA scheme will be a mirror of the current CPR testing and auditing AVCP system. There will be a transition period of one year, up to 31 December 2021, whereby CE marking for construction products will be allowable, however, as of 1 January 2022, it will be a compulsory requirement for cables used in UK construction to be UKCA marked.

Marshall-Tufflex has been recognised by the British Chambers of Commerce as a ‘UK Business Hero’ for its immediate response to meet demand for its antimicrobial trunking for the emergency NHS Nightingale Hospitals. Launched in early October, the UK Business Heroes campaign recognises the incredible work that UK businesses have undertaken to combat the challenges presented by COVID-19. The Hastings-based manufacturer was approached to supply its anti-microbial cable trunking for the facilities, which uses a silver ion solution that disrupts key cell functions of bacteria and prevents them from reproducing – 99.9% of harmful bacteria will not survive. To meet the immense volumes and urgency, Marshall-Tufflex changed its manufacturing and distribution operation, with the factory running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and factory teams working additional hours and over weekends to deliver the required quantities. The logistics team transformed its procedures, with multiple drops required per day to meet demand for flexible and urgent deliveries, as well as a delivery to one site at 2am following the order just 12 hours earlier. Marshall-Tufflex,


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INDUSTRY NEWS ECA CALLS FOR TOUGHER ACTION ON FAIR PAYMENT ECA has called on the government to further ramp up measures against late payers in the private sector supply chain. In its response to a government consultation on proposed changes to the Prompt Payment Code, ECA stated that Code signatories should commit to pay 95% of invoices from smaller businesses within 30 days. Furthermore, the ECA’s submission also calls for this approach to be backed up by an enhanced monitoring and reporting process. The ECA believes that those frequently breaching the Code should face fines, which could help drive compliance due to their own financial performance being impacted. ECA says it also supports the use of a Prompt Payment Code logo by those following the rules, to highlight their responsible business culture. Rob Driscoll, ECA director of legal and business, states: “The introduction of a new 30-day requirement for payments to smaller business could represent a fundamental shift in the balance of power and liquidity of SMEs, who form the backbone of the UK construction industry. A reformed Code will transform it to becoming a champion of small business and fair commercial behaviour in these challenging times.” Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office recently announced that contractors must be able to demonstrate that at least 85% of payments are made within 60 days, or be barred from bidding for contracts. ECA,



In its latest initiative to help Scotland’s building sector, the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum has created a digital learning toolkit to promote best practice. Working with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, linking businesses, university experts and public sector providers, the Forum launched the Be Covid Smart learning programme. Using a series of digital scenarios, this training programme aims to raise awareness of COVID-19 safety by:

Scottish Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, has joined the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum in reminding the sector’s workers to stay COVID-19 smart in their social lives and when travelling to and from jobs. Stewart insists it is ‘essential’ for construction workers to keep following guidance to prevent the spread of the virus. He paid tribute to contractors and sector staff for their patience, insisting he appreciates the ‘great sacrifices’ that have been made. The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning comments: “I know it has been challenging for all of us and we have all had to make great sacrifices, but with winter approaching we are in a crucial stage of our fight against the pandemic, so wherever we are and whatever we’re doing we must all continue to play our part.” Stewart pointed contractors to animations produced by the CICV Forum, which offer guidance on what to do while travelling to work and the importance of physical distancing outside work, with both campaigns underpinning advice from the Scottish government. He adds: “The animations produced by the CICV Forum offer a concise overview of the measures that we should all currently be taking. I would urge all construction workers in Scotland to watch this guidance and familiarise themselves with exactly what’s needed to keep themselves and those around them safe from the threat of COVID-19.”

•  Educating •  Encouraging •  Empowering Recognising that the safe return of workers to site is a challenge, Be Covid Smart provides a fun, quiz-based toolkit that can be accessed via mobile, or laptop, hosted on the CSIC website. Iain McCaskey, Head of Devolved Nations at the Building Engineering Services Association and Head of the CICV Forum Skills Group, who is leading the programme, says: “The Forum identified the need for a safe return to work, also for reassurance for apprentices, their families and employers. This learning solution will not only raise awareness of safety, but identify the user’s knowledge of the steps to protect themselves and others.” The toolkit will start supporting domestic work and apprentices and their colleges, exploring the health and safety aspects of working within a college workshop, around the building and how to get to and from work or college. CICV Forum,

COLLABORATION AIMS TO ‘SHAKE UP’ THE UK CONSTRUCTION SECTOR National framework provider, Pagabo, has forged a collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, challenging methods in the construction sector, pioneering ideas and embracing new technology. The AMRC offers a suite of advanced manufacturing technology capabilities for a range of sectors, offering open access to the latest industrial equipment, leading expertise and an environment of collaboration between industry, academia and government. Its research develops methods that are of use to the manufacturing industry. The organisation transforms industrial and economic performance by making changes in productivity, increasing competitiveness, developing new products and processes and training talent. Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield AMRC, says: “We see construction as an exciting industry to benefit from our learnings. We will be learning from the automotive and aerospace industries and seeing where we can adapt methods that would work in the construction sector.” Just a few weeks into the relationship, research into harnessing technology to streamline health and safety methods on sites is under way.

CICV Forum,


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INDUSTRY NEWS JTL TO OFFER ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING TRAINEESHIPS JTL has partnered with London South East Colleges (LSEC) to provide a programme of traineeships in Electrical and Plumbing. The traineeship programme gives young people aged 16-24 an opportunity to develop skills and confidence in order to take their first steps into their chosen career. The six-week programme gives trainees an insight into the industry, as well as aiding them with the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workplace. As part of the programme, JTL will support learners to secure a four-week industry work placement, which will provide learners with on the job experience. The programme is designed to support young people with basic maths and English knowledge, if required, as well as to enhance their employability skills, including CV writing, interview techniques, timekeeping and teamwork. Learners will also acquire a CSCS card plus Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS Card). JTL,

12 THINGS OUR HOMES NEED FOR NET ZERO Beama has launched its ‘Future Ready Homes’ paper, setting out 12 practical actions needing to be at the centre of government strategies for carbon neutral homes. “Obviously the UK has to get significant infrastructure in place and insulate homes on a large scale,” comments Colin Timmins, Director of Member Services at Beama. “But there are a number of technologies and approaches that are equally necessary but easily forgotten. The actions we are setting out will mean that homes and consumers are ready to take full advantage of the future net zero infrastructure, but these actions need to begin now.” The paper looks at how we can make homes ready for low carbon heating, electrification and grid flexibility. The focus is on things that are practical to deliver, that utilise existing technology, and that in most instances provide immediate benefits to occupants. Beama,

BCIA AWARDS 2021 NOW OPEN FOR ENTRY The BCIA has announced the launch of the 2021 BCIA Awards which will take place on Thursday 6 May 2021 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. The BCIA Awards recognise innovation, product development, project delivery and great training in the building controls sector. For 2021 the BCIA has introduced a brand new online entry system which allows you to start, edit, view and download your entry before submitting it for the 2021 BCIA Awards. The closing date for entries is Friday 22 January 2021. There are nine different categories to enter: •  Building Controls and BEMS Installer of the Year •  Engineer of the Year •  Young Engineer of the Year •  Energy Management Award •  Best Service & Maintenance Provider •  Technical Innovation of the Year – Products •  Technical Innovation of the Year – Projects •  Contribution to Training Award •  Smart Buildings Award BCIA,

£2.5M TO SUPPORT ELECTRICAL WASTE REFUSE AND RECYCLING Material Focus has announced that £2.5 million has been allocated to its Support Grants and Loans Package, helping to support the electrical waste recycling sector as a result of COVID-19. The Support Grants and Loans Package will help support the continuation of the UK WEEE recycling system as the sector deals with the repercussions of COVID-19. The funding has provided nearly £2 million of interest free loans to commercial electrical waste treatment facilities – 14 companies applied and were granted loans, and 34 charities were supported via grants. Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus comments: “We are delighted that Material Focus has been able to help support 48 organisations and charities. Continuing to process the valuable materials contained in electricals is important for the environment and the economy.” Paul Smith, CEO of The Reuse Shop Stranraer, who received £10,000 from

12  |  December 2020

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MOVERS & SHAKERS… Univolt has welcomed Luke Kellaher to the firm’s growing sales team. Kellaher has taken on the position of Area Sales Manager for London and the South East. With seven years working with a rival cable management manufacturer and three years in an electrical wholesaler role, Kellaher is considered the perfect candidate for the new role.

the fund, states; “The WEEE Reuse Support Fund has enabled the Community Reuse Shop to reopen with confidence, knowing we have the necessary skills and resources to safely test, prepare and reuse

electrical appliances. Without this funding we would not be properly and safely prepared to reopen the shop.” Material Focus,

Neil Gaydon has been appointed Chairman of Ideal Networks. Gaydon joins Ideal Networks with 40 years’ experience in the technology sector and board-level leadership. He has previously held notable roles at Pace, leading it to become the global number one in its sector with revenues of $2.3 billion, and North American company Smart Technologies, which was reinvented with a new vision, strategy and value proposition.



23/11/2020 09:41

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SAVING LIVES AND BUILDING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS WITH SAFE ISOLATION KITS Brett Smyth, General Manager of Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the essential role safe isolation kits can play in electricians’ safety on site and the opportunity for electrical wholesalers to generate sales by offering this simple safety product.


f 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life is precious. The pandemic has highlighted that we all have a responsibility to safeguard our own wellbeing and that of those around us. Hopefully, that shared responsibility for ensuring everyone stays safe will remain a part of how we live and work from here on in. In the electrical sector, as in all aspects of the construction sector, health and safety is already a priority. However, those who work with known hazards all the time can become complacent about the real dangers and overlook the need for basic safety measures to protect themselves and others. In the electrical sector, one step that is often overlooked is safe isolation of the electrical network.

What’s the issue with safe isolations? According to the latest statistics from Electrical Safety First, there are 379 injuries or fatalities per year in England from electrical distribution. It’s an alarming statistic, particularly when we consider that many of these incidents are entirely preventable. More alarming still is a parallel statistic: only one in five electricians carries a safe isolation lock out/tag out kit to ensure that the isolated distribution network is not accidentally switched to live while they are still working. As a result, professionals who routinely work with live current and know how potentially fatal it can be, are often failing to protect themselves and their colleagues from accidents that could cause serious injury or death.

For electrical wholesalers, the opportunity is clear: safe isolation kits are an important piece of equipment for professional electricians and 80% of customers still need to purchase one. This is a chance not only to generate sales, but potentially also to save lives and build customer relationships.

Where does the responsibility lie? Fundamentally, the issue of electric shocks caused by unsafe isolations results from poor safety behaviours on site. Part of this is due to workplace cultures. Young electricians entering the profession have been trained in safe isolations and anticipate using best practice on site but, in a busy commercial environment, under time pressure, experienced colleagues don’t always prioritise locking out and tagging isolations to ensure they’re safe. As a result, poor safety behaviours are being perpetuated and electricians continue to put themselves, their colleagues, and others on site at risk. There is another element to the problem, however. While it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that each operative remains safe on site and enforce good safety behaviours, few contractors supply safe isolation kits in the same way they would expect to provide PPE. Nor do they make carrying a safe isolation kit a mandatory requirement across their team. As a result, the practice of locking out and tagging isolations on site is often not monitored by those in senior site-based roles and the message about the importance of safe isolations is not, therefore, endorsed. For electrical wholesalers, this means that the potential customer base for safe isolation kits ranges across the board. From young electricians who have recently trained and see safe isolation as a routine element of their work, to more experienced professionals who have a duty of care to their junior colleagues, right up to companies with corporate responsibility for keeping their employees safe.

Kits for all customers The need for increased vigilance and improved safety behaviours when it comes to safe isolations has prompted Ideal Industries, as a leading electrical manufacturer, to call for improved regulation and compliance on safe isolation of live electrical services to drive safety best practice and save lives.

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There is HSE guidance in place to encourage safe isolation best practice, but this needs to be reinforced by a mandatory requirement to prevent accidents by locking out every isolation. Accidental contact with part of the network that has inadvertently been switched back to live is, after all, an easily avoidable hazard. Ideal Industries has a wide range of safe isolation products that enable electricians to lock out isolations, including padlocks, hasps and lockout devices, along with re-useable tags. A range of Ideal Industries Safe Isolation kits are also available, including kits specifically designed for domestic installations, commercial jobs and electrical students/apprentices. All electricians, no matter how experienced, should carry a full safe isolation lock out/tag out kit on every job. For additional protection against any residual current or accidental contact with live electrical supplies, the company also suggests that electrical contractors use Ideal’s range of insulated tools. Ultimately, Ideal has a range of electrical testing equipment which should also be used as part of a safe isolation process to verify isolation of the required area and check that there is no potentially dangerous residual current.

Let’s take action Hopefully, at some point, use of lock out and tag out kits will become mandatory. Until then, let’s save lives and prevent injury by actively encouraging electricians to use the equipment available to make isolations safer.  Ideal Industries,



20/11/2020 11:59

BE SAFE ! Unintentional energisation of circuits is a leading cause of death for electricians!

SAFE ISOLATION BY IDEAL @ideal_emea Untitled-4 1 LOTO_ECN_244by344.indd 1

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CONTRACT NEWS CITY FARM BENEFITS FROM NEXT GEN SECURITY SOLUTIONS The new CCTV system installed by WLS at Vauxhall City Farm in London is being used to its full potential to ensure that the 50,000 visitors who visit the farm every year are able to safely enjoy all its facilities. “Our previous CCTV was well past its ‘use-by’ date. Although it was still working, it lacked the functionality we needed to ensure around the clock security of our animals and property, as well as ensuring compliance with our health and safety procedures,” says Chief Executive, Monica Tyler. “The new CCTV system, generously donated and installed by WLS, has transformed our working lives by providing us with peace of mind in knowing we can monitor every area of the farm, including our recently opened eco-garden, without any blind spots. “The quality of the images captured by the Dahua cameras enable us to see close up detail of any activity or incident, whilst I and other colleagues are able to use an app running on our mobile phones to remotely keep an eye on the farm when it is closed and if there is an alarm event.” Located within earshot of Big Ben, Vauxhall City Farm is one of the oldest and most central urban farms in London. WLS,



Tratos has won a multi-million-pound contract to supply the Italian national grid with new-breed advanced conductors. Tratos will supply Terna Rete Italia with high specification and purpose-built composite core carbon (polymeric) chord HTLS conductors. These new-breed OHC-HV (overhead conductor – high voltage) conductors developed by Tratos offer state-of-the-art advanced performance for overhead lines. They are resistant to high temperatures and offer low cable sag – important in preserving performance integrity. Based on a composite carbon fibre core acting as a support element and thermal resistant aluminium alloy as a conductor, its key additional advantages are found in its tailor-made design. These conductors are built to meet or exceed both customer requirements and the specification of conductors currently available. Tratos,

WALWORTH ROAD BUS GARAGE GOES ELECTRIC More than 30 environmentally-friendly buses are operating from a Camberwell bus garage, thanks to a new electricity connection. UK Power Networks has completed work at the Walworth site for Abellio London, to enable new electric buses to charge overnight, with the project representing a major contribution towards reducing pollution. The delivery team installed a new 1000kVA transformer to provide additional power at the garage. This will deliver supplies for 34 electric buses – 24 buses for the C10 route and 10 buses for the P5 route. By adopting this new approach, costs have been reduced for the bus garage, which is able to draw its maximum power requirement between 11pm and 6am when local electricity demand is very low. This is the latest installation by UK Power Networks to ensure the buses help to meet the UK’s low net zero target and improve London’s air quality. The first was Waterloo bus garage in London, in August 2016, which was the first in the UK and saved 900 tonnes of CO2 in its first year. It has since been followed by bus garages at Shepherd’s Bush, Willesden, West Ham and Northumberland Park.

Empire House, the luxury business members’ club due to launch in West Yorkshire later this year, has invested a five-figure sum in state-of-theart, automated security systems to create a slick customer experience, intensify site security and help protect clients from COVID-19. The Slaithwaite-based business centre will incorporate offices, a ‘lounge’ area with stocked bar, and corporate and event facilities. Recognising a need to heighten client experience and reduce the manpower required, Empire House has invested in CCTV, access control, fire and intruder alarm support from Huddersfieldbased specialist, Centurion Fire & Security. The automated system has been designed to make the management of the building simple. Able to be programmed to allow and deny access around the building, the system ensures that no unauthorised individuals can gain entry. It is wholly integrated with the CCTV and intruder system, permitting ‘triggers’ and push-notifications to key holders when an area has been ‘breached’. The access control, which can screen visitors via a camera, also offers the option of COVID-19 functionality, allowing or denying entry based on whether they are wearing a mask or not. Centurion Fire & Security,

UK Power Networks,

16  |  December 2020



CONTRACT NEWS DUTCH SOCCER CLUB TO INSTALL DISINFECTION LIGHTING Signify recently launched a portfolio of luminaires and devices with UV-C disinfection lighting for the professional market. With Boston University, the company validated the effectiveness of UV-C light sources in inactivating SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. Dutch top tier soccer club, PSV, has requested that Signify installs UV-C disinfection lighting in indoor spaces, including the dressing rooms, in the Philips Stadium and some spaces at its training facility, De Herdgang. In total, Signify will install 15 Philips UV-C disinfection upper air luminaires – three of those in the dressing room of its own team and three in the dressing room of the visiting team. Another five will be installed in the dressing room at PSV Campus De Herdgang and four in the medical section at its training facility. “Safeguarding player health is important to us and essential for matches to continue. That is why we want to protect them, and visiting players,” says Frans Janssen, Commercial Director at PSV. “The Philips UV-C disinfection upper air lighting enables us to provide our players with protection.” Signify, Image courtesy of PSV Media


REL AWARDED M&E PACKAGE FOR SCHOOL REFURBISHMENT Willmott Dixon has appointed REL Building Services to deliver an M&E package as part of a £20m project to refurbish and expand a secondary school in Romford, Essex. The contract will require building services to be sensitively designed and installed within a Grade II listed building at Royal Liberty School. The project will also see REL provide M&E solutions for new facilities, including a food technology room, extra science laboratory, additional classroom space, a larger canteen, and a separate external sports hall. REL’s managing director, Toby Buckley, says: “This refurbishment draws on our skills and experience in both the education and heritage sectors. It requires a carefully modelled M&E solution featuring the latest energy-saving technology and a skilled installation to ensure modern services don’t alter the property’s original fabric or features.” The contract follows the success of Romford’s flagship Sapphire Ice Rink and Swimming Pool, which opened in 2018. The development, which featured an ice rink on top of a suite of leisure facilities, was also constructed by Willmott Dixon with REL responsible for all electrical services. REL Building Services,

The pandemic has caused widespread disruption across the industry, with materials often being in short supply and tradespeople unable to carry out their work. This was the situation for a UK funeral-related services provider when it found that the badly needed renovation of one of its largest premises was suddenly put on hold due to the unavailability of products and staff. ESP was able to provide the fire protection and emergency lighting products required to complete the project. ESP was initially called on to provide a quote for a range of products that had already been specified for the project. However, having looked at the plans and identifying some issues due to the nature of the concrete building, the company’s MAGfire addressable 16-zone fire panels, smoke detectors, sounders and call points, as well as the Duceri emergency twinspots and bulkheads, were all recommended. Whilst competitive pricing and speed of delivery were significant factors in helping ESP to secure the project, a key element was ESP’s ability to offer the requisite fire training. Unable to do this face to face due to lockdown restrictions, a fire training session was set up and conducted over Zoom. This allowed the contractor to access the key elements of the training that are normally conducted in person at ESP’s headquarters. The session covered the best practice method for installing, setting up and final commissioning of the MAGfire addressable range. ESP,

ELLIS SECURES NEW POWER SUPPLY PROJECTS IN PERU Ellis Patents has seen its products used to secure power supplies in the Peruvian capital of Lima by two of the Latin American country’s biggest energy suppliers. Luz del Sur and ENEL Distribución both specified Ellis’ North Yorkshire designed, developed and manufactured 2A Aluminium cable clamps to secure high voltage (HV) power cables in vital new substations in the Manchay and Izaquirre areas of Lima. Manufactured from LM6 Aluminium, Ellis’ 2A Aluminium cable clamps are available in sizes ranging from 38mm to 168mm, and are primarily used in transmission and distribution projects in unpolluted environments. They can also be supplied with an epoxy coating for use in harsher environments, and LSF polymeric liners for additional cable protection. Both Luz del Sur and ENEL Distribución specified the 2A clamps with the liners fitted. Ellis Patents,

Contract News.indd 17



December 2020  |  17

20/11/2020 12:21


THE BENEFIT OF INVESTING IN APPRENTICES With an apprenticeship training track record of over 40 years, it was no surprise that when Darke & Taylor wanted to develop in-house expertise in wider electrotechnical disciplines, fire and security apprentices were to be an important part of the mix.


uilding on its traditional business of core electrical contracting, the company now provides an ‘any cable’ approach, with fire alarms, intruder alarms, data and AV network cabling, CCTV and access control now all part of its service offering. Tanya Webb, Compliance and Operations Manager, explains: “Historically apprenticeships have worked really well for us and so we wanted to ‘grow our own’ fire and security technicians, similar to what we’ve done across the rest of the business. About 75% of our workforce and a third of our directors started their career as an apprentice with Darke & Taylor. “We currently have four Fire, Emergency Systems and Security (FESS) apprentices, ranging in age between 16 and 22, all studying the combined Fire & Security pathway. They attend college with our training provider JTL two days a month and the rest of the time they are on-site with us, learning and developing. “The end product is a fully qualified and valuable member of the team,” Tanya continues. “Our fire and security business has taken off hugely in the last 18 months and it’s becoming a big part of our

18  |  December 2020

Training.indd 18

“The end product is a fully qualified and valuable member of the team.”

company. With the accreditations we need to maintain and audits we’re subject to, it’s important to have the right processes in place – FESS apprentices are a vital piece of our strategy to ensure our engineers are learning the right way.” Twenty-two-year-old Ibrahim Khan is a second year Fire & Security apprentice at Darke & Taylor. “I had started an apprenticeship with Virgin Media but soon realised it wasn’t able to offer the career progression that I was looking for,” Ibby explains. “I contacted Darke & Taylor after hearing about them from a friend and after a successful interview they accepted me onto their FESS apprenticeship scheme.” Since joining the company, he feels he’s gone from strength to strength with his learning and confidence: “Before I started my apprenticeship, I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. Now I am applying myself every day – the way Darke & Taylor trains really brings the best out of me. They give you time and space to develop your skills whilst still supporting you, showing you the right way and helping you to learn from your mistakes. “I enjoy fire and security as it’s a niche area and, as one of the apprentices, I’m given an increasing amount of responsibility as I learn more. My on-site work, plus my time in college, is all helping me to prepare for the End Point Assessment to complete

my apprenticeship. I’ve been getting ready from day one really and as time goes on I’m becoming more confident.” Once he completes his apprenticeship, Ibby hopes to join the many before him who completed their training at Darke & Taylor and moved through the ranks. “My plan is to broaden my skills across all areas of the business and become more and more valued by the company. I want to show my dedication to the company and get even more skills under my belt.” With the age barrier for apprentice funding now removed, teamed with the national incentive payment for apprentice recruitment launched by the government this year, the benefits of apprenticeship recruitment are clear. “Thanks to the financial support, taking on an apprentice is a no-brainer – it’s an extremely cost-effective way of training at any age,” concludes Tanya. “You need to be prepared to put in the effort and support their learning, but there is a lot involved in fire and security and we insist on taking the correct approach. You need a good understanding of the business to produce a good engineer, which is what apprentices gain during their training with you. Ultimately they will become a fantastic asset to the company.”  Darke & Taylor,



20/11/2020 12:22


THE NEXT GENERATION OF SMART HOME ADVISORS The UK smart home market is experiencing exponential growth, with revenue projected to reach £4.1 billion by the end of 2020. Connected home products – lighting controls, thermostats, shades, audio controls and more – are providing homeowners with significant lifestyle benefits, and the demand for these continues to skyrocket.


Lutron PRO has been designed to help residential contractor companies grow their business with Lutron through direct engagement with their local distributors and sales representatives. By participating in the programme, these residential contractors will be uniquely positioned to exceed their customers’ expectations. And as a Lutron PRO, they will be eligible for a company listing on Lutron’s ‘Where to Buy’ website for the products they are qualified to install.

ow, more than ever, homeowners are turning to professionals as trusted advisors that are able to deliver the complete   connected-home experience. In response to this demand, Lutron Electronics, the lighting and shade control pioneer, has launched the Lutron PRO programme, designed to assist smart home professionals looking to boost their business with select lighting and motorised blind solutions.

Next generation contractors In addition, the programme offers contractors easy access to exclusive training resources and marketing materials through a personalised myLutron account. In an industry that is constantly evolving, it is essential that electrical contractors have a high-level knowledge of the UK smart home market and an understanding of the key factors in residential lighting control specification and installation. Today’s smart homeowners demand a wireless solution, allowing personalised lighting and blind control for any and all rooms. A huge benefit of the Lutron PRO programme is that members can use this as a stepping stone to upskill and continue their training and development, with the option to take training courses on other products within the Lutron portfolio including HomeWorks, for luxury residential projects and Vive, for commercial opportunities. Through this training they can advance their understanding, and as a result, their customer portfolio with courses in the benefits of wireless lighting control within a luxury residential space or corporate function. Not only is this programme beneficial for contractors, but also to the end customer. Those customers who find their contractor through the programme will qualify for an additional year of full extended warranty on all eligible, registered projects. Lutron PRO members will also have early access and insight into the latest Lutron news, product developments and integration capabilities, meaning their customers can be assured that they will receive exceptional service and advice. Sam Brown, Director at SRB Electrical & Security enjoys using Lutron products in both his own home and educating his clients: “As a small company we were looking for new products to help us bring modern smart lighting controls into the

Future of smart home

The Lutron RA2 Select puts lighting and shade control in the hands of the end user

Lutron is renowned for its innovative and intuitive solutions in lighting, shade and temperature control, meaning that residential contractors can confidently offer Lutron products that also work seamlessly with the best-in-class brands in the connected-home marketplace. Lutron RA2 Select, for example, puts total control in the hands of the end user without the need to purchase smart bulbs – allowing them to manage and personalise their system in any way. This makes it an ideal solution for homeowners who want the benefits of a professionally installed smart home system, but also the flexibility and power to make their own changes via the app. Homeowners want more convenience, comfort and reliability from their smart homes, and app/remote controlled smart lighting means that users can easily control and adjust lights, blinds and temperature in the comfort of their home or from anywhere in the world.



home and the commercial sector. We decided to invest in learning about Lutron’s RA2 Select and Vive solutions, by buying products and installing in our own home and workplace. Having this first-hand experience helps us educate our customers on the benefits of these products, including how reliable, flexible and simple they are to understand and use.” Andrea Giammaria, Director at RTEQ London added: “These systems are a win-win for installers and clients alike. Both easy to install and easy to operate. Using the Lutron Clear Connect Wireless technology, it is possible to install a system for a three-bedroom apartment in just one day, with minimal disturbance. Thanks to Lutron, we can offer a smart lighting system for anyone. We also install Lutron for older clients and others with limited mobility, so that they can have full control of lights and blinds without getting up, either through the use of the wireless Pico remote, their phone or even their voice.”

This smart lighting system is easy to install in any room, thanks to Lutron’s wireless technology


Elements of Lutron’s RA2 Select system

December 2020  |  19


UNDER STRAIN: HANDLING THE STRESSES OF THE ELECTRICAL INDUSTRY A career in the electrical industry can be rewarding; solving complex challenges and with plenty of opportunity to learn. However, the role also comes with its challenges, writes Stewart Gregory, VP of Power Products at Schneider Electric.


he pressure of working to tight margins, often independently, can be mentally draining. The pandemic has only exasperated this, with many electrical professionals finding themselves either under heavy responsibilities as key workers, or worried about their income as restrictions limit their work. The pandemic related disruptions experienced this year have been taxing to say the least. In the current climate, job security has become a worry for many in the industry. This has added another area of stress. Therefore, it is especially key during this time to understand how to keep these worries at a manageable level, to maintain good performance, physical health and work-life balance. For those still in work, the pressures of the job itself may, at times, become overwhelming. Human errors are a part of every job, but in the electrical industry there is far less room for mistakes. Although often unavoidable, miscalculations and delays can severely effect the progress of a project, as well as the potential safety of all of those involved. This responsibility can weigh heavy, and take away from the enjoyment of the job. The industry is doing more to recognise the importance of mental health, with well-being coming on leaps and bounds in recent years. However, there is still always more that can be done. It’s especially important to consider and share the benefits that self-help and support networks can have in the recovery process.

Recognise the problem Whether you are an installer or consultant, the significant stretches of time working away from home, combined with long hours and tight deadlines, will be part of your reality. Electricians can also become painfully aware of the potential health and safety risks of their day to day tasks, which can pose a risk to both their health and their livelihoods. To some extent, a degree of stress is inevitable in every job. But it’s when stress is ignored, underestimated or goes untreated that it can become unmanageable. If left unaddressed, stress has the potential to cause anxiety, depression and even be fatal. Suicide rates among skilled tradespeople are soberingly high, almost 40% above the national average. Male suicide victims in this group account for 29% of all male suicides in the UK.

20  |  December 2020

Key Issue.indd 20

Accepting help

Stress can also manifest in subtler but no less damaging ways. It can impact a person’s social, emotional and psychological well-being, as well as their lifestyle. Stress can cause severe phobias, panic attacks and alcohol addiction. When chronic, it can even contribute to family and marital breakdown, only worsening the plight of the sufferer. Poor mental health can be extremely self-destructive, and this is the true tragedy. Research shows that stressed workers, unsurprisingly, make more errors on the job. With sub-optimal decision-making, people suffering from depression tend to work slower and struggle to maintain productivity. In the electrical industry this can be a major barrier to success, only exacerbating professional frustrations and feelings of self-doubt. Although this topic may feel like a lot of ‘doom and gloom’, the situation is not hopeless and there are many ways to combat these negative facets of the job. The power of self-help should not be underestimated. Personal perspective and initiative are perhaps the most important factors in beating stress. Understanding how to manage the pressure and self-help can make a world of difference. The first, and probably most difficult, step in overcoming stress is admitting that you are under pressure. Noticing the warning signs, such as exhaustion, bad temper, working late and a worsening diet, is crucial before considering any strategies to move forward. Stress isn’t always work-related, indeed it’s just as likely to be caused by family issues, financial problems like debt or the pressures of caring for a loved one or starting a family. That’s why it’s important to make time for yourself. Setting time aside for exercise and relaxation are actionable and effective steps in relieving stress. We all need to reserve time to stay healthy and, ultimately, be more productive and successful.

“If left unaddressed, stress has the potential to cause anxiety, depression and even be fatal.”

Mental health awareness is growing every day, but it sadly, and wrongfully, remains taboo in our industry. Electrical professionals tend to work in small teams, and whilst this can create familiarity and comradery, it can also make individuals more embarrassed to say when they need help. It is important to realise that despite these pressures, there is no need to face them alone. The internal welfare and support structures other professions benefit from are often absent or unavailable in the electrical industry. This leaves many feeling they have no one to lean on. Yet those in the electrical industry shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to others for advice and insight. Support networks are out there and have been set up to help give all players the financial, educational and emotional support they need. It is important that electrical industry professionals know they are not alone; experienced support networks like the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) are there for when you or your family needs a helping hand. The EIC can provide counselling, legal and financial support for when a problem is too much to bear alone. They ensure that you get the support needed to get back on your feet. Stress is a part of human life and is often unavoidable. Rather than avoid or deny the pressures we are under, it is important to take time to learn how to accept and deal with them, as well as share this knowledge with others. Admitting that you are under stress is the first, and often the hardest, step in recovery. The industry has taken great strides in recent years towards a more supportive, understanding approach to mental health. With this has emerged a variety of support networks that can provide invaluable help and advice, specifically for electrical professionals. Through these networks, such as the EIC, you can learn self-help techniques, to help manage stress independently, as well as seek valuable legal, financial and personal advice when you need it. Whilst electrical professional may not be on the ‘most stressful jobs’ list, each and every one of us will experience the pressures of the trade at some point in our careers. The key is to remember why you entered this rewarding industry, and accept support available when you need it.  Schneider Electric,



20/11/2020 12:23

The Metway Connection Centre

8 and 10 output units

1 or 2 channel operation

Absence or presence detection Standalone System

Dimming or non-dimming

Side latching outputs

Contact us for more information | 01273 431600 | Untitled-1 1

23/11/2020 11:06


HUSH IS THE WAY FORWARD Firesafe has released its latest innovation in Hush detection under the ‘raseries’ brand launched as a new alternative system that offers greater fire protection through improved fault monitoring, ease of operation and cost savings. This conventional stand-alone Grade C domestic fire detection and alarm system is ideal for use in flats, houses and other residential dwellings.


or many years the fire industry has attempted to reduce false alarms to prevent unnecessary call-outs and the likelihood of real alarms being ignored. Since Grenfell and other fires in domestic dwellings, there has been a renewed focus on how to better protect people and property from real fires. The Test & Hush Locate Control Unit monitors the removal of detection heads, wiring, power supply and battery faults, giving the end user full control and peace of mind. The Hush system is supplied by Firesafe in three kit offerings, dependant on requirements. All kits are made up of a Hush low level controller, power supply, detection and sounder bases. The system works on one 10-year 72-hour standby battery which can be replaced by the user - keeping those costs to a minimum. It also comes with its own separate mains power supply unit.

Easy operating Press Hush when there is an unwanted alarm to silence the system for two minutes (extendable by a further two minutes if the alarm has not cleared). Press Test for three seconds when the system is in its normal state to briefly sound the alarm sounder(s). BS 5839-6 2019 recommends this test is carried out by occupants at least once a month. Press Hush when a wiring or battery fault is detected to silence the fault buzzer for 24 hours. Occupants should report the fault to the responsible person/service engineer at their earliest convenience. Press Hush when the system is in its normal state to deactivate alarm detection for 15 minutes (‘hot works’ function).

“There are many additional features, and the system can be linked to communal fire alarms, warden call or intruder systems. .”

BS 5839 part 6 recommends a minimum of Grade D (mains/battery alarms) for most newly built residential dwellings and states that a higher grade is acceptable. Hush raises the typical level of fire protection in a dwelling from Grade D to Grade C (monitored wiring and a central controller). The user can also utilise existing cable from their Grade D system when upgrading to Hush. There are many additional features, and the system can be linked to communal fire alarms, warden call or intruder systems. With all these features it opens new opportunities for installations in flats and HMO environments, not just residential houses. Hush also offers a universal decorative plate which ensures existing surfaces are covered before mounting the new Hush detector and base. The system complies with supplementary legislation such as The Equalities Act, which means that systems should be easier to access – for example, with controls located at a low level to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities. It can also use conventional manual call points, vibrating pads and beacons for those properties needing devices for the hard of hearing.  Firesafe,

22  |  December 2020

Advertorial – Firesafe.indd 22



20/11/2020 12:26


HAGERGANG REWARDS: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Branded workwear, essential tools of the trade and great lifestyle rewards are now available to electrical contractors who sign up for Hager’s new rewards programme – HagerGang Rewards.


ewarding electricians who buy Hager products for their projects, the programme has already seen a host of rewards being redeemed, such as the famous blue Hager screwdrivers, branded coffee mugs, and beanies by nearly 1,500 installers who have registered for HagerGang Rewards. HagerGang Rewards is a new rewards programme designed especially for electrical professionals across the UK. Electrical contractors can register for the programme by visiting Once registered, a rewards point account is opened, and electricians simply scan purchase receipts or invoices for every Hager product they buy. Every £1 spent on Hager products earns one HagerGang Reward point. These points can be redeemed against an extensive range of rewards available to view in an exclusive online rewards catalogue.

HagerGang Rewards is a great idea makes me feel valued as a customer. I’ve been having a little browse at the webpage and have been very impressed by the lovely, clean and simple interface. It’s also very quick to upload invoices and receipts, which is important when you’re busy. In addition, to get rewarded with little goodies is fantastic – the only difficult part is deciding what my first reward will be!”

Hager is committed to supporting the industry through a challenging period and wants to recognise and reward those professionals who choose Hager’s range of product solutions. The programme offers a wide range of rewards. They include Hager branded clothing items such as baseball caps and essential trade tools, including quality Hager branded screwdrivers, pliers, and multi-tools. For life away from the job, rewards such as golf balls, coffee mugs, footballs and Hager branded umbrellas are also available to redeem with reward points. While there’s no limit when it comes to your HagerGang Rewards points balance, there is a maximum limit of 500 points per invoice. Simply keep purchasing Hager products and watch your rewards points total grow before your eyes. One of the first contractors to sign up was Jack Sardar-Wilkins, from Infinity Electrical. He says: “As an electrical contractor, support from manufacturers is really important, especially following such a challenging time lately.

Getting started is easy Simply visit and register for the programme. You will also be given access to the HagerGang Rewards catalogue containing details of the range of rewards on offer. Then scan your invoice that includes Hager product purchases. Finally, enjoy claiming your points by redeeming rewards from the exclusive HagerGang Rewards catalogue.  Hager,


The revolutionary new junction box for lighting

VOLUME 39 NO. 11 • NOVEMBER 2019






Win a £250 Amazon voucher courtesy of Hylec


SECURITY AT THE HEART OF SCREWFIX Tools are pivotal for any electrical contractor’s livelihood, and the risk of them going missing or being stolen is a constant threat. Electricfix, part of the Screwfix brand, has the perfect range of solutions to help overcome this ongoing security challenge. Whether it’s protection from theft or just getting the job done right first time, Electricfix provides security for its trade customers. With access to Screwfix’s catalogue of 33,000 products and a dedicated Electricfix catalogue, Electricfix account holders can be confident that whatever they need for the job is available today or the next day at one of over 650 Screwfix stores. A recent survey of Screwfix customers revealed that 46% of respondents have had their tools stolen, reinforcing the importance of helping tradespeople secure both their tools and livelihoods with the latest technology.



Turn to page 12 for the full story.


@RolecEV / Rolec-Services


March 2019

smart buildings

June 2019

An ECN Supplement




CEDIA looks at cabling requirements for the modern home and explains why education is so important

Doepke explains why it’s essential for a networked home to strive for the strongest possible levels of safety

BEG Lighting Controls has released its first range of DALI-2 multisensors for building management systems

wiring accessories

August 2019

An ECN Supplement

Cable, Cable Management & Labelling





MK Electric explains how to choose the right wiring devices for any given project, and looks at three key solutions that tick the right boxes for the contractor and end-user

Knightsbridge recently celebrated 20 years of service within the lighting and accessory market. Find out about its latest range of innovative wiring solutions

Deta has lauched Vimark Curve and Vimark Evo ranges, along with a new series of USB sockets. Discover all the benefits of these high-quality accessories

With basket tray sales on the rise, Tamlex FastConnect explains why it can offer the perfect solution for cable containment

To get involved with editorial content please contact Carly Wills, Editor.

For advertising & marketing please contact Kelly Byne, Advertisement Manager.



Ask the Expert – Hager.indd 23


DONCASTER CABLES Britishowned wiring manufacturer, Doncaster Cables, has provided durable and reliable cables since 1984

November 2019

An ECN Supplement

UNITRUNK Cable management specialist, Unitrunk, is providing training to electrical and instrumentation design apprentices at Sellafield


BRACKENHEATH Deemed the ‘new generation’ of floodlight, Brackenheath has introduced a new CCT frameless floodlight

An ECN Supplement



Details on why it’s essential to doublecheck your fire rated downlights to ensure compliance

A London gym is making considerable energy savings thanks to LED battens from Goodlight


20/11/2020 12:28


NORTHAMPTON COLLEGE PRIORITISES STUDENT SAFETY Northampton College recently worked with Eaton and Thorn Electrical to replace its old escape signage with adaptive luminaires, which work with the existing fire panel and alarm system to safely direct students and staff away from danger in a large, complex building.


recent Freedom of Information request found one in four universities in the UK have received complaints from students, staff or the public in the last five years regarding fire safety or building evacuation procedures. While many higher education establishments do comply with the minimum regulations, a worrying number are not investing in technology to improve safety standards for students and faculty. Yet, Northampton College has taken steps to ensure even greater safety for students and staff. Emergency lighting company, Eaton, recently worked with the college to upgrade the evacuation technology on its largest site in Booth Lane, Northampton, which caters to almost 4,500 students. With student safety a top priority, the college was looking to ensure students and staff can safely exit the building without putting themselves in any danger in the case of an emergency evacuation due to fire or any other threat.

Safe evacuation The Booth Lane site is a complex campus consisting of eight large blocks, each with up to three floors, all of which are interconnecting into one huge building complex. Due to its layout, the college identified that the Booth Lane site needed a fire alarm system that could adapt its emergency signage according to where there was an emergency. This was vital to ensure people in the building could evacuate safely – without inadvertently entering a dangerous area.

The existing addressable fire safety system was installed more than 10 years ago and the college could no longer source spare parts for the signage luminaires when required. It also relied on emergency batteries for illumination if it switched its signage – something that legislation no longer allows. Northampton College needed to find modern escape signage luminaires that it could retrofit onto the existing system and still offer the same or improved functionality. Additionally, all of these requirements had to be completed during the three weeks’ holiday when there was no one on site.

Minimum disruption Working with electrical contractor, Thorn Electrical, and wholesaler, Midshires Electrical and Lighting, the decision was made to trial Eaton’s escape sign luminaire with Matrix technology, which enables the signage to change in response to a signal. Thorn Electrical retrofitted two of the luminaires into the old fire panel system using its existing twisted pair cable and mains power wiring. Using a switching contact at the luminaire, the team found they could change the sign from a directional arrow to a red cross in response to a signal from a fire alarm or a smoke detector from the existing system without any problems. This meant that the college could use the new signs to either direct people to a safe exit route or block an unsafe route. Following the successful trial, Thorn Electrical installed 45 of the new Eaton Matrix escape sign luminaires throughout the campus in each of the eight zones. Using the existing twisted pair cabling and power mains from the old signage, the company fitted and fully tested all the luminaires in the short time frame available.

“The signage provides a very high service lifetime with minimal maintenance and very good visibility.”

Safe solution Chris Thorneycroft, managing director at Thorn Electrical, comments: “The Eaton escape sign luminaire with Matrix technology works seamlessly with the existing addressable fire panel system to change its signage in response to a local alarm. For such a large building, housing so many students and staff, having an adaptable system that can alert people to where the danger is and direct them to safety is essential.”

24  |  December 2020

Project Focus.indd 24

Each of the luminaires is backlit using LED lighting and has a lithium ion battery with a selectable operating time of one or three hours in the event of a mains power outage, and there is also a simple fault analysis and status display via a bicolour LED. The signage provides a very high service lifetime with minimal maintenance and very good visibility with a high luminance of its white contrasting colour of greater than 1000cd/m2. This is important to clearly highlight escape routes in some of the long corridors and large rooms within the campus, especially if there was smoke in the rooms. The old escape sign luminaires had been backlit using four fluorescent tubes, which meant lamps required regular replacement and they used significantly more power. The result is a safer and brighter escape sign luminaire that can change its signage according to the situation and provide a safe route for all on site in the case of an emergency. Additionally, there will now be less energy consumed, and far less maintenance required compared to the previous system. Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of Northampton College, says: “The Eaton Matrix escape sign luminaire ensures that we can direct people away from danger and towards a safe exit. We’re very pleased with this new system which ensures even greater safety for our students and staff.”  Eaton,



20/11/2020 12:29



courtesy of

WIN ONE OF THREE STARTER KITS Quickwire products offer an innovative time-saving alternative to traditional wiring methods. They provide quick and easy, screwless termination and are prewired with clearly labelled cable inlets. The revolutionary patented push-fit connections come complete with integral cable clamps.


Quickwire junction box is remarkably simple to use. All you have to do is strip your cable before pushing it into the cable entry points. As you push the cable, the cores are guided into their correct terminals, before the clever (patented) shuttle design clamps down on the cable, completing the

connection. You won’t find another product that can rival this connection time for Twin and Earth termination. As we all know; time equals money. Any product that can save time on the job is a welcome addition to the industry, and Quickwire excels in doing just that. In response to popular demand, Quickwire has just released its latest product - the Quickwire Plug in T-Connector! This new product expands

the Quickwire range by adding a plug and socket for easy connect/disconnect at a light fitting. The plug accepts flexible cable, and the socket consists of two Quickwire solid core Twin and Earth, loop in loop out connections for Twin and Earth cable. To celebrate the release, the company is giving away three Quickwire Starter Kits. Quickwire,

To enter the competition, just answer these three simple questions: 1.  What is the name of the latest product release from Quickwire? a)  The Switch & Load Junction Box b)  The Splitter Junction Box c)  The Plug in T-Connector

2.  What is the current rating of a Quickwire Switch & Load junction box?

3.  What is the IP rating of a Quickwire Splitter junction box? a)  IP30 b)  IP20 c)  IP24

a)  6 amps b)  16 amps c)  32 amps

October Competition The winner of the October competition – a dining voucher for up to six people, courtesy of Timeguard – was Megan Winning.

Closing date All entries must be returned by 30 November 2020. The editor’s decision is final. For the full terms and conditions, visit competition-terms. The name of the winner will be published in the February issue of ECN. *Prize not exchangeable.

To enter, please complete the form below and fax to 01634 673173, or post to: ECN Competition, All Things Media Ltd, Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent, ME5 8UD. Alternatively, you can email your answers and contact details to:

The answers to December’s competition are:

Contact Preferences YES, I would like to receive the ECN newsletter YES, I would like to subscribe to ECN magazine


YES, I would like to share my data with Quickwire

Personal Details Name....................................................................................................................................... Company Name...................................................................................................................... Address...................................................................................................................................

2. . .........................................................................


................................................................................ Postcode................................................. Tel................................................................ Mobile ................................................................

3. . .........................................................................



To register to receive your copy of ECN each month, visit Competition.indd 25

November 2019 | 25

20/11/2020 12:30


GET UP TO SPEED WITH THE ETHOS 8400 The UK government has brought in legislation to ensure the safety of electrical installations in the private rented sector – these new regulations require a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection at least every five years and Ethos has the answer..


hese regulations came into force June 2020 improving the safety in all residential premises and particularly in the private rented sector.

Landlords of privately rented accommodation must: •  Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the wiring regulations which are published as British Standard 7671. •  Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every five years. •  Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test, which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test. •  Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test. •  Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises. •  Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report. •  Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within seven days of receiving a request for a copy. •  Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test. •  Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report. •  Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.[1]

26  |  December 2020

Advertorial – Ethos.indd 26

Ethos 8400 The Ethos 8400 is the perfect product to test electrical installations helping the person performing the testing to complete the certification required. Ethos offers a wide range of Certificate Books including the EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) reference number Ethos 7975 with either Ethos 7972 (12 way schedule of circuit details) or Ethos 7973 (36 way schedule of circuit details). These are needed to supply certification after completion of the EICR as per the 18th edition of BS7671 regulations. The Ethos 8400 Multifunction Tester has been designed and built to the highest standards, providing the user with a safe and simple solution to their test requirements. Test selection is easy to follow with the large rotary selector and easy-to-read large colour display. The various test types are colour coordinated around the selector switch with the four push buttons below the display. This will ensure ease of use and make the testing process very easy to follow. A great feature is the Auto sequence RCD test. Simply turn the rotary selector to the ‘30mA AUTO’ setting and the Ethos 8400 will conduct all six required tests at a single touch of a button. Then when the RCD under test “trips”, reset the RCD and continue to do so until the test procedure is complete, the user can then return to the Ethos 8400 where all results will be displayed on one screen.

The 8400 is very safe to use, with its own built-in safety cut out system which ensures that if the tester is inadvertently connected to a live circuit when on the wrong setting, the instrument – and more importantly the user – will not be damaged. Ethos has partnered with a leading UK design team which has over 30 years’ experience in this specialised field working with some of the biggest instrument manufacturers in the world.

Features •  Simple to operate – just select and test •  Live safety warning indicator providing overall protection •  Large full colour display with precise easy-to-read values •  High accuracy non-trip loop testing •  Auto sequence RCD testing •  Type ‘A’ RCD test •  Auto RCD ramp test •  Phase rotation •  Polarity check with full colour indication •  Battery saving ‘auto sleep’ mode with fast push button restart •  Three year warranty  Ethos,




20/11/2020 12:31



PREPARING YOUR CABLING FOR POWER OVER ETHERNET Power over Ethernet (PoE) refers to the phenomenon of running power and data transmission through the same cable, eliminating the need for separate wiring for each purpose. In doing so, this reduces installation costs and improves flexibility by removing redundant cabling.


this reason, ISO and TIA standards define an operating temperature of no higher than 20°c. When power flows through cables, the copper conductors will start to generate heat and, in turn, cause the data cable’s operating temperature to rise. This is a common occurrence when the cables are bundled together, which is often how they are installed, but prevents heat from escaping and causing build up. As PoE standards allow for higher power transmission, as resistance increases a rise in temperature can also been seen for the cable and its surrounding areas. As such, this consideration has now become more of a conscious design feature required for data cables destined for implementation in complex infrastructures.

here is no denying the window of opportunity PoE technology has created, however, the need for power and data through a singular cable has caused additional infrastructure considerations. Utilising existing cable structures reduces installation time and money, but in order to do this the cable needs to be fit to accommodate the additional current being transmitted. This article will discuss the innovation surrounding PoE, as well as the considerations that should be made to ensure the right data cable is used for your specific PoE needs.

The uses

Industrial integrity and performance

There are many industries that have successfully adopted the use of PoE, for example surveillance cameras, air conditioning systems, telephones and supermarket checkouts. PoE has improved efficiency and created opportunity, however, without the correct structured cabling infrastructure in place it can experience multiple issues, such as overheating or connection issues affecting the integrity of the data for the end user.

There has been an increased use of PoE cables within industrial environments. Factories and warehouses are also increasingly using smart technologies to streamline their business processes. The use of PoE within these devices reduces the number of cables and removes restrictions in terms of installation, location and more. However, these cables can be more significantly prone to damage. As a direct consequence of the environments within which they are placed, cables can often fall, drop or risk being crushed. This could compromise their ability to transfer data or transmit power. Damaged cables can cause machine outages, which could have a huge financial implication on the organisation.

Progression of standards When considering which data cables are fit for your operations, there are some key cabling recommendations for PoE applications. If a data cable is exposed to heat, the attenuation of the cable rises and can affect signal performance. For

PoE cabling is used in a wide range of devices and within industrial business environments, for example:

“PoE technology can help expand your network possibilities enabling business flexibility by improving processes and staying competitive.”

ir conditioning systems are 1.  A automated, driven by IoT technologies, using PoE which allows greater flexibility at installation and remotecontrol, enabling monitoring that reaches all areas of the building. 2.  Smart lighting systems, powered by PoE, which deliver multiple applications via one cabling system, such as motion sensor technologies, are proving to be far more efficient. 3.  C entral control units, which link air conditioning technology and other smart applications such as temperature control gauges, typically found within data centres, are crucial to preventing the risk of overheating and associated failures. PoE technology allows for both power and temperature data to be transmitted over one cabling structure. 4.  I n process automation sensor technologies typically found in warehouse conveyer belt systems and similar applications, which is often seen to be a new invention, PoE has enabled for both data and power to feed to and from the device for a seamlessly consistent, repeatable processes.

Preparing for next generation Today’s networks must be fast and reliable, with the flexibility to handle ever-increasing data demands. PoE technology can help expand network possibilities enabling business flexibility by improving processes and staying competitive. PoE, however, is only effective when installed correctly and to the highest standard. Third party testing and certification ensures data cables meet industry performance standards. Transmission cables holding the BASEC mark will have undergone rigorous laboratory product approvals to prove cable quality, allowing the user to meet the need for higher data demand and power supply via one PoE cabling product. To find out more about the development of PoE and the role of approved cable join the BASEC team webinar on the 9th December. Register for free on the BASEC website.  BASEC,

Cabling & Cable Management – Basec.indd 27



December 2020  |  27

20/11/2020 13:13



BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND Digital transformation of property and construction industries is ‘extremely slow’ – but there may be a solution, according to Beckhoff.


eckhoff says that despite the serious emissions challenges faced by the property and construction industries, the digital transformation of both industries is occurring

extremely slowly. While the debate has raged on as to what constitutes a smart building, the company believes too many building projects have got the approach to creating a smart building all wrong.

Karl Walker, Market Development Manager at Beckhoff UK, says: “The past decade has seen technology in buildings take huge leaps forward, resulting in more efficient spaces through connected systems. However, these connections are typically made in a point-to-point fashion, making changing or upgrading systems difficult and expensive. These deployments can’t easily facilitate data extraction or analysis either and certainly don’t support industry demands for self-optimising buildings enabled by machine learning.”

“We see huge risks for building owners and operators locked in to poorly executed projects and proprietary products.”

Beckhoff believes the way forward is to begin with the end in mind, taking into account who is going to be using the building and what they are going to be doing there. Walker continues: “If more thought is given to how people use a building, and the potential improvements to technology and working style are taken into consideration, then time and money can be saved on adapting the building in the future. Our industry is gradually coming to realise that while a building is built to stand for 50+ years, the technology systems within it will nearly all be refreshed on three to 10-year cycles.” With this in mind, Vanti, a Beckhoff UK Integration Partner, is developing Smart Core, a building technology platform and framework designed to standardise the approach people take to integrating systems and make it much more sustainable for the future. After Smart Core has been deployed, clients with the requisite skills can continue to make changes as and when required. “We see huge risks for building owners and operators locked in to poorly executed projects and proprietary products, both with associated long-running contracts,” says Mike Brooman, CEO at Vanti. “As such, the Smart Core Foundation develops approaches to achieving genuinely open building technology interoperability to ensure these expensive assets deliver exceptional user experiences through their entire lifecycle – from concept to demolition.” The work produced by the Smart Core Foundation will be freely available under a Creative Commons licence to those who wish to use it and anyone making enhancements to it also has to release their work under the same terms. Brooman concludes: “By establishing a community of people using Smart Core patterns and software, we aim to source more ideas to improve them and get closer to the goal of having a standardised approach to the integration of building technology. Getting to this point will benefit everyone involved in these industries as it will allow us to all speak the same language during design, construction and operation, working better together.”  Beckhoff,

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Smart Buildings – Beckhoff.indd 28



20/11/2020 12:32





High output, polycarbonate base, fresnel lens.

High power, long life and simple to install with push button release of light module from baseplate.

Emergency lighting in the event of complete loss of normal mains supply. Wide distribution for good escape route illuminance.



Attractive but robust solution for providing lighting to walkways, tunnels, storage areas, car parks etc. IP65 rated. Available in mains and emergency versions.

Maintained/non-maintained versions & EC/ISO legend kits available.


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Wall and ceiling mounted decorative LED lighting


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Control energy use in multi-room dwellings Ecostat is always striving to minimise heat output Landlords can be confident that they aren’t using energy unnecessarily and could be saving 25-35%* on their energy costs.

• PIR presence/absence detection • Open-window technology • Tamper-proof • Lot 20 compliant • Boost, set-back and frost setting • 2 event - 7 day timer • Electric or ‘wet’ systems • Ideal for retro-fitting • Dedicated hand-set adjusts programs • 45 minute Non-invasive install.

Ideal for student accommodation, hotels, leisure resorts etc.

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Occupants can raise or lower the temperature within agreed parameters but programs cannot be changed on the controller. Ecostat knows if rooms are unoccupied or if windows are open and adjusts the heat input accordingly. • 01787 320604

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20/11/2020 12:34



SMART SPACES WELCOME EMPLOYEES BACK TO WORK Now that many workspaces are looking to encourage workers to return to work, office comfort and hygiene has become a key issue, writes Graham Martin, Chairman and CEO of the EnOcean Alliance.


he link between workspaces and wellbeing has been a longstanding topic of interest amongst businesses. Next to personnel management, working atmosphere and remuneration, the quality of the workplace emerges as a key factor in employee wellbeing. Smart buildings can make a significant contribution in workplace quality by providing optimal air quality, lighting, thermal comfort and flexible interaction with a modern office environment. In addition, sensor systems can ensure that health risks from returning to work after lockdown are kept to a minimum.

Air and light We have been warned throughout lockdown of the risk of enclosed spaces, meaning monitoring air quality has never been more important. The direct effects of indoor air quality upon human wellbeing have been thoroughly analysed. A survey canvassing more than 1,200 workplaces revealed that there is a direct relationship between the quality of office air and employee satisfaction. A CO2 threshold value of 582ppm was identified – most employees complained of bad air quality with carbon dioxide loads exceeding this value. Coronavirus is spread by respiratory droplets through the air and ventilation in buildings plays a crucial role in reducing transmission. Inadequately ventilated indoor spaces can lead to increased levels of virus transmission. It’s essential, therefore, to dilute the virus in the air within a building through increased ventilation and enhanced airflow to reduce transmission risk. Higher CO2 levels in a building increase the risk of transmission from an infected person and it is imperative to ensure that a building constantly has a lot of outside air brought in to replace the stale air inside. In commercial buildings, outside air is usually pumped in through heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and by simply adding a wireless/batteryless CO2 sensor to each room/area, this will help companies become safer places for their employees – a CO2 alarm will notify when to bring fresh outdoor air into the area, thus ensuring adequate ventilation. This can then be done manually or in connection with the building automation system.

30  |  December 2020

Smart Buildings – EnOcean Alliance.indd 30

Inadequately ventilated indoor spaces can lead to increased levels of virus transmission

“The intelligent building not only contributes to a sustainable way of business, but to corporate success in the broadest sense.”

Thermal comfort plays a decisive role in workplace wellbeing and employee health. Research conducted in 1986 supplied evidence that there is a clear relationship between rising temperature and sinking physical and psychological performance. At 28°C, physical performance can drop by as much as 50%, whilst psychological performance can suffer a 20% loss. All in all, smart buildings allow for the careful management of factors which contribute to the health of workers and the hygiene of the office. In perspective it can be said that smart spaces become an interface between people and their working environments. They add a virtual component to the physical workspace and enable individual adjustment in accordance with subjective needs and preferences. In the case of employees working in shared houses during lockdown, a smart office is likely to provide even more adjustment to personal preferences than the employee would have working at home.

Sensor networks Energy harvesting sensors, with their capacity to measure occupancy, can have a significant impact in ensuring coronavirus counter-measures are adhered to in the workspace. Occupancy sensors under desks and in bathrooms can monitor actual usage and direct thorough cleaning to the most regularly visited areas. Smart sensors on soap dispensers can alert cleaners of when these vital requirements need refilling. Facilities managers feeling stressed and overwhelmed about ensuring office hygiene in these challenging times may welcome technology‚ easing their load.

Maintenance-free wireless devices with energy-harvesting technology use environmental energy as their source of power. They can be fitted on any surface, saving time and money in installation whilst enabling quick and easy retro-fitment to older buildings. Thanks to these sensors, the smart building can monitor its environment and use this data to make any necessary adjustment. A ‘dashboard’ can then present the data in a user-friendly way for managers and decision-makers to view and act upon.

Smart spaces for employee retention ‘Smart building’ is often used to indicate that a building uses less energy and lowers operating costs. This is correct – building automation pays for itself in the space of a few years. However, a smart building is much more than ‘just’ a resource-optimised facility. It is an incentive to be in the office and a reassurance that workers can return there safely. The employee is at the core of a smart space, together with her/his workplace needs and preferences. The intelligent building not only contributes to a sustainable way of business, but to corporate success in the broadest sense.   This article is based upon the following White Paper: Prof. Dr. Michael Krödel (Institut für Gebäudetechnik, igt), The influence of Smart Buildings upon the wellbeing and productivity of office workers which is available as full-length document and as a brief summary from the EnOcean Alliance.

EnOcean Alliance,



20/11/2020 12:37


IMPROVING SMART LIGHTING FOR CAR PARKS, INDUSTRY AND WAREHOUSES The second generation of SubstiTUBE T8 Connected LED tubes have been specially developed for use in car parks with several points of access, factories, warehouses, and corridors.


The new SubstiTUBE T8 Connected features a ‘master’ and ‘slave’ mode for multizone control. The factory setting of the multi-sensor is ‘slave’ mode, yet it can be configured to be a ‘master’ sensor during network installation. Thanks to multizonal dimming, occupancy sensing and daylight ambient setting, the intelligent system of new SubstiTUBE T8 Connected and sensors achieves significant energy savings of 50% or more compared to conventional fluorescent lamps, plus an additional   20-30% via the connected sensor.

he system solution SubstiTUBE T8 Connected from Ledvance allows smart lighting without programming or rewiring, which can reduce time and labour costs significantly. With both the sensors and the SubstiTUBEs communicating via the new ZigBee 3.0 standard, large groups of up to 200 devices – tubes and sensors – can be wirelessly controlled to extend presence detection and the corresponding automated lighting to cover large areas. For example, with sensors located at several entrances and exits, the tubes can be automatically turned on in sync if someone enters the premises. Therefore, the SubstiTUBE T8 Connected is ideal to meet the specific and demanding lighting requirements in car parks.

Advertorial – Ledvance.indd 31


The SubstiTUBE T8 Connected comes in a glass design with shatter protection film, has a very high efficiency of up to 150lm/W, and a lifetime of up to 50,000 hours. The tubes are available in lengths of 1,200mm and 1,500mm with a five-year guarantee. The Ledvance Connected Sensors come in two variants for different installation heights: LB (Low Bay) for heights up to four meters and HB (High Bay) for heights from four up to 14 meters. More information on SubstiTUBE T8 Connected can be found on the Ledvance website.  Ledvance,


The new generation of SubstiTUBE T8 Connected LED tubes and Connected Sensors from Ledvance enable energy efficient, smart lighting management

December 2020  |  31

20/11/2020 12:38



SMART BUILDINGS CALL FOR A SMARTER APPROACH TO DATA INSTALLATIONS Brett Smyth, General Manager EMEA of Ideal Industries, discusses the role of smart building technology in enabling flexible working and the need for installation technologies that will enable faster and more consistent installation of the data networks needed for smarter workplace environments.


his year has been a year like no other. With many of those who usually work in an office still working from home – or reverting to homeworking again   – office occupiers, owners and FMs are grappling with the challenges of implementing longer-term solutions for a safe transition back to the office.

Reconfiguring for new workplace cultures

Installation of complex data networks will involve a large number   of terminations

The hot-desking and agile-working practices championed by forward-focused businesses in the past are now problematic in terms of cleaning regimes and track and trace, so we are likely to see a return to designated workstations where space allows, combined with a degree of homeworking for many. This may not be possible for companies where agile working is embedded in the company culture, however, because there will not be sufficient space within the existing office to accommodate all members of the team at the same time. Social distancing requirements will put further pressure on space and any hybrid approach to combining home and office working means that allocated desks could be unoccupied for part of the week, which is operationally and financially inefficient. There are two viable solutions to this conundrum: employers may choose to retain a hot-desking/agile office model based on a booking system for non-allocated desks, or they could opt for an allocated desk-share model to enable a mix of home and office working on an established rota.

32  |  December 2020

Smart Buildings – Ideal Industries.indd 32

In either of these scenarios, a booking system will be required and the most robust way to achieve this is by creating a smart-enabled office layout that tracks who is operating from which desk in real time. Effective booking systems will also be needed for meeting rooms and break-out areas. There may also be a need to alter office floor plans to implement effective social distancing at workstations, in common areas such as tea/coffee points and toilets, in meeting rooms and in circulation areas. It makes sense to implement these revised layouts and introduce smart enabled technology in a single M&E upgrade.

The pandemic will provide a catalyst to upgrade, futureproof and maximise the benefits of smart technologies

Efficient, effective retrofitting It’s likely that all these considerations will be built into new office developments, but retrofit will be needed to convert conventional properties to smart offices. In this way, the pandemic will provide a catalyst to upgrade, futureproof and maximise the benefits of smart technologies in ways that go beyond the immediate priorities of track and trace for staff and visitors. The challenge is in delivering those upgrades quickly and effectively with minimum impact for businesses that are now trying to make up for a period of unprecedented disruption, which requires upgrades to data networks. Installation of these complex data networks will involve a large number of terminations, and each termination requires attention to detail to ensure a robust and compliant connection, with consistent installation regardless of the number of installers working on the project or the time pressures on site. Data networks traditionally require field-termination of CAT5e, CAT6 of CAT6A cables using RJ45 modular plugs. The more complex the network, the greater the number RJ45 assemblies and terminations required. Conventional installation methods for RJ45s require conductors to be trimmed to an exact length before the plug is placed onto the cable. If the conductors are too short, circuits will remain open, if they are too long, there is a risk that the pairs could be left exposed outside of the plug body or cable jacket, which could hinder performance on the network and generally results in a 60% failure rate.

“The pandemic has driven a juggernaut through the status quo, providing a compelling reason to expedite the office sector’s transition to smart buildings.”

The time-consuming attention to detail required for conventional RJ45 data terminations and the pressing need to upgrade offices to smart technology to enable track and trace as soon as possible may be another catalyst for change. Single-piece feed-through connectors and application tools are now available, which eliminate the need for installers to assemble a three-piece connector, even when working with CAT6 cable. This makes terminations faster, simpler and more consistent, whether using CAT5e, CAT6 or CAT6A cables. Conductor wires do not need to be accurately trimmed to a specific length; instead, installers simply need to remove an appropriate section of jacket, remove the centre spline if there is one, untwist the pairs into the right order, feed through the connector, then terminate and shave the excess with the feed-through tool.

Chance to create lasting change The pandemic has driven a juggernaut through the status quo, providing a compelling reason to expedite the office sector’s transition to smart buildings. The next step is to think smarter about how that can be achieved with as much speed and consistency as possible by adopting the latest approaches to installing data networks.  Ideal Industries,



20/11/2020 12:40


AICO LAUNCHES SMARTER HOMES, SAFER COMMUNITIES VIRTUAL CONFERENCE The launch of the virtual conference, Smarter Homes, Safer Communities powered by Aico, marks the beginning of Aico’s advance into facilitating and holding events within the housing sector.


marter Homes, Safer Communities powered by Aico is a two-part virtual conference covering the current challenges the housing sector is facing, the advancements in technology and the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) in housing. Spanning over two days, part one will take place on Thursday 26 November 2020 via a networking platform which will enable both one-to-one and group networking, bringing together decision-makers, thought-leaders and key players within the industry. This conference will focus on the challenges and issues in the UK housing sector, how technology has advanced and the impact this has had on the sector. It will feature thought-provoking and informative presentations from distinguished keynote speakers George Clarke, focusing on the UK Housing Crisis and How this Can Be Reduced; Iain Wightwick, focusing on the Legal Challenges for Housing Providers; and inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, discussing Technology in Times of Change. Part two of the conference, taking place on Thursday 10 December 2020, will examine advancing technology, safety in the future, the role of IoT in housing and what this could look like in the future. The second installment will feature prominent figures in the industry, Dame Judith Hackitt, tackling Safety in the Future; Colin Todd (MBE) exploring British Standards and Improved Data; and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, answering questions and sharing his thoughts on what the future holds. With polls, dedicated question and answer sessions with keynote speakers and ample networking opportunities, the Smarter Homes, Safer Communities powered by Aico virtual conference is the ideal platform to collaborate, spark debate and discuss key issues within the UK housing sector. For more information and to book your free place, please visit: http://aicoltd.

#SmarterSafer Smarter Homes, Safer Communities powered by Aico, is a two part virtual conference covering the current challenges the housing sector is facing, the advancements in technology and the future of IoT in housing.

Smarter Homes, Safer Communities Part 1 Thursday 26th November 2020, 9:30 to 17:30 Part one of the Smarter Homes, Safer Communities conference will focus on the current challenges the housing sector is facing and how technology has changed. There will be five sessions over the course of the day with networking opportunities after each session. Sessions will include keynote speakers - George Clarke, Iain Wightwick, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and more.

George Clarke

The UK Housing Crisis and How this Can Be Reduced

Iain Wightwick

Legal Challenges for Housing Providers

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Technology in Times of Change

Smarter Homes, Safer Communities Part 2 Thursday 10th December 2020, 9:30 to 17:30 Part two of the Smarter Homes, Safer Communities conference will focus on and explore the advancements in technology, safety in the future and the future of IoT in housing. There will be five sessions over the course of the day with networking opportunities after each session. Sessions include keynote speakers - Dame Judith Hackitt, Colin Todd (MBE), Steve Wozniak and more.

Dame Judith Hackitt Safety in the Future

Colin Todd (MBE)

British Standards and Improved Data

Steve Wozniak

What Does the Future Hold

For more details and to register for FREE visit



Advertorial – Aico.indd 33



December 2020  |  33

20/11/2020 12:41



KEEP IT SIMPLE, KEEP IT SMART More and more of us are looking to make our homes and offices that bit smarter. But that doesn’t have to mean complicated and costly technology. For Link2Home it means taking the electrical products we use every day and improving them to make your home or office more comfortable, convenient, and secure.


Link2Home’s devices are extremely easy to install

ink2Home launched its products out to the wholesale market in August 2020 and since then has been going from strength to strength each month. With the company’s range of devices, you can switch on and off your sockets, see inside and outside your home with cameras, control your environment with lights and receive alerts from doorbells and never miss a visitor. Set up of Link2Home devices is simple and quick. Its plugs and lamps use WiFi and BLE connectivity, which means when you open the box of your new device and plug it in and open your Link2Home Pro App, the device will be recognised automatically, without any menu or button press. This means set up can take as little as 10 seconds. Other set up methods for video devices are easy to follow, with   on-screen instructions where set up   takes around 30 seconds. The company was delighted to be nominated for a Lux Award this year for its Floodlight Cam product in the category of Exterior Luminaire of the year. The Floodlight Cam is a motion activated security camera floodlight with a 125dB siren alarm. It features motion and sound detection with two-way audio and full HD video recording for a complete security package. Link2Home recently caught up with Ben Harris from Gowrie Electrical solutions who has been enjoying Link2Home products. Ben has been installing Link2Home products around the Northamptonshire area and comments, “On an installation note, the items are extremely easy to install and the app set up is very user friendly. The ease of set up allows me to complete jobs quickly and get on with other tasks and new jobs.”

34  |  December 2020

Smart Buildings – Link2Home.indd 34

The Floodlight Cam was nominated for a Lux Award this year

The company’s doorbells ensure that you never miss a visitor

Ben has, in particular, focused on the Link2Home Doorbell range and Floodlight Cam, and notes that when showing the app to the end user they comment that “the app is really great to use and easy to navigate and having multiple devices under one app is great.” The company says that it is reassuring to know that the features it wanted to focus on with its app is allowing the contractor to complete tasks with ease. When carrying out market research, there were two points that stood out with end users and contractors when adopting smart home technology. The first of which is price, where people want affordable technology. Link2Home has achieved that with its range of products that offer versatility and great value. One notable feature of its camera devices is the local storage options. All Link2Home camera devices feature sound and motion detectors and, when triggered, the device will take a snapshot of the event which is then saved in the app’s ‘Message Centre’. With all camera devices you can add a Micro SD card which will then record a 30-60 second video direct to the memory card when an alert is detected. These events can then be reviewed in the app at no additional charge. Additionally, through the app you can subscribe to the company’s cloud service to record events to the cloud, and at the start of December 2020 Link2Home will launch its multi-device service.

The second point that comes up a lot in the company’s market research is about ease of use. Not only in setting up the products but also in navigating through and using its app. Link2Home’s smart function and the location of your phone allow you to do the right thing automatically. Using what the company calls ‘tap-to-run’ events, the user can create quick one-touch shortcuts to a series of device actions. These events are then added as a shortcut to the home screen. The second smart function is true automation, where you can create events to control devices that are activated by external triggers. These triggers include: •  Inter-device synchronisation – activate one product feature when another product feature is activated, such as a camera device detecting movement and then turning on a light. •  External environment triggers are split into two categories. Under Weather you can link changes to temperature, humidity, weather, sunrise/sunset and windspeed. Under Location you can link changes to arriving or leaving a specific location. •  Using Schedule, you can create multiple timer settings across specific days. The ease of set up and powerful automation features make the Link2Home experience smooth.  Link2Home,



20/11/2020 14:20 Scan the QR codes to see how our products can make your home simply smarter

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Find us on Untitled-6 1 18/11/2020 14:53



PUTTING PEOPLE AT THE CENTRE OF LIGHTING DESIGN Glen Krise, Managing Director at Megaman, discusses the importance of human-centric lighting and how its implementation in spaces where people work can improve both productivity and wellbeing.


Employees may begin to demand more from an office environment in terms of wellbeing and productivity

growing body of evidence shows that a good office environment can help improve the happiness, wellbeing and health of employees, with benefits for the business such as improved productivity, reduced absenteeism and lower staff turnover rates. While there have been many improvements to the typical office environment in recent years, the impact of good lighting is often overlooked. In a survey by Staples[1], 40% of respondents stated that the lighting in their workplace was uncomfortable and one in four said they were frustrated by having to deal with poor lighting. The research also revealed that 32% of office workers believe better lighting would make them happier and 68% said they are more likely to feel valued if an employer invests in the office space. However, it is important to recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how many people are working. Offices are no longer used in the same way and there is now a wider variety of places where people work. Going forward, this is likely to continue, with many now having a different approach to time spent in the office and their working pattern. Employees may begin to demand more from an office environment in terms of wellbeing and productivity during the limited time they spend there. Adopting a human-centric approach to lighting has a fundamental role to play if you are creating positive work environment and it is important to understand the principles of this, so that it can be applied to any kind of workspace.

Human-centric lighting Part of the growing sleep health market worth £30.2 billion globally, the   human-centric lighting concept encompasses all aspects of how lighting affects people, including their wellbeing, productivity, mood and comfort in the built environment. It also focuses on how the lighting can support them in completing tasks and the control they have over their environment – so much so that its even been tested by NASA on the International Space Station. Lighting has such a significant impact on our working lives because it is central to how our brain functions. Our sleep/wake cycle, also known as our circadian rhythm, is driven in large part by the changes in light throughout the day. The ganglion cells in the human eye are sensitive to the blue light found in morning light and stimulates the production of serotonin to wake you up and keep you alert. As daylight fades, the brain begins producing melatonin, which induces sleep. However, as we typically spend 80-90% of our time indoors, exposure to natural daylight is often limited. Therefore, interior lighting must support this natural sleep/wake cycle. Where people are not exposed to the right levels or types of light in their work environment it can lead to feelings of lethargy.

Key considerations •  Lighting colour spectrum: Choosing lighting with the right colour wavelength can help support the intended use of that space, as different types of light have different effects on people. As mentioned above, light with bio-active blue wavelengths is ideal for work areas as it can improve alertness, enhance concentration and reduce errors. In contrast, light at the ‘warmer’, more yellow end of the spectrum can be used to create a more tranquil and relaxing environment in break areas.

Where people are not exposed to the right levels or types of light in their work environment it can lead to feelings of lethargy

“Lighting has such a significant impact on our working lives because it is central to how our brain functions.”

•  Light levels: In addition to the right wavelengths, the amount of light is also important. Where light levels are too low, comfort and productivity reduces, while excessive light intensity can cause discomfort due to issues with glare. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) recommends 500 lux for environments such as offices, and where more visually demanding tasks are carried out, this should be increased to 1,000 lux.

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•  Light distribution: The distribution of light also has to be considered carefully. Well distributed light makes the environment more comfortable and work easier. It also has a role in supporting circadian rhythm. The physiology of the human eye means that the direction of light entering the eye is important. It is recommended that lighting is placed at least 60º above the horizontal plane and distributed to evenly light the space, ensuring the ceiling and the upper third of the walls are illuminated. One way to achieve this is through the use of bright planar (area) lighting with large-area luminaires or luminous ceilings. Alternatively, luminaires that cast indirect light over large spaces can be used. •  Timing: For a human-centric lighting system, it is important to align it with the 24-hour cycle so that it mirrors the course of daylight. This can be achieved using tuneable lighting that allows the colour temperature and intensity to be varied throughout the working day to reflect natural sunlight. For example, systems like Megaman’s Pro service Ingenium ZB smart lighting range can support circadian rhythms by seamlessly and automatically adjusting brightness and colour temperature to mimic natural light. •  End user control: Finally, for employees, having control over their environment can help improve their feeling of wellbeing. A simple step like including light sources close to work areas allows easy individual customisation of light levels. Smart lighting controls can also enable greater control. A good quality light management system will allow even staff in large offices to have control of the lighting around their work area. Although lighting is just one part of creating a comfortable working environment, it has an essential role in employee wellbeing and in maintaining levels of concentration and energy throughout the working day. However, with so many design factors to consider it can be helpful for contractors to engage with a lighting solutions expert who can offer advice on the best options for each application.  Megaman,   Investing in the growing sleep-health economy, McKinsey & Company




20/11/2020 12:41



MITIE WORKS WITH VODAFONE UK TO REDUCE ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT Mitie has supported Vodafone UK in reducing its carbon footprint, saving 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy, equivalent to 25,000 tonnes of CO2, in just three years.


he energy saved could power a town with a population of 65,000 people for a year and represents a financial saving of around £10 million. The energy savings were achieved by optimising heating and cooling systems in offices and managing air flow to keep technical sites cool in the most energy efficient way; and were validated by third-party energy auditor EEVS. Mitie worked with Vodafone UK to deliver the savings as part of its Energy Performance Contract. So far, Mitie and Vodafone have audited 90 of Vodafone’s buildings, including offices, contact centres, data centres and Mobile Telephone Exchange (MTX) network sites, to assess energy usage and ensure efficiencies. The audits checked that a building’s lighting, heating and air conditioning systems were operating at the highest energy efficiency rating. At more complex locations, such as data centres and MTX (mobile telephone exchange) network sites,

Smart Buildings – Mitie.indd 37


“Mitie and Vodafone will continue to assess Vodafone’s buildings to identify further energy saving opportunities.”

where 24/7 power is essential to keep the network running, sensors providing real-time data were used to identify energy saving opportunities. For example, temperature sensors in data centres enabled the airflow to be automatically adjusted up or down remotely, ensuring the correct environment for this critical equipment in the most energy efficient way. In offices and call centres, sensors in air conditioning systems enabled ‘dynamic controls’ so the air temperature could be managed remotely and at speed dependent on weather and conditions. Mitie had already supported Vodafone in reducing the number of buildings it opened at weekends and on bank holidays, making significant energy savings. During the COVID-19 lockdown, all but essential technical staff were moved to home working, meaning more buildings could be hibernated. Mitie and Vodafone will continue to assess Vodafone’s buildings to identify further energy saving opportunities. Pradyumna Pandit, Managing Director, Sustainability and Energy Services, Mitie, says: “This landmark


energy saving – and staggering 25,000 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions – was made possible thanks to the collaboration between Mitie and Vodafone UK teams. Thank you to our energy managers, sustainability experts, and colleagues on the frontline, who have all contributed to this achievement. We’re proud to be helping UK businesses achieve ambitious environmental targets and look forward to continuing our work with Vodafone UK to help it meet its next energy reduction goal.” Scott Petty, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone UK, says: “Not everything we’ve done here is revolutionary; we’ve achieved these staggering savings by doing the basics well and making energy reduction something we think about each and every day. Combined with our commitment to power our network with 100% renewable electricity by 2021 – and help our customers reduce their own carbon footprints with our connectivity and Internet of Things technology – this will ensure we are helping to build a more sustainable future.”  Mitie,

December 2020  |  37

20/11/2020 12:43



NEW CERTIFICATE SOFTWARE SOLUTION: NAPIT FASTTEST Trimble MEP and NAPIT have collaborated to develop a new version of FastTest, a certificate software solution for commercial, industrial and domestic electrical installations used across a range of sectors within the building services industry.


ather than retire the Trimble version of FastTest, Trimble has chosen to provide an option for its customers to migrate to the next generation of certification software, NAPIT FastTest. NAPIT FastTest brings together the great features of both Trimble FastTest and NAPIT Desktop, and delivers a dynamic cloud synced software solution for the inspect and test industry. With NAPIT’s technical expertise, NAPIT FastTest has been designed and developed to meet the needs and demands of the end users. Significant improvements have been incorporated within the NAPIT FastTest certification software to ensure that the functionality delivers faster loading of data, EICR Codebreaker observations within inspection schedules, high Zs warning notifications and much more.

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NAPIT FastTest is the only certification software that delivers interaction with the Trimble ProDesign electrical design software, allowing design data to be imported to NAPIT FastTest for the complete documentation from design to verification to certification of the electrical installations. FastTest Mobile has also been included in the NAPIT FastTest package to ensure site-based work can still be delivered using tablets. The introduction of the cloud sync software frees NAPIT FastTest from being shackled to the office network, allowing a fully mobile solution to the NAPIT FastTest electrical certification software. NAPIT FastTest launched in November 2020, providing software support for transferring FastTest users. The software will also be available to purchase by anyone in the industry and the outputs are customisable to the user’s schemes and logos. Mike Andrews, NAPIT’s Group Chief Executive, says, “We are delighted to be

“NAPIT FastTest brings together the great features of both Trimble FastTest and NAPIT Desktop.”

able to work with Trimble to develop the new FastTest product. As market leaders in the electrical inspect and test industry, this is an exciting time for NAPIT. We are committed to improving and driving change within the industry and we will continue to invest and develop the next generation of inspection and testing software for many years to come.” Lawrence Smith, Vice President and General Manager at Trimble MEP, added, “With FastTest, NAPIT has delivered an advanced, user friendly cloud hosted, multi-platform electrical installation, inspection and testing certification software. We’re so pleased NAPIT FastTest will provide market-leading compliance capabilities for UK electrical contractors. We look forward to continued integration with Trimble ProDesign and seeing exciting new developments of NAPIT FastTest in the near future and beyond”.  NAPIT,



20/11/2020 12:43

NAPIT FastTest Advanced, Multi-Platform Installation Certiication Software electrical - inspection & testing - ire - gas - ventilation

To view all the features of FastTest and to get a 14 day FREE trial visit or call 0330 9000 709 Untitled-5 1

17/11/2020 12:12



OVIA INVESTS IN NEW LUMINAIRE TESTING EQUIPMENT Ovia has made significant investment in new testing equipment and a cutting-edge photometry luminaire testing scheme, which will bring the company’s light testing facility in-house.


he company has purchased its own Goniophotometer device and signed up to the revolutionary Gonio photometry luminaire testing scheme, which has been created by the LIA, together with its partner Acal BFi, to enable lighting manufacturers to offer efficient third-party certified luminaire performance testing. As well as radically speeding up the testing process for Ovia’s lighting products, the scheme will also offer reassurance when it comes to validating photometric measurements such as Lumens per Watt and related performance claims.

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The scheme is built around the Viso systems LapSpion goniometer. Its cutting-edge  technology eliminates the need for a traditional goniometer and/or integrating sphere and allows manufacturers to perform these tests quickly and accurately on their own premises, without the need for a large dedicated dark room. It gives participants the ability to scan light sources and luminaires quickly and easily, creating quality, easy to understand light measurement data. Full photometric scans can take from as little as two minutes and, once ready, the data is sent securely via a dedicated cloud server to the LIA Laboratory for validation. The LIA Laboratory will then be able to issue third party reports without the need for product samples to be transported around the country or the world.

Mike Collins, Ovia Sales Director, comments: “A significant amount of time and expense is invested in the critical testing element of new product development. What the LIA Gonio Photometry Scheme does is give us total control and puts both the product development and final evaluation process literally in our hands. This means a much faster turnaround in getting products tested and out into the marketplace. “As well as providing upfront validation of the performance of new products being developed, it will also be vital in our ongoing surveillance to ensure that further batches of products being brought in are guaranteed to be of the same consistency in performance and quality.”  Ovia,



20/11/2020 12:44

uickwire New pluggable T-Connector for flexible cable Designed to dramatically speed up lighting installation time The new plug-in T-Connector consists of a plug and socket: The plug accepts flexible cable and the socket consists of two Quickwire solid core twin and earth, loop in loop out connections. It offers the same dramatic time-savings and ease of use as all of our Quickwire junction boxes.

Compact - fits through a 30mm diameter hole.

The fastest and simplest connector of its type.

One piece plug moulding simply snaps shut with cord grip.

Designed and manufactured in Great Britain. Rapid Quickwire™ connections

Dramatic time saving on site.

Easy disconnection for maintenance and testing.

Visit or your wholesaler for info 01183 840025 Untitled-4 1




Tracking = 277

Company 27/08/2020 15:26



RITTAL’S VX25 RI4POWER PANELS DELIVER ‘IMPRESSIVE’ SOLUTION FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT Rittal was approached by Powerfish, a Scottish-based panel builder and electrical engineering business, with a brief to design and deliver robust, flexible, and easy to install panels for a renewable energy customer.


ll the consultations, as well as the design work on the panels, were carried out remotely, in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. The copper connections were created in-house from drawings produced by Rittal’s online configurator, saving the client both time and money. The project was turned around quickly, while still maintaining Rittal’s high standards across engineering and customer service. Powerfish is a progressive electrical engineering and panel building company based in Perth, Scotland. Its engineering and manufacturing facility delivers a full range of engineering capabilities for the power generation and controls industry. The company’s G99 control system provides clients with a remote monitoring and a web interface for control and automation systems; access is provided through proprietary Powerfish monitoring and data-logging software.

Hydro-turbine generators Powerfish approached Rittal about building three new panels for three new hydro-turbine generators at a site in the Scottish Highlands. The panels needed to accommodate large 400mm incoming cables from below via a trench. They also needed sufficient space within the panels to house new voltage transformers and G99 control equipment.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions on movement meant that the panels had to be constructed without a site visit from a Rittal engineer. However, the VX25 Ri4Power was the obvious, ideal choice for this project. Its maxi PLS busbar system could easily contain the cable lugs and its design makes it extremely flexible and able to accommodate changes during the build (such as the compartment’s size). The ACB connections were created in-house by Powerfish from drawings produced via Rittal’s online configurator. Connection clamps were used for a voltage reference, avoiding any drilling of the busbar; the clamp simply clips on the copper bar. Added to which, VX25 Ri4Power has a robust welded frame, well-suited to large power applications and is easy to install. Powerfish provided a written specification from which a detailed design and panel layout was completed for two types of panel: the 2500 amp system and the 2000 amp system. The PLC section contained the G99 controls as required from the local DNO

Power distribution from the smallest to the largest. ENCLOSURES

UPS & Power Distribution – Rittal.indd 42



20/11/2020 12:45


company. The entire panel is automated and, of course, they can be monitored remotely through the Powerfish software. The ACB section and the outgoing section have a total of 24 x 400mm2 cables, however, the VX25 Ri4Power MAXI PLS incoming busbar system meant all the connections were easy to manage. David Kirkhope, Director of Powerfish, says: “The three systems were built, programmed and factory-acceptance tested incredibly quickly and well within our customer’s timetable. “Sourcing the copper connections for the busbar system in-house, from the drawings created by Rittal’s online configurator, reduced costs and increased our control. “This was the first time we’ve used the VX25 Ri4Power on a project of this complexity. The panels look impressive and they have met both our expectations and those of our customer.”

VX25 Ri4Power system The VX25 Ri4Power system is modular based switchgear system ideally suited for both power distribution systems and motor control centres. From form 2a control panels to form 4b switchgear, Ri4Power is flexible to meet the requirements of today’s market and is compliant to the latest international switchgear standards. Faster, stronger, more efficient, the VX25 Ri4Power is the perfect solution for applications up to 6300A. Project planning is child’s play with the user-friendly Power Engineering configurator: faster assembly, with up to 50% time savings on new product innovations, and fewer part numbers both simplifies the assembly process and increases efficiencies. Based on the new VX25 enclosure, this version of the Ri4Power is now even more efficient at distributing electrical power across industrial environments. It also delivers a range of other benefits such as higher current ratings, plus easier monitoring and maintenance. All solutions


based on this system have been tested and certified to IEC 61439. Switchgear for electrical power distribution must evolve to meet ever-higher demands – including higher current ratings, in conjunction with compact dimensions. Rittal’s new Ri4Power is the ideal response to these challenges. The welded frame of the VX25 enclosures gives the Ri4Power its strength and reduces assembly times. With personnel safety in mind, the VX25Ri4Power has been designed to reduce the incidence of internal arc faults. Innovative new products enable the switchgear to follow the guidance from IEC61641, which is the standard for internal arc faults. The busbar support design makes it easier to fit copper bar. The busbar supports were developed with reduced complexity in mind. As a result, the same support is suitable for both 600mm deep and 800mm deep enclosures. Their symmetrical shape means supports can be used left or right. Installation has also been simplified: the busbar support can be fastened to the VX25 profile with three screws.

Fewer parts, less complexity The new Ri4Power system is based on the VX25, so manufacturers enjoy all the advantages of this enclosure system, including its symmetrical form, highly standardised pitch pattern, reduced number and type of parts, and ease of component installation. Consequently, components can, for example, be mounted on either horizontal or vertical profiles of the VX25 frame, reducing the total quantity of profiles required. Furthermore, there is a special compartment side panel available for the Ri4Power that can be positioned in either the left or right of the enclosure. This divides the solution into separate compartments according to function, for example, to create a cable chamber or space for additional components.


“The VX25 Ri4Power system is modular based switchgear system ideally suited for both power distribution systems and motor control centres.”


Rittal developed a new version of its Power Engineering (RPE) software to coincide with the launch of the VX25 Ri4Power system. This solution makes planning and configuring switchgear fast and simple. Usability was a key focus during the development of the latest version. It is highly intuitive and requires the input of only a few parameters. This enables manufacturers, even those with no previous experience, to simply and reliably configure type-tested switchgear. Furthermore, interfaces for EPLAN Electric P8, for export of bills of materials to MS Excel, and for import and export for data maintenance are possible. The VX25 Ri4Power system offers a number of advantages in the context of maintenance. The new busbar supports and connectors are accessible from the front - this makes it easier to check the torque applied to screws, for instance, or to determine the temperature of contact points by means of an infrared camera. It is also possible to implement sophisticated monitoring mechanisms - an IoT interface can be installed that interoperates with sensors, for example, for monitoring temperature, moisture or performance. In combination with a software-based control system, this allows the operator to monitor their equipment at all times and enjoy higher power supply availability.  Rittal,


UPS & Power Distribution – Rittal.indd 43

20/11/2020 12:45



PROVIDING PEOPLE WITH THE POWER Stephen Roberts from office power, connectivity and ergonomics specialist, CMD, discusses the need for solutions designed to provide the power and data reliability needed to allow working from home to become a permanent choice.


ne of the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to create the biggest working from home experiment the world has ever seen. Companies that have previously avoided allowing their employees to work from home have discovered that their preconceptions on the matter were wide of the mark. In fact, for many, enabling teams to work from home has led to increased productivity as commute time becomes work time, technology enables wider collaboration, and improved flexibility in the working day delivers enhanced motivation and wellbeing. When lockdown eases and teams return to the office, it is easy to assume that the world will tip back into life as we knew it, and that homeworking will, once again, be the preserve of the privileged few. The reality, however, is very different. Both companies and individuals can see the benefits of working from home as a long-term option, but perching in a corner with a laptop needs to be upgraded to ergonomic home workstations with power and data solutions with health benefits that support productivity.

Enabling teams to work from home has led to increased productivity

Companies and individuals can see the benefits of working from home as a long-term option

Making homeworking work

Flexible remote office

For office-based companies, the challenge of transferring homeworking into viable workplace policy, rather than emergency response, is only just beginning. Moreover, it is potentially just as complex as reconfiguring the office in line with social distancing requirements. During the pandemic, homeworkers have largely fallen into one of two groups: those with a dedicated space at home to use as an office, and those who have had to carve out a workspace on a daily basis, factoring in partners, children or housemates sharing the same environment. Members of staff in either of these scenarios need a home workplace environment that supports their physical and mental health and wellbeing, which means considering ergonomics, desktop facilities and connectivity.

For those without a dedicated office, working from home during lockdown has been extra challenging. A package of equipment specifically designed for makeshift workstations could enable this group to make longer term homeworking a viable choice by allowing them to use a more ergonomic, comfortable set up that packs away neatly when not in use. A lightweight monitor arm for single or dual screens, that enables the screen to be raised to the optimum height for the user, without being permanently attached to the desk or table. Designed to be quick and easy to install it allows the use of a second screen when working from a laptop. The challenges of working from a makeshift workstation don’t just involve ergonomics; often there is an issue with accessing sufficient power sockets and the location of available sockets. A unit such as CMD’s Inca desktop power supply module, which has sockets in multiple directions along with USB points, provides an ideal solution. Not only does it allow everything to be plugged in at a single location, regardless of the orientation of work equipment and seating position, it also allows all devices to be plugged in or unplugged from the mains socket together. In this way, a homeworker can configure their workstation and pack it away at the end of the day, without having to waste time on setting up the following morning.

Enhancing the home office Whether it is an office, a spare bedroom or a conservatory, if a worker has a space where the desk is permanently set up for work, it can be interpreted as a permanent workspace. However, unlike in the office, many of those working from home in one of these scenarios will not have an appropriate task chair or monitor arm. They may also not have access to conveniently located or sufficient power sockets and charge points, which can lead to a jumble of wires and extension leads that are potentially hazardous to both their health and safety and the company’s IT assets. To address this, along with the right chair and a fixed monitor arm to enable height-adjustable dual screen working, an on-desk power module is vital, because it secures the improved data connection required for online meetings and VPN access to the company server. A unit that combines both power and USB sockets is ideal, because it saves space and provides everything the homeworker needs in one location.

44  |  December 2020

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Rising to the challenge COVID-19 has made homeworking a reality for both businesses and individuals, but employers and employees recognise the need for reliable power and data to support productivity. By providing products designed for home office environments, electrical contractors can help.  CMS,



20/11/2020 12:49


Circuit Protection & Switchgear

Emergency Lighting

Electric Vehicle Charging

NEXT TIME… In addition to its regular range of news and viewpoints, the January issue of ECN will contain special features relating to circuit protection and switchgear, emergency lighting and electric vehicle charging. The features will include articles and information from major companies, providing a range of information about the latest issues and technological developments affecting the sectors. For electrical contractors, the features will prove to be a valuable reference point for all that is happening within this area.

To make sure that you don’t miss this major opportunity to advertise your products to ECN’s 40,000 readers, call Kelly Byne on 01634 673163 /

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20/11/2020 12:37



THE IMPORTANCE OF A ROBUST MAINTENANCE AND SERVICING PROGRAMME Critical ICT loads within data centres rely on UPSs to protect them from power issues and ensure a continuous uninterrupted power supply at all times. To live up to this expectation, Kohler Uninterruptible Power believes that UPSs must not only be reliable and resilient, but also backed by a rigorous and well-executed planned maintenance programme, that also includes on-site or fast access to critical spares inventory and a rapid and high-quality response service to cover emergencies.


ptimising a maintenance programme for a particular data centre, however, calls for consideration of many issues; the failure scenarios that must be allowed for, and the capacity of on-site staff to complement external technicians’ maintenance efforts, or alternatively to create maintenance problems through operator error. The UPSs’ topology is also a significant factor. The maintenance programme’s ability to handle these issues depends on how well resourced it is, in terms of technician skills and availability, ready availability of suitable and correct-revision components, and documentation and management.

Routine maintenance Data centres are continuously populated with facilities staff who oversee the mechanical and electrical services, so there are opportunities for those staff to carry out some, but probably not all, of the routine planned maintenance tasks if (and only if) the power system topology incorporates sufficient ‘concurrent maintenance’ capability. Those tasks include downloading the event logs, set-point monitoring, filter changes, visual inspection of all connections, general cleaning and battery cleaning/torque setting. If the concurrent maintenance capability is dependent upon manual switching of complete systems (including the UPS for example) then the correct levels of system training and familiarity exercises must be regularly carried out.

Non-routine maintenance and failure response UPSs also require further maintenance tasks, but not so regularly or routinely. These include: •  Battery load bank and cell impedance measurements (annual, rising to bi-annual) •  DC capacitor changes •  AC capacitor changes (five to   10-year intervals, depending on the manufacturer. For KUP, it’s five years)

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However, these non-routine tasks – and all UPS failure interventions – are very infrequent. Emergency interventions (actual failure of one or more UPS functions) are so infrequent as to be virtually impossible to cover properly, especially by using on-site 24/7 multi-shift staff. The level of documentation and constant training required do not make commercial sense, especially considering natural wastage and turnover in onsite personnel. By contrast, a UPS OEM’s maintenance technicians are highly experienced in fault-finding and repairing UPS failures, as they are engaged in this daily, within a large installed customer UPS base. Their services need to be available under a contracted service level agreement. Many published reports attribute as many as 70% of all data centre load-loss incidents to human error; the UPS share is thus reduced to the remaining 30%. In practice, this could be as low as 5% of the total failures for the power system. Working with the UPS OEM’s support team can bring further benefits instrumental to securing UPS safety and reliability. These include management of factory upgrades, remote system monitoring, and spare parts provisioning. Data centre operators are recommended to set up a service agreement to handle situations from preventative maintenance to time guaranteed emergency responses. The agreement can bring together all the elements and resources needed, and

package them to suit the facility’s particular needs and priorities. An effective service plan is summarised here. It should comprise annual scheduled preventative maintenance (PM) visits for both the UPS and its batteries, as well as facilities for emergency call-outs on demand. Trained engineers and technicians should be available 24/7, and based close enough to ensure arrival on site within contractually-agreed response times. These personnel should be backed with immediate access to a comprehensive local spare parts inventory, and more in-depth technical support if required. Interested parties should be able to pre-empt UPS problems as far as possible through remote battery monitoring and impedance testing, generator monitoring, and UPS monitoring with monthly trend reporting and 24/7 alarm notifications. The service plans must be robust and well-managed, both to ensure their efficacy, and to maintain accurate budgetary control. Tasks include maintaining accurate monthly service records, and replacement planning with time and budget considerations. Fulfilling recommended part replacement cycles, once agreed, is important. The ideal number of scheduled preventative maintenance visits per year depends on the power system topology; single phase installations can be safely supported with a single annual PM visit, while three-phase systems warrant two annual visits.

Conclusion Maintaining a UPS at a high level of availability, and responding fast on the rare occasions when a problem does arise, calls for readily available, highly skilled technicians, backed by appropriate spare parts inventory. This level of backup can best be achieved by leveraging the resources of the original UPS supplier, complementing these with support from the facility’s on-site operational staff where it makes sense, and managing the overall strategy with a well-tailored maintenance contract.  Kohler Uninterruptible Power,



20/11/2020 12:49

Powering The Connections You Make. Data centres are enabling a new era of human connectivity. But who keeps the light on at the data centres? We do. Our latest model is ideally suited to the demands of small and medium sized data centres, offering unrivalled efficiency. And while our products are first rate, service is what makes us really stand out; from pre-sales all the way to in-life support.

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The new 97.4% efficient 1-6MW PowerWAVE MF1500 DPA

19/11/2020 11:37





Scolmore has added new products to its range of Aquip66 weatherproof socket and switch enclosures. The one and two gang 13A switched power socket outlets are now also available supplied with a semi-transparent lid and socket outlet with neon. In addition, a new 13A switched fused connection unit has been introduced to the range in response to feedback from contractors. This will be available with a semi-transparent cover with neon power indicator, as well as with a standard cover. Designed to offer a high level of protection against ingress of water jets and dust, all products in the Aquip66 range come as completely sealed units. They offer a range of features: •  IP66-rated •  Robust polycarbonate construction •  High impact resistance •  UV protected against fading •  Ergonomic design •  Neutral modern design suitable for most locations •  Flexible rubber base allows for mounting on most types of uneven surfaces •  Multiple knock outs on each side (20mm) for entry from all angles

Lewden has recently replaced its range of Three Phase and Neutral Switch Fuses and Isolators. It has a wide range of wall mounted, steel enclosed switch disconnectors and switch fuses designed with the user in mind. Ideal for use in exposed environments, the IP65 enclosures come in a wide range of standard sizes available from stock, offering a solution to a wide variety of applications. The complete range includes Switch Disconnectors from 32A up to 630A, Switch Fuses from 100A up to 630A and Fused Switches from 32A up to 125A. Engineered for time saving, Lewden enclosures are manufactured using 1.2mm sheet steel and epoxy powder coated with RAL7035. These enclosures are equipped with an AC 23A Isolator switch, allowing safe operation even with highly inductive loads (motors, etc.) Safe access is provided via a reversible door with a door handle lockable by up to three padlocks. Lewden,

The IP66 rated range is available in an anthracite grey finish. Scolmore,


THORN’S IQ BEAM – CLASSIC GOOD LOOKS WITH THE LATEST INNOVATION Thorn Lighting’s new recessed ceiling luminaire, IQ Beam, combines integrated features and a clean exterior to create a classic look incorporating the latest lighting innovations. IQ Beam is available in two microprism optics and three different lumen packages (up to 4300lm). Offering up to 140lm/W of efficacy and a UGR below 19, the MPT version is the perfect performance luminaire for task lighting applications such as office and educational environments. The MPT-F version features an additional micro diffuser foil for enhanced comfort with an efficacy of up to 134lm/W – ideal for corridor applications. IQ Beam can be a direct replacement for standard 600mm x 600mm soft ceiling luminaires, it enables both pull-up and lay-in mounting for tremendous flexibility and is suitable for installation into exposed T, plasterboard and concealed grid ceiling systems. IQ Beam is available with a 3000K or 4000K colour temperature, CRI>80 and a lifetime of 50,000 hours @ L90 Ta 25°C.

Knightsbridge has bolstered its outdoor lighting range with a trio of LED floodlights in 6000K Daylight. Ideal for high-level security illumination in commercial, retail and domestic environments, the three floodlights come in 100W, 150W and 200W and 9200, 14100, and 18400 lumens respectively. These floodlights have die-cast aluminium casings, feature high output reflectors and are IP rated to IP65, which means they are not only dust protected, but can also withstand low pressure water jets (from a 6.3mm nozzle) from any direction. They also offer instant ignition, making them suitable for use with LED-compatible external sensors. The LED floodlights in 6000K Daylight are a perfect complement to the current LED floodlight range in 4000K Cool White, which otherwise share all the features and benefits of the new units. As with all Knightsbridge products, the floodlights have been designed with installers in mind, featuring integral brackets for wall mounting and internal terminals blocks on the rear to allow direct wiring. Knightsbridge,


C.K LAUNCHES CUTTING EDGE POWER TOOL ACCESSORIES C.K has enhanced its range of high quality power tool accessories with innovative new products, including three new Multitool Blade Sets; a new 40mm HSS Cobalt Sheet Steel Hole Saw; and a Glass and Ceramic Drill Bit Set of 5. The three C.K Multitool Blade Sets, all feature bi-metal blades and include: The C.K Multitool Blade 5 Piece Set (T0870) and two 2 Piece sets (2 x 34mm x 40mm Wood/Metal Bi-Metal Blades T0875) and (2 x 28.5mm x 57mm Wood/ Metal Bi-Metal Blades T0876). The C.K HSS Cobalt Sheet Steel Hole Saw 40mm (T3202 040) offers a faster, smoother cutting action to reduce burring, its cobalt and alloy steel construction allowing it to cut sheet steel faster than standard hole saws. The C.K Glass/Ceramic Drill Bit Set of 5 (T3059) Titanium nitride coated and tungsten carbide tipped, this premium Glass/Ceramic Drill Bit Set of 5 offers a quick and efficient solution to drilling holes in ceramic and glass.

ECOSTAT2 – 35% ENERGY SAVING THERMOSTAT Ecostat2 is designed specifically for student accommodation to maintain comfort while limiting the amount of energy used for heating. The series includes units with no user controls, for corridors; on/off user control; variable control allowing occupants to choose temperatures within a set range; and PIR models that sense absence or presence and control the heater accordingly. Ecostat2 is only unlocked with a dedicated handset. Temperature and times are set. Students hit Boost to warm up but, after a period, the unit enters Setback. The PIR senses occupancy – if a room is empty, the unit resets, and if a room is unoccupied for longer periods, Frost-mode is engaged. Boost, Setback and Frost, the ‘three-stage student program’ is a favourite with accommodation managers. Ecostat2 reduces heat input if windows are opened and is proven to reduce energy costs by up to 35%, depending on the building’s insulation and the parameters used. Prefect Controls,


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KUP LAUNCHES NEW POWERWAVE MF1500 DPA Kohler Uninterruptible Power (KUP) has launched its new high power PowerWAVE MF1500 DPA. Exceptionally resilient, flexible and scalable to 6MW, the modular new UPS offers best-in-market VFI mode energy efficiency. The new addition redefines lifetime costs for data centres and other high-density applications, without compromising on reliability. Designed with a clear goal in mind, to define that reliability does not require excess, and high power can exist alongside efficient use of energy, the MF1500 DPA combines proven Decentralised Parallel Architecture (DPA) technology with the latest advances in components and software. DPA products contain all the essential components of a UPS within each module, including the static switch, allowing independent operation. Its innovative slide-in, cable free module design can be hot-swapped without affecting the rest of the system, easing maintenance, and reducing system repair times to minutes. It also dramatically increases availability, allowing a ‘pay-as-you-grow’ approach and delivers exceptional MTTR. Protection is achieved with best-in-market 97.4% VFI energy efficiency, reducing the environmental impact, optimising PUE measures and delivering significant financial savings in energy and cooling costs. In addition, the advanced design of the MF1500 DPA maximises the life of consumables such as fans and capacitors, with replacement required only once in a 15-year period. Innovative, vertical slide-in modules enable resilient, high power density protection by reducing UPS footprint of up to 45% over traditional UPS systems, without compromising access for installation and ongoing maintenance. Customers can opt for a 1000kW or 1500kW frame size and 250kW modules, helping to right-size for the initial load with the ability to scale up or down depending on future requirements paralleling units to achieve 6MW. For additional flexibility and resilience, each DPA module can be fed from either an independent or common battery system. Through its scalability, this product is well positioned to support a wide range of data centres. Kohler Uninterruptible Power,

AN UPGRADE FOR MERIDIAN INTEGRATED LED BATTENS Meridian LED Battens are having a major upgrade with the launch of new integrated fittings, available in standard and emergency versions. Single and twin battens come in three sizes – 4ft 25w/50w, 5ft 35w/60w and 6ft 40w/69w, whilst emergency options on twin fittings only, deliver respectively 49w, 62w and 71w. With an attractive, slim design, battens have steel bodies and polycarbonate opal diffusers. Quality and performance are delivered by being powered by Tridonic drivers and having LED strips fully mounted onto heatsink plates for quick and even heat dissipation. Ease of installation is also helped with end cap knockouts for through wiring and push fit loop-in loop-out terminals. Delivering a colour rendition of 4000k, Meridian Battens have a life of 25,000 hours, deliver 100 lumens per watt and are backed by a five-year guarantee on standard and three years on emergency fittings. CED Electrical Group,

OVIA ADDS LINEAR BATTEN LED LIGHTS TO INCEPTOR RANGE New from Ovia is Inceptor B-Lite – a range of 4ft, 5ft and 6ft linear batten multi-current LED lights, available in standard, microwave sensor, emergency sensor and microwave and emergency sensor versions. They are a direct replacement for conventional battens and boast many features. Safety, speed and ease of installation have been given top priority. A security wire, pre-attached to the base of the product, allows the diffuser to be hung from the base and means the installer doesn’t have to remove the cover and place it aside during installation. The diffuser can be easily pulled apart from the steel base with the help of spring clips, allowing for quicker and easier installation. The multi-current driver, with the option for four different wattages, allows the installer to increase or decrease the lumens, depending on the requirements for each individual application. The Inceptor B-Lite has a TP(a) thermoplastic rating and a strong IK08 impact protection which means it is suitable for many applications. It comes with a five-year warranty. Ovia,

NEW COVID-19 FEATURES FOR ENTROWATCH ACCESS CONTROL The latest version of EntroWatch includes several new features to help make buildings COVID-19 secure. EntroWatch is the award-winning access control software for Entro series door controllers and contactless card readers and keypads. The new COVID-19 management features include occupancy management, temperature and mask screening and contact tracing. Occupancy management can be used to manage social distancing and prevent overcrowding in an EntroWatch controlled building. Occupancy levels can be set for rooms whose doors have access control readers. EntroWatch displays occupancy levels, supports ‘one in and one out’ access and can be set to alarm if someone tries to exceed the occupancy threshold level. The temperature and mask screening feature makes use of compatible camera technologies placed strategically within a building. As people pass one of these cameras, they are screened for temperature and whether they are wearing a mask or not. Based on threshold levels and settings, a person is either allowed to enter or exit an EntroWatch access-controlled door or not.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE ADDITIONS DRIVE LIGHTING UP – AND DOWN – THE WALL Knightsbridge is adding two products to its extensive outdoor lighting range. These two new LED wall lights offer contrasting design styles and lighting effects, but share the same attention to quality and detail. The WAD12 is a die-cast aluminium, cube shaped wall light that is bi-directional. It features adjustable sliders on top and the bottom, which allows users to easily create a variety of lighting effects. The IP65-rated luminaire measures a compact 125mm in height, 100mm width and 100mm depth, and is available in either anthracite or black. It features two LED lamps producing 330 lumens, each in warm white. The RD10BK is a circular, IP54-rated wall light with die-cast aluminium body and polycarbonate diffuser that produces a warm white light from its 10W LED lamp. Measuring 155mm in diameter and with a projection of only 48mm, the luminaire is small enough to be discreet during the day but big enough to make an impact at night. Knightsbridge,


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Suitable for dry and wet cutting, the Twin 18V DCE090 Brushless Disc Cutter is Makita’s latest addition to its LXT range. Powerful, compact and packed with safety features, this new construction tool is ideal for heavyduty applications. The new cordless DCE090 Brushless Disc Cutter features a powerful 36V brushless motor with a no-load speed of 6,600rpm and maximum cutting capacity of 88mm, and is powered by two 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries. The tool has been designed with safety in mind and includes Makita’s Active Feedback Sensing Technology (AFT) which shuts down the current to the motor if the rotation speed suddenly slows down, as well as an electric brake, a soft start feature that gradually increases speed to eliminate start-up shock, and a lock-off button to prevent accidental start-up. In addition, the tool will alert the user to any risk of motor burnout caused by overloading, with its in-built overload indicator lamp.

• Extension Leads


• USB Charging • WiFi Control

C.K LIGHTING THE WAY C.K is set to extend its successful lighting range with new products – including a range of high-performance site lights and head torches. The C.K T9613 LED Head Torch and T9613USB Rechargeable Head Torch is available in either a rechargeable or battery-operated version. This powerful head torch features a 270 Lumen output, has a choice of seven lighting modes and a run time of up to nine hours. Other features include an 80° tilt ability; a 90m beam distance; and a motion sensor that allows the head torch to be turned on and off with just the wave of a hand. The C.K T9735USB 10W Rechargeable LED Site Light is a powerful rechargeable site light that offers a 700 Lumen output, two lighting modes and a run time of up to four hours. This site light can be focused at any angle, thanks to its full 360° tilt mechanism, with the option to mount on a tripod, or a variety of metallic surfaces via a magnetic base. C.K,

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AC Fast & DC UltraFast Smart Chargers Mobile Phone & RFID Operated Chargers Back Office Management Solutions Domestic, Workplace & Public Charging


Office for Low Emission Vehicles




To attend a Rolec EV Product Awareness Webinar or to become a Rolec Approved Installer, email Contractor Relations Manager, Gary Frost:

For more details contact Rolec’s technical / support / sales team or visit your local electrical wholesaler

t: 01205 724754 e:

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