ECN July 2019

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The world’s first 3-7 pole decorative plug-in ceiling rose A flex

VOLUME 39 NO. 07 • JULY 2019





c o n n e c t o r s Company




Win an IDEAL toolkit worth over £500


THE IN-SURE BOX FOR THE ULTIMATE WIRE CONNECTIONS Ideal Industries, which was founded in 1916, recently launched its new In-Sure Box – a maintenance-free junction box that complies with the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. It is also compatible with Ideal’s many wire connectors. To make the installation of electrical conductor enclosures safe, fast and simple without the need for any tools, Ideal has launched the new In-Sure Box. The In-Sure Box is designed for use with In-Sure push-in, In-Sure lever and SpliceLine wire connectors, making it maintenance-free and suitable for installation of an electrical junction in an inaccessible location, such as behind plasterboard or under a floor. As the In-Sure Box complies with the BS 5733 maintenance-free accessory standard and BS 7671 wiring regulations, it provides safety while removing the need to fit unsightly or awkward access panels. Plus, it avoids damage to finished surfaces which would then need to be expensively reworked or repaired. Visit to request a free sample and to watch a video of the In-Sure Box in action.

Turn to page 12 for the full story.

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CONTENTS… Regulars 4 Editorial

18 Key Issue

An update on the EV evolution, and details of a new addition to the ECN team.

7 Industry News Results of the Electrical Apprentice of the Year contest, details of Scolmore’s new lighting company, smart home survey results, and more.

12 Cover Story

Bureau Veritas explains why the rapid increase of EV charging points presents a maintenance challenge.


20 Project Focus Hamilton Litestat’s smart solutions are being used in a contemporary waterside home at Sandbanks.


22 In The Know

Ideal Industries has developed a wide range of solutions that can simplify wire connections.

14 Contract News

Jeff Richardson looks at the range of benefits offered by Aurora’s latest downlight.

26 Company Profile

24 Ask The Expert

Secure access control for the BBFC, new lighting for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, ‘green’ energy for a Scottish ferry, and more.

16 Training

Ideal Industries is solidifying its electrical strategy and has a unique sales proposition. ECN looks at the company’s origins, and details what the future holds.

Paul Collins of Hager covers some of the most common questions on surge protection.

42 Competition

A new online training academy, smartware installation sessions, and details of a recent CEDIA accreditation.

28 Opinion

Win an Ideal toolkit worth over £500.

Brendan Beaver looks at why the ultra low emissions zone in London presents an opportunity for electrical contractors.

65 Company Showcase Sponsored content from around the sector.

30 Exterior Lighting Integral LED explains how to maximise the potential of LED lighting in outdoor environments.

36 Sponsored Feature A look at the new Homeforce wireless GSM and Wi-Fi intruder alarm kit from Challenger Security Products.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Fire, Safety & Security

Smart Buildings

Circuit Protection & Switchgear

Sargent assesses the pros 32 Barry and cons of multi-sensors and

LED Specialist provides an overview of 43 The smart lighting benefits, and talks us through

a basic 60 Having understanding of RCD

looks at how they can enhance safety and reduce fire alarms.


New legislation in Scotland is boosting fire safety for householders. Alex Jaundrill looks at the implications.


John Newbury explains how ‘hotspot’ technology can detect the risk of an electrical fire before it ignites.

Parton offers advice on 40 Matt how to plan, design and install a CCTV system, and looks at the opportunities for electrical contractors.

the best installation practices. Venkat analyses the ‘genes’ that 46 Ram contribute towards a genuine smart building, and looks to the future. latest building directive’s emphasis 48 The on building automation underscores the need for smart implementation of smart buildings, Graham Martin believes. Frear describes how modular 50 Martyn buildings and intelligent lighting controls can help ailing healthcare services.

Parry explains how a retrofit solution 54 Marie from Scolmore has helped with Stirling

tripping parameters defined in the product standards can save time on-site when testing unfamiliar devices. Chaz Andrews explains.

Council’s social housing upgrade.


Signify has assisted with a lighting installation at Tata Steel’s HQ in Wales.

home manufacturer, Vitrea, has 58 Smart launched in the UK. ECN looks at its extensive offering.

looks at why arc 62 Eaton faults may be the cause of building fires, along with details of why circuit breakers aren’t necessarily providing the required protection.

of how Environ earned a CEDIA 52 Details accolade for its work on a Grade I listed property in London.

July 2019 | 3

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Software (including BIM) & Apps

Nissan’s new electric ice cream van boasts zero emissions. Photo Credit: Nissan / PA.



elcome to the July issue of ECN. I’d like to start by announcing that we have a new member here on the ECN team. Jessica Foreman, who has worked for many of our sister publications over the years, has come on-board as our new Contributing Editor, and will be involved across all aspects of ECN’s multiplatform offering. Jessica will be out and about at industry events in the coming weeks too, so be sure to say hello if you see her on your travels. We had really great feedback on last month’s issue, which featured our in-depth focus on electric vehicles, along with a round-up of some of the key figures and stats presented on the matter at Live South a few months back. It’s certainly a topic that’s sparking debate, and this movement will continue to gather momentum as the quest intensifies for a greener, more environmentally-friendly planet. Nissan recently unveiled an electric ice cream van with zero emissions, a concept vehicle in partnership with ice cream producer, Mackies of Scotland. Introduced to mark ‘Clean Air Day’ – which was held in the UK on June 20 – the van isn’t able to produce a jingle, but instead

announces its whereabouts via Twitter. A fun innovation, perhaps, but with a serious underlying message. It will be interesting to see other such EV innovations in the months ahead. At the start of June, I had the pleasure of attending the NICEIC and Elecsa Electrical Apprentice of the Year awards, which saw eight finalists compete in a series of tasks at Scolmore’s HQ in Tamworth. During the day, I had the opportunity to judge some of the finalists’ work, and I also spoke with some of the previous years’ winners – each of whom spoke in glowing terms about the impact the award had made on their respective careers. The winners were announced during an evening reception at The Belfry, the world-famous golf resort just down the road from Scolmore’s offices. Full details of the winners can be found in our news pages, and it was a pleasure to see the next generation of electrical contractors striving to be the best. Finally, a quick reminder that next month’s issue will contain a standalone supplement devoted to Cables, Cable Management & Labelling. If you would like to be featured in this special booklet , please contact Kelly Byne by emailing Enjoy the issue.

EDITOR: SIMON ROWLEY T: 01634 673163 E:

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


Test & Measurement

Tools & Workwear

Simon Rowley, Editor

Cable, Cable Management & Labelling

August Issue Advertising deadline: July 23 Editorial deadline: July 15






ACCOUNTS T: 01634 673163 E:

The editor 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 © 2019, All rights reserved Printed by Pensord, Tram Road, Pontilanfraith, Blackwood, NP12 2YA

Editorial.indd 4

Pending first audit.

ECN charity of choice

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INDUSTRY NEWS SELECT ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR 2019 AWARDS The best professionals in the industry, who underpin and enable modern life, will once again have the chance to showcase their expertise, as plans for the Select Industry Awards for 2019 are unveiled. The deadline for this year’s entries has now closed, and the winners will be revealed at an awards evening which takes place at the Radisson Blu in Glasgow on October 11. Reflecting the duty of care which the safety-critical industry has to both clients and employees, a new award category – best health and safety initiative, sponsored by industry charity, Electrical Safety First – has also been introduced this year. The future of the sector will be recognised with the SJIB apprentice and the wholesaler apprentice of the year awards. Furthermore, a special lifetime achievement award will be made on the night. The accolades awarded by Select, the campaigning body for the electrotechnical trade in Scotland, will have a special relevance in 2019, a year in which the sector’s campaign for recognition of qualified electricians moved to Parliamentary consideration. A shortlist for each category will be published later in the year, and each shortlisted member company will be visited by the judging team to assess their entry in more detail. Select,

MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT OF BG ENERGY SOLUTIONS BG Energy Solutions (BGES), one of the UK’s leading independent BMS and energy solutions companies, has announced the successful completion of its management buy-out. Managing Director Gareth Barber (pictured) and senior management colleagues Mike Dauris and Simon Shaw will head up the new management structure. The team of three – who clock up over 45 years’ experience at BGES between them – have ambitious aims to further enhance the company’s offering in terms of its open controls, advanced analytics, energy efficiency services and its technology portfolio. The management buy-out will also enable the BGES leadership team to exploit new opportunities and markets, and forge strategic partnerships with like-minded companies in the technology and energy efficiency sector. BGES,

ELECTRICAL APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED THEISCRAFT ANNOUNCES ACQUISITION OF MULTILOAD CONTROLS TheisCraft has announced the acquisition of Multiload Controls. Multiload’s award-winning product portfolio complements the existing TheisCraft product range, and the acquisition will allow TheisCraft to further develop its relationship with the standalone markets and the architectural sector. Brian Cuthbertson, MD of Multiload Controls, a UK manufacturer of sophisticated scenesetting systems and lighting controls, comments, “This is an extremely exciting time for both companies. The markets, customers and resources that TheisCraft has will give us the opportunity to penetrate sectors of the industry we have never worked in before.” Multiload’s project history includes Lord’s Cricket Ground, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association, Thermae Bath Spa, and a host of other well-known and prestigious installations. TheisCraft has worked alongside Multiload on many occasions over the last few years for nonDALI dimming solutions, particularly on architectural projects. Jon Theis, Director of TheisCraft, adds, “We have wanted to develop a closer relationship with Multiload for quite some time, so this is a perfect fit for TheisCraft. Following the acquisition, it will be very much business as usual, but we will now look to maximise every opportunity both commercially and technically as we move forward.” TheisCraft,

Richard Bradley (pictured right) has been named the 2019 NICEIC and Elecsa Electrical Apprentice of the Year. The 31-year old from Southport, Merseyside was one of eight competitors to reach the grand final, which was held on June 4 at the head office of Scolmore Group, the competition’s partner. The final was the third stage of the contest, which saw more than 1,000 apprentices from across the UK take part. Bradley studied electronics as part of his apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence, and is currently working towards his NVQ Level 3 Qualification in Electrical Installation at a local training centre. He comments, “Being part of the competition has been such a rewarding experience, and I’ve got to work alongside some amazing finalists. It has given me more confidence in my ability and I’m extremely proud of what I have achieved. Now, I intend to push forward and keep challenging myself.” As the overall winner, Bradley was presented with a holiday voucher worth £2,000. Runner-up Cameron Molloy received a holiday voucher worth £750, while third place went to James Martin-Lucraft, who received a £250 holiday voucher. All eight finalists were given an engraved glass trophy, an iPad and kit bag containing an array of Scolmore electrical accessories. The eight finalists were put through a series of challenges across a range of disciplines, including insulation resistance testing, earth loop impedance testing, safe isolation as well as a conduit challenge. Each candidate also had to undergo a technical interview with Certsure’s former Technical Standards Director, Alan Wells. NICEIC, Scolmore,

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INDUSTRY NEWS GIBBONS SEEKS TO INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION Essex-based Gibbons Engineering Group is gearing up for a visit from local school children this summer. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Gibbons is looking ahead to its next 50 years in business and is keen to inspire the future generation of engineers. The huge number of exciting opportunities available to young people pursuing a career in engineering aren’t always widely known, and not enough young people – especially girls – are considering a career in engineering when they think about their futures. As proud partners of the Government-led Year of Engineering

last year, Gibbons took part in a number of activities to highlight what an exciting and varied career the industry can offer. As part of its efforts, Gibbons hosted an open day for local school children, which was deemed a great success. The company is therefore delighted to be repeating the day once again this year. School children can look forward to a tour of Gibbons’ offices and workshops, and some hands-on engineering activities to take part in, which will give them a taste of the challenging and varied career available to them in the industry. Gibbons,

JIB WELCOMES DIRECT EMPLOYMENT CALL Influential business leaders from across the construction sector have called for direct employment to be implemented across the supply chain, in order to avoid the significant skills shortages facing the industry. The Future Skills Report, published by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), sets out actions to ensure that the sector has the skills needed to deliver future construction and infrastructure requirements. Its number one recommendation asks clients to “agree to a code of employment where those who contribute to a project are directly employed, thereby ensuring that it is in the employer’s best interest to train their staff and benefit from their improved productivity.” To drive the implementation of this, the CLC now plans to influence procurement strategy and policy to encourage reduced numbers of workers not in direct employment. The JIB, which has the promotion of directemployment as the cornerstone of its work, has long campaigned for such measures and welcomed the CLC’s report and recommendations. “We applaud the recommendations supporting a directly employed workforce, which is at the core of the JIB’s membership model values,” says Roger Horne, JIB Head of Membership. “This is great news for JIB members and should pave the way for more new business opportunities. We look forward to supporting the CLC in its work to implement this strategy.” Andrew Eldred, Director and Employment and Skills at ECA, states, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. For the past 40 years, successive Governments and the UK construction industry have neglected this lesson and forgotten why the direct employment contract emerged in the first place: to facilitate long-term collaboration, productivity and innovation in the workplace. This declaration of intent by the CLC is a welcome start, but implementation arrangements must be carefully planned, credible and wholehearted.” JIB,

NEW APPRENTICESHIP PARTNERSHIP FOR JTL Bury College has announced a new partnership with one of country’s largest apprenticeship delivery providers, JTL. The new partnership will initially focus on the delivery of electrical apprenticeships, and individuals will develop skills in installation, maintenance and repair of electrical services both inside and outside buildings and structures. The partnership will provide career enhancing opportunities for those interested in securing qualifications within a competitive field. The partnership will combine JTL’s national reputation for delivering apprenticeships in the building services engineering sector with Bury College’s strength of being a strong provider within the Greater Manchester construction and building services sector. Charlie Deane, Bury College Principal and Chief Executive, says, “We are proud to be working alongside JTL to offer a new range of apprenticeship opportunities to aspiring electricians. Through this partnership, we will be offering exceptional opportunities for apprentices, whilst also meeting the skills needs of employers locally and regionally. Jon Graham, Chief Executive of JTL, adds, “We are delighted to be forming this new strategic relationship with Bury College. By bringing the strengths of both organisations together, I am confident that we can provide a great learning environment for our apprentices and continue to improve local skills for the building services sector.” JTL Training,

SCOLMORE TO LAUNCH A NEW LIGHTING COMPANY In a bid to position the company among the top performing UK lighting solutions providers, Scolmore has made a significant investment to develop a dedicated lighting company – OVIA – that will allow it to extensively broaden its product offering and operate in a wider range of sectors alongside the mainly residential and light commercial ones it currently services. The company has secured well-known lighting industry operator, Mike Collins, who moves from Ansell Lighting to head up the new OVIA company. Having spent his entire working career within the electrical industry, Collins brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge, garnered during this time working within both wholesaler and manufacturer environments. With OVIA due to be officially launched later this year, Collins, who joined the company in early May, is focusing his efforts on an extensive research and development programme to create a comprehensive lighting product offering that will meet the requirements of the new sectors the company will be targeting. These include commercial, industrial, utility, amenity emergency lighting and floodlighting. The name OVIA is already a well-known name within the industry, having been introduced by Scolmore in 2011 as the umbrella brand for the company’s growing lighting collection. It is anticipated that the new OVIA company will occupy the current head office space in Tamworth, Staffordshire, with the existing Scolmore business being relocated to new, nearby premises which are due to be up and running early next year. Scolmore,

SCHOOLS NOT PREPARING LEAVERS FOR TECH CAREERS School leavers are rarely well-prepared for apprenticeships or careers in the electrotechnical and engineering services sector, according to a new report from The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP), of which ECA is a leading member. Over half (52%) of employers said that unsatisfactory attitudes and behaviours are the biggest barrier to the recruitment of apprentices. In addition, employers cited a lack of knowledge and qualifications among candidates, and a general shortage of good quality applicants, as being factors in their inability to bring in the people they need. Some employers express concerns that schools do not teach young people basic electrical principles in their physics lessons. In response, ECA and other TESP partners will be launching a series of programmes to bring industry and education closer together over the next year. ECA,

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INDUSTRY NEWS TRADESPEOPLE UNPREPARED FOR SMART DEMAND? A poll carried out by online wholesaler, ElectricalDirect, has found that despite the ever-growing popularity of smart home products, many tradespeople are unprepared for the increasing customer demand. The poll, which was conducted in the lead up to Smart Home Week in May, found that 82% of tradespeople have never undertaken any form of training in smart home technology. This figure remains largely unchanged following results from the same poll in 2018. Research has shown that 40% of UK homeowners now own at least one smart home product, a rise of 13% compared to this time last year. This is reaffirmed by ElectricalDirect, which has seen sales of smart technology products increase by over 50% in the past year.

However, despite continued growth, the number of tradespeople improving their knowledge and skills in this area remains disproportionately low. Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director of ElectricalDirect, says, “We’re living in the age of rapid technological development, and it’s easy to see why people are investing in smart technology to bring comfort, convenience and added security to their homes. However, with a huge range of smart devices available, and new products being developed all the time, it is important that electrical professionals do their research and make a conscious effort to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends surrounding smart home technology. Electrical Direct,

ECA APPOINTS NEW TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Electrical engineer and business leader, Mike Smith, has joined leading engineering services body, ECA, as Director of Technical. Smith has held a variety of commercial roles at SES Engineering Services over the past 25 years, and was most recently the firm’s Estimating and Sector Director, working on projects totalling tens of millions of pounds. From 2017 to 2018, Smith was also ECA President, driving forward the interests of the sector by helping it face the challenges of Brexit, unfair payment practices, and skills shortages. He comments, “I am delighted to be joining ECA in this exciting role, having supported the association in various capacities over the past 20 years. I am looking forward to using my industry knowledge to help ECA members grow their businesses and navigate the challenging commercial environment.” Steve Bratt, ECA CEO, adds, “Having Mike on the team further cements ECA’s strong leadership team. His extensive knowledge, experience and expertise will help ECA power ahead and lead the electrotechnical and engineering services industry to success.” Smith takes over the role of ECA Director of Technical from Steve Martin, who took on the role in 2017. ECA,

RECOGNITION OF ELECTRICIANS INITIATIVE WELCOMED Select and the NICEIC have issued a joint statement supporting new regulations to help consumers and competent qualified electricians. The long-running campaign for Recognition of Electricians as a Profession has been endorsed by Kevan Parker, Managing Director of NICEIC, and Alan Wilson, Managing Director of Select. The joint statement says that new regulations such as Protection of Title will provide an important step forward in protecting the safety of those who use an electrician, as it will give assurance that the business undertaking any work is assessed as competent and only uses electricians who are suitably qualified and competent. Furthermore, it will enhance the profession itself, as it will ensure that only those who can prove that they have appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience are accorded the respect that is due to such an important and safety critical profession. Alan Wilson of Select says, “As well as introducing new regulations, we recognise that consumers contract with businesses, and it is that which gives consumers safeguards such as access to complaints processes and warranty mechanisms. “Therefore, there needs to be a searchable database for consumers to allow them to find suitable electrical businesses which employ competent qualified electricians. This also needs to be supported by ongoing campaigns to raise awareness.” Kevan Parker of NICEIC adds, “Both NICEIC and Select are committed to improving consumer safety and protection. We look forward to working with those across the industry, and others with an interest in this important area of safety, to deliver what is best for consumers without adding additional burden to businesses and individuals in the industry.” NICEIC,, Select,

ONLINE PORTAL SEEKS TO INCREASE COMMUNICATION TrustMark, the Government-endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, has announced the launch of a new business and consumer portal, providing a secure, free and convenient platform for businesses and their customers to communicate and be transparent with each other. The portals, which are available on the TrustMark website, are part of the scheme’s commitment to making it as easy as possible for consumers to find reputable tradespeople. They will also be strengthened with advice and guidance that supports TrustMark’s code of conduct and customer charter. TrustMark registered businesses and consumers will now be able to exchange messages, photographs, plans and any other relevant documents through the portal, keeping all communications in one convenient place. This method will ensure total clarity on both sides regarding the nature of the work agreed, costings, delivery dates and expected outcomes. Consumers can now request a quote for work directly through their portal account. By doing so, each selected registered business will receive an email inviting them to log in to the TrustMark business portal, where they can view any new enquiries. When quotations have been submitted in response to enquiries, the consumer will be notified through the portal and can accept or reject the quote, or request further information. Businesses will be able to see what enquiries are new or open at any time and will be immediately notified by email if the status of an enquiry changes, for example, if a quote is accepted or a question is asked. Once a quote has been accepted and a project is ongoing, either side can track progress and request info or record updates as and when required.

MOVERS & SHAKERS… The Joint Industry Board (JIB) has appointed Roger Horne as its new Head of Membership. He will be responsible for all aspects of JIB member recruitment and retention, including working with the JIB’s Regional Advisor team and developing membership marketing activities. Stephen Walton has been promoted to the role of Technical Director at cable cleat manufacturer, Ellis. A Chartered Mechanical Engineer with over two decades of industry experience, he joined Ellis in 2015 and has played a key role in the development of a large number of new and improved products. Stiebel Eltron UK has expanded its team with the appointment of Paul Quinn as National Account Manager. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, he will drive sales for the home comforts range. Cable management specialist, Unitrunk, has appointed Tom Madden to the post of commercial lead at the company’s Manchester depot. The appointment is part of a strategic move by Unitrunk to leverage its national depot network and drive customer engagement around the UK and Ireland.


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A NEW ERA OF FUSS-FREE WIRING This month’s front cover story looked at the innovative In-Sure Box from Ideal Industries. Here, ECN explores the company’s impressive wire connector range that can be used with the In-Sure Box to achieve faster, simpler and more efficient wiring solutions.


he Ideal In-Sure Box is designed for use with In-Sure push-in, In-Sure lever and SpliceLine wire connectors, making it maintenance free and suitable for installation of an electrical junction in an inaccessible location, such as behind plasterboard or under a floor. It complies with the BS 5733 maintenance free accessory standard and BS 7671 wiring regulations. Uniquely, the new In-Sure Box has four cable entry points, allowing up to two cables each, so it can be used either as a cable entry from one end, or an ‘in-line’ configuration, for applications such as cable splices or lighting spurs. By combining push-In, lever or SpliceLine wire connectors with the patented In-Sure cable grip system, no additional tools are needed to secure the cable. This makes installation fast, easy and fuss-free, even when working in awkward environments, such as up a ladder or in a confined space. Designed to accept most common flat and round cables with an overall diameter of 3mm to 8mm, it can accept up to six individual connectors. The enclosure fits through a 50mm hole for spotlights and similar installations, and supports cables from 0.5mm² to 2.5mm². Ideal Industries’ extensive range of wire connectors includes the SpliceLine in-line wire connector that is three times faster to install than traditional crimped butt splices and more traditional push-In connectors, which can reduce wiring time by up to 50% due to the simple glide-in wire connection. The SpliceLine in-line wire connector is an innovative alternative to traditional butt splices that does not require time-consuming crimping, soldering or heat shrinking to create secure end-to-end connections.

Electricians are often confronted with an existing wire that has been cut too short by the previous contractor to safely install a socket, light switch or lighting fixture. In these situations, it is often very difficult (if not impossible) to use a crimp tool due to space restrictions. With SpliceLine, however, the short wire is simply pushed into one end of the connector, with the extra length of wire being pushed into the other open end. It now takes less than 10 seconds to join two wires together. The 32 A/450 V rating, small size and toolfree application makes SpliceLine the obvious solution for connecting wires in a broad range of applications, including prefabricated wiring, lighting and ring main circuits. The two-port model accepts up to 4.0 mm² solid conductors, allowing one connector to do the job of multiple butt splices. Ideal Industries’ range of In-Sure pushin wire connectors provide electricians and contractors with a time saving, modern and safe alternative to traditional screw-down terminal strips. Suitable for a variety of applications, the durable connectors can reduce wiring time by up to 50%, as the simple glide-in wire connection of the In-Sure range makes installation easy. The range is available in two through to eight-port models, and can accept a combination of 0.75mm² to 2.5mm² solid, or 1.5mm² to 2.5mm² rigid stranded wires. A unique feature of the two, three, and four-port models is their 32 Amp rating. Ideal Industries’ range of In-Sure lever wire connectors provides electricians and contractors with a versatile tool-free alternative to traditional connector strips for joining solid, stranded or flexible conductors. Utilising a combination of push-in and lever clamp technology, the innovative design securely retains both rigid and flexible conductors whilst allowing them to be easily removed if required. When inserting rigid wires, there is no need to lift the levers because the conductors simply push straight in, making them much easier and faster to install than both connector strips and similar competitor products. Lifting the levers permits the connection or removal of both flexible and rigid conductors. Electricians often work on light fittings that require solid and flexible conductors (flex) to be joined together. Frequently, screw-type terminal blocks are used to make these connections, but all too often, the wires work loose, which can result in arcing and a melted terminal block. With In-Sure lever connectors, contractors can now make these connections quickly and safely without having to use a screwdriver. They offer all the benefits associated with

“The SpliceLine in-line wire connector is an innovative alternative to traditional butt splices that does not require timeconsuming crimping, soldering or heat shrinking to create secure end-to-end connections.”

our popular In-Sure push-in connector range, such as speed and ease of installation, but with the added benefit that they accept fine stranded conductors without having to solder or crimp a ferrule to the end of each wire. Ideal In-Sure lever connectors are available in two, three, and five-port models. Their 24 A/450 V rating, small size and tool-free application makes them the perfect solution for connecting wires in a broad range of applications, including lighting and access control. All three wire connectors are tested to EN 60998 safety standards, making them fully compliant with the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations (BS 7671: 2008). Additionally, the lever connectors carry the internationally recognised ENEC mark that demonstrates compliance with European standards.

Ideal Industries’ range of In-Sure lever wire connectors provides electricians and contractors with a versatile tool-free alternative to traditional connector strips

Ideal Industries,

Ideal’s In-Sure Box is designed for use with In-Sure push-in wire connectors, as shown here

12 | July 2019

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16A 250V˜




• NO TOOLS REQUIRED making installation simple and fast

• SECURE CABLES IN SECONDS patented In-Sure® cable grip system

• SMALL fits through a 50mm hole for spot lights

• MAINTENANCE FREE eliminate the need for access panels

• VERSATILE one enclosure suits multiple installations

• COMPLIANT 18th Edition of BS 7671, BS 5733 MF and BS EN 60670-22

• EASY TO USE no loose parts to fit or lose



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CONTRACT NEWS ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING FOR BROUGHTON SCHOOL As part of a refurbishment project to create the perfect environment for pupils and staff, Thorn Lighting has supplied a variety of luminaires for use throughout the Broughton Primary School in Edinburgh. Using five different types of luminaire, including the innovative IQ Wave luminaire with BasicDim wireless technology, Thorn supplied the lighting throughout the project, providing a low maintenance, energy efficient solution. Thorn’s Suspended IQ Wave was chosen for the classrooms, with integral Bluetooth connectivity which communicates wirelessly with sensors and switches to provide absence detection and daylight linked dimming with manual override. It is easy to use, with the ability to control single luminaires or combine them as a group, and users can select from pre-set lighting scenes or adjust the lighting to their needs. This can be achieved via a free app, or by a wireless (battery operated) scene plate/switch that can be positioned anywhere in the room. At the school, the existing switches were linked to a Bluetooth receiver in order that the switches retained the same simple aesthetic (the power supply was derived from the existing lighting circuit). Chosen for its elegant design, IQ Wave provides light to support comfort, alertness and happiness in schools by taking into consideration the variety of different functions,

forms of communication and physical nature of modern learning spaces. The ideal classroom light distribution, in particular the high cylindrical illuminance, is achieved with the help of a special reflector and ensures perfect lighting for various tasks, the general space and the different forms of personal communication between teachers and pupils. A range of integrated control systems such as daylight, presence and absence detectors with PIR and microwave sensors, support further energy savings and empower users to manage their own lighting scenes. IQ Wave achieves a unified glare rating of <19, in line with the EN 12464 standard on workplace lighting. The extremely robust HiPak PRO LED has been used to provide the perfect illumination in the gym hall. Utilising dedicated optics for precise light control and providing significant energy savings when compared to traditional HID fittings, an on board thermal management system ensures the LEDs performance and lifetime. HiPak Pro LED is up to 45% more efficient than 250W/400W alternatives, combining high efficiency (50,000-hour lamp life) and low maintenance. Dedicated individual optics provide precise light control for high level mounting applications. The introduction of dimming control allows the luminaires to be controlled and dimmed in banks, particularly useful for school shows and functions that are staged in the multi-

function gym hall. Simple to install, use and maintain, the IP66-rated Aquaforce Pro has been installed in the stores, plant areas and within the swimming pool, using cutting edge light transmission technology with refraction prisms to create a scattering effect, providing smooth light without sharp corners, and maximum light levels. Glacier, a very high performance (76-107lm/W) decorative luminaire is providing illumination in the central atrium and entrance hallway to provide an excellent quality of light in an attractive, pendant fitting. The overall result is a perfect environment for pupils and teachers alike that uses extremely efficient luminaires to achieve maximum energy savings through the use of luminaires wirelessly linked to sensors. Up to 75% of the energy consumed by lighting can be saved in functional buildings by making optimum use of daylight. Thorn Lighting,


TIMBER YARD CONTRACT FOR J S WRIGHT Mechanical and electrical services specialist, J S Wright, has teamed up with a London residential property partner in its new Birmingham development drive. The company been awarded a contract worth more than £4 million by Galliard Homes to fit out all 379 apartments at The Timber Yard in the city’s Chinatown. The mixed-use scheme on Pershore Street will consist of two residential buildings of up to 14 storeys containing a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, along with 10,000 square foot of ground-floor commercial space. The Timber Yard, named after its timber yard and plywood works history, is a joint venture between Galliard and Apsley House Capital, aimed at meeting a growing need for highquality city centre homes for young professionals. J S Wright will equip all the apartments with direct electric hot water cylinders to provide residents with thermostatically controlled and pressurised hot and cold water. The company will also install a boosted cold water plant room with distribution pipework to all plots on the development. It will also fit all sanitaryware and an internal rainwater system, as well as the pipework required for all above-ground drainage management.

The brief also includes installing a mechanical ventilation heat recovery system that will provide continuous ventilation to the apartments. In addition, J S Wright will install sprinklers in all apartments and dry risers in communal areas for protection against fire, and a computerised Building Management System for controlling and monitoring all the building services. Work on site will begin in October 2019, with completion scheduled for October 2021. J S Wright,

SECURE ACCESS CONTROL FOR THE BBFC The Norpass access control system from Nortech, which uses Norpass3 software, is providing secure access control at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) building in central London. Chosen for its ability to provide a secure access control solution, Nortech’s Norpass system was installed on 16 doors around the Soho Square offices to support a range of access levels, according to staff responsibilities, and it includes a management system with a user-friendly interface. This allows staff movements to be monitored, ID cards to be issued, and access rights to be changed according to ongoing requirements. The BBFC is an independent, not-forprofit organisation that helps people in the UK choose age appropriate films, videos

and websites, wherever and however they watch or use them. Bradley Thomas, Facilities Manager at BBFC, notes, “We have had the Nortech system in place for many years, as we find it reliable and easy to use, and its customer service team has always been helpful and informative to any queries.” The flexibility of Norpass access control modules and the user-friendly PC-based Norpass3 software, together with Nortech’s elegant card readers, made the Norpass access control system the ideal choice for BBFC. Since the installation, the system has provided secure access control throughout the building and, with Nortech’s support, BBFC has been able to keep the system up with changing requirements.

Disadvantaged youngsters in Cheshire will be able to make new friends and learn new skills in comfortable surroundings all year around thanks to the generosity of Coolair Equipment. The Manchester-based air conditioning and heating installation specialist teamed up with its long-standing property maintenance partner, Integral UK, to donate and install air conditioning units for a youth club in Widnes, after answering a call for help from the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation. The charity supports local disadvantaged children at the centre, which includes an office and a room for meetings, skills courses and physical activities. Without Coolair support, the charity would have been unable to afford to keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter and ensure the comfort of the 90 to 110 members that take part in youth club sessions each week. Coolair funded and fitted two energy efficient ductless split systems from Mitsubishi Electric that use the latest heat pump technology to heat and cool both the office and the function room as required, throughout the year. Integral provided the power supplies for both systems, which were assembled, fitted and commissioned by Coolair in only five days during the winter. Coolair Equipment is a specialist provider of tailored cooling and heating services to the retail, residential, commercial, education and hotel sectors. Coolair Equipment,

Benefits of using the Norpass system include easy to use software offering a range of access levels, security that can be matched to an organisation’s needs, a flexible structure for easy expansion, and a system that has been developed in the UK and is supported by a UK based team. Nortech,

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CONTRACT NEWS LIGHTING SOLUTION FOR ASTON MARTIN RED BULL RACING Zumtobel Group has been chosen to provide the illumination for the state-of-the-art Milton Keynes HQ of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Included within the HQ is MK-7, a vibrant new space in the factory that has been created to provide a unique, immersive and exciting environment. As part of the Team Supplier agreement between Zumtobel Group and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, Zumtobel and acdc have provided the perfect ambience in which to showcase the racing cars and graphics in the versatile and dynamic MK-7, whilst also creating the ideal illumination for other areas of the facility. Both market leaders in their own fields, Zumtobel and acdc are building a relationship that will benefit both Zumtobel Group and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Zumtobel and acdc are contributing their extensive expertise and experience, in addition to creating an outstanding lighting solution. Both companies are working together to portray the brand image in the correct light, whilst saving energy and creating the best possible environment for staff and visitors alike. “We are delighted with this project and proud to be the lighting supplier of choice for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing,”

says Matthew Boucher, Zumtobel Group Managing Director for UK & Ireland. “Our broad portfolio of products and scope of solutions gives our design teams the tools to come up with spectacular designs like this that tick all the boxes. Working together, Zumtobel Group brands can deliver one of the most comprehensive offerings available in the lighting industry.” Terry Brice, Head of Infrastructure at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, explains, “We are using Zumtobel

SCHNEIDER TO SUPPLY ‘GREEN’ ENERGY FOR SCOTTISH FERRY Schneider Electric is to supply locally produced ‘green’ electrical power to the MV Hamnavoe NorthLink ferry while it is docked in Stromness, Orkney. The project is believed to be the first large commercial ship shore connection in the UK, and is just one element of an overarching low carbon travel and transport project for the town. This power supply system, known as ‘cold ironing’, will cut the current overnight carbon footprint from the vessel’s diesel generators and engines, lowering the MV Hamnavoe’s fuel consumption by at least 500 tonnes a year and resulting in a significant reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2). It will also make a contribution towards further reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and noise.

The ferry, which is a shipping lifeline for the island, connecting it with the rest of Scotland, will be £160,000 cheaper to service each year as a result of the project. The project is expected to fully pay for itself within three years via efficiencies and cost savings. The shoreside installation work is being carried out by Schneider Electric, an expert in the digital transformation of energy management and automation. The project will see the installation of a cable connection system to the ship to provide overnight shore power, pier cables and a transformer upgrade – with the power coming through Orkney’s renewable energy resources. The ‘Stromness multi-modal low carbon transport and active travel hub’ project has three other elements: •T he installation of an electric bus charger at the ferry terminal to open up opportunities for an electric vehicle to be used on the Stromness to Kirkwall route. •T he installation of electric vehicle charging points for ferry users as well as all other EV owners. •T he procurement of electric bicycles for use by members of the public, plus associated shelters and charging facilities. The vision for this project is to achieve a sustainable future for transport to and in Orkney. Schneider Electric,

Group’s expertise in lighting as we bring updates to workspaces across our design, R&D, and manufacturing sites, and also in our flagship hospitality space, MK-7. In MK-7, we have leveraged the full spectrum of Zumtobel Group’s lighting products and, together, have created a welcoming and inspiring space to showcase the history of the team.” Zumtobel Group,

APOLLO HEATERS FOR METAL PROCESSING FACTORY Based in Walsall, Cashmores is a specialist coil processor in stainless steel and aluminium, providing a bespoke service to customers nationwide. With a range of 22 processing lines, Cashmores provides a customised service for slit coil and blanks, plus first-stage manufacturing facilities for piercing, notching and embossing to provide net shape components ready for use. To ensure workers are comfortable all year round, the company has installed Tansun infrared heaters into its factory workstations. Following discussions and a site survey, Tansun’s Apollo infrared heaters in black were chosen as the most suitable solution for its factory. Eighteen A1A and eight A1J Apollo infrared heaters were selected for the factory’s very high ceilings, and were specified to replace the existing inefficient and costly heating system and keep the area warm during the winter months. The infrared heaters are controlled via localised switches for individual zones, which provide instant heat and allow workers to control the heating in areas only when and where required, reducing unnecessary energy consumption. Nick Godward, Production Engineer at Cashmores Metals, comments, “The benefit of the heaters is the localised heating, as we no longer have to heat vast areas that are sometimes unoccupied. The staff are pleased with the heaters and we have found the energy usage is negligible in comparison to the kerosene floor heaters we had before. They were very ineffective, and with our six-metre roller shutter doors being opened throughout the day, the heat that had generated would dissipate very quickly.” Tansun,

July 2019 | 15

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TRAINING DRAYTON LAUNCHES ONLINE TRAINING ACADEMY Drayton has launched a new online training academy as part of its installer loyalty scheme, the 9° Network. 9° Know How gives members exclusive access to product training, best practice installation advice, troubleshooting tips and more. The first available training module is focused on Wiser, Drayton’s smart multi-zone heating system, and allows installers to achieve Wiser Approved status from the comfort of their own home. The 30-minute training module is delivered through a series of videos that are simple to follow. These include a product overview, kit selection advice, commissioning and set up guides, and tips for helping customers get the most from their Wiser system. Once the videos have been watched, installers have to complete short multiple-choice tests to achieve their Wiser Approved status. The online training academy is just one of many benefits of being a 9° Network member. Other perks include access to the discounted Drayton shop for limited special offers, five-year extended warranties, as well as listings on both the Drayton and Wiser consumer websites. Featuring on the ‘Find an installer’ section on both these websites will help generate leads to grow the installer’s business. Clare Stevens, Trade Marketing Manager, says, “Our Wiser Approved training has proved popular with installers who want to become more involved with smart controls and grow their business in this area. We’ve been running

FREE TRAINING, THE SMART WAY Recognising that tradespeople may need extra support to understand the full capabilities of smartware, home security specialist, ERA, has introduced a comprehensive programme of smartware installation training sessions. They are specifically designed to help tradespeople feel confident when talking about the product and installing it in front of customers. With a practical component accounting for 85% of the programme, the training offers hands-on practise for installers, and is receiving excellent feedback. Tania Tams, Head of Marketing at ERA, says, “We appreciate that whilst tradespeople are experts in their particular field, they may not feel as sure they can fit smartware with the same confidence and expertise. “For this reason, we have developed our own high quality smartware training programme, which covers all aspects of ERA smartware – from specifying the product for a customer, enabling installers to confidently advise their customers on the right product for them, physically installing the product, setting up the system on their customer’s phone, through to understanding the back-up support and more.” Tams continues, “We acknowledge that tradespeople are at the ‘coal face’ with their customers, so they need to be confident fitting the product and explaining the supporting app settings and features. As a responsible organisation developing, manufacturing and supplying smartware products, providing highquality training for our trusted customers was the next logical step. “At ERA, we are constantly striving to provide not only excellent smartware products, but also back up, including a dedicated helpdesk manned by smartware experts and now our specialist training. We have invested heavily to provide the resources our customers have come to expect from a reliable and credible brand.” ERA’s smartware training is currently available at the company’s new head office, located on the i54 business park just outside of Wolverhampton.

Further training modules covering the full range of Drayton heating control products will be added to 9° Know How in the coming months.

faceto-face training sessions for some time, but we know it’s not always possible or practical for installers to attend. 9° Know How allows installers to learn all about Wiser and its benefits, in their own time, at their own pace.”


CEDIA ACCREDITATION FOR HAMILTON COURSES Hamilton Litestat has been approved by international home technology trade association, CEDIA, to become a CEDIA Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Provider. Hamilton’s training course ‘Essentials in Smart Lighting Control and Audio Systems’, which is run at its facilities in Mere, is now a CEDIA-endorsed training programme, contributing four CEUs towards this training requirement. CEDIA-certified professionals are required to obtain at least 30 CEUs within three years. “As the authority on custom-installed home technology, we’re thrilled to have received approval from CEDIA for our training course,” says Gavin Williams, Hamilton Litestat’s Head of Marketing.

“This accreditation recognises the investment Hamilton has made in its training courses and educational efforts, particularly around smart controls, as well as ensuring our product range is suited for simple through to complex smart control requirements. We look forward to working even closer with the custom installer industry following this esteemed recognition, and hope to add further courses to the CEU programme to demonstrate our commitment to training and best practice.” Hamilton became a member of CEDIA earlier this year. The trade association brings together over 3,700 companies and 30,000 industry professionals around the globe that design, manufacture and install technology for the home. Hamilton Litestat,


16 | July 2019

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13/06/2019 16:21


EV EXPANSION POSES CHARGING CHALLENGES With sales of electric vehicles (EVs) reaching a record high, Bureau Veritas – an expert in testing, inspection and certification – has stated that the rapid rise in the number of charging points being installed presents a clear maintenance challenge for businesses.


ccording to the latest figures, one in every 12 new cars purchased each month in the UK is now an electric vehicle – with an estimated 7,500 electric and alternative fuel vehicles sold each month. To accommodate the rising numbers of low-polluting vehicles expected to hit the roads in coming years, it’s estimated the UK will need at least 100,000 EV charging points - a significant increase on the 16,500 currently available. As a rising number of hotels, office car parks and supermarkets are currently being upgraded with this infrastructure, many businesses should consider a longterm maintenance framework to ensure their longevity, says Michael Kenyon, Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas. He comments, “Given the growing numbers of people now buying electric vehicles, it’s great to see more and more EV charging points being installed, as charging infrastructure is vital to facilitate

the UK’s transition to sustainable travel. However, while these charging points will come with an initial warranty, they also present a clear maintenance challenge that many businesses may not have yet considered. For instance, not to be overlooked is the fact that they will need maintaining in the coming years, which includes regular testing and inspection to ensure performance and electrical safety.” According to Bureau Veritas, although there is currently no direct statutory obligation to test and inspect electrical installations, there is however a legal requirement under Regulation 4 of the Electricity at Work regulations 1989 to maintain all electrical systems in a safe condition. Kenyon adds, “It’s also worth noting that the recent introduction of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and the updated Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installations 3rd Edition, sets out the most comprehensive guidelines to-date on the installation of EV charging points.

“To accommodate the rising numbers of low-polluting vehicles expected to hit the roads in coming years, it’s estimated the UK will need at least 100,000 EV charging points.”

As all new installations will need to be compliant, businesses that haven’t done so already are advised not only to put a robust strategy in place for maintenance, but also carry out an independent appraisal of the installation to ensure it complies with the relevant standards.” Bureau Veritas offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety in general, for new and existing installations, or for specific areas, such as electric vehicle charging points. Bureau Veritas,

18 | July 2019

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27/06/2019 15:49


LIGHTING UP THE BLUE LAGOON When a smart control system was needed for Infinity, a contemporary waterside home at Sandbanks, its owner – Hi Homes – opted for smart solutions from Hamilton Litestat.


sustainable, openplan property, Infinity has been designed for inside/outside living, and boasts direct views towards Brownsea Island. This stunning piece of architecture was developed by Hi Homes to be as exquisite as its very special location.

The brief Hi Homes’ project brief outlined very specific criteria. It needed a smart control system that would span a multitude of lighting solutions, blinds, garage doors, electric gates, landscaped grounds and jetty. The system needed to control a large number of circuits individually, while having the ability to personalise multiple lighting scenes for each room. The developer found that the majority of smart lighting control systems with pre-set lighting scenes were created by installers, with a change to the scene settings requiring a further visit from an engineer. However, the client specifically wanted the capability of changing these settings and scenes themselves on a whim, without the inconvenience and additional cost of installer call outs. Aesthetically, each control plate needed to complement the contemporary design of the property while being durable and reliable. The plates also needed to control between eight to ten circuits and a minimum of four lighting scenes, with personalised labelling for clarity. As well as bespoke control plates, the lighting must be smart device-enabled so it can be controlled via the Hamilton app from either a smartphone or tablet.

A flexible and reliable solution During the research process, Hi Homes came across Hamilton’s solutions. The contemporary design, touch activation and the ability to create bespoke sizes in its capacitive touch control plates made it the ideal choice. Hamilton’s smart lighting control system was chosen for its flexibility in supporting projects of varying complexity. It can provide a simple plug-and-play preprogrammed installation, or additional levels of system functionality can be utilised and programmed to meet exacting requirements. It can also incorporate control for other electrical circuits, with this property integrating the control of window blinds, garage doors and the electric front gates, as well as two switches enabled in turning the entire home on or off. Following consultation with Hamilton on design and layout, Hi Homes undertook the internal and external electrical works with the Hamilton team supporting on the testing of lights, blind automation, garage door and gate functionality to ensure seamless functionality throughout the home. Master control plates were strategically placed in key positions on each floor of the property, with every room also having zonal control plates for the utmost convenience. Hamilton supported the client in creating and setting lighting scenes. For the home’s master rooms, such as the main living room, the kitchen/dining/living area and bedrooms, four lighting scenes were created. For other communal areas, two lighting scenes were set, such as hallways, landings and the garage. The Hamilton

Hamilton’s smart technology provides seamless functionality throughout the home

team also showed the client how to easily alter and set new lighting scenes, giving them the capability of making adaptions and changes without the need for an onsite engineer.

Additional benefits Alongside lighting control, Hamilton also incorporated blind control within the system, enabling the homeowners to adjust the blind settings to suit any time of day, and let in the desired amount of natural light. To control the circuits, Hi Homes chose Hamilton’s Linea Duo frames in Satin Nickel with Black capacitive touch plates, which are a great aesthetic fit with the sleek, contemporary design of the house while being reliable, durable and easy to clean. The plates also offered control of the high number of circuits required, which Hi Homes hadn’t been able to source from competitor brands. It was essential that the switches could be individually etched with personalised names for ease of use. To provide enough room for the detailed labelling required, Hamilton used a 16-circuit control plate and enlisted its bespoke design team to convert this to a 12-circuit control plate. This allowed for wider framing of the buttons and enough space for the descriptive text alongside each switch, making for easy control of all circuits and functionality in a stylish manner befitting of the property. For a seamless look, complementary wiring accessories were installed throughout the home. As well as the capacitive touch plates, the Hamilton smart control system can be commanded into action using the Hamilton app. At the swipe of a finger, the entire system can be controlled from any location – at home or even overseas. Hamilton Litestat,

20 | July 2019

Project Focus – Hamilton.indd 20

27/06/2019 16:14

According to our research last month’s advert needed more pictures According to our research last month’s advert needed more pictures According to our research last month’s advert needed more pictures of products, so below is our amazing 5-in-1 emergency exit sign of products, so below is our amazing 5-in-1 emergency exit sign of products, so below is our amazing 5-in-1 emergency exit sign made up of smaller images of various signs, twinspots, oodlights, made up images of various signs, twinspots, oodlights, made up of of smaller smaller images ofthings various signs, twinspots, oodlights, downlights, and some other that you already know we sell. downlights, and some other things that you already know we sell. downlights, and some other things that you already know we sell. Can you spot your favourites? Can you spot your favourites? Can you spot your favourites?

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26/06/2019 12:28



THE PRO THAT HAS IT ALL Jeff Richardson, Aurora Group’s Trade Director, reveals how you can have fire rated, dimmable, tuneable white capability, with a fast install and smart control – all in one downlight.

Introducing the mPRO ZX This is the ultimate Zigbee Smart, dimmable, tuneable white fire rated downlight upgrade for your lighting space. This IP65 direct replacement has a convenient one-step installation process and features a convertible body for recess voids with limited space. It offers Smart Inside technology, ensuring customers have the ability for advance control of their lighting, both at home and away from home.

Products you can trust With a reputation for reliability, and over a decade of experience producing LED fire rated downlights, there’s a reason why Aurora and Enlite are the market leaders. In addition to consistently producing innovative designs combined with great value, our proven track record of manufacturing extremely reliable, fully integrated and GU10 fire rated downlights makes us the specifiers and installer’s first choice every time.









Fast installation and interchangeable

Efficiency is key With LEDchroic lenses, the mPro ZX has the appearance of a traditional halogen, with anti-glare and precise beam control, with the added benefits of the efficiency of LED and offering you peace of mind with a five-year warranty.

One-step installation is made possible by using the included FastRFix system connector, and the popular, convertible body design allows for easy installation in recess voids that are as low as 56mm. The interchangeable IP65 bezels come in a variety of colour options – white, matt white, polished chrome and satin nickel – meaning that they deliver a sleek finish to suit the most exacting client.

Steps to smart success Simply replace the non-smart downlight with mPro ZX, pair it to the AOne Hub via the app, and then control your lighting using remote or kinetic wall controllers via a phone app. Using Smart Inside technology, the mPRO ZX can be controlled individually or as part of a group. Utilising the app allows for control from anywhere in the world. Ticking the boxes for customers and being smart has never been easier.

Tuneable white for multiple moods The tuneable white feature allows you to control the colour temperature between 2200K and 5000K. Create scenes in each space and schedule them to adapt your environment to fit the time of day and mood.






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In the Know – Aurora.indd 22

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14/06/2019 24/06/2019 14:42 09:13


UNDERSTANDING SURGE PROTECTION Now that the 18th Edition has been in force for a number of months, Paul Collins, Technical and Training Manager at Hager, covers some of the most common questions on surge protection.


any everyday activities at home or at work rely upon electronic equipment. However, essential products such as computers, printers and TVs – as well as industrial control equipment such as PLCs, alarms and LED lighting schemes – can be vulnerable to transient overvoltages, which can significantly reduce the equipment’s lifespan through degradation or damage. The new 18th Edition Wiring Regulations changes make it important that electrical contractors understand how surge protection needs to be assessed and implemented going forward.

What do the new regs stipulate? As far as commercial installations are concerned, a surge protection device (SPD) should be fitted if the consequences caused by an overvoltage result in:

• Serious injury, or loss of human life • Interruption of public services and/or damage to cultural heritage • Interruption of commercial or industrial activity • Affecting a large number of co-located individuals.

What type of SPD to fit?

These scenarios would account for the vast majority of commercial installations, ranging from hospitals to offices, and would necessitate the inclusion of an SPD. For an installation outside this, a risk assessment according to Regulation 443.5 should be undertaken to determine if protection against transient overvoltages is required. When looking at single dwellings, the decision on whether the additional cost of an SPD is justified lies with the homeowner. Contractors should discuss this with the customer prior to installation and, should the homeowner decide to not include an SPD, it is advised that the contractor makes a written record.

Surge protection devices are classified according to their functions: • Type 1 – can discharge partial lightning current and usually employs spark gap technology. A Type 1 SPD does not in itself offer the required protection level and must be used in conjunction with coordinated Type 2 devices. Any installation with a lightning protection system will require a Type 1 SPD. • Type 2 – can prevent the spread of overvoltages in electrical installations and protects equipment connected to it. This device would normally be in sub-distribution boards and in the primary distribution board if there is no requirement for a Type 1 device. Hager provides pre-fitted distribution boards which include SPD protection built-in, eliminating the need for additional wiring. Hager,

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AN ‘IDEAL’ PROPOSITION FOR OVER A CENTURY Following its acquisition of Cree Commercial Lighting and Intelligent Lighting Control System back in March, Ideal Industries is solidifying its electrical strategy and has a unique sales proposition. ECN looks at the company’s origins, and details what the future holds.


n Ideal product will provide a value greater than the price paid for it. Service is part of the product.” This was the philosophy and promise made back in 1916 by Ideal Industries’ Founder, J. Walter Becker, and over 100 years later, Ideal Industries continues its quest to fulfil this commitment. A family-owned, American company with deep ties to the electrical industry, Ideal has a rich history of successful innovation and acquisitions, and operates from a long-term, generational perspective under four generations of family ownership. In 1992, Ideal opened its first ever company-owned, international location outside of North America, and chose Warrington in Cheshire as its inaugural UK location. Now approaching its 30th anniversary, the site started out by selling unique precision wire processing tools for

the military and aerospace industries, as well as electrical test and measurement products for electrical contractors. The business grew rapidly across EMEA due to products such as the Custom StripMaster – the only precision wire processing tool of its time – and Yellow 77 wire pulling lubricant. Ideal believes in a combination of organic growth and growth through acquisitions, and over the years, has acquired no less than 20 companies – each of which have maintained their own brand. Included in this impressive list are the likes of Anderson Power Products, Casella Measurement, Enatel, and CMD, to name just a few.

Electrical installers will always require equipment that support fast and efficient installation to increase productivity

A glimpse into the future On January 2, 2019, Ideal took on Brett Smyth as its new Business Unit Manager for Ideal Industries EMEA. With over ten years of senior management experience in large corporate organisations, Smyth – who joined from Tyco (now Johnson Controls)

Ideal has a rich history of successful innovation and acquisitions spanning over 100 years

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“Ideal chose to have the new enclosure box produced in Britain to ensure fast delivery times and equally good quality, as this product is not common in the US market.”

– is part of an aggressive growth strategy for Ideal’s EMEA business, in which the company seeks to enhance end-user focus. It has significantly increased its sales team to reach this goal. The connector market size is estimated to be $2.2 billion (£1.7bn) in Europe. In the connector driven market, electrical installers require connectors and equipment that will aid in completing installations fast and efficiently to increase productivity. The majority of Ideal’s products are produced in-house in the US, with a focus on quality and longevity honouring two of the five key Ideal values – ‘Commitment to excellence’, and ‘Longterm value and sustainability’.

Wire connectors Ideal supplies a wide range of wire connectors to the EMEA market, including the unique SpliceLine in-line wire connector that provides a crimp-free, solderless butt splice, supporting a wide range of either stranded or solid wires. Other favourites include the traditional In-Sure push-in and lever wire connectors – all of which can be used for a maintenance-free enclosure installation using the new In-Sure Box that has been designed for lighting applications supporting cables from 0.5 to 2.5mm2. The innovative, patented cable grip


system ensures that no tools are required to secure the cables, thereby making the installer’s job easier and faster, removing the worry about losing small components. Additionally, Ideal chose to have the new enclosure box produced in Britain to ensure fast delivery times and equally good quality, as this product is not common in the US market. The remaining three core values of Ideal are: ‘Belief in our people’, ‘Strength in relationships’, and ‘Transparency in business’. These are all part of Ideal’s core business strengths. In fact, several employees at the Warrington office have been with the business for 15 to 20 years (or more), and the relationships the company nurtures with its distributors are based on the value of the products and services Ideal provides. The name Ideal came from its founder’s belief that you would need to have ‘ideal’ relationships with staff, suppliers, distributors and the community to be successful in business. Ideal Industries EMEA continues to support its selected distributors and customers through the sales and technical support offices in Warrington, with products shipped across EMEA. To best serve its customers, Ideal focuses on ensuring new products are application focused, easy to use, and affordable; as well as providing quality support and service, all honouring the principle of J. Walter Becker. Ideal Industries,

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Testing a vehicle charging unit is installed to the correct 18th Edition regulations, using a multi-function tester MI3152 and EVSE adapter A1532

GETTING TOUGH AT THE CENTRE Brendan Beaver, proud Londoner and Manager of Metrel UK – an innovative provider of electrical testing solutions – looks at why the introduction of an ultra low emissions zone in London presents a great opportunity for electrical contractors.


orking in London got tougher in May, with the introduction of the ULEZ (ultra low emissions zone) charge to add to the daily congestion charge. Relatively new diesel engines are public enemy number one in London, and it is going to be the same in many city centres in the next year or so if councils get their way. One topic ULEZ has brought to the fore is the shortage of vehicle charging points around the city. It is all well and good introducing a toll to limit access to central London for older internal combustion engines, but when there’s a chance of getting an electric vehicle stuck in town due to the shortage of recharging facilities, what is the alternative? The rush to plug has a bright side for electrical contractors. We will need to install huge numbers of recharging points, both public and private, inside the north

and south circular roads before 2021; which will cost at least a few hundreds of thousands. This is good news, and their installation is clearly covered by the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. The 18th Edition says the charging point needs to be protected by either an RCD type B or an RCD type A, along with appropriate equipment that ensures disconnection of the supply in case of a DC fault above 6mA. What it does not suggest is how to test them.

Testing times Testing type A breakers is easy enough. All RCD testers test 30mA RCD’s trip times and some test the trip current. Type Bs are a little bit more difficult, but some level of most manufacturers’ testers offer type B testing, usually starting at around 15mA DC. A 6mA DC breaker can only be tested by two multifunction testers in the market – the MI 3155, and the more appropriately priced MI3152 - and they are both made by Metrel. It is vitally important that the breakers are tested. In a recent survey,

“In a recent survey, more than 50% of installers, when asked, said that they had experienced RCD failure straight out of the box.”

more than 50% of installers, when asked, said that they had experienced RCD failure straight out of the box. And the best way of testing is with the whole installation. There are a few interfaces available to assist testing the whole system, but only one is designed by a multi-tester manufacturer. Surprise, surprise, it comes from Metrel. The innovative EVSE Adapters A 1532, which plug directly into charge points, known as electrical vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to the regulators, give access without opening the box. One of the immediate advantages is that the adapter accesses the charge point in the same manner as an electrical vehicle, and thus tests the system as a whole. It can test the charging point in all charging state outputs, disconnected, charge ready, active charging (with and without ventilation) and pilot error. So, the user can plug in their £20,000+ car without the fear that it will burst into flames, and you have a real business opportunity. Metrel UK,

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OVERGROUND UNDERGROUND — THE PATH TO SUCCESS With new generations of LED luminaires arising, there are limitless ways in which to best utilise these lighting innovations in the home and garden. Integral LED explains how to maximise their potential, and provides guidance regarding their installation.

H20 Stop is a device designed to eliminate the drawing of moisture in the air along the cable into the fitting body

Whether you are using bollards above the pathway or inground lighting luminaires at a low level, glare is a focus of concern and should be minimised


he lighting of outdoor spaces has been transformed in recent years, thanks to the key benefits brought by LED over traditional lighting. The relative robustness of solid-state lamps compared to their filament predecessors, coupled with their lower running costs, has created a renewed interest in the lighting of gardens. Lighting manufacturers are producing new generations of LED luminaires for the outdoors to tackle the natural challenges of external lighting. Resilience to climate factors is, of course, answered by the fixture’s ingress rating, with IP67 as the recommended level of protection against the outdoor elements. Recently, a new wave of products has been developed to withstand the corrosive effects of moist soil and water ingress. The lighting of paths is a key element of a successful outdoor design and a good demonstration of the new luminaire features available. Pathways through an outdoor space have an important function of providing safe passage, but they also fulfil a creative purpose of dividing a garden by theme and activities – like a seating area or barbecue, for example. Lighting the perimeter of a path and providing a safe level of illumination can be achieved from a variety of fixtures. Illumination from waist height to foot level

has the advantage of shielding eyes. A guiding principle in lighting design is to ‘show the effect of the light, not the source’. That is why many choose pathway lighting at floor level, where illumination can direct footfall whilst not detracting from the main garden scene. Whether you are using bollards above the pathway or inground lighting luminaires at a low level, glare is a focus of concern and should be minimised. For instance, Integral’s bollard range casts a downward light in a 120-degree cone. The LEDs are fixed beneath the luminaire’s cap, so the light is shaded from eyesight. The use of an Opal polycarbonate diffuser offers further assurance against visual discomfort. Ideally, position these selfstanding fixtures on both sides of a path and resist equal spacing in order to break up the uniformity. If there is a retaining wall, brick lights and wall downlighters can be used – especially when highlighting hazards like steps. Here, an inground luminaire can play its part, casting light horizontally across the path surface. These low profile fixtures are the least obtrusive in terms of design, and again have effective low glare features in their design. Integral’s Pathlux range offers four-way, two-way and single direction lamps, and can be positioned within the foundations of the path – again spaced to avoid a uniform ‘runway’ appearance.

Going underground

Bollard location

Inground location

Despite the use of IP67 luminaires, the vulnerability of electrical installations to the inevitable exposure to moisture and water below ground level can dramatically shorten the life expectancy of an installation. The team at Integral has been developing features to prevent the causes of ‘cable suction’, which effectively draws water into the core of the lighting installation. As an LED increases in temperature during operation, heated air expands. Prevented access to the sealed luminaire, the air escapes along the connected cable. When the light is switched off

The Pathlux Inground Uplight IP67, a stylish and practical recessed uplight for paths and driveways

and begins to cool down, the assembly effectively becomes a small water pump, drawing moisture in the air along the cable into the fitting body. H20 Stop is a device designed to eliminate this capillary action within a scheme’s electrical cabling, and hence, it minimises the presence of corrosive moisture within an outdoor lighting system. Integral’s new Pathlux Inground series carries the H2O Stop feature throughout the range and, coupled with the additional benefits of solid-state light-sources, it will preserve the operational lifetime of illuminated gardens. Integral LED,

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FIRE, SAFETY & SECURITY Dual optical alarms can also address false alarms caused by vaping – which is extremely beneficial in pubs and live music venues

BEYOND THE TYPICAL MULTI-SENSOR Barry Sargent, Product Support Manager at Nittan, looks at the pros and cons of multi-sensors, and explains how they can be used to enhance safety, reduce fire alarms and offer assistance in a variety of different properties.


ulti-sensors are on the rise. Whilst optical detectors remain dominant, true growth has come from multisensors, as installers realise the benefits to be had; most notably, a reduction in false alarms, which eat into profits and are a major issue for customers. The typical fire alarm multi-sensor comprises optical smoke and heat sensors, although other variations exist. They vary dramatically in design, from basic models where there is limited cross evaluation of the sensor values, through to highly sophisticated devices featuring advanced algorithms to assess the variation in values from each sensor, in order to determine the nature of the potential fire. Consequently, their ability to detect fires whilst discerning false alarm sources is a very mixed bag indeed. Assuming all multisensors will perform to the same level would be a mistake.

Multi-sensors: the benefits

Multi-sensors: the limitations

That said, most multi-sensors offer a number of benefits over single sensor detectors. There’s the obvious time and cost benefits of being able to install one device in place of two, and the aesthetics of only having one alarm on the ceiling. Multisensors can also make the job of identifying which alarm type to use much easier. But top of the list, and the main reason for the ever-increasing popularity of the multisensor, is the reduction in false alarms. Customer feedback across different manufacturers’ multi-sensors has been mostly positive in their ability to reduce false alarms. Last year’s Briefing Paper from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) – The performance of multi-sensors in fire and false alarm tests – has provided concrete evidence of this. Following testing of 35 different optical heat multi-sensor detectors (representing the full range of those available in the marketplace at that time), the BRE estimates that potentially 38.1% of observed false alarms could have been reduced if multi-sensors had been present.

The performance of multi-sensors in fire and false alarm tests BRE Briefing Paper concludes: “This research has shown that the use of multi-sensor technology has the potential to reduce certain types of commonly encountered false alarms. However, the extent to which this can be realised depends on the particular implementation of features designed to improve false alarm immunity. It cannot be assumed that use of simply any multisensor detector will impact significantly on the occurrence of false alarms from every form of fire-like phenomena.” Whilst offering improved performance over standard optical detectors, multisensors have limitations. In fact, the BRE research demonstrated that, although delayed somewhat, in all cases alarms were given from noncombustion materials such as steam, dust or aerosol. The delay might allow for any transient false alarm sources to disappear before the fire threshold is reached, but it does not entirely stop a false alarm in these instances.

“Dual optical alarm technology has been proven to be highly effective in many installations, significantly reducing false alarms – in many cases, to zero.”

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Causes of false alarms that may be reduced by using Multi-Sensor detectors


Dust reduced by

11.3% Cooking reduced by


Toast reduced by


Aerosol reduced by


Furthermore, to ensure this delay, some multi-sensor detectors have been configured (or can be configured at installation) to be less sensitive, which is a compromise that is not always acceptable or ideal.

Multi-sensors with a difference So, the multi-sensor doesn’t provide the complete solution to false alarms and the quality and price vary dramatically. Still, they do perform better than single sensor alarms. But what if you could combine this principle of ‘two is better than one’ by adding another factor into the mix? Nittan EV-DPH multi-sensors do exactly that by integrating dual optical alarm technology, developed by Nittan, with heat sensors, to provide a very sensitive, but truly discriminatory multi-sensor device. The dual optical alarm technology is based on particle light scattering theory, but instead of just using the standard infrared light found in optical alarms, it also employs blue LEDs to provide a more accurate measurement of particles within the chamber. Using a complex algorithm to calculate the ratio of these light sources, which operate at different wavelengths, the detector can determine the particle size and thus distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products such as steam, aerosols and dust. This is where most typical multi-sensors struggle. Dual optical heat multi-sensors have the ability to reduce false alarms caused by all these mediums, without the need to lower

Other reduced by


Steam reduced by


the devices’ sensitivity to actual combustion products. The technology has been further developed to make the detector more sensitive to flaming fires, by shifting the alarm threshold level when the ratio of the two scattered light wavelengths indicate that the particle size present is similar to the smallest size defined as a smoke particle.

steam would affect these devices in the new location.” Eighteen months after the installation, not a single false alarm due to steam had been generated. Although in a very different site, dual optical alarms installed in the Frog & Frigate pub / live music venue in Southampton have proven similarly successful, this time addressing false alarms caused by vaping. Fire and Safety Testing owner, Derek Fay, explains, “Many venues such as this resort to using heat alarms instead of smoke alarms, but the local fire officer would not allow this. He suggested a multi-sensor, but the same issue remains as it still looks for smoke and will false alarm. We swapped the existing alarm devices out of the conventional system with the Nittan ones, and there hasn’t been a single false alarm since; that was about six months ago. It’s worked beautifully.”

Dual optical alarm technology in action Dual optical alarm technology is not as well-known as its counterparts, yet it has been proven to be highly effective in many installations, significantly reducing false alarms – in many cases, to zero. At the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) campus, dual optical alarms replaced the existing smoke detectors throughout the student accommodation in a bid to remove issues with false alarms caused by steam escaping from the bathrooms. UEA was experiencing around 20 false alarms every week across the 24 accommodation buildings. Greg Smith, Director of Global Fire Services, who installed the dual optical smoke detectors, comments, “Originally, the plan was to relocate the existing detectors further away from the bathrooms. Whilst this would provide the same level of fire protection, it would be quite a costly solution as it would not only involve moving the devices and cables, but also redecorating afterwards. We were also concerned that the

Nittan EV-DPH multisensors integrate dual optical alarm technology with heat sensors to provide a sensitive and discriminatory device

Conclusion The benefits of multi-sensors are becoming better known, backed up by valid research and, with unit costs falling, they are becoming all the more popular. However, assuming all multi-sensors will provide better detection and improved resistance to false alarms is not necessarily the case. Devices with dual optical sensors warrant a closer inspection and should be considered, especially where water vapour, or other noncombustible mediums, are an obvious false alarm factor. Nittan,

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A public health report found that in 20% of homes with a smoke alarm, none were working – so scenes like this remain a risk

SENDING UP SMOKE SIGNALS New legislation in Scotland has closed a loophole in the law, to boost fire safety for householders. Alex Jaundrill of Appleby, an Electrium brand, celebrates the decision and asks if it’s time for the rest of the UK to follow suit.


he importance of fire safety has been underlined by recent legislation in Scotland, which states that from February 1, 2021, all homeowners in Scotland will have to meet new standards for fire and smoke detection, regardless of the property tenure. The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criteria) Order 2019, which came into force following a consultation on improving fire safety, means that all properties must have either a) a tamper proof long-life lithium battery alarm, or b) mains-operated alarms with battery backup. Regardless of which type is installed, the smoke and heat detectors must all be interlinked. This is an important decision, which will undoubtedly save lives – but it begs the question of why similar legislation isn’t being considered in the rest of the UK.

The benefits of smoke and fire alarms

What type of smoke alarm is best?

Fire alarms are one of the few undisputed good things in the world. It’s doubtful you’ll ever find someone who argues against them, as the statistics prove their value rests in saving lives and protecting properties. You can never have enough smoke alarms. Although 89% of UK homes are believed to have at least one working smoke alarm, it is known that in half of all house fires, householders weren’t alerted by their smoke alarm. This is typically because the alarm wasn’t within range. The advice is to have at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home. Ideally, these should be located in circulation areas, exit routes and anywhere where fires are particularly likely to start, such as a kitchen. Is this enough?

The most commonly used form of smoke alarm is battery powered. These are simple and inexpensive for the homeowner to install, yet they do require a high degree of diligence to test and maintain. The risks of not keeping on top of this are clear. A public health report found that in 20% of homes with a smoke alarm, none were working – usually due to missing, disconnected or dead batteries. The answer is to use mains-operated smoke alarms, which offer several benefits over purely battery powered versions. The most obvious advantage is service continuity, because they are permanently connected to the mains power and, in the event of power failure, they have battery back-up. Another key benefit is that they can be interlinked. This resolves one of the main

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The loophole challenges with battery powered smoke alarms, namely that, if the occupants are far away from the alarm that is closest to the fire, they may not hear it. In an interlinked system, all alarms are activated at the same time, for a clear warning throughout the entire home.

What the Building Regulations say Since 1991, all new build properties must have mains-operated smoke alarms/heat alarms fitted as standard. The Building Regulations require that this must be, at the minimum, a grade D system. This means that there must be more than one alarm, mains powered with battery back-up, and all interlinked. The same applies should any substantial alteration take place to a building, such as an extension or a change of usage – a common example of the latter is converting a commercial building into domestic household apartments. These are sensible solutions that are proven to be effective – but there’s a catch.

In the event of power failure, Appleby’s mains powered smoke alarms also offer a battery backup that could end up saving lives

By comparison to new build properties, electrical contractors rewire three times as many older homes each year, and this is where a safety mismatch becomes glaringly obvious, because there is no requirement, at all, to install interlinked, mains-operated smoke alarms as part of the house rewiring process. Admittedly, there is a requirement for the work to be carried out to the Wiring Regulations, but local building control approvals are not necessary with approved domestic installers who can sign off their own work. In these circumstances, the installer is under no obligation, regulatory or otherwise, to fit mains powered smoke or heat alarms.

“By comparison to new build properties, electrical contractors rewire three times as many older homes each year, and this is where a safety mismatch becomes glaringly obvious.”

Conscientious electrical contractors may well include a Grade D system as part of their rewire services, but if they don’t, this creates the curiously ‘compliant’ situation where two houses, across the road from each other, are subject to different safety standards. On one side, we see a new build and we know that it will have a Grade D system fitted as standard. On the other side, we have a recently rewired home. Both have the same risks, but one is without any smoke or heat alarms at all.

Time for change This is where the decision by the Scottish Government is so timely. It has delivered simple, smart popular safety policy. The electrical contractor can add another level of service to their rewiring contracts and the homeowner has greater peace of mind, for the long-term protection of their family and property. Doing the same across the UK presents an opportunity for everybody to win. Updating the regulations to make mains-operated smoke and heat alarms mandatory in all domestic rewires is such a simple thing to do. At Appleby, we think it’s time to follow Scotland’s example, and make sure that fire safety is consistent wherever we live. Electrium,

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THE ULTIMATE IN SECURITY ECN takes an in-depth look at the new Homeforce Wireless GSM and Wi-Fi Intruder Alarm Kit from Challenger Security Products.


stablished for 30 years, Challenger Security Products has earned an enviable reputation for offering a fantastic range of security and lighting products. The company prides itself on providing a full, one step solution to intruder alarms, security lighting, CCTV and door access requirements with a constant product development programme to embrace the latest technology. Experienced and friendly staff are on hand to assist in choosing the right equipment for the job, and peace of mind is assured from Challenger’s technical support team.

The latest and greatest security product Building on its extensive, existing product range – which can be seen in full in Challenger’s brochure on its website – the company is now introducing the Homeforce Wireless GSM and Wi-Fi Intruder Alarm Kit. It features an attractive tablet style panel with a colour LCD screen, voice prompts, sounder, and built-in battery back-up. In addition, it can be operated by a keypad, proximity tag, radio fob, smartphone app or remote phone call. The kit also offers Wi-Fi and GSM connectivity, meaning that if if Wi-Fi or the internet is down, the panel – and therefore, the system – can still be operated remotely. The app used to control the system – named Homeforce – works remotely from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, and it is free to download. 868Mhz frequency with two-way communication between the panel and devices allows for low battery warnings and system notifications, and attractive devices utilise the latest lithium battery technology for longer working life before they need to be replaced. Up to 38 wireless devices can be installed, all individually named. The kit contents are as follows: • One panel • One PIR (pet immune) • One door/window contact • Two radio control fobs/panic buttons • Two RFID proximity tags A battery-operated outdoor sounder is also available.

Solutions driven by customer feedback

Making the most of the Homeforce app

The development of the new Homeforce kit was prompted by Challenger being mindful of the fact that some of its customers (the end users) prefer a panel and keypad, rather than a hub that is hidden away which relies on radio fobs or smartphones. Also, when using outdoor sounder/strobes, some customers don’t have the facility to mount on a south facing wall, and would prefer an alternative to solar powered sounders. Furthermore, some customers prefer to use proximity-style keyfobs to set and unset their systems. A true upgrade on previous versions, Homeforce features a wide array of improvements that customers will find hugely advantageous. For starters, the panel design is very slim, and it also has a high-end finish, meaning it can be fit into almost any indoor location. Another advantage is that the GSM capability allows for full use of the system, even allowing remote control and notifications via telephone calls when Wi-Fi or the internet is down. If dialling in via phone, voice prompts and information provided by the panel are used as additional security measures.

The Homeforce app is free to download from the Apple or Google stores, and is easy to set-up or add to a system, using QR code scanning to pair devices. As mentioned, an impressive total of 38 individually named devices can be paired to the system too, and users can assign the device type (such as immediate alarm, delay or walkthrough, 24-hour etc). The app also offers full control of all system settings, and notifications are sent to the user once the alarm is activated. Multiple sites can be controlled from one account, offering the owner greater control than ever before. Challenger,

A whole host of benefits In addition to all of the functionalities mentioned above, ECN readers will find Homeforce visually appealing, as it features an attractive design that is suited to the modern household. The flexibility of Wi-Fi, along with GSM remote control, is also beneficial, and the full functionality using the on-board keypad, smartphone/tablet, telephone dial in, radio fobs and proximity keyfobs makes this competitively priced solution the ultimate in home security.

“Homeforce features an attractive tablet style panel with a colour LCD screen, voice prompts, sounder, and built-in battery back-up.”

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Introducing The New Self Test Range of Emergency Lighting


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Hotspot technology monitors electrical installations and equipment, helping to avoid potentially fatal electrical fires

A BURNING DESIRE FOR SAFETY John Newbury, Product Manager at Ramtech Electronics, looks at how its latest ‘hotspot’ technology can detect the risk of an electrical fire before it ignites.


ccording to Home Office figures, there are around 25,000 electrical fires in the UK each year. In fact, over 70% of all fires are electrically related, causing injury to 8,890 people and over £41 million of damage to businesses and homes. As we all use more electrical equipment in our homes, schools and places of work, the problem looks set to grow. One of the most common causes of electrical fires is resistive heating due to loose connections, faulty appliances or overloaded sockets and distribution boards. They all have one thing in common – the generation of excessive heat, resulting in the ignition of adjacent combustible materials and, ultimately, fire. This abnormal heating of connections and components can develop long before a fire even starts, and is the root cause of so many avoidable and potentially lifethreatening electrical fires.

If there were a way of detecting this build-up of heat before the point of ignition was reached, then many electrical fires could be eliminated. This was the thinking behind the development of WES Hotspot, a new technology that monitors electrical installations and equipment, alerting building occupants to the risk of an electrical fire long before it starts. The technology has the ability to turn what would have been an emergency situation into a simple maintenance task, and can be easily retrofitted to any existing system or new build project. It can be incorporated within sockets, consumer units and distribution boards – the key risk areas in a typical electrical installation – in order to provide permanent monitoring of heat. In the event of the temperature exceeding 80°C, it can either automatically isolate power when an RCD is present, or instantly alert building occupants via a variety of ways, such as a BMS, fire alarm system, or a mobile device using our WES React system.

A step change from RCDs A report by DTI estimates that only 20% of all electrical fires could be prevented by the presence of an RCD, which still allows the vast majority of electrical fires to occur, with devastating effects. The source of ignition in electrical fires within low voltage installations is excessive heat. Circuit breakers, RCDs and RCBOs are unable to detect heat generated at points of connection, and therefore fail to respond to this major cause of fire until ignition has occurred. RCDs are designed principally to prevent a person from being electrocuted and cannot detect the elevated temperatures generated by resistive heating. In order for an RCD to operate and isolate the supply (via a current imbalance), ignition would have already occurred. Resistive heating of connections can generate heat in excess of 1000°C, well above the ignition point of many adjacent combustibles such as PVC cable insulation and plastic consumer unit enclosures.

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A pre-ignition solution The Thermarestor technology behind WES Hotspot works by activating as soon as abnormal heat (80ºC ± 5°C) is detected. Once activated, these single and multipoint sensors can either automatically isolate the circuit supply by operating an RCD or else provide a signal to an alarm system – long before the temperature can increase to the point of ignition. It can be connected to virtually any system to provide occupants with instant notification. The range has been independently tested and is compliant with all applicable statutory regulations and requirements. There is no doubt that a growing number of building owners and operators are seeking smart, technology-led approaches to fire safety, particularly pre-ignition solutions that prevent a fire occurring in the first place. Advances such as this provide an effective, easy to fit solution that actively prevents electrical fires – making it highly valued by clients and building owners. The benefits apply to an almost infinite number of potential users – any building that uses electricity as a source of supply. Whether it’s a residential tower block, school, hospital or historic landmark, smart technology such as this has the ability to eliminate electrical fires caused by overheating. Miniaturisation of the technology, and an extended life from battery-powered devices, allows these kinds of devices to be fitted in a vast range of consumer units, distribution boards, sockets and electrical

“There is no doubt that a growing number of building owners and operators are seeking smart, technologyled approaches to fire safety, particularly pre-ignition solutions that prevent a fire occurring in the first place.”

equipment, protecting building occupants from some of the thousands of electrical fires that occur each year. Being able to detect a fire before it starts means that it is more intuitive than existing protective devices such as MCBs and RCDs, because it responds to the excessive heat caused by wiring faults and overloads.

Summary As we can see from above, it is clear that although RCDs and over-current devices do have an important role to play


making communal & studio kitchens safer

in mitigating the risk of an electrical fire, they are not able to address the majority of fault scenarios that may subsequently initiate fire ignition. Until now, there had not been a practical or straightforward way of detecting overheating of connections, yet these are a major cause of electrical fires. Smart technology is now capable of addressing the anomaly of electrical fires, meaning that routine installation of these relatively inexpensive devices could lead to a step change in fire safety.

Web Worker for mobile Benefits • simple, clear and easy interface • customer signature capture • field operative star rating scheme • pre-defined work description text • time and date stamps, time on site • first time complete (FTC) • form & photo uploads • van stock

• 15, 20, 30 and 45 minute run times • LED operation lights • Large terminals and switching capacity • Quick and easy to fit • Vertical and horizontal models available

Hobsafe - the timer that prevents hobs being left on if the cook is distracted. Providing peace of mind to safety conscious landlords and a favourite with electricians due the large terminals, making it easier to install. This simple to use, easy to fit device switches the hob off after a predetermined time, ensuring the kitchen is left safe. Cleverly simple control from Prefect.

Electrical fires can have disastrous consequences, so smarter approaches to fire safety can avoid scenes like these

Ramtech Electronics,

Available as an add on to the Cypher1 Software, this mobile application enables your field operatives to pick up their jobs on their phone or device, action them accordingly and upload the information, (with attachments), directly to the Cypher1 system.

• Robust, tamper-proof design and manufacture


Availab le an Andro as iOS App id/ ,o browser- r based

Forms such as Risk Assessment; H & S; Gas Safety Certificates and the like, can be uploaded to the device and subsequently completed documentation can be received back at the office.

Paperless… seamless! The easiest to use mobile application for field operatives ever. Its simple interface and immediate usability means it will slot into any company’s work environment quickly and efficiently. With information from your jobs hitting the office in real time, your whole job flow procedure is streamlined and standardised, meaning invoicing can be achieved far quicker.

Visit our-products/run-timers/pre9277 Call 01787 320 604 TEL: 01905 640064


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TAKE A SLICE OF THE SECURITY SECTOR Matt Parton, Product Development Manager at ESP, offers advice on how to plan, design and install a CCTV system, and explains why security systems could offer big business for electrical contractors.

W It is best to install one camera at a time and test as you progress, Parton believes

ith the UK security industry estimated to be worth £2.4 billion, and CCTV accounting for 50% of sales within this sector, that represents a very lucrative income stream to those contractors willing to diversify. By utilising skills they already possess, electricians are in a position to build business with existing customers through the addition of CCTV as a supplementary product category, and can use the knowledge of this new product sector to target new customers. Here are the aspects that need to be considered to plan, design and install a CCTV system:



Possibly the most important stage of any CCTV installation is the survey. Time spent understanding what the end user and operator of the system expect will be of great benefit. Always conduct a thorough evaluation of the site before deciding on which products and systems will be best suited to the scheme. This will require an understanding of the specific role for the CCTV system, as well as the client’s expectations, and clarifying if there are any special requirements, such as 28 days recorded storage. Consider if it is likely that the user will require service after the installation. Ideally during an on-site evaluation, a test monitor with a varifocal lens camera connected can be used to show the client, there and then, a clear example of what viewing angles and coverage can be achieved.

Make a detailed plan of the site that is to be covered. For the purposes of security, mark on the plan the vulnerable areas such as doors, windows, access points etc. Also mark on the plan the areas of concern or areas of interest, like vehicles parked on the drive, for example. Indicate on the drawing where the cameras are to be placed to get the best coverage of all the areas of interest. Obtaining the width of field of the area of interest and the distance away from the camera will give all the information needed for selecting the correct lens type, as well as the IR specification for selecting the right camera. Mark on the drawing a secure location on the site (away from any malicious intent) where the DVR is to be installed. Ideally, this should be an area where unhindered access to the DVR and cables/connections can be managed effectively. Mains power will be required at this location. From the site evaluation, consider where the cameras are to be positioned and how the cable will trace back to the DVR. If the cable runs are to be longer than 100 metres, then typically a local power supply will be required at the camera. If the cable runs are within 100 metres, then the power supply will typically be positioned next to the DVR. Consider whether it is possible to run the cable through the building, or whether the cable will need to be externally surface mounted. If it’s the latter, then consider discreet and secure methods of installation. Some installations may require conduit to protect the cables and deep bases for camera connections. It is also worth noting that the connection between camera and cable will not be waterproof, so if the connection cannot be made internally, again the use of deep camera bases or IP rated junction boxes should be considered. When it comes to cable access points for a CCTV installation, it will typically require the installer to make these access points – usually with the help of a power tool. The DVR may need to be monitored elsewhere on the site, so it is important

“Always conduct a thorough evaluation of the site before deciding on which products and systems will be best suited to the scheme.”

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Carefully plan and design the CCTV installation based on the needs of the enduser and operator

to make provisions for cable or alternative solutions to connect the DVR to a monitor. It may be that the DVR needs a network connection for remote access via smartphone/PC, so this also needs to be considered, and provision made for a cable to a network access point. Consider future-proofing options, such as specifying a larger system to add additional cameras at a later date as and when the requirement arises. Fitting a surge protection socket to protect the system from grid surges, as well as additional splitters for multiple monitors etc can all be considered. At this stage, it is important that the plan and design are agreed with the client, and then the practical work can begin.

It is important to bench test the product or system as early as possible in order to be completely familiar with all aspects. The bench test also provides an opportunity to programme and set up system parameters prior to installation. It is best to install one camera at a time and test as you progress. At the location of the first camera, identify the cable run and, if required, make the access points with suitable tools. If drilling through external walls, drill at a slight angle so that the external access hole is lower than the internal hole. This ensures no potential water ingress will cause harm to the interior of the building. Typically, most cable access holes will be no larger than 20mm. Fish the cable from the DVR to the camera. At suitable points, tack the cable to provide support against strain, but do not use a staple gun. Connect the cable at the camera end, then at the DVR. Apply system power and check if the picture is live. If it is, down power the system. Mount the camera, and make the adjustments in order to achieve the required live view. Cable access points should be protected with cable entry plates, wall grommets etc. Clear sealant should be considered to protect the rear of the camera if the mounting surface is uneven and is exposed to moisture. Complete each installation of the cameras one by one, testing as you

progress. Once the camera and cables are installed, the next step is to clearly label each cable at the DVR end. This will help if any system adjustments are needed, or if return visits to the site are required. Connect the network cable, and adjust the parameters on the DVR if not set during the bench test. Test essential system functions such as recording, playback and data backup. Once the installation is complete, the client can be debriefed and issued with a hard copy of basic system operations.

The UK security industry offers lucrative prospects for electrical contractors willing to include this as part of their product offering





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o celebrate the launch of its new In-Sure Enclosure Box, Ideal Industries EMEA is offering readers the chance to win a toolkit, worth over £500, containing a variety of products. It is designed for use with In-Sure Push-in, In-Sure Lever, and SpliceLine wire connectors for fast, safe and maintenancefree enclosure installation of electrical junctions in inaccessible locations.

This includes areas such as behind plasterboard, or under a floor or when working in awkward environments – such as up a ladder, or in confined spaces. Uniquely, the new In-Sure Box has four cable entry points allowing up to two cables each, so it can be used either as a cable entry from one end, or an ‘in-line’ configuration, for applications such as cable splices or lighting spurs. By combining Push-In, Lever or SpliceLine wire connectors with the patented In-Sure cable grip system, no

additional tools are needed to secure the cable. Designed to accept most common flat and round cables with an overall diameter of 3mm to 8mm, it can accept up to six individual connectors, fits through a 50mm hole for spotlights and similar installations, and supports cables from 0.5mm2 to 2.5mm2. It also complies with the BS 5733 maintenance-free accessory standard and BS 7671 wiring regulations. For more information, and to register for a free sample, visit Ideal Industries,

a) 1mm2 to 4mm2 b) 0.5mm2 to 2.5mm2 c) 1.5mm2 to 6mm2

The winner of the Apple iPad Mini 4, courtesy of Unitrunk, is Christopher Higgins of Rexel.

Closing date

For your chance to win, simply answer the following questions: 1. The IDEAL In-Sure Box supports cables from…?

May competition

2. The IDEAL In-Sure Box features…?

3. The IDEAL In-Sure box…?

a) A patented In-Sure cable grip system b) P ush out panels in order to position the cable c) Plastic grippers that need positioning to configure the cable clamp

a) R equires a screwdriver to secure the cable b) Requires no additional tools to secure the cable c) Requires additional screws to secure the cable

All entries must be returned by July 31, 2019. The editor’s decision is final. For the full terms and conditions, please visit electricalcontractingnews. com/competition-terms. The name of the winner will be published in the September 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 July’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 Ideal

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

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


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

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

Date.............................................................................. E-mail.....................................................................................................................................

To register to receive your copy of ECN each month, visit Competition.indd 42

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SMART BUILDINGS supported by

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Smart bulbs and smart speakers combine seamlessly with other modern-day technology to help control your home

Smart lighting technology is on the rise, but the range of solutions on offer can sometimes cause confusion. The LED Specialist provides an overview of the benefits and talks us through the best installation practices.


nvesting in some smart light bulbs is an ideal first step to creating a smart home. Smart lighting, especially when coupled with a smart speaker, can be a seamless way to control your home – and make for some very cool experiences. And it’s not just all Philips Hue nowadays – there are plenty of alternatives. There are a plethora of technologies, sizes, shapes, colours and styles on offer, from a huge array of different brands.

Why buy smart lighting? Well, there’s plenty of reasons. Smart bulbs have tons of features, so you can dim them and turn them on and off with your voice (when paired with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri). You can group bulbs together to have your whole downstairs, living room or home under a single control. And you can set up routines – so ‘movie time’ turns off the main lights, and turns everything else to a warm colour. You can have your porch

You can get many of the benefits of smart bulbs by changing out for a smart light switch instead


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light turn on when you open the front door (with a sensor). It’s not just impressing your mates with garish colours – this is useful stuff.

Are all smart bulbs expensive?

If you’re new to smart bulbs, let’s clear up the basics. These devices are actual bulbs that are internet connected. How they connect is another matter. Some work via Wi-Fi, which means you need no extra hardware. Others need a hub connected to your router.

The price is dropping all the time, but yes – they’re more expensive than standard bulbs. We’d advise getting a good deal on a starter kit and then waiting to grab single bulbs in the sales – the big retailers are always discounting. But there’s an alternative. You can get many of the benefits of smart bulbs by changing out for a smart light switch instead. You lose some of the dimming and colour features, but it saves buying 25 smart GU10 bulbs for your kitchen.

Why do so many smart bulbs need a hub?

Alternative technology to Wi-Fi?

It’s not ideal, but smart bulbs work better when connected to a hub. The presence of a hub means they work using Zigbee or Z-Wave, which is a much more stable connection, with a longer range that’s less prone to dropouts than Wi-Fi.

Delta Dore uses a proprietary radio frequency protocol called X3D, which is the foundation of its smart home products that are installed into approximately three million homes. This technology falls into a similar category as names such as Zigbee and Z wave, as far as it uses 868MHz. What these protocols don’t have is the ability to achieve communication ranges up to 300m. By building the core of your smart home on this type of platform, it ensures that you have a genuine stability of signal that will not let you down. What’s more, is when we compare this with Wi-Fi, the X3D smart home products don’t rely on the internet to

How do smart bulbs work?

How do you fit a smart bulb? Every system is different, but you set up the hub and app, and then just screw in your bulb and turn it on at the wall. It should be found within the app. For hubless Wi-Fi bulbs, screw them in and turn them on, and your phone will connect to them via Bluetooth and pass on your Wi-Fi details.

Delta Dore’s smart solutions are designed to ensure that the user has a genuine stability of signal


communicate, meaning that when you are on Netflix and the kids are playing their favourite game, you will still have seamless use of your smart home system while your bandwidth takes a hit. This also has a positive effect if you have an unreliable internet connection, as your products will still be running to their schedules regardless of connection. With X3D transmissions being secured and using only occasional minimal emissions (1-5mW, versus a mobile phone that emits 600–2,000mW), it ensures that you will not have any cross communication, whilst at the same time providing the peace of mind that your smart home is secure. With our additional protection of the Delta Dore home cloud, you can be sure that your data is kept in the house, unless you give permission for it to be used. Beyond this, we appreciate that there are many other great brands, and by using Delta Dore, you have the option to scale your smart home in your own time; either by using some of our 120 ecosystem partners, directly through X3D, or indeed via our IOT platform that integrates systems such as Phillips Hue and Google/ Alexa voice control. By providing a stable and flexible platform, Delta Dore ensures you have a solid and secure foundation to build your smart home today and in the future. In addition, the products are brilliant for electricians to easily install. The LED Specialist,

“If you’re new to smart bulbs, let’s clear up the basics. These devices are actual bulbs that are internet connected – but how they connect is another matter.”

Switch to LED to light your space 0118 950 7125 sales@

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THE SMART BUILDINGS ‘GENE’ Ram Venkat, Smart Buildings Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric, assesses the ‘genes’ that contribute towards a genuine smart building, and explains how millennials will be taking the smart concept to new heights.


mart Buildings are hardly a new concept. Buildings have been getting ‘smarter’ since the advent of building automation solutions a few decades ago. Yet increasingly, the ultimate definition of a ‘smart building’ exceeds automated operation and heads more towards intuitive operation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend over 90% of their time inside of buildings. As a result, they are expected to promote the same benefits as the outdoors, whilst simultaneously utilising technology to enable productivity and comfort. This needs to be adapted to overcome the high expectations of the millennial generation, who are set to become the future leaders of industries across the country. Therefore, there are many examples of what truly makes a smart building, and the ‘genes’ that allow them to flourish. Extensive knowledge of what makes a building truly smart will help accommodate the needs of future generations.

Renewable energy: net zero energy to zero carbon On an annual basis, a net zero energy building generates as much energy as it consumes. Despite this, this particular type of building may still have a tendency to emit carbon depending on the type of on-site generation. This is because only limited buildings have the potential for renewable energy. In recent years, major governments and institutions have been trying to reduce potential threats to the environment. Most notably, the EU has set a carbon emissions reductions target of 40% by 2020. This means that buildings need to move towards a zero carbon mode of operation, where there are no fossil fuels burned on-site. The rising demands on clean electricity grids has allowed for generation and load shedding to become optimised by using demand-response programs.

A building’s purpose Every building has its own purpose. For example, a hospital environment must improve patient recovery, whereas an office environment may have to improve productivity. Despite each purpose being unique, the goal of a smart building is to help the wellbeing of its occupants. Studies by the World Green Building Council suggest that there is 35% less sick leave in well-ventilated buildings. This signifies that smart buildings need to understand and adapt to environments. This can depend on its occupancy, its ongoing activities within the building which may impact air quality, and the environment outside the building.

The smart building incentive By 2020, millennials will make up 50% of the workforce. They have a completely different attitude towards working and exhibit a dislike towards what may be seen as the norm. Modern work ethics, such as flexible working, technological aids, rapid personal and professional development, alongside a good work-life balance have become more prominent amongst this generation. This implies that the key to an organisation’s success should be to invest in its culture. By establishing smart buildings that consist of an innovative and digital environment, organisations will have the ability of attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry.

The goal of efficiency The aim of a building being as efficient as possible is still key, with various operators looking for an integrated approach to building management. Smart buildings are supposed to be environments where the BMS, lighting, power, and occupancy pieces can simultaneously share data to improve operations, whilst also allowing the visualisation of agglomerated data on a platform which is accessible on premise or on cloud.

Collaboration: the key to a smart buildings future “By establishing smart buildings that consist of an innovative and digital environment, organisations will have the ability of attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry.”

In this day and age, buildings are meant to go beyond what is expected. They now need to interact with people, whilst also allowing occupants to control their environment. Smart buildings are of course evolving, and now include a wide range of technologies such as artificial intelligence devices; from apps on your mobile device which can help you choose and find your way to the ideal workspace in your office to virtual and augmented reality. The current vision of today is important. It consists of a fluid environment, where every facet of the smart building is part of its inherent DNA. What then is the smart building ‘gene’? It is essentially the ability of leveraging data and the Internet of Things to collect crosssystem information whilst also coming up with actionable insights. Schneider Electric,


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Imagine the possibilities RotasocŽ is widely considered to be the industry standard in customisable under desk power systems. Made in Sheffield and available in 32A and 16A versions, this plug & play system includes a range of multi-socket power modules with 360° rotating


Infeed Protection/Switching Sockets

Contacts t: 01709 385470 e: w:

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ENERGY HARVESTING IN THE SPOTLIGHT The latest EU EPBD building directive’s emphasis on building automation underscores the need for smart implementation of smart buildings. Graham Martin, Chairman of EnOcean Alliance, explains.


he EU is getting serious and tightening the thumbscrews. Buildings are required to be CO2-neutral by 2050, with interim goals set for 2030 and 2040. This is leading to a growing number of increasingly strict requirements in the coming years. While up until now, the focus has been on the building shell and optimising the building physics (insulation, heat bridges, etc.), the spotlight is now on improving building automation. This implies that new buildings will require a high standard of energy control, ensuring that heat and light is directed at occupied areas and not wasted on unoccupied spaces. Existing buildings will also need to be modified to achieve the same standards.

“Fully addressing the latest EPBD is demanding, but worth doing because it creates a better planet for all of us.”

The cost of installing and maintaining these automation systems can be significant – but it is much more manageable if wireless sensors are used intelligently. These sensors themselves require power, which is best harvested from the environment rather than drawn from batteries that need replacing (which adds cost and substitutes one environmental issue with another). Fortunately, there is a solution to hand: there is an international standard for maintenance free energy harvesting wireless sensor solutions for smart buildings ISO/IEC 14543-3-10, which is managed by the EnOcean Alliance. The latest EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive), agreed in May 2018, establishes requirements for buildings which are to be implemented

by EU member states under their national laws. These requirements are based on the view expressed in the EPBD that existing buildings in the EU are responsible for 36% of all CO2 emissions. Buildings thus play a key role in reaching the EU climate targets. The EPBD therefore requires that EU member states establish guidelines, come up with measurable actions and provide subsidies. It also emphasises that these measures apply to existing rental homes as well. The necessary legal and administrative regulations must be put into force by March 10, 2020. In England and Wales, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is responsible for this issue (it’s a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland). Its requirements are


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Smart solutions for smart homes and intelligent buildings

Data obtained with the aid of selfpowered wireless sensors can also be integrated into IoT solutions for the cloud, smartphones and tablets

covered by the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations. The latest revision to the EPBD will automatically apply in the UK, even if Brexit proceeds on the planned timetable.

Building automation is gaining ground The EPBD now explicitly focuses on regulation and control. It emphasises building automation and simultaneously imposes strict requirements. Maintenance-free wireless sensor solutions for smart buildings based on the international EnOcean wireless standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3-10) are the ideal path to implementing these regulations with minimum installation cost, minimum alterations to existing buildings, minimum disruption to users and minimum ongoing maintenance. • “ Installing self-regulating devices”. Control circuits require sensors. They have to be installed in the best places for recording the desired data. Radiobased and maintenance-free sensors can be used here systematically, flexibly and cost-neutrally over the long term.

• “Logging the actual energy performance” of heating and air-conditioning systems. This can be done only with intensive monitoring. A closely meshed network of wired sensors would mean a great deal of effort for laying cables and for the physical and electrical mounting of the sensors. Radio-based sensors can be planned and installed much more easily, and if they are powered from harvested energy, require no batteries either. • “ Smartness indicator”. Buildings need to become smart(er). The trend is toward recording far more measured values than before. To do this, sensor data supplies relevant information for IoT systems in real time. Even with the classic installation of pushbuttons, temperature sensors and motion detectors, chair sensors are already providing information on occupancy. Toilet stalls can be maintained and cleaned according to use, based on sensor data. Clear requirements on the type and position of these sensors do not yet exist. Flexibility and the ability to change locations are thus key criteria on the way to sustainably smart buildings.

“New buildings will require a high standard of energy control, ensuring that heat and light is directed at occupied areas and not wasted on unoccupied spaces.”

Smart installations based on wireless and battery free sensors also retain maximum flexibility. Sensors can be added to or removed from the network in a heartbeat as the building’s layout and use changes.

The EnOcean Alliance is a global network of more than 400 companies in the building sector. It develops innovative, maintenancefree wireless solutions for sustainable building automation based on the EnOcean wireless standard (ISO/IEC 14543-3-10). Thanks to their standardised sensor profiles, the products can be combined with each other. These interoperable system solutions lower installation and maintenance costs and provide significant benefits when it comes to energy efficiency, security and comfort. The data obtained with the aid of self-powered wireless sensors can also be integrated into IoT solutions for the cloud, smartphones and tablets. More than one million buildings all over the world now have wireless networks of this type, making EnOcean the international reference technology when it comes to wireless standards for building automation.

Conclusion Fully addressing the latest EPBD is demanding, but worth doing because it creates a better planet for all of us. Carried out in the right way, energy performing buildings of a high standard can be delivered cost-effectively and without significant disruption, potentially delivering a worthwhile RoI for the building operator. The EnOcean energy harvesting based wireless standard is a key element in delivering such energy performing buildings, and the Alliance and its 400 members are valuable partners, delivering an entire ecosystem of self-powered wireless sensor solutions. We know what the EPBD requirements mean and are fully ready to work with building operators to support them in pain-free delivery of EPBD creating future-oriented system solutions for efficient buildings. The author is indebted to Prof. Dr. Michael Kroedel of the IGT - Institut für Gebäudetechnologie for his analysis of the EPBD, on which this article is based. EnOcean Alliance,

Energy performing buildings of a high standard can be delivered costeffectively and without significant disruption, potentially delivering a worthwhile RoI for the building operator

Leading companies worldwide from the building sector formed the EnOcean Alliance to establish innovative, maintenance-free wireless solutions for the Internet of Things, which are used for automation solutions for sustainable building projects – making buildings more energy-efficient, more flexible and more cost effective.

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BUILDING BETTER HEALTHCARE Martyn Frear, Business Development Manager at CP Electronics, explains how the fast-growing practice of modular buildings, combined with intelligent lighting controls, can bring a vast array of benefits to ailing healthcare services.


t’s no secret that the UK’s healthcare industry is in a crisis. Nursing shortages; a lack of hospital beds; long waiting times; government cuts – are all commonplace headlines. The root cause, of course, is money, or rather the lack of it. While the debate rumbles on about whether government austerity is right or wrong for the good of the country, it is a reality that must be dealt with. Fortunately, it can be said that different industries are pulling together in times of hardship. One such example is modular buildings and lighting controls. This relationship is not only bringing costs of construction down but adding further operational benefits to facilities and staff throughout the country.

Why modular buildings?

A Vitesse Plus unit installed in Oswestry Hospital

The practice of modular buildings refers to structures made up of pre-manufactured sectional units, which are subsequently installed together on-site. While not new, this method of construction has really taken off in the past few years with the government bringing huge frameworks online for public buildings. Speed, quality and ease of construction are the three key factors to the growth of modular buildings. With building sections being manufactured in factory conditions, there is less risk of adverse weather conditions affecting construction schedules and impacting on budgets. The quality is also improved as sections are only delivered to site when required. The true beauty, however, is the ease with which they can be put together. The pre-assembled nature of modular buildings mean they can be constructed easier and quicker than traditional bricks and mortar. This then reduces overall time on-site and subsequently brings down the cost of construction.

Modular lighting solutions can be easily reprogrammed to fulfil the many different uses required by healthcare buildings

“Modular buildings and controls can easily transform into a significant reduction in energy bills related to lighting.”

Lighting the way Traditionally, installing lighting controls meant having to hardwire the controls and lighting control modules (LCMs) into the building. With modular buildings, however, hardwiring is not necessary. In fact, they are designed to accommodate wiring and LCMs and make it easier to install electrical components into a building’s fabric. In tandem, modular lighting controls have been honed and developed with this in mind, ensuring they can be installed as quickly as possible. Most controls are now based on a ‘plug and play’ format, allowing installers to simply take the luminaire and detector leads and plug them straight into the module. Modules can also be supplied with four or six pole connections to work with switching or dimming controls respectively. They are also fit for the future, as modular lighting solutions can be easily re-programmed through handsets. This is particularly beneficial as healthcare buildings and units may have different uses over their lifetime, especially as modular buildings have a lifespan of typically 50 years, if not longer.

Lifesaving technology Although lighting may not traditionally be considered ‘life-saving’ equipment, when in a hospital scenario, reliable lighting is vital.

For obvious reasons, surgeries cannot be plunged into darkness while in operation. Loss of light also impacts on other hospital functions, leading to patients having to re-book appointments, procedures being put back, and ultimately, more strain on staff and budgets. To prevent this, lighting in hospitals tends to be divided into essential and nonessential supply, so that even if an outage occurs on one of the circuits, 50% of the lights will still be on. The difficulty of this, however, is that the number of LCMs is effectively doubled due to the need for them to be run on different circuits. This then impacts on wiring space and installation times. Solutions like the Vitesse Modular and Vitesse Plus systems from CP Electronics, for example, have been designed to overcome this challenge by incorporating a two-circuit supply in its two-channel switching modules; removing the need for two separate LCMs when used in presence detection or manual only switching. By using the Vitesse Plus you can combine absence switching with manual dimming and daylight linking covering several rooms easily.

Lighting controls and modular buildings – the miracle drug? Ultimately, the continuing drive to save money is likely to continue for some time in the healthcare industry. A humble lighting control system that switches lights on and off may seem insignificant in comparison to the crisis of nursing shortages, lack of beds, facilities and equipment etc. However, it is no less important to the future delivery of healthcare services. With the right planning, modular buildings and controls can easily transform into a significant reduction in energy bills related to lighting. Installation times can be cut down by as much as 30-50%, ongoing energy savings can be achieved, and the systems provide a better user experience overall. CP Electronics,

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A STATELY PAST GETS A SMARTER FUTURE When it comes to creating smart homes, CEDIA’s expertise is second to none. Here, ECN looks at how Environ earned a CEDIA accolade by transforming a Grade I listed property in central London into a sensational, modern-day smart home.


central London home, bursting with high-performance AV technology and a fully integrated home automation system, earned Environ a top accolade from CEDIA in the 2018 EMEA Awards. The London-based electrical/technology integrator won the ‘Best Integrated Home £340,000 and over’ category for its user-focused design and exceptional technical knowledge. The extensive brief was to turn a large family house – featuring a wine cellar,

fitness room, music room, and two home cinemas – into a fully-integrated smart home. The user interface needed to be tailored to meet the needs of the whole family, which included several children and a live-in nanny, as well as providing some specific control functionality for staff. The client was a real technophile who wanted distributed AV throughout the living space along with integrated control of all core systems including lighting, HVAC, and security. Although he primarily wanted the technology to blend with the interiors, he also requested that some systems should be showcased.

Unique considerations The project came with several challenges. As part of a larger modernisation project, the integrator was required to work in close partnership with other contractors to ensure seamless integration with the stunning decor. Also, as a Grade I listed building, where space is at a premium, careful thought had to be given to some of the product fixings and placement. A significant aspect of the project was the provision of professional standard AV across the property. Speaker and TV points have been fitted in all the rooms, along with Samsung Smart TVs, stylish Bowers


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SMART BUILDINGS & Wilkins Bookshelf speakers in each of the main living areas and bedrooms, and CAT (California Audio Technology) in-ceiling speakers in the leisure rooms. 4K video distribution is enabled through Crestron’s DigitalMedia platform and audio using Kramer’s Sierra audio matrix. The first media room also doubles as a living area, so a projection screen was not a viable option. The owner was keen to make a design statement and chose handcrafted Italian Sonus Faber Aida speakers and a 75 inch Samsung 4K TV. The brief for the second media room, which is intended to be a family room, was to create an immersive gaming environment. A Barco Orion projector has been installed along with Triad in-wall speakers and an enormous 123 inch Stewart Luxus Model A ElectriScreen; a motorised, retractable screen for discreet storage. A third relaxation area uses CAT floor-standing speakers to create a visual impact. In each case, apart from the showcase speakers, the technology has been fitted, where possible, within bespoke joinery to minimise the impact on the interior design.

Ultimate control All the main systems in the home, including entertainment, lights, and climate, have been integrated through a Crestron CP3 backbone and are controlled using the Crestron app on iPads located throughout the residence. Any iPad in the house can be set to control any of the rooms. The client had a specific request that the user interface should be identical to one he had seen in a luxury hotel. The integrator was able to build and programme an exact replica to match his specific requirements.

The lighting system is highly complex and comprises hundreds of circuits combined in one Lutron HomeWorks QS system


The client wanted each family member to have the ability to set up and easily activate their own room preferences. The app has been programmed so that each user has the option to save 15 global presets for each room, encompassing lights, media source, home entertainment equipment, blinds, and temperature. In addition, each person can save three lighting presets for each room according to their chosen activity or mood. Dedicated sources for each family member mean that they can start watching a film in one location and then seamlessly change to a different one. Additionally, each user profile is password protected to ensure privacy at all times.

Lighting and security measures The lighting system is highly complex and comprises hundreds of circuits combined in one Lutron HomeWorks QS system. Simple control is enabled through Lutron keypads, positioned in each room, with the option to turn on/ off or adjust individual lights, as well as access custom preset scenes through the iPad interface. The blinds can also be opened and closed using the Lutron keypads; either one-by-one or as a group within a room. As the majority of the windows have motorised shades, there is a large amount of control equipment to conceal. To minimise impact, careful consideration has been given to the location of the apparatus; given space was limited. Furthermore, as the property is Grade I listed, the windows were not ideally suited to roller blinds. Working in conjunction with the blind specialist, the integrator developed a solution where the blinds have been installed upside down and appear from floor boxes. As a luxurious home in a prestigious location, security was a high priority for the client. The BPT entry control system can be accessed via the iPad, enabling the family to permit entry to visitors from wherever they are in the house. They can view the images from the CCTV cameras on the iPad to check activity around the perimeter of the house. Moreover, should there be a fire or security issue, the AV is automatically muted, and pre-programmed lighting scenes are activated. This was a complex brief which required detailed project management and co-ordination with other trades. All home automation systems are seamlessly integrated within the stylish interiors of this beautiful home with simple, personalised control for every occupant. The discerning client can also enjoy high performance audio visual, along with his family, in every corner of his home.

Smarter education for all

“The extensive brief was to turn a large family house – featuring a wine cellar, fitness room, music room, and two home cinemas – into a fullyintegrated smart home.”

To make sure electricians are up-to-date with the latest skills and knowledge, CEDIA is on hand with some of the best advice in the industry when it comes to creating smart homes. CEDIA has a number of carefully designed courses for electricians who want to extend their knowledge. CEDIA’s City and Guilds accredited Smart Home Technician programme is the best place to start. This programme aims to give delegates a unique overview of the smart home installation process and improve specific skills, comprising 12 diverse training courses from the CEDIA Boot Camp, ESC Technical and Networking Schools, and two examinations. On completion of the Smart Home Technician programme, attendees are awarded with a Smart Home Technician certificate, and two CEDIA certifications, allowing them to stand out as true professionals in their field, and showcase their advanced skillset to clients.

Get CEDIA certified By becoming CEDIA certified, electricians can ensure that their credibility is validated, reflecting expertise in defined areas of knowledge and allowing them to demonstrate that they have the required practical skills. Thanks to a partnership with Kryterion Global Testing Solutions, CEDIA certification exams can be carried out at over 1,000 global testing centres, making them incredibly accessible.

Lighting control is enabled through Lutron keypads, which are positioned in each room

All the main systems in the home have been integrated through a Crestron CP3 backbone and are controlled using the Crestron app on iPads located throughout the residence


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A SMART AND STERLING SOLUTION Marie Parry, Group Marketing Director with Scolmore, explains how a switch supply to a permanent conversion pack helped provide a smart, retrofit solution to Stirling Council’s social housing upgrade.

A Scolmore’s Click Smart range has provided a huge number of benefits for each of Stirling Council’s social housing properties

s councils and housing associations across the country continue to review and improve their fire safety provisions in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there has been a growing need to install wired smoke detectors in residential buildings. This can give rise to issues, as lighting circuits with a switched live will not always have a permanent feed at the light fitting, which creates a problem when it comes to adding another device such as a smoke detector. The result is increased labour, plus mess and disruption to the décor in order to run additional cable to get the permanent live feed where it is needed. With this requirement adding to the financial burden of already overstretched local councils, one council has found a solution that is not only proving costeffective, but is also saving on the time and labour required to install the necessary products.

Retrofit products for all properties “Stirling Council is in the process of installing a range of products from across Scolmore’s portfolio in all 7,000 of the social housing properties that the council has under its remit.”

Stirling Council has been working with Scolmore Group to source products that offer a cost-effective and efficient solution to meeting its safety requirements. The council is now in the process of installing a range of products from across Scolmore’s portfolio in all 7,000 of the social housing properties that the council has under its remit. This includes the Click Smart Switch Supply to Permanent Conversion Pack, which is providing a retrofit smart solution to allow independent control of the lighting circuit, whilst still supplying a smoke detector with constant power. Part of the Click Smart intelligent wiring accessories range, the Switch Supply to Permanent Conversion Pack is supplied in a handy boxed unit which contains all the components required: one RFSAI-61B switching receiver, one RFIM – 40B battery transmitter, one CMA401 unfurnished MiniGrid plate, and one MD004W 10x retractive module. This solution eliminates the need for time-consuming and costly channelling and potential lifting of floorboards for access, and then the necessary effort to restore everything back to normal. Simply replace the switch that is currently there with the retractive switch, and wire in the RFSAI-61B and RFIM-40B to the retractive switch and light. This will facilitate the ability for a permanent live supply to a smoke detector whilst retaining control of the existing light fitting.

Additional advantages As well as adding a smoke detector, the conversion pack can be used to provide a solution where emergency lighting is required. Incorporating RFSAI-61B will facilitate the ability for a permanent live supply to power an emergency light whilst retaining control of an existing light fitting. A key switch can also be incorporated to allow for emergency light periodic testing. The rolling programme to upgrade the properties will see two of these Click Smart

conversion packs installed in each property where required. This will allow speedy and damage-free installation of smoke detectors to the new LD2 standard within dwellings. The Switch Supply to Conversion Pack is part of Scolmore’s growing range of Click Smart boxed solutions, which are designed to take everyday installation problems and provide quick and easy answers that will save time and money. Liam Wilkie, Electrical Specialist at Stirling Council – and the individual responsible for the installation of the products – comments, “While fitting the Click Smart Conversion Pack, we find that the time saved is anything from half an hour to two hours, depending on the situation. This is also a first fix walk away system, with no hassle whatsoever. We find the tenants are more than happy with the smart system as it suits most décor, and leaves very little (if any) mess.”

Smart products to encourage installers Products that make it easy to install smart solutions are being welcomed by those installers who are embracing the latest technology. However, a recent poll carried out by an online wholesaler found that despite the ever-growing popularity of smart solutions, many tradespeople are unprepared for the increasing customer demand. The poll, which was conducted in the lead up to Smart Home Week, found that 82% of tradespeople have never undertaken any form of training in smart home technology. This figure remains largely unchanged following results from the same poll in 2018. At Scolmore, we are continuing to develop our range of smart products that is designed to encourage installers to get on board with smart technology by providing them with simple to install solutions to everyday tasks, in a handy boxed format that contains all the components they require, along with simple instructions. Scolmore Group,


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LIGHTING WITH THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR Lighting specialist, Signify, has supplied Interact Pro with Philips Interact Ready luminaires for installation in the innovation room at Tata Steel’s HQ in North Wales by their in-house engineers.


Tata Steel employees can easily customise lighting scenes and schedules through the Interact Pro app

he new luminaires installed at Tata Steel’s innovation room have provided the company with a quick and costeffective connected lighting installation, with Signify noting that the system is easy and straightforward enough for employees to use day-to-day. It also provides effective lighting control, to allow the creation of an impactful ambiance for the hundreds of customers who visit each year to learn about the latest innovation in the steel industry. “Our innovation room is an important space where we showcase the best of our work, so it is important that we have an equally sophisticated, connected lighting system – but one that our employees can operate with ease,” says Jason Wilkes, Electrical Engineer at Tata Steel. “Signify has been great in taking the time to understand what we, as a business, need; and has worked quickly to deliver a connected lighting system that has made our lives significantly easier, all with the tap of an app.”

A new world of lighting control “The Interact Pro system has put Tata Steel and its employees in control by letting them tailor light levels according to their requirements.”

The Interact Pro system has put Tata Steel and its employees in control by letting them tailor light levels according to their requirements. It allows them to customise scenes and schedules through easily tapping the Interact Pro app, facilitating the productivity and well-being of employees. Also, it ensures that the lighting in the room is only used when it is needed, significantly reducing energy costs. By pre-setting the room, employees can create the right mood for a range of client presentations and access valuable insights into energy usage. Interact Pro uses a wireless Zigbee Mesh network to connect luminaires, sensors and switches. This means that it is much easier to install than many existing lighting control systems and doesn’t require additional cabling, making the process

swifter. Users can quickly set up the connected lighting system via the Interact Pro app. The Interact Pro connected lighting system has been so well adopted by Tata Steel’s employees that the light switches put in place are no longer needed – meaning that light is only used when required and reducing overall energy consumption. “From early consultations, we knew Interact Pro with Philips Interact Ready luminaires was a system that would help Tata Steel make an impact with customers to reflect its innovation while being more energy efficient,” notes Stuart Jolley, Trade and Specification Director for Signify in the UK and Ireland. “We look forward to continuing the partnership in the future to continue to deliver the most innovative systems through lighting.” Signify,

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AUTOMATION WITHOUT EXPENSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE Smart-home manufacturer, Vitrea, has launched in the UK, offering its most flexible wireless system, VTouch Pro, to contractors, installers and builders. ECN takes a look.


ffering the intelligence today’s homes and buildings demand, smart-home manufacturer Vitrea has launched in the UK to deliver stylish and simple control of lighting and other utilities. Wired and wireless systems, as well as strong retrofit abilities, provide a wide choice of options to installers, meaning no matter what the project, new build or existing structure, there is a Vitrea solution, says the company. Handily replacing existing light switches and sockets for ease of install, Vitrea control panels come in a myriad of bespoke styles. With a quarter of a century of experience in other countries, a full year of development within Vitrea’s R&D department went into preparation for its UK launch. The elegant glass keypad designs created for the UK market offer modern designs for any system, including a variety of colour, matt or glossy finishes, as well as a huge variety of customised scene names and icons. All of the keypads come with matching glass socket frames or flush-mounted adaptors, with metal finishes on the way. All keypads are also CE, UL and FCC certified. The Israeli-based company says its vision is to enable home and business owners to control and connect their interior spaces in an elegant yet simple and affordable way.

Smarter, simpler and more affordable A key product is the VTouch Pro range, suitable for home, office or hotel environments. Using this range, Vitrea says smart buildings can be smarter, simpler and more affordable with VTouch Pro’s unique approach and strong retrofit capabilities. Because of its ability to replace existing conventional electrical switches or plugs, VTouch Pro’s use of wireless technology gives all the benefits of a typical automation system, without the need for expensive infrastructure, renovations or complicated wired installations. VTouch Pro controllers communicate over Vitrea’s own communication protocol called Aranet, which is a mesh network that handles all the data in a VTouch Pro system working on RF signals at 2.4GHz. All communication over the network takes place within two milliseconds, so users get a fast and responsive experience. All the functionality delivered by a VTouch Pro system can be connected, managed and controlled from within the dedicated app, however the switches can all work separately via the responsive physical interaction as well.

A complete family of control The product range doesn’t end with VTouch Pro, however. There is the VTouch Plus, a modern design that comes ready to integrate with Lutron lighting, Control4, Vantage and RTI automation platforms. There is also VTouch KNX, which, as the name suggests, is a family of controllers based on the VTouch Plus and designed specifically for integration with the KNX control protocol. The company is also proud of its ability to integrate with the Crestron system via

“Smart buildings can be smarter, simpler and more affordable with VTouch Pro’s unique approach and strong retrofit capabilities.”

the VTouch Cresnet range. Again, this is the VTouch Plus but with full control over the Cresnet bus. Vitrea says it is one of just five companies Crestron contacted direct to provide access to the company’s API to enable compatibility with the two systems, so impressed were Crestron with the style and quality of Vitrea switches. Vitrea also has available Vmax, its own complete, centrally wired bus system with DIN rail mounted dimmers, switches and actuators to create a totally centralised smart building control system. With careful planning, Vitrea has created a range of products and partnerships that will deliver UK installers the ability to not only take advantage of its own strong range of products, but integrate with established systems too.

A swipe of the finger controls lighting or blinds or can arm a security system or control HVAC settings, and the system is manageable from a distance using a smartphone app



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TESTING FOR ALL TYPES Having a basic understanding of the RCD tripping parameters defined in the product standards, for different types of residual currents, can save time on-site when testing unfamiliar devices. Chaz Andrews, Technical Manager at Doepke UK, explains.


oepke UK is a specialist RCD manufacturer, and is ideally positioned to provide helpful insight as it relates to ‘Reminder RCD testing for different types’ – as outlined in the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. Here’s an overview of some of the testing types.

RCD tests/Clause 643.8 This is all about testing RCDs to verify their effectiveness to provide additional protection. Effectiveness is verified by testing a 30mA RCD with an AC residual current (Regulation 415.1.1), at 5 x I∆n or greater to prove that the RCD trips within 40ms. For higher mA ratings, a test at 1 x I∆n can be performed (tripping in <300ms for general non-delay RCDs). Table 1, pictured below, relates to testing RCDs with type AC test currents. The characteristics in Table 1 do not relate to any other types of residual current – see Regulation 531.3.3. The tripping characteristics for different types of residual current are completely different, as shown in the table.

RCD Characteristics/ Regulation 531.3.3

Table 1, which relates to testing RCDs with type AC test currents.

We have summarised the tripping characteristics for the various types of RCD detailed in 531.3.3 (see Table 2). This can be used as a quick guide. For specific information for design purposes, refer to the relevant product standard. For example, a Type A RCCB (EN61008-1) when subjected to an AC sinusoidal residual current is designed to trip at >50%<100% I∆n. The limits for pulsating direct current are different, eg. at O° >35% <140% I∆n. We have come across examples of RCD test instruments that appear to have incorrect values programmed into the

Table 2, showing tripping criteria for RCCBs based on Standards EN61008, EN62423

software. One example recently, testing on 30mA Type A setting ½ Pulse, recorded as a fail – tripping at 12 mA (ie. 40%). The customer was not aware of the difference in the trip values for AC and pulsating DC residual currents. He assumed the problem was associated with the RCD, rather than the software in the test instrument. If in doubt, check with the instrument manufacture for software updates, or your trade association, who may already be aware of any issues.

RCD tripping characteristics – RCCBs EN 61008, EN 62423 The standards define the tripping thresholds and times based on the residual current components (see Table 2 above). Note the key differences between tripping thresholds for AC, pulsed and smooth DC. Tripping threshold: •A ll RCCBs subjected to 50Hz AC residual current are designed to trip between 0.5-1I∆n. •T ype A,F,B: with pulsed residual current (50Hz), the tripping threshold changes to 0.35-1.4 I∆n. •T ype A and F: trip threshold is influenced by the smooth DC content (offset value). For example: •T ype A must still trip with <6mA smooth DC superimposed on the pulsed waveform. •T ype F must still trip with <10mA smooth DC superimposed on the pulsed waveform.

•T ype B smooth DC residual current is designed to trip between 0.5-2 I∆n.

Tripping times RCCBs (EN 61008) and RCBOs (EN 61009), for use by ordinary persons, have fixed characteristics (the above standards do not allow adjustable characteristics). CBRs and MRCDs to EN 60947-2 Annex B and M can have adjustable characteristics, for use in installations under the supervision of skilled persons – see Regulation 411.4.4, Note 2. For safety reasons, selective RCDs are not available in 30mA. However, to reduce nuisance tripping in circuits associated with LED lighting, inverters, EVs etc, you can use a 30mA short time delay RCD. These devices have a built in 10ms delay, but still meet the tripping requirements of <40ms at 5 I∆n.

Further information The complexity of modern installations – particularly those associated with special locations, such as 710 and 722 – require specific competences and knowledge. The IET resources website gives access to a wide range of additional books and guidance for special locations. These publications contain additional information on RCD requirements, supporting the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. Doepke UK,

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BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY Eaton UK, a global expert in power management solutions, believes that fire safety is not a big enough priority in British buildings today. This article looks at how arc faults can be the cause, and why circuit breakers aren’t necessarily providing the required protection.


aton recently conducted a survey of 2,000 UKbased respondents which revealed that many British adults take fire safety for granted. More than half of respondents (54%) confirmed that they never feel concerned that property – ranging from homes to offices and public spaces like hospitals – is not adequately protected against fires triggered by electrical faults. The reality is that electrically ignited fires are common in the UK. In fact, the UK’s leading charity on electrical safety, Electrical Safety First, reports that over half of accidental fires in British homes are caused by electricity, while 25% of all fires in Europe – every year – are caused by an electrical defect.

Arc faults to blame? One of the main causes of electrically ignited fire is an arc fault, an electric micro lightning that can develop quietly over time, creating a hidden set of conditions that escalate without any obvious sign of danger. Many believe that traditional circuit breakers, most commonly found in homes, offices, and factories, provide full protection as they are designed to prevent electrocution and to lower the risk of fires by detecting earth fault currents, shortcircuits and over-current hazards, but that isn’t the case. The best defence against electrically ignited fires is an arc fault detection device

(AFDD). These work by digitally monitoring the wire for specific frequencies that can indicate an arc fault. These can be installed alongside traditional circuit devices like miniature circuit breakers (MCBs), which use thermal and magnetic detection to identify short-circuit and over-current hazards, as well as residual current devices (RCDs), which use a balance transformer to detect earth faults. Thanks to digital technology, power management companies have recently introduced new versions that combine all three devices, providing even greater protection and peace of mind for homeowners. According to government figures, nearly 7,000 fires occur from faulty electrical products in Britain every year – making it even more alarming that there is a common assumption among the majority of Brits that properties are sufficiently protected against fires. Eaton’s recent research also found that 59% of Brits believe building owners should place more emphasis on fire prevention rather than fire containment, although a lack of focus on either creates more risk.

Mitigating the effects of a fire hazard Marc Gaunt, UK Segment Lead, Commercial Buildings at Eaton, takes up the story: “While fire prevention is key, real time contingencies have to be in place should an incident occur. Progress must be made for building owners and their occupants

“Over half of accidental fires in British homes are caused by electricity, while 25% of all fires in Europe are caused by an electrical defect.”

Eaton’s AFDD+ not only detects arc faults, but also incorporates leakage current, shortcircuit and overload protection, to provide all-in-one protection

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to conduct safe and effective evacuations from commercial buildings in times of emergence. After all, this process can be particularly challenging for buildings that are large and complicated in their layout, or occupied by large volumes of people who are unfamiliar with escape routes and procedures – such as patients and visitors at a hospital or commuters at a major station. “A wide variety of technological improvements exist today which can enhance evacuation methods and boost safety hugely, especially for buildings with multiple occupants. From adaptive evacuation signage that can direct people out of the building in the safest way, to smart emergency lighting solutions built following research into crowd behaviour and advances in scenario-modelling technology, innovation is adapting based on the changing nature of risk today. “For buildings of the future to be considered ‘smart’, they should first and foremost be fitted with smart safety technologies to mitigate this changing nature of risk within modern buildings. Whether planning a new building or as part of a retrofit project, creating a culture of safety within commercial and residential buildings is vital.” Eaton UK,

The AFDD+ is the best defence against electrically ignited fires, Eaton believes



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Web Worker for mobile Available as an add on to the Cypher1 Software, this mobile application enables your field operatives to pick up their jobs on their phone or device, action them accordingly and upload the information, (with attachments), directly to the Cypher1 system.

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In addition to our regular range of news and viewpoints, the August issue of ECN will contain special features relating to software and apps, test and measurement, and tools and workwear. There will also be a special supplement on cable, cable management and labelling. 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.

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HELLBERG ADDS SAFETY PRODUCTS TO ITS BRAND PORTFOLIO The Hultafors Group has added Hellberg Safety PPE products to its premium brand portfolio for professional tradesmen and women. With over 50 years’ experience in the PPE industry, the Hellberg Safety specialist equipment includes highly advanced hearing protection products, face protection and communication solutions for personal protection on-site. From face guards, helmets and passive hearing protection with up to three levels of protection from low to extreme noise, Hellberg also supplies secure electronic hearing protectors to suit different work environments. Peter Dumigan, Managing Director of the Hultafors Group UK, says, “Hellberg PPE products complement the Snickers Workwear and Solid Gear safety footwear product portfolios so well – in particular, the newly launched Snickers Workwear ProtecWork heat and flame protective wear”. He adds, “The Hultafors Group now provides the UK market with an even more extensive range of EN-accredited, top quality premium brand products, ideally suited to protect the personal wellbeing and safety of the discerning professional tradesman and woman”.


WIRE IN THE RIGHT LIGHT Tridonic offers a wide range of products for special lighting tasks, and the company’s new LED modules in the seventh-generation SLE excite (EXC) series perfectly meets the criteria for demanding applications in food, fashion and art. Whether it’s freshly baked goods, colourful textiles or valuable works of art, Tridonic’s broad portfolio of LED modules offers the right light for any object from warm, intense browns for pastry displays, rich reds for meat counters or true-colour light for the presentation of fashion collections and works of art. All of Tridonic’s components are selected and developed in a strict qualification process, and patented phosphors optimise the interplay between efficiency and colour rendering. Individual colour temperatures allow for food to be displayed to the very best effect, and the colours are perceived more intensely without losing their natural characteristics. Thanks to a chip upgrade, the seventh-generation modules are more efficient in comparison to the previous version, and they now deliver up to 191 lumens per watt. For further information, visit

For further information, visit


NEW MERIDIAN LED ZFL FLOODLIGHTS The CED Electrical Group’s 25th anniversary year continues to be a bumper new product year for the Meridian brand. Having already introduced new LED wall and under cabinet lighting plus wire free solar lighting, there’s now a brand-new range of LED industrial floodlights. The Meridian ZFL Floodlight range includes 10W, 20W, 30W and 50W sizes, available either with standard switch start activation and an IP65 rating or with PIR operation and an IP44 rating. The floods have a diecast aluminium body, are fitted with SMD chips, deliver a 6500K/daylight colour rendition and a 120-degree beam angle. Lumen output starts at 900 for the 10W flood, and delivers a massive 4500 for the 50W version. Robustly built for the industrial sector, these floodlights are finished in black and are designed for wall mounting. Further details available in CED’s new range catalogue. For your copy, or for further information, call 0208 503 8500. For further information, visit

When it comes to testing portable appliances, the HPAT Series of portable appliance testers from Martindale Electric – one of the most trusted brands in electrical safety – now includes the HPAT400 and new updates to its existing range. They enable both contractors and competent in-house personnel to quickly and safely verify the electrical safety of all types of appliances. Designed to perform safety checks in accordance with the IEE Code of Practice, the lightweight HPAT Series of handheld testers are designed for ease of use with one button automatic testing and ultimate portability. The compact design with a bright backlit display, provides the perfect solution for testing in all locations, particularly under a desk or behind a monitor, where lighting may be restricted. Easy to use, the new HPAT400 from Martindale Electric is an affordable, battery powered PAT tester. Suitable for Class I and Class II appliances, the new basic tester incorporates large pass/fail indicators and simple connection instructions on the tester. For further information, visit

A LA MODE WIRING ACCESSORIES FROM SCOLMORE Scolmore’s Click Mode range of stylish, contemporary, white wiring accessories remains the company’s best-selling wiring accessories collection to date. The range was conceived and developed as a high quality, flexible and modern solution for virtually any domestic wiring requirement. The smooth, contemporary lines of the Mode accessory plate will fit easily into traditional and contemporary designs alike. The modular design allows installers unprecedented flexibility in creating dedicated wiring solutions. Scolmore has continued to invest in this range since it was originally launched, introducing products in visually contrasting versions to meet with Part M regulations. In 2016, the company added the award-winning Mode locating plug socket to the range. It was designed to assist people with impaired vision or poor hand-to-eye coordination to more easily insert a plug into a socket. Other innovations for the range include the addition of USB sockets – now available in one- and two-gang, and single and twin USB options.

HAMILTON EXPANDS METALCLAD RANGE WITH NEW GRID ACCESSORIES Hamilton Litestat has extended its popular Metalclad wiring accessories range to include grid-fixed plates. Suited to robust applications, such as workshops, garages, sheds, schools and industrial premises, the on-trend heavy duty design works equally well in properties seeking a modern industrial finish. The new Metalclad Grid accessories support complex wiring projects where an instant bespoke solution is required. The stylish steel range is available in one to eight-gang blank front plates with white inserts and white surrounds. Within the range is the 20AX double pole key switch ‘Emergency Light Test’ module, which is supplied as standard in three to eightgang units. Also added is the stand-out one-gang 13A double pole key switch fuse spur, which comes in a striking red finish and incorporates a key test switch. The full Metalclad range comes with a one-year guarantee for peace of mind. For further information, visit

For further information, visit

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NEW GUARDCAM WI-FI SECURITY FLOODLIGHT The latest addition to ESP’s GuardCam range of external area protection systems is a new Wi-Fi version – the GuardCam Combined Wi-Fi Security Camera and LED Floodlight – which allows remote viewing, monitoring and notifications via the specially-developed ESP GuardCamDeco app. The new system is a complete, all-in-one, PIR floodlight, camera and DVR system, which offers an ideal low-energy external area protection solution for domestic and commercial applications. It incorporates a high definition 1080p digital camera for superior quality images. The 16 SMD LED security lamp offers 5000K colour light, with 1,500 lumens, to produce a high quality, cool white light output. Flexibility to adjust the LED lamp and PIR is also featured. The PIR sensor provides 180⁰ x 10m coverage. The system is straightforward to install. You simply connect to the mains power and then connect to the available Wi-Fi network. Once fixed to the wall, install the Micro SD card and adjust the system settings via the app.

THE NEWEST CLOTHING INNOVATIONS FROM SNICKERS The 2019 Snickers Workwear catalogue includes market-leading designs and the latest fabric technology innovations from the world’s leading workwear brand. The 200-page catalogue has all you need to know about the UK’s most extensive range of working clothes for professional tradesmen and women. There’s something for every trade you can name in the Snickers Workwear range – AllroundWork, RuffWork, LiteWork and FlexiWork clothing – trousers, jackets, tool vests, shirts, underwear, accessories and much more – plus an extensive range of EN-certified PPE working clothes. Added to which, there’s the most innovative street-smart stretch fabrics for mobile comfort and a layered clothing system that ensures you can choose clothes to suit the weather on-site – rain or shine, wind or snow. Complemented by Snickers profiling and embroidery services and the most extensive range of garment sizes, the Snickers Workwear system delivers the ultimate solution to make every man and woman’s workday easier and safer. For further information, visit

For further information, visit

HIGH PERFORMANCE LED RETROFIT HIGH BAYS Light Efficient Design UK has launched a new range of ultra-bright LED retrofit High Bays, expertly engineered to work efficiently in open fixtures while also affording protection from insects and dust. Designed for use in such large area environments as shopping malls, warehouses and factory floors, the easy to fit E40 range includes 4000 and 5000K models delivering 80+ CRI in operating temperatures of -40°F to 122F°. Available in 90W, 135W and 150W variants replacing up to 400W HID, the LED-8130 model also includes an uplight feature for maximising light output. Rated IP20 with dual stage MOV protection with integrated 6kA surge, this new lower cost range features dynamic temperature control for ensuring a longer, brighter lifetime. Pretested and potted drivers are burnt in three times prior to shipping and protected against vibration and moisture. Low maintenance is assured with a 50,000 hour rated lamp life, and products are backed by a five-year warranty. For further information, visit

VELA ADVANCE DOWNLIGHTS USED IN APARTMENT COMPLEX Advance was chosen for 32 luxury apartments at One Molyneux Street in Marylebone due to them being so easy to install, as well as because of the flexibility of the different styles in the range, including fixed, tilt and antiglare options (3000K and 4000K). These shallow 9W, IP65 LED fire rated fittings, with a true 92lm/w output, offer a performance that meets the high demands of the UK market and the increasing demands of specifiers and contractors. Following this installation, the contractor involved has chosen Advance to install in 300 residences he is working on in Chatham, Kent, because he was so impressed with the install and the finish. The Advance range offers interchangeable bezel finishes of black, satin chrome, polished chrome and gold; making these fittings ideal for both domestic and commercial applications. An LED dimmable driver is included, and the range is independently tested by the LIA for safety and conformance. For further information, visit

THORN’S EQUALINE OFFERS A CONTEMPORARY EDGE Thorn Lighting has announced the launch of the new generation of Equaline, a flexible, modular LED linear lighting system that lets you create the right solution for any space. The Equaline system provides a continuous row of light to provide a bold and contemporary edge to any interior, whilst the homogenous appearance creates a quality lit effect that increases visual comfort. It also offers lumen packages of up to 1760lm per metre, colour temperature of 3000K or 4000K and colour rendering (Ra): 80. The optics provide a unified glare rating (UGR) of <19, for comfortable, compliant and high-quality light and a service life of 50,000 hours. The Equaline system includes different lengths, shapes and optics that can all easily be configured using Thorn’s online configurator. It can create continuous straight lines, going up to three metres with no visible join, as well as L-shaped, U-shaped or square formations using corner elements.

EXTENDED FIREFLY FIRE CLIPS RANGE To help meet the requirements of the updated BS 7671 IET Wiring Regulations, Marshall-Tufflex has extended its range of Firefly fire clips. In the event of a fire, the clips are designed to prevent cables falling and creating a hazard – providing a safer evacuation and allowing easy access for fire service crews. The Firefly range now includes clips suitable for use on Marshall-Tufflex Maxi, Mono, Twin165, Twin Plus, Sterling Profile, Sterling Curve and Odyssey trunking systems. The clips fix to walls or ceilings, and with a spring-loaded design, are quick and easy to install. The Firefly fire clips are fire resistant above 1000°C for up to 120 minutes and feature rounded ends to prevent damage to cables and injury to installers, and the design optimises the usable space within the trunking. The range includes both internal versions that are fitted within the trunking prior to cable installation, and externally fitted variants for a fast and simple retrofit. For further information, visit

For further information, visit

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3-7 pole ceiling rose



THE WORLD’S F IRST 7-POLE ‘ D E C O R AT I V E ’ C E I L I N G R O S E Available in 3 - 7 pole options. Suitable for standard, dimmmable or specialist lighting applications. Easy to remove cover. 100% tested, prewired plugs. Side access terminals for easy testing.


W W W. F L E X 7 . C O. U K / P R O T A

Suitable for standard, dimmable, or specialist lighting applications. Simple plug-in connection allows for quick installation - 1 product to combine power and DALI. The socket is designed to mount onto a standard BESA box, and the decorative cover fits securely onto the socket, with a simple quarter-twist action.

020 8580 1066





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