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VOLUME 40 NO. 07 • JULY 2020
SPECIAL FEATURE: LED LIGHTING
SPECIAL FEATURE: SMART BUILDINGS
SPECIAL FEATURE: CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR
THE SMART HOME REVOLUTION IS HERE Link2Home is redefining everyday living through an innovative range of electrical products – including sockets, wall switches, lights and lamps, security cameras and beyond. ECN takes an in-depth look at its extensive range of smart technology.
ink2Home’s philosophy is simple. The company seeks to redefine everyday living by innovating existing home electricals – fusing clean design, performance and affordability. More and more of us are looking to make our homes that bit smarter. But that doesn’t have to mean complicated and costly technology. For Link2Home, it means taking the electrical products you use every day and improving them to make your home more comfortable, convenient and secure. The company’s products are designed to help its customers better manage day-to-day tasks in their homes and gardens, with the minimum of fuss – just plug and play. Whether it’s app-controlled sockets that let users manage their households from afar, or Wi-Fi enabled LED lights for smarter illumination, Link2Home provides the simple and flexible solutions you need. In this month’s cover story, Nigel Callaghan, UK & Ireland General Manager of Link2Home, explains how the company’s range of plug and play solutions is helping to make homes smarter than ever before.
Turn to page 30 for the full story.
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CONTENTS VOLUME 40 NO. 07 • JULY 2020
SPECIAL FEATURES: LED Lighting Mike Collins looks at how Ovia is 20 continuing to lead the way in developments in fire-rated LED downlights.
Projects is set to launch a 23 Ventola new range of LED lighting products, promising further cost and energy savings for businesses.
Red Arrow Electrical Distribution explores 24 the decision-making processes behind
Steps in the right direction.
choosing the right LED product for the right application.
6 Industry News COVID-19 impact survey results, a face mask charity drive, ongoing issues relating to WEEE compliance, and more.
Christopher Dawes discusses the impact 26 LED technology is having on the lighting industry, and looks ahead to some of the further advances we can expect.
10 Contract News ECA Members get involved with the NHS Nightingale hospitals, news on lighting control for a Grade II building in London, and more.
has delivered significant 28 Goodlight savings for glass manufacturer, European Glass Group.
12 Training Details on NICEIC and Elecsa’s webinar series, a new training strategy from the Heat Pump Association, and more.
18 Key Issue A look at how COVID-19 impacted installers during lockdown, and details of the early signs of recovery for domestic renewable installations.
47 Company Showcase
Callaghan of Link2Home explains 30 Nigel how the company’s plug and play solutions are making homes smarter than ever before.
Sponsored content from across the sector.
Phil Wardell shares his thoughts on the 32 next steps for the home heating market, and details how it is a growth area for the electrical industry. many people now working from 34 With home for the foreseeable future, there are new opportunities for contractors. Marie Parry explains. Glen Krise explores the ways in which 35 installers can get their customers excited about smart lighting technology. Steve Marr explains how human centric 36 lighting and lighting control technology is creating more productive environments.
Circuit Protection & Switchgear Dawson, Commercial Director 38 Paul at Niglon, provides an insight into the company’s latest installer focused product developments.
Features 14 Comment Malte Frohberg of Huber+Suhner explains why high voltages are crucial for an electric vehicle’s safety and security.
Brett Smyth, General Manager of 41 Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the importance of selecting the correct lube for conduit installations.
16 Ask the Expert Mike Lawrence of Hager tackles frequently asked questions regarding AFDD Hybrid Distribution Boards.
Alexandre Golisano of Schneider Electric 44 assesses how switching your switchgear to a ‘SF6-free’ option can help to combat the fight against climate change.
July 2020 | 3
Fire, Safety & Security
STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
elcome to our July issue, and I hope you’re all enjoying the summer thus far. I’m pleased to report that, at the end of June, the ECN team was given the all-clear to return to our offices here in Kent, and it’s certainly been a welcome relief to be able to get back to the daily routine – and adjusting to a new sense of normality along the way too. The fear of a second wave lingers quietly in the distance, but for now, it’s refreshing to see the country starting to open its doors again, and learning about the extent of resumption of works in the construction sector is also highly reassuring news. This month’s Key Issue page has some particularly reassuring insight – detailing how the average number of domestic renewable installations for May increased by 37% compared to the previous month – and our Contract News
pages are once again packed to the brim with details of new projects and recent works. Many of these relate to the opening of the various NHS Nightingale hospitals around the country, and it was excellent to see the industry coming together and playing an invaluable role in ensuring the safe and speedy opening of these facilities. With many still working at home for the foreseeable future, homeowners are starting to look at ways they can improve their living spaces – and for many, this involves the adoption of smarter technologies to enhance control and create more comfortable living environments. As a result, there are new opportunities opening up for contractors, and we’ve several articles in our Smart Buildings and LED Lighting sections that cover this in great detail. Do have a look through these to find out what the opportunities are, and discover how you can help convince householders to get involved with this smart revolution. Enjoy the issue, and let’s hope July proves another step in the right direction.
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INDUSTRY NEWS NEW ECS CHECK TOOL RELEASED ECS Check, a new free-to-use digital system from the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS), allows clients, contractors and others to verify the ECS card status of electrotechnical workers in real-time. For over 50 years, the Joint Industry Board (JIB) has verified applicants’ qualifications in order to issue them with a card and grading. ECS now has more than 175,000 valid cardholders who have been assessed in line with the standards set out by industry. Now, via ECS Check, the electrotechnical industry and its customers have a means to conduct their own audits to verify all electrotechnical personnel on site throughout the supply chain. There are already over 40 clients, main contractors or electrical contractors using the system. Clients and main contractors can also use the ECS Check system to promote apprenticeships and training – for example, by setting required targets for apprentices or
trainees to be part of the workforce. This helps promote social and best value in procurement, as well as allowing clients to specify the expected levels of qualification and competency for their projects. ECS Check is recognised as a Licence to Practice system in Northern Ireland under Procurement Guidance Note 01/16 and is helping to avoid unnecessary duplication of work by providing a free to access, online system which gives real-time access to the ECS database. The system is also being used as a means to verify elements of the competence framework recommended by the Competence Working Groups (as part of the Hackitt Review) and will be increasingly important for electrical, fire, emergency and security systems installers in high risk residential buildings. ECS Check is available through an online portal and smartphone app which can be used for verification of personnel on site. ECS, ecscard.org.uk
RED ARROW LAUNCHES FACE MASK CHARITY DRIVE
ECA AND BESA ISSUE TRAVEL SAFETY GUIDE ECA and BESA have released a joint sector guide on work-related travel and updated their guides on working in close proximity and in areas of increased risk of transfer of COVID-19, such as healthcare settings. The three sector guides are based on the latest government ‘COVID-secure’ workplace guidance and the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Site Operating Procedures (version 4). They provide concise, relevant advice for engineering and building services contractors working across construction and FM. The guides have been drawn up with the support of a COVID-19 expert panel, made up of BESA and ECA safety practitioners. The panel is also helping the two associations to provide informed, practical comments on site health and safety issues to the government and the bodies generating industry-wide guidance in this area. Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR and member of the CLC working group on health and safety says, “The joint BESA/ ECA guides tackle some of the most challenging issues facing engineering services contractors. The content is based on government guidance and the practical input of safety practitioners from across our sector. We are closely monitoring any changes in guidelines from the government and its agencies, and we will update these guides as necessary.” BESA Health and Safety Advisor, Rebecca Crosland, adds, “The Covid-19 Expert Panel have produced important and vital guidance to ensure that best practice information is available to all areas of the industry. The new guidance provides timely and helpful advice on what you may need to consider when travelling for work. We all need to return to work safely while still being mindful of the very real risk of COVID-19.” ECA, eca.co.uk | BESA, thebesa.com
NAPIT RELEASES COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY RESULTS The Chairman of the NAPIT Trade Association and Chief Technical Officer, Frank Bertie (pictured), has discussed the results from the recent COVID-19 member impact surveys, where he addressed member’s concerns about returning to ‘normal’ working life. NAPIT carried out two surveys in May to understand the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had and continues to have on members’ business operations. Bertie comments, “We are proud that our members have been classified as ‘key workers’, and the survey confirmed that 75% of members have been providing emergency services to the general public in these unprecedented times, whilst also supporting family and those requiring shielding. “To enable us to assist our members completing emergency jobs, we launched a new ‘emergency call outs’ search preference to support those members who were able and willing to carry out emergency repairs and maintenance, and also to help consumers find a reliable and certified tradesperson from our membership during this difficult time.” The fast evolution of COVID-19 has caused concern for many businesses, with the added pressure that arises from loss of earnings. Over half of members said they felt it had caused high impact to their business operations, with only 6% of members reporting either little or no impact at all.
6 | July 2020
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Consumer confidence is also adding to the uncertainty, as over three quarters of NAPIT’s members advised they have received no new enquiries for work, while 71% have had contracts paused and 58% reported upcoming work being cancelled. Consequently, it was no surprise that the general consensus from members is that the vast majority feel nervous about the future of their businesses moving forward. “We expected the announcement from the Prime Minister advising ‘to go back to work if you can’t work from home’ to cause some anxiety for tradespeople all over the UK due to working in people’s homes,” Bertie adds. “We wanted to know what impact this had on their ‘back to work’ mindset. The survey confirmed that just under half are now working more than they have been over the past few weeks, but not ‘business as usual’, whilst 35% are awaiting further relaxation of lockdown before returning to work. “Moving forward, it is pleasing to know that 44% of members are feeling comfortable enough to return to work. However, we understand there are others who feel it is slightly premature. Calls for further assistance from the Government to support company directors and the recently self-employed were made by our members to support business.
Red Arrow Electrical Distribution is aiming to raise at least £100,000 for charity by selling branded face masks to anyone who needs them. A spokesperson from the company notes, “Lockdown has proved to be a very difficult time for the electrical industry, with many contractors on furlough and some wholesalers closing their doors to trade. But with positive movement within the industry in recent weeks, Red Arrow has been working on an initiative to fundraise for charity.” Donating profits from the proceeds to a charity of their choice, Red Arrow is selling branded face masks to anyone who needs them – and with the move to make it mandatory, they are ideal to use on all forms of public transport. Made from disposable three-ply material, Red Arrow’s standard, everyday face masks are manufactured and tested to conform to relevant standards and will not divert much needed PPE away from the NHS. Whether you need one, 10 or 100 boxes, call Red Arrow on 0114 279 8999 to place an order and help Red Arrow reach its fundraising aim. Red Arrow, redarrowtrading.com
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ROCK POWER SECURES ROLEC ACCREDITATION A West Midlands Independent Connections Provider [ICP], Rock Power Connections, has secured an official accreditation to install Rolec Electrical Vehicle [EV] charging points. One of the world’s leading specialists in outdoor electrical equipment, Rolec EV is a division of Rolec Services, which specialises in the design and manufacture of a comprehensive range of EV charging solutions. In securing the official Rolec accreditation, Rock Power Connections can now install a range of fast and rapid chargers to meet the demands of businesses and its customers. For larger installations, or for companies with restricted spare capacity, the Worcester-based ICP can also design and install a new connection from the distribution network making it a hassle-free process, supporting the firm’s aim to become the ‘go to’ EV charging installation and infrastructure partner across the region. Rock Power Connections’ additional accreditation with the OLEV workplace charging scheme provides financial support at £500 a socket for up to 20 sockets. This is a welcome incentive for businesses looking to install workplace chargers for their employees or for those seeking to electrify their work fleet. Emma Chetwynd Jarvis, Electrical Connections Manager for Rock Power Connections, comments, “Demand for EV charging points is increasing at a rapid pace, as companies make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles. By working closely with Rolec, we will be able to keep pace with this increasing demand, whilst making the process as seamless as possible, by liaising with the Distribution Network Operator [DNO] to obtain a Point of Connection and in designing a solution that meets individual needs.” Rock Power Connections, rockpowerconnections.co.uk
ONLINE MARKETPLACES CRITICISED OVER WEEE NON-COMPLIANCE The European WEEE Registers Network (EWRN) has released a report that strongly condemns online marketplaces for the high level of WEEE non-compliance. The EWRN is an independent network of governmental organisations, such as the EA in England, that maintains official registers of WEEE compliant companies in countries across Europe. The strongly worded report states, “Online platforms are fully aware that most of their customers abroad are non-compliant.” The report also condemns online marketplaces for claiming that WEEE compliance is too complicated for the small companies, noting that “around about 70-80% of the [WEEE] registered producers …. are SMEs and established in the EU”. Welcoming the report, Recolight CEO, Nigel Harvey, says, “It is really encouraging to see the EWRN take such a strong stand against WEEE freeriding through online marketplaces. There is now, more than ever, an urgent need for Defra to tackle the non-compliance of products sold through online marketplaces.” An independent study in 2018 showed the scale of WEEE non-compliance through online marketplaces. It found that 50-88% of smaller electrical products such as LED lightbulbs, fitness watches and electric screwdrivers offered for sale on one major online marketplace were not registered for WEEE. The situation has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. There has been a significant shift from in-store sales to online sales, which means that the proportion of WEEE non-compliant products sold in the UK will have increased still further. That puts greater pressure on the entire WEEE system: the WEEE that needs to be recycled is financed by compliant companies representing a shrinking market share, who therefore pay higher costs. Recolight, recolight.co.uk
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INDUSTRY NEWS SCOLMORE GROUP NAMED ‘SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR’ Scolmore Group has been voted Supplier of the Year by Electricbase, one of the UK’s largest electrical wholesalers supplying contractors, installers, commercial and industrial users from its network of nationwide branches. The awards ceremony took place on the evening of the company’s annual conference and trade show which took place before lockdown at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. Scolmore Group, along with other key suppliers, had the opportunity to showcase products from across the group of companies – Scolmore, Ovia, ESP and Unicrimp – and network with contacts from all levels of the Electricbase organisation. Scolmore Group’s Sales Director, Kevin Beech, was presented with the ‘Supplier of the Year’ trophy by Electricbase General Manager, Paul Simister, and Commercial Manager, Steve Poulson.
GIRA SCOOPS FOUR ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS AWARDS Gira dominated at this year’s Electrical Wholesaler Awards, winning in four brand awards categories. Gira was awarded the winner for Best Lighting Brand, and highly commended for Best Overall Brand, Best Safety/Security Brand and Best Accessories Brand. The Electrical Wholesaler Awards 2020 were announced industry-wide on June 1 online, with the annual awards ceremony itself cancelled following the COVID-19 outbreak. The awards celebrate the achievements of prominent brands, wholesalers and professionals within the electrical trade sectors. The prizewinners were determined by a combination of online voting followed by an expert judging panel to ensure a greater level of objectivity. Mark Booth, Managing Director of Gira UK, says, “Being acknowledged at the Electrical Wholesaler Awards for a second consecutive year is of great significance to Gira, as it demonstrates a sustained level of market acceptance for our brand and products in the UK. “To win ‘Best Lighting Brand’ is an outstanding achievement, especially as it directly follows the launch of our new corporate branding and 2020 product releases. Gaining highly commended for ‘Best Overall Brand’ is also a huge testament to the company, as it shows we are now viewed as a global brand leader that is committed to growing and supporting proficient distribution channels.” He concludes, “On behalf of Gira, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this possible – we couldn’t do it without you.”
L-R: Paul Simister, Electricbase General Manager; Kevin Beech, Scolmore Group Sales Director; and Steve Poulson, Electricbase Commercial Manager
Paul explains, “As a key trading partner of Electricbase since its inception, The Scolmore Group has consistently delivered in terms of quality, service and reliability. Relationships at all levels within both businesses are strong,
and there is no better accolade than being voted “the best” than by your own customers – a well-deserved award.” Scolmore, scolmore.com
TRAINING AWARD FOR J S WRIGHT APPRENTICE An apprentice with Birmingham-based mechanical and electrical services specialist, J S Wright, has clinched a top regional training award. Shaun Donaldson, who works out of the Aston headquarters of the 130-year-old company, was named Mechanical Engineering Services Apprentice of the Year for the Midlands by JTL, a leading training provider for the building services industry, on the completion of his training. One of more than 1,500 apprentices in their final year of training with JTL, Shaun received a trophy and a cheque for £100 at the Jurys Inn Hotel in Hinckley – and is now in the running for the title of JTL Apprentice of the Year at the national awards to be held in London in October. Having completed his NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing and Heating with the provider, Shaun is currently working in J S Wright’s prefabrication department, producing fully loaded heat interface unit backboards and other modular units for multi-million-pound apartment schemes. Shaun was assessed against four key elements that make up the apprenticeship framework: practical work on site, theoretical knowledge, key skills and industrial test scores. Paul Walton, JTL Plumbing and Heating Training Officer, says, ‘’Shaun is an extremely committed, conscientious and polite student – and from my first session with him, he instantly showed maturity beyond his years. “Due to his fantastic interpersonal skills, he’s someone his classmates often go to for help and advice. This has made him very popular amongst his peers and helped him to achieve his Level 2 NVQ.” J S Wright, jswright.co.uk Shaun Donaldson (left) is congratulated on receiving his award by Paul Millington, Leader of the J S Wright Apprentice Academy
Gira UK, gira.com
ECN COMPETITION The winner of ECN's competition in the May issue – the outdoor lighting and power selection box bundle, courtesy of Timeguard – was randomly chosen as Louise Ryan of Lincliff-Task Ltd in Nottingham. The competition feature will return in our August issue.
SELECT PRESIDENT PRAISES TRADE BODIES Select President, Kevin Griffin (pictured), has praised the way in which construction trade and professional associations have stepped up to the plate to protect members’ interests during the coronavirus crisis. The head of the influential electrotechnical association said the bodies have made enormous efforts to keep members updated and focused at a time of unprecedented chaos and uncertainty. Griffin comments, “It’s said that you only ever see someone’s true character in a crisis. Well, during the current outbreak, trade associations like Select have come into their own and demonstrated their unique and unquestionable value to members. “As not-for-profit organisations, the sole purpose and principle of Select and its fellow trade bodies is their members’ welfare and this commitment has shone through in the past three months. I’ve been enormously impressed by the way Select and other organisations have rallied to help keep members updated and focused during an extremely worrying time. “As a contractor myself, I know that even a friendly call asking how you are makes a huge difference. Knowing that someone out there is thinking of your welfare – and not your wallet – means the world to us.” By way of example, Griffin saluted the emergency measures implemented by Select, which included refunding 30% of membership fees for 2020, creating a dedicated COVID-19 web hub and issuing clear and expert advice via phone, email and online. He adds, “With face-to-face contact reduced, Select has used every alternative measure to reach out and reassure members that they’re not enduring this unprecedented incident alone. As the impact of the pandemic started to become clear, it was truly heartening to see The Walled Garden spring into action with a host of practical and proactive measures.” Select, select.org.uk
8 | July 2020
Industry News.indd 8
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CONTRACT NEWS BOUYGUES CHOSEN FOR TURNKEY DELIVERY OF NEW DATA CENTRE Bouygues Energies & Services Contracting, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, has been selected by VIRTUS Data Centres for the turnkey delivery of its LONDON7 data centre. LONDON7 is the third facility on VIRTUS’ Stockley Park campus, which is the largest in London and the UK. Bouygues Energies & Services Contracting will be responsible for the design, build, electrical and mechanical services and commissioning of the data centre. The TIER III data centre will be built with an overall floor area of 26,000m² including 13,000m² of technical IT data space. When fully deployed, the facility will offer 28MW of critical IT load using state-of-the-art technologies to cater to high-density customer requirements. It will deploy a highly efficient flooded room principal for cooling, including chilled water and air hot-aisle containment at the rack level. This will significantly decrease energy and water consumption compared to the typical data centre performance characteristics. The facility will consist of 8Nr self-contained data halls, all designed eco-efficiently and capable of subdivision for maximum flexibility from a rack in a shared space, to their own suite or data hall, each with its own dedicated power and innovative cooling systems.
Bouygues Energies & Services Contracting will bring an innovative modular solution to achieve the quality, speed to market, scalability and flexibility required in this state-ofthe-art data centre. In collaboration with its core supply chain partners, the 28MW power units will be assembled, pre-tested and pre-commissioned at the manufacturing
site in Blackburn. The final installation, test and commissioning of the power units will be executed after 12 weeks of pre-fabrication and deployed in approximately 9MW increments across a nine-day period. Bouygues Energies & Services, bouygues-es.co.uk
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ECA MEMBERS SUPPORT NHS NIGHTINGALE HOSPITALS The building of NHS Nightingale Hospitals in England during the pandemic has been supported by a range of ECA Members, including Interserve, Kier, NG Bailey and Power Electrics. Other ECA Members were involved in supporting hospital construction in Scotland and Wales, including Balfour Beatty, Highadmit Projects, JM Walden, RDM Electrical & Mechanical, Alpine Works and IWEC Electrical. Temporary new hospitals have been built across the country, in locations including Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, London, Glasgow, and Cwmbran in Wales. Helen Atkinson, ECA Director of Member Services, comments, “It was pleasing to see ECA Member businesses helping to build these emergency hospitals at this critical time for our country. It highlights the importance of engineering services to the successful delivery of key infrastructure projects. “Many ECA Member businesses are continuing to work through these challenging times to ensure that construction projects continue and that existing buildings are maintained and they should all be proud of the part they are playing.” Interserve was involved with the Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, where 400 employees worked over 86,000 hours, sometimes 16 hours
10 | July 2020
Contract News.indd 10
a day. They laid 64 miles of electrical cable, 10 football pitches worth of vinyl flooring and 10 miles of copper piping. Matt Loffman, Design and Technical Manager, Interserve Engineering Services, states, “There was a distinct and overwhelming feeling of national pride in being part of the team in delivering this project. I am proud to have played my part in supporting my colleagues in the successful delivery. It’s something that will live with me forever.” ECA Members have given active support to the national effort to protect societal health and the NHS in other ways. For example, Walden Security, a division of T Clarke, supplied new HIKVision thermal fever scanning cameras to the NHS. In addition, other ECA Members including Lindhurst Engineering and the University of Bath, either provided valuable PPE to the NHS or led campaigns to encourage donations of key protective equipment. There were also many other donations from ECA Members to the NHS, including HE Simm, donating 500 reusable water bottles to Liverpool hospitals and Hilton Cannon Electrical, providing some Easter cheer to hospitals in Nottingham by donating Easter eggs.
Worcestershire-based independent connections provider, Rock Power Connections, has finalised the installation of an electrical supply to Alban House, a Grade II listed façade that has recently been converted into a residential development in Hereford City Centre. The building, which had previously stood empty for over six years, has been converted into 18 luxury apartments and two commercial units. Rock Power Connections was appointed to upgrade and install the new electrical supply for the residential development, which included the implementation of a new onsite substation and individual meters for each apartment. Due to the Saxon heritage of the site, Rock Power Connections appointed an archaeologist to oversee all excavations and ensure the history of the building was preserved. This included housing the 500KVA packaged substation in a listed coach house, which required additional listed-building consent. Rob Davies, Project Manager for Rock Power Connections, explains, “Due to the site being of historical interest, upfront planning was key to this project to address and mitigate all potential issues. “We encountered various challenges whilst completing this project, including finding oyster shells, which caused delays, and meant the team had to work closely with Western Power Distribution and their contractor to reschedule works. However, we were all very pleased with the end result and particularly in seeing a new development of modern apartments within the local community.” Alban House is one of the latest connection projects to have been completed by the growing independent connections provider, where the Rock team liaised very closely with Western Power Distribution, the Council and the archaeologist to ensure the installation was treated sensitively, whilst adhering to the project timescale. Rock Power Connections, rockpowerconnections.co.uk
CONTRACT NEWS LANDMARK FOR BIRMINGHAM LIGHTING PROJECT A four-year project to bring energy efficient LED street lights to Birmingham’s Housing amenity lighting has reached its first major landmark, after year one works were successfully completed by Nottingham-based civil and electrical engineering firm, McCann, in April this year. The non-PFI housing lighting maintenance upgrade project was awarded to McCann by Birmingham City Council in 2019 and will see an investment of £3.8m to upgrade and maintain 3,000 existing lighting units with modern LED lighting technology and associated infrastructure. Works started in April 2019 with an expected project completion date of March 31, 2023. The cutting-edge lighting technology being installed in Birmingham is expected to bring significant benefits to both city residents and the local authority. Paul Laythorpe, Highways Electrical Asset Manager for Birmingham City Council, explains, “As with many local authorities across the country, we see the benefits of making a significant financial investment in order to bring the latest street lighting technology to our roads. Replacing assets that are beyond their useful life with energy efficient equivalents is not only cost effective for us, but also for our residents. “Once complete, our non-PFI housing lighting scheme will reduce the electricity associated with Housing street lighting by 50% and bring Birmingham City Council’s annual spend on housing street lighting down by £75,000. It will also reduce light pollution and create a much safer environment for road users and pedestrians.”
The four-year contract also includes the collation and verification of existing housing lighting asset data using mobile technology and GIS mapping. Paul and his team are happy with the progress made in year one and have found working alongside McCann straightforward in achieving successful delivery. McCann, mccann-ltd.co.uk
ASITE HELPING PROPERTY DEVELOPERS TO BUILD HOMES
FIRE DETECTORS HELP PROTECT BRISTOL HOSPITAL Nittan Europe, a UK manufacturer of conventional and addressable fire detection products and systems, has seen its its Evolution analogue addressable fire detectors installed into the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol. Built in less than three weeks at the University of West of England Frenchay campus, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol has the capacity to provide up to 300 intensive care beds for coronavirus patients if local services need them. The new facility is one of seven Nightingale hospitals set up around the country as part of a massive NHS effort to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency. Nittan’s fire detectors have been incorporated into Ramtech Electronics’ WES wireless firm alarm system, which is designed to provide a simple, fast and secure method of communicating fire and medical emergencies in the complex environmental conditions of construction sites. Whilst WES has been designed to provide temporary protection on construction sites, its ease of use, reliability and quality made it ideal for use in the temporary Nightingale Hospital. Wireless fire alarm systems are ideal for temporary sites as they don’t require specialist trades to set up, and any number of call points can be deployed in minutes and linked wirelessly to cover large or small sites. The signal passes through all commonly found materials including steel, concrete and stone. Nittan Evolution EVC-DP dual optical detectors are incorporated into the WES system. The detectors feature dual optical technology to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. The WES wireless fire alarm system featuring the Nittan detectors has been installed into the communal and welfare areas of NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol.
A Common Data Environment (CDE) solution from Asite is being used by Croydon Council’s development company, Brick By Brick, as part of its works on a number of housing projects across the South-London town. Asite is a platform that enables organisations working on large capital projects to come together, plan, design, and build with seamless information sharing across the entire supply chain. Brick By Brick was established in 2016 by Croydon Council to design and build new homes across the borough, with both private and affordable properties to buy and rent. Asite was awarded the multi-year contract, which will see the platform implemented to streamline document management and workflow processes across their project portfolio. Rob Clifton, Asite SVP for the UK and Europe, says, “Millions of people in the UK are living in an unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable home and face issues such as overcrowding or financial instability. Our platform will play an instrumental role in helping to bring innovative and necessary housing projects to life, increasing the availability of affordable housing to the residents of Croydon.” Chloe Phelps, Head of Design and Commercial at Brick By Brick, adds, “Brick By Brick has a significant pipeline of schemes, many of which are smaller sites. This means we
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CP TAKES CONTROL AT OLD ADMIRALTY BUILDING Control expert, CP Electronics, has supplied its fully addressable and networkable RAPID lighting control system for use in the newly refurbished Old Admiralty Building in London. The building has been home to some of the most famous figures in history, including Winston Churchill when he was First Lord of the Admiralty. The Grade II listing of the building presented many challenges to the design and installation team, as decorative cornices and wood panelling could not be disturbed; so the installation of wiring routes and DALI cabling required careful consideration and planning. CP’s Rapid system was specified for the project to control all lighting throughout the building, including the roof and external lighting. The project utilises CP’s full Rapid system, comprising 217 DALI gateways and 52 pluggable lighting control modules (LCM’s) – in addition to 500 six-pole Vitesse modular LCM’s for the DALI and power to the lights. The installation had to ensure that each rise demise has its own area controller, with five riser demises over the five floors to allow for control via local occupancy detectors and scene plates along with switches for roof and plant lighting. CP also supplied 1,800 PIR’s and a head-end PC with emergency monitoring to provide full monitoring, testing and reporting which can quickly identify issues with specific luminaires or devices that can be easily rectified. Corridor hold has been used to ensure occupants never walk into unlit spaces, and scene setting is available in all offices and meeting/conference rooms. The emergency testing procedure is automated with function and duration tests that are set up as a scheduled calendar event. This means a report can be easily generated and exported to Excel for analysis by the FM team, enabling them to fulfil their due diligence for emergency lighting tests and maintenance.
simultaneously manage several different sets of partners and a large volume of reporting and correspondence. As we move into the next phase of delivery, Asite will transform how we manage the large quantities of information received from contractors and consultants, with the commenting features helping us to provide feedback in an organised and trackable fashion.” Lion Green Road development is one project example that will use Asite’s platform. The residential-led scheme, designed by Mary Duggan Architects, will deliver 157 dwellings as part of Brick By Brick’s ambitious strategy to deliver new and affordable homes across the borough of Croydon.
CP Electronics, cpelectronics.co.uk
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TRAINING PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME GAINS IMPORTANCE As the construction industry returns to work, the Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust (SECTT) and Scottish Joint Industry Board (SJIB) have stressed the importance of preparing the next generation of electricians through the Pre-apprenticeship Programme. Since its launch in 2000, the programme has given thousands of youngsters a thorough grounding in the industry and provided employers with a succession of confident and well-equipped apprentices. The SJIB and SECTT now say this pathway from school to college and full-time employment as an Electrical Installation Modern Apprentice will be more vital than ever in the new industrial landscape. Fiona Harper, The Secretary of the SJIB, says, “As we emerge and refocus from the pandemic, rebuilding the construction industry and preparing the next generation of electricians has never been more important. Once employers are ready to take on apprentices again, those who have taken a pre-apprenticeship programme will make extremely attractive candidates. “The Pre-apprenticeship Programme is vital as it gives people of any age a purpose and helps prepare them for the time when employers will contemplate taking on apprentices and adult trainees again.” Delivered at colleges across Scotland working with SECTT on behalf of the SJIB, the programme was launched in 2000 as an enhancement to the Modern Apprenticeship in Electrical Installation.
It now provides would-be electricians with basic training in hand skills, health and safety and an understanding of the college system. Pre-apprentices are also provided with personal protective clothing by SECTT and, once they have completed the health and safety requirements, are awarded an SJIB ECS safety card to allow them on site. Anne Galbraith, CEO of SECTT, adds, “The advantages of the programme are three-fold, with pre-apprentices, employers and colleges all benefiting. “Pre-apprentices gain an invaluable insight into the role of an electrician, helping them to make an informed career choice. Employers gain a ‘job ready’ candidate who has shown a good attitude and understanding of what’s
TECHNICAL WEBINAR SERIES PROVES A HIT NICEIC and Elecsa have once again underlined their commitment to raising standards, promoting technical excellence, and supporting their registrants as they deliver an all-new series of their hit webinar programme, The Wire. Free and exclusive to NICEIC and Elecsa contractors, the latest round of The Wire has reached an impressive 8,000 viewers since its launch in April. Broadcasting eight episodes to date (at time of publication) – and covering key topics such as RCD types and testing, EICR coding and SPDs – the CPD accredited series has delivered over six hours of in-depth technical know-how to registrants. As the series progresses, and in direct response to customer feedback, The Wire switched to a new regular slot of 8pm on alternate Wednesdays from June 17. Keeping contractors firmly in mind, upcoming episodes will continue to focus on relevant topics including PRS, guidance and working with PME. “We are delighted with the response we have seen to the series so far,” says John O’Neill, NICEIC’S Technical Director. “At a time when face-to-face training has had to pause momentarily, it is vital that we keep our registrants at the forefront of technical insight and developments, and The Wire is proving to be the right tool for the job. “Undoubtedly, we are pleased with the viewing numbers, but for me, what is more encouraging is the feedback we are receiving from our customers. Of those polled, 95% rated the sessions as ‘excellent’, with 97% confirming they were extremely likely to tune in again. Reactions such as this prove to me that we are on the right track and that we are providing the tools our registrants truly need. As we move into the summer months, we will remain focused on delivering subject matter that is important to our registrants as we strive to build upon this solid foundation.” Previous episodes are available to all registered NICEIC and Elecsa contractors via the customer portal. Visit niceic.com/contractor/essentials/ events/the-wire for details of upcoming webinars. NICEIC, niceic.com | Elecsa, elecsa.co.uk
required. And when the pre-apprentices return for a Modern Apprenticeship, colleges gain students who are motivated and understand the college system.” This programme is offered in a number of colleges that already deliver the SJIB Electrical Apprenticeship and Adult Training Scheme, and can be delivered in different ways to suit each college’s resources. Courses are delivered on either a full or part-time basis, with some colleges offering the Building Services National Progression Award or Electrical National Certificate, and others providing a mix of units with a college certificate. SECTT, sectt.org.uk | SJIB, sjib.org.uk
HEAT PUMP ASSOCIATION SEEKS A ‘GREEN RECOVERY’ The Heat Pump Association (HPA) has launched a training strategy that lays out how the heating industry needs to transform to enable the wider adoption of heat pumps throughout the UK building stock. The upskilling of heating installers provides the potential for long-term job growth at the same time as helping to achieve net zero emissions; something that could form an important part of a ‘green recovery’. The strategy contains five clear steps for how a plumbing and heating engineer can be trained to meet the new challenges we face in trying to achieve the UK goal of a zero carbon future, reducing administration costs, and recommending to government that they support a training voucher scheme for the first 5,000 installers to go through the new course. The strategy comes at the same time two industry-wide consultations are published on qualification criteria for training courses. Graham Wright, Chairman of the HPA, says, “The Committee on Climate Change has made clear that we need to move to heat pumps taking over from gas boilers as the default replacement heating system within the next 10-15 years. This is ambitious, but entirely achievable if we move now to retrain and upskill a market that already exists of around 120,000 existing heating engineers. “The role of installers cannot be underestimated in decarbonising heat. The strategy we are launching, together with the consultations on qualification criteria released earlier [in June], are key steps towards achieving this and provide the potential for green jobs as we look to recover from the current crisis.” Heat Pump Association, heatpumps.org.uk
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HAVE FAITH IN A HIGHER VOLTAGE Malte Frohberg, Head of Product and Portfolio Management, LF Automotive at Huber+Suhner, explains why high voltages are crucial for an electric vehicle’s safety and security.
s the current climate and consumer consciousness turn their attention to the wellbeing of our planet as concerns for emissions grow, consumer and corporate demand for Electric Vehicles (EVs) is rising exponentially. As a result, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have been put under pressure to meet ever-increasing demands as well as ecological standards. Challenged with optimising the sustainability and performance of vehicles while working to deliver on a mass scale, the automotive sector urgently requires solutions which will ensure the longevity, efficiency and quality of each and every vehicle.
Huber+Suhner’s standard modular High Voltage Distribution Unit increases the longevity and uptime of EVs to enhance operational value
One of the most salient issues among automotive OEMs at present is the critical need to effectively manage and distribute the high voltages coursing through the EV system within the vehicle to ensure safe, optimised operations. This is essential for the efficient transmission, storage and use of power during and after charging to ensure the health of the vehicular infrastructure. Without it, EV systems are susceptible to deterioration, damage and failure as a result of voltage overload, which can be especially costly when entire fleets are in need of replacement or repair. Particularly during transit where harsh conditions such as mechanical abrasion, moisture and extreme temperatures are unavoidable, the life span of the vehicle is severely shortened, resulting in operation downtime, disrupted travel, dissatisfied customers and lost revenue. To avoid such problems, the EV industry faces a growing strain to deliver resilient, robust technological solutions as the number of electric vehicles on the road increases. Thus, it has become urgent for manufacturers to incorporate performance-enhancing innovations within their models in an efficient and cost-effective manner. To facilitate this, a compact, safe and lightweight system is required to deliver reliable, high-quality EV performance and guarantee manufacturers remain competitive within the automotive market.
Unlocking the volts Technical innovations from Huber+Suhner, for example, can be implemented to enable stronger resilience and enhanced vehicle safety by effectively distributing high voltage through all EV components.
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The company’s standard modular High Voltage Distribution Unit (mHVDU) is a specialised solution which increases the longevity and uptime of EVs to enhance operational value – particularly that of commercial vehicles – even in harsh environments. With the ability to withstand temperature fluctuations, vibrations and mechanical impact, the mHVDU ensures the security and protection of cables and components operating within the vehicle. In the development of the mHVDU, Huber+Suhner guarantees consistent performance levels throughout the vehicle’s extended lifespan. Designed to manage up to 800 volts DC while adhering to the industry’s highest standards, the mHVDU is installed with a robust, reliable operating system. This ensures seamless, uninterrupted journeys and eliminates concerns of short circuit and failure within EV fleets, guaranteeing manufacturer efficiency and protecting revenue. The unit’s weight and space allow for compact installation, saving on space, weight and cost and resulting in a reduction in lead time from 12 weeks to just two to four weeks. The box itself is very versatile – with several fusing options to adapt to many existing systems and the modular layout allowing scalability and OEM compatibility. Finally, its simplified housing and standardised components ensure the highest standards of performance in commercial, industrial and special EVs. The configurable nature of the solution offers even greater flexibility to the consumer and the interoperability of the technology saves significant costs as installation is simplified, and the need for entire system replacements are avoided.
Completing the circuit
“In order to maintain an industry lead, automotive manufacturers must enhance the value of their vehicles, and prioritise system upgrades to do so.”
As EVs continue to be in high demand, the technology supporting this sector is continually advancing and innovation is imperative to help the industry deliver high performance and quality. Huber+Suhner, with its extensive experience in the automotive market, can offer a range of full-coverage solutions. Its mHVDU comes as a standalone solution, and as part of the complementary Radox system, to overcome industry challenges and consistently improve performance levels to benefit businesses globally. When implemented in its entirety, the Radox solutions offer reassurance, convenience and full customisation capabilities for a tailored, finalised solution. Whilst standardised to the highest quality, the mHVDU may require recertification when used in conjunction with OEM equipment or outsourced components. However, the Radox complete solution eradicates this step, carrying the Huber+Suhner certification guarantee with the assurance of readily available operation qualifications without the need for external officiation. In order to maintain an industry lead, automotive manufacturers must enhance the value of their vehicles, and prioritise system upgrades to do so. The alternative is to face revenue leakage, time wastage and – at worst – unsafe vehicular operations. Huber+Suhner is dedicated to delivering high performance with minimal hassle. By cutting lead times and offering vast customisation capabilities, the company’s solutions are able to meet specialised demands. From development to installation, the Radox portfolio is streamlined and optimised to upgrade and futureproof EVs worldwide, no matter how heavy duty. Huber+Suhner, hubersuhner.com
ASK THE EXPERT
ASK THE EXPERT: AFDD HYBRID DISTRIBUTION BOARDS Hager’s newly launched AFDD Hybrid Distribution Boards offer many installation, compliance, and aesthetic benefits for a variety of commercial projects. Mike Lawrence tackles FAQs from contractors.
Why do I need to install AFDD?
Mike Lawrence is Commercial Marketing Manager at Hager
Arc fault detection devices (AFDD) identify current flow and voltage curves that indicate an arc fault and then automatically disconnect the affected circuit. This significantly reduces the risk of fire due to faulty conductors and connections. The 18th Edition of BS 7671 has recommended the use of AFDD to provide additional fire protection.
What type of project is the Hager AFDD hybrid board suitable for? Any small commercial project such as student accommodation, hotels, and houses in multiple occupations (HMO) are ideally placed. Offering contractors ease of installation, the boards are also available preconfigured as required, prior to arrival on site. As an example, Hager recently supplied 28 hybrid boards for a student accommodation construction project.
They had been pre-assembled by Hager’s Tailored Solutions team, so the on-site contractor team had the straightforward task of simple connection which saved time and storage.
How can the Hager Tailored Solutions team help me? It can be easy to fall into the routine of specifying products based on previous applications, but this might not always be the ideal solution. By getting involved with a project at an earlier stage, Hager’s Tailored Solutions team can work with specifiers and contractors to develop the very best solution for the exact requirements. This collaborative approach ensures a better understanding of the bespoke challenges developers, contractors and specifiers face, and it allows the team to work with them to develop a tailored solution based on performance and need.
“It can be easy to fall into the routine of specifying products based on previous applications, but this might not always be the ideal solution.”
The team can work with customers to supply a pre-configured and fully terminated hybrid board to site. Not only does this speed up the installation timescales on commercial projects; it also provides peace of mind that the boards have been fully tested before leaving Hager’s factory and that they meet current British Standards.
What additional benefits come with the AFDD hybrid board? As well as being fitted with AFDD protection, the design of the Hager Hybrid Distribution Board has focused on providing plenty of space and accessibility so contractors can work comfortably and with ease. In addition, the boards are aesthetically attractive, so they can be placed in suitable locations that may be visible without detracting from the surrounding environment. Hager, hager.com/uk
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KEY ISSUE MCS certifies lowcarbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources
THE RENEWABLES RECOVERY Ian Rippin, the Chief Executive of MCS, has announced that there are early signs of recovery for domestic renewable installations. Here, we look at how COVID-19 impacted installers during the lockdown and hear how they are now recovering.
Ian Rippin, the Chief Executive of MCS
he Chief Executive of MCS said he could see some early signs of recovery in the UK’s domestic renewable energy installation market as the government’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions begin to lift, but warned investment in a green economy was needed to increase economic and environmental resilience. The national certification scheme for renewable technology has worked closely with its stakeholder community over the last few months to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19. Back in April, it reported that 90% of its installers had seen an adverse impact on their business, with cash flow and survival concerns topping the list of worries.
The impact of lockdown The scheme witnessed a drop in installation numbers in March which coincided across all types of technology, including MCS certified heat pumps and solar PV installations. In April, they dropped more dramatically with the average number of commissioned installations under the MCS scheme falling by 77.5% compared with February. However, early indications now do show encouraging signs of recovery following the easing of strict lockdown measures, with the average number of installations for May increasing by 37% compared to the previous month. On May 10, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the ‘road map’ for easing lockdown in the UK, as part of a three-phase plan to return the country back to normal life. This easing was predominantly adopted by England, with tighter restrictions remaining in place across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS says, “There is no denying, our industry and our installers have been hit hard by this pandemic. We continue to monitor the installation data closely and currently this positivity shows a consistently improving picture.”
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The impact on installers Thermal Earth is an MCS certified installer that specialises in heat pump installations. Nick Salini, its Director, is encouraged by recent activity, commenting, “We have seen signs of recovery in terms of the levels of enquiries across the board, both directly in Wales, but also from our installation partners across the UK. March and April were a worrying time for all, but since early May the situation seems to be improving across the industry. We hope that these enquiries turn into a solid pipeline of live projects in the coming months.” Matrix Energy Systems is a Sheffieldbased MCS certified installer specialising in intelligent renewable energy, heating and cooling solutions in both the domestic and commercial markets. Its Managing Director, Paul Leedham, says, “As a business, you never plan for the eventuality of lockdown and what that brings – so it has been a really difficult time for everyone. “We are fortunate to have a great team of people working for us, so although we had to furlough our employees, we all really embraced the opportunity and focused on making process improvements. Because of this, we’ve definitely become more agile through a difficult period and it means that as a business we are entering this new phase leaner, fitter and with better processes and procedures.” He adds, “We managed to do Zoom video calls with customers during March and April. Our work comes from word of mouth and we are fortunate to have a guaranteed pipeline of jobs. Now that we are back up and running, we’ve already completed several heat pump installations. May has been busier and we are even hiring another member of staff.” Ian, a Northwest based installer adds, “April was a really hard month with virtually no enquiries. During May we’ve done little installation work as we do still have some staff furloughed, but enquiries have
“Early indications show encouraging signs of recovery, with the average number of installations for May increasing by 37% compared to the previous month.”
improved dramatically with 50% of these already converted into orders. As sites open up, we are going back to complete projects that we started prior to lockdown and going forward, June already looks good with additional orders coming in and a pipeline of orders for the next six months ahead. I’m feeling positive.”
A green recovery In recent weeks, there has been mounting pressure on the government to focus on a green recovery, with calls from campaigners and the Prince of Wales to prioritise low-carbon solutions to ease the economic fallout of coronavirus. Ian adds, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and the global economic shutdown, there is no better time to ensure that government policy enables our greener future and the achievement of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “I think we have now hit recovery mode and I believe, a unique opportunity to refocus our efforts and begin to reap benefits in accelerating investment in the low carbon economy.” MCS, mcscertified.com
ABOUT MCS MCS is a standards organisation that creates and maintains standards that allows for the certification of products, installers and their installations. Associated with these standards is the certification scheme, run on behalf of MCS by Certification Bodies who hold UKAS accreditation to ISO 17065. MCS certifies low-carbon products and installations used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources. MCS is also a mark of quality, and membership of MCS demonstrates adherence to these recognised industry standards; highlighting quality, competency and compliance.
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FIRE DEFIANT & REGS COMPLIANT OVIA®, YOUR LONG TERM TRUSTED PARTNER FOR FIRE
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Products which incorporate our award-winning FlameGuard® system technology, benefit from a 30, 60 & 90 minute fire rating and are acoustic and airflow compliant. Complies with Part B, P, E, C, L | Acoustic tested to BS EN ISO 10140-2: 2010 & BS EN ISO 10140-3: 2010+A1: 2015 whilst satisfying Robust Details Appendix F requirements | Air-ﬂow tested to BS 5250: 2011 | Fire rated in accordance with EN 1365-2: 2014, BS 476: Part 21: 1987
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Contractors have always been able to rely on Ovia Lighting to offer a range of products and solutions
OVIA — THE SHINING STAR IN THE FIRE-RATED LED DOWNLIGHT MARKET Mike Collins, Sales Director with OVIA, looks at how the company continues to lead the way in developments in fire-rated LED downlights.
As a result, contractors have always been able to rely on Ovia Lighting to offer a range of products and solutions to help them meet the evolving challenges they face, with the growing FlameGuard and Inceptor downlights ranges. New guidelines from NHBC on recessed light fittings have provided the industry with its most recent challenge. With the increasing use of I-joists as part of floor construction – around 70% of new build homes feature engineered timbers joists, as opposed to solid timber
t was 2005 when the first firerated downlight was launched within the electrical contracting sector. The product was the FlameGuard fire-protected and acoustic-rated downlight and the manufacturer was Scolmore Group company, Ovia. Since then, the company has continued to innovate and drive the market by adapting its fire-rated downlights range to meet the changing construction environment and associated legislations.
joists which dominated the market 20 years ago – the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC) has updated its technical guidance on recessed light fittings in ceilings to intermediate floors in houses. As a result, the NHBC now requires test evidence showing that recessed downlights are suitable for a similar I-joist and plasterboard combination. For many years, the market for fire-rated downlights has been the cause of some confusion, with many manufacturers making claims but not always having the technical
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LED LIGHTING data to back up these claims. The NHBC guidance on the use of fire-rated downlights makes it very clear that only correctly tested products can be used in the type of floor construction in which they are being fitted. Ovia Lighting’s full range of Inceptor and FlameGuard fire-rated downlights have always been subject to the strictest test measures to ensure they offer full compliance and have the corresponding test certification to meet the very latest regulations. As such, they have all been tested for fire resistance compliance with all ceiling types – solid timber, I-joists and metal web joists. The company has recently successfully completed further fire resistance testing to demonstrate that its fire-rated downlights satisfy the new guidelines issued by the NHBC. The testing was carried out by Efectis – a major player in fire science, covering all fire safety expertise in testing and modelling, certification and inspection around the world. The new test consisted of a 30 minute I-joist construction – 220mm I-Joist; 15mm Type A Plasterboard and 22mm Floor Deck (which Ovia believes to be the most common construction types now used within the industry). All fire-rated downlights from the Ovia Inceptor and FlameGuard ranges formed part of the test. Today, Ovia offers a fire-rated LED downlight product to suit virtually every installation requirement. The focus continues to be on developing products that offer the very best in quality and features, represent excellent value for money and are designed to optimise performance, energy savings and safety.
Ovia Inceptor Omni Ovia’s Inceptor Omni is a fire-rated, dimmable downlight – rated for 30, 60 and 90 minutes. It is one of the original premium Inceptor products first launched in 2017. With flexibility and ease of installation as vital attributes, its key features are an adjustable colour temperature switch – allowing the selection of colour temperatures to suit the installation; interchangeable fixed and adjustable bezels; and an insulation support bracket for use when insulation is present. It comes pre-wired with Flow connector - the prewired connection system that speeds up installation and allows faster removal for testing and replacement of components. The colour temperature switch is a built-in, three position switch which allows for instant change of the colour temperature. In utilising the latest Chip-On-Board LED lighting technology, and using a faceted front lens, Ovia has modified the single point of light to give a dichroic effect, resulting in a halogen type illumination. This is regarded as the most popular type of lighting effect.
Ovia’s Inceptor Omni downlight is one of the original premium Inceptor products
Each Inceptor Omni has the option for a fixed or adjustable bezel. It comes with the fixed bezel as standard in the desired finish - white, chrome or satin chrome. A simple twist and lock feature means the bezel can be quickly and easily replaced. Inceptor Omni comes with an optional insulation support bracket which fixes directly onto the Omni. This means that insulation is lifted away from the unit, maintaining a minimum air space and helping to dissipate any heat generated.
“NHBC guidance on the use of fire-rated downlights makes it clear that only correctly tested products can be used in the type of floor construction in which they are being fitted.”
Ovia Inceptor Nano5 Ovia’s Inceptor Nano5 is a compact, firerated, dimmable downlight, which packs an array of features into its shallow profile. The competitively-priced, high-performance 4.8W LED downlight is suitable for a variety of domestic applications. There are two models – Inceptor Nano5 Fixed and Inceptor Nano5 Adjustable, which allows the luminaire to be moved and directed to where light is needed. Both feature a compact, high-powered driver which is suitable for installation in a fire rated ceiling and incorporates the Flow connector. Inceptor Nano5 Fixed is designed for a 60mm cut out, to fit a recess depth of 45mm, while the Adjustable version is designed for a 75mm cut out, with a recess depth fitting of 54mm. Inceptor Nano5 offers a 30, 60, and 90 minute fire rating, and is acoustic and airflow compliant. It utilises the latest LED technology and the custom-built, multi-faceted lens creates a halogen-style lighting effect. There are 12 products in the range, with both the Fixed and Adjustable Bezel designs available in three finishes – white, chrome and satin chrome - and in two colour temperatures: warm white and cool white. The fixed bezel has an IP65 rating, and IP54 for the adjustable.
Inceptor Pico FG is a fire rated fixed integrated LED downlight which offers a cost-effective LED solution whilst producing an excellent light output for the power utilised. It is ideal for installations where the void depth is limited and fire rating is required. As well a fire rating of 30, 60 and 90 minutes, Pico FG has a number of additional benefits. It is supplied with a pre-attached fly lead rather than terminals to make installation quick and easy, thus saving time on the job by the installer. It is also compatible with the Insulation Support Clip, which allows installers to lay thermal insulation directly over the Inceptor Pico. The Insulation Support Clip creates a 20mm air space above the driver which allows air to circulate and cool. Its 50mm profile makes the fitting ideal where the void depth is limited and it has an adaptable cut-out to fit apertures of between 70mm and 75mm in diameter. The height of the spring brackets has been increased to allow the product to be installed in ceiling thicknesses of 36mm.
FlameGuard The award-winning FlameGuard downlight range offers a collection of GU10 downlights and downlight housing – all of which have been tested to withstand fire at 30, 60 and 90 minute intervals. A number of lamp holders are available in the FlameGuard collection, all of which are manufactured from ceramic material with double insulated supply. Located inside the top of the downlight and around the outside of the body, the FlameGuard seals are manufactured from an intumescent material that expands in the event of fire. As the material expands it fills the ventilation holes in the top of the downlight and also seals the ceiling cut-out. Fitted to all FlameGuard downlights as standard is a moisture seal, which prevents warm moist air from passing into the cold space above a ceiling where it could cause condensation to form. As with the Inceptor fire-rated downlight range, FlameGuard products are supplied with the Flow connector as standard for ease of testing and connection.
CPD training To help contractors understand the issues around testing, Ovia has produced a CPD training module – ‘Downlights and Testing for Fire Rating’ – and this is available for delivery on request. Ovia, oviauk.com
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LEDS FOR THE POST-COVID WORLD Leicestershire lighting and electrical installations firm, Ventola Projects, is set to launch a new range of VAvR LED lighting products – promising further cost and energy savings for businesses across the UK.
Mick Ventola, Founder and Managing Director of Ventola Projects
aving suspended its UK installations programme under the lockdown, the Ventola team decided to embark on an ambitious research and development project aiming to identify all and any improvements to an existing range that has won admirers in the UK, the US, Europe and the Middle East. The systems use some of the brightest RGBW LEDs on the market and are specifically designed for multiple applications across the commercial spectrum, from subtle lighting that can improve productivity in the office to exciting animated light shows in the entertainment sphere. “There’s also a growing appreciation of how effect lighting can influence people’s mood, so we’ve looked at broadening the way our VAvR systems can be applied in office environments to make them more comfortable for staff. “I think, at a time when we’re all concerned about the environment, budgets are likely to be squeezed for a while postCOVID, and employee wellbeing will be at the forefront of employers’ minds, this package of enhancements will offer even greater value to businesses in a wider range of contexts. “This is a worrying period for businesses of all stripes, so the lighting industry should play its part in helping make life that little bit easier. Really, that was our motivation in conducting this round of upgrades.”
Attention to detail Mick Ventola, Founder and Managing Director of the company and one of the UK government’s Department of International Trade’s export champions, describes the goals of the R&D project: “The pandemic has affected us all, so we asked ourselves how we might identify marginal gains to each of our unique VAvR products that would add up to some bigger benefits for our customers around the world. “The first of those is cost, of course, so making our products even more robust means we don’t have to factor so much maintenance and travel into our project costings – and providing replacements will be reduced over time too.” Mick continues, “We’ve combined that with the introduction of a greater proportion of recyclable materials and components to minimise the environmental impact and had a root and branch review of our supply chain to identify further cost and carbon savings.
“This is a worrying period for businesses of all stripes, so the lighting industry should play its part in helping make life that little bit easier.”
to be shipped in mid-June as areas of the United States unlock in a phased manner. Ventola Projects is also looking at other ways to help the post-lockdown world and is currently conducting feasibility and compliance testing on a UV-C LED product specifically designed to help businesses sanitise their premises overnight. Under the UV-C LED product, Ventola’s RGBW LEDs will operate as usual during opening hours, before the UV-C kicks in to cleanse the building after everybody has left at night. The option can be programmed into the systems of Ventola’s existing clients or included in new installations. Ventola Projects, ventola.co.uk
LEDs for the post-lockdown world While the exact date of the UK launch of the innovative VAvR LED range is contingent on the easing of lockdown restrictions, elements of the new systems have been successfully trialled in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the release of a new brochure has already secured an order from a South Dakota family entertainment centre, due
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SHEDDING LIGHT ON LED SELECTION Red Arrow Electrical Distribution, a manufacturer and distributor of lighting products to the wholesale industry, explores the decision-making processes behind choosing the right LED product for the right application.
hoosing the right type of LED product for the right application is vital and can make a big difference in a commercial environment. Fortunately, their versatility means there is an LED light source to suit almost any need, and their long lifespan and energy-saving qualities make them a good long-term investment. However, with some LED products failing to deliver on this promise and most consumers basing their purchase on price rather than suitability, Red Arrow explores how contractors can make the right decisions before every installation.
What is the purpose of the lighting? While aesthetically-pleasing and creative installations are always welcome by customers, as contractors, it’s important to never take style over substance. By choosing lighting that suits the task in hand, while considering light levels, uniformity, colour temperature and colour rendition, you can save on future electrical and maintenance costs to the end user. Specific lighting is needed in a warehouse compared to a factory floor where people are working at fast-moving machines or in an office where people need to concentrate. Don’t just consider the design, think about the long-term objective – what is the purpose of the light application? And remember, not all LEDs are equal – a product that claims to look and be the same as another does not guarantee the same performance.
When implementing LED lighting, Red Arrow urges contractors to think about the long-term objective, rather than just the design
Where is the installation? “Although LEDs come with extended longevity, they still require changing and cleaning – a dirty light fitting will not transmit as much light as a clean one.”
The environment plays a significant part in every installation. For example, if installing a chandelier 20 feet high or floodlights on the side of a tall building, how often will the LEDs and their fittings be cleaned and maintained? How much will a climate prone to dust or fumes affect the light reduction over time? Although LEDs come with extended longevity, they still require changing and cleaning to maintain a high performance – a dirty light fitting will not transmit as much light as a clean one! To help overcome this issue, always set the light level higher than the recommendation on day one of an installation and factor in maintenance. Don’t assume LEDs will last forever – the components that run them will still need replacing even if they don’t.
including energy and cost savings. But absence or presence detection come with different advantages dependent on the use and surroundings. How long will the lighting operate per day? Will dimming to a standby level be beneficial when areas are unoccupied? Will switching off completely be a better solution? How often is a light left unused in a building? Available daylight should also be considered – when coupled with a daylight harvesting device, your customer can always be sure of consistent light levels.
How can I convince customers?
Do I need an occupancy sensor?
Convincing consumers to convert to LEDs from traditional lighting can be challenging for even the most experienced contractor, but this new technology comes with many different benefits. LED light sources are far more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lamps and have a long operating life – if installed correctly. Reducing the risk of fire, they also emit less heat than a filament bulb and have little to no UV. They are low maintenance, offer a better light quality and carry no harmful by-products (such as mercury) during disposal. They can also be used in a wide range of settings, including restaurants, offices, warehouses and factories.
In some commercial settings, an occupancy sensor can offer many benefits,
Red Arrow, redarrowtrading.com
Is a complete rewire needed? Every installation is different and it’s worth remembering that old light fittings may not need the same amount of required LED luminaires. Instead, choose the number of luminaires to suit the wiring infrastructure. Sometimes, retrofitting may be a more suitable option than a complete rewire, but always check that when installing LEDs, the new number of light points doesn’t affect the quality of the light produced.
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THE LED REVOLUTION IS JUST GETTING STARTED Christopher Dawes, Director of NET LED, discusses the impact LED technology is having on the lighting industry, and looks ahead to some of the further advances we can expect in the future.
Wireless lighting systems are quick and simple to install and most can be used with a brand-new lighting installation
ver the last decade, LED technology has revolutionised the lighting industry worldwide across the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors. The commercial savings from lower power consumption, longer life expectancy and lower maintenance costs, whilst maintaining the same lighting levels, have been the main drivers for this change. So, have we gone as far as we can with LED? Absolutely not! Commercial lighting makes up the UK’s largest market sector at over 40%, with LED refurbishments in retail premises, commercial buildings and street lighting driving rapid growth over recent years. These market opportunities have attracted many new companies to enter the market and increased price competition. Unfortunately, some companies with little or no experience in lighting or LED technology have seen the opportunity to buy low cost Chinese manufactured LED lighting and undercut the professional suppliers for whom safety, performance and brand reputation are essential. The UK’s Lighting Industry Association, along with other more general regulatory bodies, are tackling this issue, but its occurrence is widespread, so purchasing from reputable suppliers is advisable.
The crisis of global warming, largely brought about by the burning of fossil fuels, encourages ongoing research and development into more sustainable solutions across all industries, including lighting. How efficiently LEDs produce visible light, or luminous efficacy, measured in lumens per Watt (Lm/W), is being improved continually. Even though the legal need for energy labels on commercial LED luminaires has been removed, the actual requirement for meeting minimum efficacy levels has not diminished. In fact, it has gone the other way.
A 50% reduction in energy consumption The new Lighting Energy Label Regulations set out targets over the coming years that will require manufacturers to improve their products if they wish to achieve Class A in the future. The current Class A+++ is for products operating at greater than 85 lm/W; the new Class A will need to be greater than 210 lm/W! That’s an improvement of over 100%, which for lighting users translates into a further 50% reduction in energy consumption – halving the existing running costs. Achieving this efficacy target will further encourage the adoption of LED technology for the refurbishment of buildings, replacing conventional lighting technologies and previously installed LED lighting, as the payback period will have halved. The lighting industry is confident that these increased energy savings can be achieved with little or no increase in manufacturing costs, as the technology and efficiency of the LEDs and the LED drivers continues to improve. Using current LED technology, no luminaires are expected to be in Energy Class A or B for some years; but these classes are already in place for when the technology arrives. NET LED Lighting in Cambridge manufactures and sells state-of-the-art commercial LED lighting to electrical wholesalers. Its luminaires’ current lm/W is between 100 and 140 lm/W, so progressing well on the way towards the higher classes.
At these efficacy levels, the lighting sold today qualifies for the UK Government’s Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme.
Motion sensors and wireless control LED technology has the potential to reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, which could result in some massive savings
“Increased energy savings can be achieved with little or no increase in manufacturing costs, as the technology and efficiency of LEDs and LED drivers continues to improve.”
As technology has developed, sensors and controls operating in conjunction with LED lighting have been introduced. Motion sensors triggering the lighting to turn on or off, or to stay in a dimmed mode – according to movement and occupancy – can further enhance energy savings. Photocells which detect ambient light can also be used to control the brightness of the LED lighting; harvesting daylight to be able to reduce the LED light output and hence save more. More recently, we are seeing the adoption of smart, wireless technology being used with LED lighting, bringing new business opportunities. Systems such as the Tridonic basicDIM wireless control technology allows users to simply and wirelessly take control of their lighting – for example, turning on or off up to 250 luminaires around their premises with one switch, making life easy when opening up and closing down at the beginning or end of the day. Zones can be conveniently created for specific rooms, or sections of rooms, allowing the lighting to be pre-set to particular brightness and colour temperatures, which can then be adjusted according to specific requirements at the time. Dimming specific luminaires, or complete zones, is as simple as holding a finger on a button. Wireless lighting systems, using technologies such as Bluetooth, are quick and simple to install and most can be used with a brand-new lighting installation or provide an ideal solution for updating conventional lighting. The possibilities with LED lighting have only just begun. More energy efficient LED technologies with smarter lighting controls are continually being developed, opening massive opportunities for the lighting industry. NET LED, netled.co.uk
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LED SAVINGS ARE CRYSTAL CLEAR LED Lighting brand, Goodlight, has recently delivered significant savings for glass manufacturer, European Glass Group. ECN investigates exactly what the project entailed.
ward-winning UK LED lighting brand, Goodlight, has completed an installation of its GX1 LED high bays into European Glass Group’s production facility in Stockport, Greater Manchester, delivering impressive energy savings of 70%. European Glass is a leader in high-end glass processing, manufacturing state-ofthe-art glass solutions worldwide within its four factories based in Stockport, Swindon and two in London. Over the past 25 years, the company has built an outstanding reputation for the quality and rapid turnaround of its products.
Following several customer recommendations, Johal subsequently chose solutions from Goodlight. He was particularly impressed with the service he received, with Goodlight providing an end-toend lighting service that included surveys, financial modelling, design and installation. He continues, “We manufacture glass seven days a week and work long hours to fulfil orders all around the globe. The installation of the Goodlight GX1 LED high bays was arranged outside working hours so that our factory could still operate. As a business owner, this is a fundamental aspect of any major upgrade and I am impressed that Goodlight was able to work with us quickly, efficiently and professionally.”
Upgrading the production facility High bays lighten the mood
Goodlight installs GX1 LED High Bays into European Glass Group’s production facility in Stockport, Greater Manchester
The production facility was originally lit by inefficient sodium high bays that were prone to failure and had to be replaced on a frequent basis. As a result, European Glass was looking for a brighter, more efficient alternative to its existing lighting that would eliminate maintenance costs altogether. Mick Johal, Managing Director of European Glass, comments, “We were frustrated with our existing sodium high bay lighting as the lifespans were short, causing them to fail and flicker, resulting in unnecessary maintenance costs.”
The replacement LED high bays for the factory included the GX1 120W and GX1 Plus 150W models. Designed and built with performance and reliability in mind, the GX1 LED high bay (120W and 150W) features a patented ‘phase-change’ liquid core. This unique cooling system tackles heat effortlessly by drawing the heat away from the LED, maintaining more lumens out of the super-bright LED chips, for longer, ensuring 100 times more efficient heat transfer. The glass processing is conducted within the world’s largest toughening furnace – and therefore, careful consideration had to be taken with regards to temperature control. A pilot of several LED high bays from across the lighting industry was trialled, resulting in the GX1 leading in performance and class, securing the specification for the factory. The 120W GX1 comes with a reflector and delivers 125Lm/W efficacy. The 150W model is reflectorless and delivers 135Lm/W efficacy. Both LED high bays are rated IP65 – suitable for both internal and external use and ideal for illuminating large spaces such as warehouses, factories and production sites. Both GX1 LED high bay models have a replaceable driver and
Since installing the new GX1 LED high bays, the glass manufacturer is benefiting from brighter visibility and reliable light performance
“The production facility was originally lit by inefficient sodium high bays that were prone to failure and had to be replaced on a frequent basis.”
optional plug-and-play LED chip, giving customers upgrade options at end of life, ensuring product durability. Johal notes, “Since installing the new GX1 LED high bays, our work team is benefiting from brighter visibility, reliable light performance and increased performance; plus, staff sickness has also been reduced. We are delighted to report that we are saving 70% in energy and so far, have eliminated maintenance costs altogether. This is a major factor in European’s further investment of newly developed glass heating machinery.”
One down, three to go Following the pilot installation at Stockport, European Glass Group is working with Goodlight to upgrade the lighting within its other three factory sites to LED lighting. Saima Shafi, Sales and Marketing Director at Goodlight, says, “We are thrilled that European Glass has reported 70% in energy savings since installing Goodlight GX1 LED high bays. “As one of the longest standing, dedicated UK LED lighting manufacturers since 2006, our industry-leading technical range is quality engineered and built to perform in the most challenging environments, like deep underground on the tube, or even in production areas generating high heat like at European Glass. “We have experience in delivering projects without business interruption, which is essential in 24/7 operational sites. European Glass is a shining example of how LED lighting for production factories can be effectively and efficiently improved, whilst reaping the rewards of energy and maintenance savings.” Goodlight, goodlight.co.uk
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A TRULY SMART HOME FROM TOP TO BOTTOM Nigel Callaghan, UK & Ireland General Manager of Link2Home, explains how the company’s range of plug and play solutions is helping to make homes smarter than ever before.
ink2Home UK was incorporated in 2019 with the brand having been established in 2016 and already present in Germany, Hungary, Poland, France and the USA. Link2Home was introduced as a brand that aims to redefine everyday living by innovating existing home electricals – incorporating clean design, performance and affordability. More and more of us are looking to make our homes and offices that bit smarter, but that doesn’t have to mean complicated and costly technology. For us, it means taking the electrical products we use every day and improving them to make your home or office more comfortable, convenient and secure. At Link2Home, we are experienced in the past, present and future of the electrical market. We have more than 60 combined years of electrical knowledge on the ground in the UK and have our own manufacturing base with 25 years’ experience. Our products are designed to help you better manage day to day tasks in your home, office and garden with the minimum of fuss – just plug and play. Whether its app-controlled sockets that let you manage your household from afar, or Wi-Fi enabled LED lights for smarter illumination, Link2Home provides the simple and flexible solution you need. We strive to be the best in class provider of smart electrical products and solutions.
Smart home What if all the devices in your home could connect to the internet? Not just your smart phone or tablet, but everything: speakers, lights, doorbells, cameras, sockets, window blinds, appliances, heating, alarms – you name it. And what if all those devices could all communicate, send you information and take commands
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all under one application? It’s not science fiction: it’s the Link2Home solution and it is becoming a key component in home automation and smart homes. Smart home is not just about turning your lights on and off through an application. In a truly smart home focus is on home automation. Home automation does exactly what it says: it is the ability to automate things around the home or office at the push of a button, voice command or better yet automatically. There are many smart home product solutions available on the market but what there is not is a one app solution for everything that brings it all together and allows your devices to interconnect and talk to each other. This is where Link2Home’s focus lies in bring everything together under a one app solution and enabling smart automation without serious investment of time and money.
Total control At Link2Home, we make products that are attractive, helpful, and easy to use, and our app enhances this experience. Control your Link2Home devices, switch your sockets on and off, see inside and outside your home with our cameras, control your environment with our lights and receive alerts from our doorbells and never miss a visitor. Link2Homes, smart function and the location of your phone allow you to do the right thing automatically, turning on the lights when you arrive home using your location, send alerts through the app and via text when motion is detected and much more. A smart product is nothing without a smart app.
It’s all in the voice
“Smart home is not just about turning your lights on and off through an application. A truly smart home focus is on home automation.”
All our smart products are fully integrated with Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. Turn your lights or sockets on and off through voice and if you have an Amazon Echo Show or Google Screen device including Google Chromecast. Just ask your smart speaker to access your camera device by saying, ‘Alexa, show me the driveway’, or, ‘Hey Google, show me the garage on the living room TV’. We have partnered with house builders in the UK to get key products installed from the ground up and are working with telecoms providers in the UK as a technology partner. We have a focused energetic and experienced sales team ready to take your call and talk you through our ranges. This doesn’t need to be faceto-face and with social distancing set to be present for some time, we have taken advantage of the virtual workspace and hold regular Zoom and Skype drop-in sessions. So, wherever you are in the country, Link2Home can help.
The complete solution As well as a focus on easy to use products and a powerful app, we have focused on our brand and packaging to enforce these messages. Our name ‘Link2Home’ tells you what we do, and our packaging solution carries this messaging forward. Easy to understand and display products with bold colours and feature ICONS all presented in shelf-ready packaging. Our products are easy to display and understand in a one box solution. We have an extended support solution for the end user when it comes to installing and understanding our products. Inbuilt installation guides through the application allow for easy set up as well as two-way messaging service where you can report bugs, suggest new features and get network diagnostics. Link2Home, link2home.co.uk
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HOME HEATING — THE CHANGE OF A GENERATION? Here, Phil Wardell, Product Manager at Rexel UK, shares his thoughts on the next steps for the home heating market, and how it is a growth area for the electrical industry.
he smart revolution continues to be a focus for the electrical industry, and the drive to become more connected in the home impacts more than just the controls being specified and installed. The home heating sector is changing, and smart technology is a driving force behind what may become the biggest development in how properties are heated in a generation. With central heating installed in around 93% of homes in the UK, we know the home heating sector is a mature one, with little sign of deviation for many years.
Greener energy sources But smart homes are rapidly changing this static market. Not only are smart controls pushing people to update otherwise unconsidered systems, they are also pushing people towards considering alternative ways to save money and be greener. Ultimately, they are pushing people to consider new energy sources, and electric is fast becoming a viable alternative to the traditional gas fired energy solution. Research released by AMA Research backs this up, showing that smart controls are on a path of significant growth. A recent report published by the firm estimates that by 2022, it is likely that 45% of heating controls sold by value will be smart – up from around 30% in 2017. This is significant growth in a short time frame. Furthermore, in the most recent YouGov survey from 2018, research states that 23% of UK homes have at least one smart device, with 11% having a smart speaker, 5% with smart lighting and 3% having smart security. Some people may ask though, ‘Why does installing smart controls impact the energy consumed within the home?’ It’s true that smart controls are used with gas heated properties all over the country. But there are a few factors that directly impact the electrical industry and offer a great opportunity going forward for electrical heating.
Zoning There is a very practical association between smart controls for heating and electric heating and that is around zoning. Homeowners can enjoy greater control and accuracy with electric heaters, which can be adjusted to maintain a consistent
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temperature. This type of system also allows for ‘zone heating’, where only selected living areas within a building have the heating switched on to reduce the overall bill. This will prove even more popular as smart living becomes a key consideration for all new builds and any refurbishment projects.
Sustainability The increase in smart controls also signifies a change in behaviour – not just to become more connected, but to save energy. Sustainability is a focus for everyone in today’s society. It may have seemed a slow process, but significant changes in attitudes in our society have taken place within a short time frame. We now recycle, are less inclined to buy single-use plastic items and we make conscious decisions with our behaviour at home to support a better environment – from using less water in the kettle to running our washing machines on the 30-degree setting. We are now seeing the beginning of the next change – using smart products to be more sustainable at home when it comes to energy usage. For house builders and developers, this rise in emphasis on sustainability, by utilising smarter connectivity technology to create greener homes with lower footprints, should not be underestimated. It is likely to be one of the biggest changing factors in how we heat our homes. Government pressures are already on as they seek to phase out the installation of high-carbon fossil fuel heating in new homes by 2025. Because of this, we expect that within the next decade, all new-build properties will be heated by electricity.
SAP changes The latest SAP regulations, published in July 2018 and known as SAP 10, recognise that electric energy will soon have a smaller CO2 footprint than mains gas thanks to continuous improvements through sustainable energy initiatives – making it easier than ever to get new properties specified with all electric heating
AMA Research indicates that by 2022, it is likely that 45% of heating controls sold by value will be smart
As smart living becomes a key consideration for all new builds, smarter heating and cheaper bills will also materialise
Today, electric heating solutions are more able than ever to provide a cost effective, versatile and low maintenance way to heat a property. Over the lifetime of electrical heating units and boilers, homeowners will generally see a lower installed cost compared to more conventional gas systems. This is thanks to quicker and easier installations and no requirement for annual maintenance. Electric heating can be installed as standalone units such as panel heaters, storage heaters, or using an electric boiler in a wet system with traditional radiators.
The opportunity Thanks to the above, there is a great opportunity for the industry, and some of our key suppliers are already making changes to key product lines, making them smarter and ready for the future. As an industry, we need to raise awareness of the changes to the heating market and the many benefits electric heating provides to those who use it. With a wider range of products available than ever before, it has never been easier to find the perfect solution to personalised heating. Rexel, rexel.co.uk
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NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR A NEW ERA With many people now working from home for the foreseeable future, there are new opportunities opening up for contractors. Marie Parry, Group Marketing Director at Scolmore Group, explains.
t may have started out with the requisitioning of a corner of the kitchen table, but as lockdown continued, millions in the UK have found themselves adapting to a new working from home regime. With restrictions being lifted and people starting to make their way back into office environments, it is likely that for many, working from home will become a new regular pattern in their working week. Having made do with their temporary situations while uncertainty on the return to work prevailed, many are now assessing how they can make their living space work better to accommodate their new long-term working requirements. Long periods confined indoors have also given householders ample time to question other aspects of their living environment, such as the increase in energy usage, as well as security provision. This new working landscape and consciousness provides an opportunity for contractors to guide householders through various decision processes to suit their particular requirements and present them a range of options, solutions and costs that they will feel comfortable adopting. The biggest hurdle for many will be the perceived expense of making any significant changes.
Click Smart is an easy way of providing extra security, energy saving, comfort and control
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The ability to control lighting will have appeal both from an energy saving point of view as well as convenience, and this can be easily and relatively cheaply addressed with a smart system which can be operated from a smartphone. The Click Smart Box and app has been designed with simplicity in mind and just requires a broadband connection. It can be easily integrated into a new or existing Click Smart installation and provides an easy, quick and relatively inexpensive way to adapt and update a home to provide extra security, energy saving, comfort and control.
Installation is simple and flexible, and because it requires no additional cables or wall cutting, it means minimum disruption for householders – a key selling point for contractors to get across to customers. Receivers can be installed behind light fittings or into suitable installation boxes and can be utilised with existing wiring. Comprising three basic components, Click Smart Box, RF receivers and a smartphone, the high-end system is very competitively priced and has been designed with installers in mind. Critical information is stored within the Smart Box, not the phone, making it easy if a phone needs to be upgraded or other users added – without affecting the settings. With all the settings stored on the Smart Box, there is no need to programme and install all the elements onto each individual phone. Scolmore’s app for the Click Smart range has the added benefit of ‘cloud function’, which provides access to Click Smart installations through the internet, allowing secure control of devices from anywhere in the world.
ESP’s Aperta Wi-Fi door station allows users to view and talk to visitors at their home without having to go to the front door
Peace of mind The options for providing householders with peace of mind when it comes to security measures are wide ranging, and contractors will have access to a range of solutions to suit all levels of budget and likely appetite for smart technology. At one end, a simple Wi-Fi, or ‘smart’ doorbell like ESP’s Aperta Wi-Fi door station, will allow users to view and talk to visitors at their home without having to make regular, disruptive trips to the front door. From a smartphone or tablet and using the free ESP app, they can easily see who is at the door or gate, engage in two-way communication and allow remote access if desired. The Wi-Fi Door Station comes in a kit form containing everything required for the installer to quickly and simply get the system up and running. Part of the working from home phenomena is the need to have various items of valuable equipment on the premises, which is giving rise to concern over potential break ins and thefts. There is a range of smart security solutions that contractors can talk their customers through, from entry level CCTV systems to the more sophisticated IP CCTV solutions. The RekorHD range from ESP is an ideal system for homeowners looking for a premium quality CCTV system. These fourchannel 1080p CCTV kits are packed with features, but come with an affordable price tag, making them ideal entry level products. They are designed with ease of set up as a key feature, including the option for remote monitoring via smartphone or tablet, using ESP’s specially developed RekorHD app.
So whether they are working from home or in the office, users are able to keep an eye on their premises. There are two and four camera kits available and they include a fourchannel DVR, premium quality surveillance hard drive, cameras, camera cables, system power supply, mouse and an HDMI cable.
“Long periods confined indoors have given householders time to question other aspects of their living environment, such as the increase in energy usage, as well as security provision.”
For customers willing to invest in a more sophisticated security solution, or are keen to upgrade an old system, contractors can recommend ESP’s HDView range of four-megapixel CCTV systems. These offer an upgrade from 1080p (two-megapixel) to 4MP to give users a higher density of pixels to produce a super high definition image clarity. The HDview 4MP range was developed to bring to market a complete collection of superior quality, high end CCTV products that offer greatly improved image specification, while also benefitting from a contemporary look that is being demanded by more and more end users. At the top end of the market for domestic CCTV solutions that homeowners may consider is the latest IP PoE CCTV technology. This is designed to offer superior, reliable and straightforward installation solutions. ESP’s Rekor IP two-megapixel range features PoE (Power Over Ethernet) which enables the camera and power feed to be wired in Cat5e cable up to 100 metres without the need for additional power, which makes installation much more convenient. A single Ethernet cable provides both the power and the HD digital feed, with just one cable per camera, and multiple cameras can be installed anywhere on the network that the NVR is connected to. The NVRs are packed with features, such as remote monitoring via the ESP IPView app, H265 compression and motion record activation, and they are supplied with quality surveillance hard drives for peace of mind. Scolmore, scolmore.com
GET SMART WITH YOUR LIGHTING CHOICES Glen Krise, Managing Director at Megaman, explores the benefits of smart lighting systems and the ways in which installers can get their customers excited about smart lighting technology.
L In 2019, an estimated £10.8 billion was spent on smart home devices or applications – many of which can be controlled via your smartphone
The case for customisation
ighting has long evolved from being merely a functional requirement of a home. Instead, it has become an interior design feature in its own right, helping to transform the look of a domestic space as well as how it is used. Smart home technology has had a huge impact on this, affecting both development within the lighting sector as well as many other household products. Whether it’s smart door locks, heating systems or lighting that is required, the demand from consumers for smart technology is everincreasing. Indeed, in 2019 an estimated £10.8 billion was spent on smart home devices or applications. While smart lighting systems represent a great sales opportunity, before recommending a system to a customer, it is first important to be aware of the various misconceptions that can exist around them.
Customisation is one of the biggest selling points. As a modern consumer-based society, customisation of a product or service is very attractive to buyers who put value on an item that is unique to them. With smart lighting systems, such as Megaman’s Ingenium ZB, brightness and colour temperature can be wirelessly adjusted to suit the use and desired mood of an interior space. For example, bedroom lighting can be programmed to switch on in the morning, with gradual colour temperature and brightness adjustments, to help occupants wake up as an alternative to an alarm clock. It is also possible to create and programme different lighting mood scenes for any occasion or desired ambience; such as a soft, warm light for a relaxed evening meal, a bright, natural light for a dressing room space or inter-changing coloured lighting for a family celebration. The possibilities are endless, allowing homeowners to transform and customise an interior space in countless different ways, depending on how they use it.
Retrofitting with ease
Megaman’s range of smart home products
Some homeowners may be put off by the idea that installing smart lighting requires a significant amount of upheaval, such as a complete or partial domestic rewire or replacement of existing systems. This is incorrect, for there are now smart lighting products available that can be easily retrofitted alongside an existing system. For example, dimming and mains switch modules can be easily wired behind pre-existing light switches to enable the control of a whole lighting system - without changing any existing bulbs or fixtures. Alternatively, for smaller scale applications there is also the option of using smart bulbs that fit into existing sockets for an easy smart conversion. Another common misconception is that smart lighting systems are fairly limited, simply enabling the user to switch lights on and off using their smartphone or via voice command. In reality, that is not the case and there are instead a range of benefits and experiences that can be achieved by installing smart lighting within a home.
With Ingenium ZB, it is possible to create and programme different lighting mood scenes for any occasion
The energy-efficiency benefits Another element of smart lighting systems that is worthwhile promoting to your customers is the energy efficiency benefits such a system can offer. It is estimated that lighting accounts for 15% of a typical household’s electricity bill, making up a sizable portion of a homeowner’s monthly outgoings. Used correctly, smart lighting systems can increase efficiency and offer real cost savings. One way to do so is through the use of occupancy sensors. These can allow a smart system to detect when an individual is present and automate the activation of lighting. Likewise, when a room is not in use, the lights can be set to automatically dim or switch off completely – preventing lights from being left on unnecessarily and saving energy as a result. Recommending the installation of daylight sensors, particularly for larger rooms or spaces, is another way to prevent
“It is estimated that lighting accounts for 15% of a typical household’s electricity bill, making up a sizable portion of a homeowner’s monthly outgoings.”
homeowners paying for unnecessary energy usage. These intelligent sensors automatically and continually adjust the connected lighting levels in accordance with the amount of natural daylight present, delivering significant energy savings as a result. Not only this, but it can also help to create a better, more comfortable environment, with the lighting always at the most appropriate level and ensuring the maximum use of natural light where possible.
Ensuring compatibility However, the integration of smart lighting systems like these is only possible where products have been designed with wide ranging compatibility. Realising the importance of this, leading manufacturers of smart and connected products in a range of different sectors are engineering systems that are compatible with several protocols and all major smart automation systems to help ensure seamless integration. Without this cross-protocol compatibility, installers may find that it is not possible to get a customer’s existing or new smart technology products to work together, and integration is the key to a connected home. The benefits that integrated smart lighting systems and products can bring to the home are clear. Not only is smart lighting far more convenient, allowing homeowners to control their lighting remotely, as well as preset various timings and modes, but it is also customisable, helping people to get more out of their interior spaces. If that isn’t enough to convince your customer, the potential energy savings should, as smart lighting systems can have a significant effect – not just on the energy efficiency and environmental credentials of a property, but also on a homeowner’s monthly energy bills. Megaman, megamanuk.com
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LIGHT UP THE RHYTHM OF LIFE Steve Marr, Product and Marketing Director at CP Electronics, explains how human centric lighting (HCL) and lighting control technology is creating ever more productive environments.
s the Earth spins on its axis and creates sunlight and darkness, human beings adapt accordingly – this is known as the circadian rhythm. The term comes from the Latin words ‘circa’ meaning around and ‘diem’ meaning day, and is used to describe the physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle. Although the concept of the circadian rhythm is nothing new, recent years have witnessed a great deal of interest in how light and dark affect us.
Energy flash So how does it work? Our biological clock, which is located in the brain’s hypothalamus, receives input from our eyes and sends out signals about the time of day, so that our body can react. The circadian rhythm influences everything from eating habits and hormone release, to our ability to digest food and even our body temperature. Homo sapiens have lived on the planet for at least 200,000 years and the majority of this time was spent outside as hunters and gatherers. However, according to the Building Research Establishment (BRE), people in Europe now spend around 90% of their time indoors, and our lack of exposure to natural light is having negative consequences on our health and wellbeing. In fact, irregular circadian rhythm has been linked to various health conditions such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
New and improved Being indoors means we increasingly rely on artificial lighting, but despite the significant improvements in LED technology, the primary driver for its use has been to save energy and ensure a fast return on investment. However, for those seeking to push the potential of LED as far as possible, the focus has shifted towards improving light quality and developing genuine insights into the non-visual effects of light. Specific attention is therefore being directed towards creating HCL solutions that mirror the effects of natural lighting as closely as possible. As well as being particularly useful in commercial premises, HCL is also suitable for environments such as hospitals and schools. In the former, it can aid the patient recovery process by positively influencing sleep/wake cycles, hormone release, eating habits and digestion. Meanwhile, schools can use it to both calm students and keep them alert, depending on the time of day. Its suitability for a diverse range of
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applications is driving rapid adoption, and research by MarketsandMarkets states that the HCL market is projected to be worth $3,655 million by 2024.
Take back control It goes without saying that correct LED luminaire specification is a vital part of a successful HCL strategy, but it’s only part of the picture. When integrated with lighting control technology it is possible to automatically change the colour temperature of the artificial light to mimic the cycle of natural light, taking into account the time of day, the position of the sun and even the time of year. Controllable, adaptable lighting systems therefore create more comfortable environments for people and can be used to stimulate people during the day through the use of bluer frequencies, and relax them at night with amber and red frequencies. By controlling both the intensity and the colour of the light, a lighting design can provide an additional advantage in terms of occupant satisfaction and productivity. According to LightingEurope, it assists performance and wellbeing to the point of enhancing productivity by 4.5% and error reduction by 2%, while lowering absentee rates and improving overall health and safety. The benefits can go much further though, as it is now possible to connect previously disparate building services to create a more ‘joined up’ approach to occupancy comfort. For example, while heating and ventilation play their parts in ensuring good air quality, they can also be connected to a lighting control system to help reduce instances of eyestrain, migraines and headaches. The installation of a networked lighting control system, such as Rapid, provides the user with building wide control. From the system head end, users can schedule colour temperature and brightness patterns for specific areas or across the whole building. They can design cyclic timed events determined by their own preferences and designed specifically to generate the benefits that they are aiming for in their own environments, whether that is to calm, for example, or to stimulate. However, there is now a balancing act between human centric lighting, wellbeing and quality of light, with dimming control and energy efficiency. So, the Rapid lighting control system offers users choice. While the system can be set to dictate the colour temperature; dimming via occupancy control and daylight linking can still be co-ordinated in order to lower energy consumption, and room occupants can even set their own preferences with local manual overrides.
As well as being useful in commercial premises, schools can use HCL to both calm students and keep them alert
The installation of a networked lighting control system, such as Rapid, provides the user with building-wide control
Deep impact Lighting control should be the rule rather than the exception and BS EN 12464, the European standard for lighting indoor workplaces, is having a significant impact. The standard addresses the design and development of lighting schemes around a specific task or activity and encourages designers to consider all available forms of lighting. It also provides guidelines about the use of lighting controls and recommends ways to illuminate rooms only when they are in use. The use of lighting control also ensures compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations, which requires lighting to be controlled or locally switched. Not only that, it enables a building to demonstrate higher ratings in the Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates that owners and managers are obliged to have.
One step beyond The benefits of lighting control extend far beyond energy efficiency. It plays a key role in creating HCL systems that are more in tune with the circadian rhythm, leading to more productive working experiences and improvements in attention span, concentration and behaviour. Our understanding of the impact of light on the human body is still at an early stage, and research on the effects of different types of illumination, the complexities of mimicking natural light, and what’s needed to apply artificial lighting safely and effectively is very much a work in progress. Watch this space. CP Electronics, cpelectronics.co.uk
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THE ELECTRICIAN’S ‘ONE-STOP SHOP’ GETS EVEN BIGGER Paul Dawson, Commercial Director at Niglon, provides an insight into the company’s latest installer focused product developments.
The New 71 page Control and Automation catalogue
t is over 15 years since Niglon first introduced a range of circuit protection and switchgear products to the market. Since then, changes within ‘BS7671 Wiring Regulations’ have brought about a number of developments, but none more so than in the past two years. Last year saw the introduction over 100 new products within our circuit protection offering, which included a wider range of surge protection devices. We have also recently introduced a range of competitively priced three-phase distribution boards. In last month’s edition of ECN, we touched on our market-focused approach to product development, and Niglon’s ‘one-stop shop’ philosophy to business. This is no more apparent than in the latest launch of over 600 new product lines which are all encompassed in our brand new 71-page ‘Control & Automation’ catalogue. The new range has taken 12 months to come together and includes a wide range of products, including enclosures, motor control gear, relays, switchgear and panel components.
Stepping into three-phase Following on from our successful range of tried and trusted domestic circuit protection, we have recently taken the natural step of introducing a competitively priced three-phase distribution range. The boards are packed with a number of time-saving installation features and are available from a range of four to 24 ways. All can either be selected with a pre-mounted 125A four-pole switch disconnector for ease and speed of installation, or switch-free, allowing you the option to choose one of our ‘7’ alternative incomer options. To provide additional functionality we also offer a range of extension boxes, including a multifunction metering kit. The kit is pre-wired and includes the meter, current transformers and local fuse protection to simplify the installation. Mount the enclosure onto your distribution board using the six fixing screws and pass your incoming cable through the current transformers and the job is done – it’s that simple. All our three phase distribution boards are independently tested and certified to BS EN 60439-3.
A selection of products from the new Enclosed Switchgear range
“Quality and design is always at the forefront of our minds.”
Switching over to Niglon The jewel in the crown of Niglon’s new Control & Automation range has to be our enclosed switchgear offering. The range incorporates: switch disconnectors, fused switches and changeover switches, all of which are all available in polycarbonate, mild and stainless steel enclosures. Quality and design is always at the forefront of our minds, and the newly launched switchgear range is no exception, capable of AC23A switching of motors / highly inductive loads and fully conforming to EN60947-3. With a wide range of amperages, switch disconnectors and changeover switches up to 1800A and switch fuses up to 800A, you are almost always guaranteed to find we have what you want in stock. If you need something special, our bespoke service is sure to meet your needs.
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Bespoke service Here at Niglon, we realise that there is not always an off the shelf solution for every application. The launch of our new ‘Control & Automation’ catalogue also coincides with introduction of our ‘Bespoke Service’, meaning we can now offer a range of customised solutions utilising our comprehensive workshop facilities. Highly accurate laser cutting technology means we can now provide any size of enclosure or distribution board with a fully or partially glazed door and any shape, size or number cut-outs. Need a permanent legend or label? We can laser engrave this for you prior to delivery too. In addition to the laser services we also offer customisation of our enclosed switchgear. Although in our standard offering switches are centrally positioned, our bespoke service means we can now provide a side, top or bottom mounting position to your specification in any size of enclosure. Finally, are you looking for a custombuilt power distribution box, in either solid rubber or thermoplastic? Simply request the ‘specials’ application form from our sales team. Then select a suitable housing, determine the configuration of CEE plugs and sockets and send back your design – we will do the rest. European manufactured, this service offers excellent product quality and a fast turnaround time. If you need a bespoke solution but are unsure of exactly what you require then contact us today to discuss your requirements.
“Here at Niglon, we realise that there is not always an off the shelf solution for every application.”
Niglon offers eight different SPDs for both single and 3 phase
A surge in confusion Since the introduction of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations two years ago, there has certainly been a lot of confusion, particularly in regards to the installation of surge protection devices (SPDs). Most questions seem to centre on the device types and their correct application. A recent example of this was an installer who had fitted a type 2 SPD pre-installed into a consumer unit at a property, which was supplied by overhead lines (TT Earthing System). The end-user had requested protection to be installed on an existing installation due to a previous lightning storm, which had caused damage to the electrical installation and electronic equipment within the home. They say ‘lightning never strikes twice’, but in this case it did, damaging the electrical installation and equipment within the home which was all caused by the incorrect selection of the SPD. A property supplied with overhead power lines should have been installed with a type 1 SPD at the origin of the supply, cascading to a type 2
SPD for limitation of overvoltages within the home. In total, there are three category types of SPD which protect against different levels or types of overvoltage:
Bespoke enclosures are now available from Niglon in polycarbonate, painted mild steel, and stainless steel
• Type 1 – Used for buildings with lightning protection or a building supplied with overhead lines. It protects electrical installations against direct lightning strikes. Type 1 SPDs do not protect against damage of sensitive equipment. • Type 2 – is the main protection system for electrical installations. Installed in each electrical switchboard, it prevents the spread of overvoltages in the electrical installation. • Type 3 – is used for local protection of sensitive equipment. Here at Niglon, we offer a range of ‘8’ SPDs for both single phase and three phase applications with varying category types and breaking capacities, providing a solution for every application. Niglon, niglon.co.uk
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Control & Automation
ENCLOSED SWITCHFUSES IP65 polycarbonate or mild steel, 63A-800A rated.
ENCLOSED SWITCH DISCONNECTORS
ENCLOSED MANUAL CHANGEOVER SWITCH
ENCLOSED AUTOMATIC TRANSFER SWITCH
IP65 polycarbonate, mild steel or stainless steel construction, 20A-800A rated
IP65 polycarbonate or mild steel construction, 160A-1800A rated
IP65 polycarbonate or mild steel construction, 60A-135A rated,
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Ideal Industries’ Yellow 77 has the lowest co-efficient of friction of any lubricant in the Ideal Industries lube range
LUBE MATTERS Brett Smyth, General Manager of Ideal Industries EMEA, discusses the importance of selecting the correct lube for conduit installations.
One of the trends that has been very evident in the UK market recently is an increased use of conduit in electrical installations. There has been no groundbreaking innovation in the world of conduit design or fabrication and it isn’t new to the UK electrical industry; indeed, conduit has been common in industrial settings and exterior installations since we first started to connect plugs to sockets. What’s changed is the amount of conduit used to protect cables in interior commercial and domestic properties.
ike any other sector, the electrical industry evolves to adopt new trends and working practices on a continuous basis. A wide array of factors influence those trends, including regulatory change, cultural shifts and new products coming onto the market to aid safety, speed of installation and cost reduction.
Control & Automation
The move towards conduit Increased use of conduit brings the UK into line with common electrical sector working practices in other countries, such as the USA, for example, where conduit is a fairly standard element of any electrical network installation. In the UK, where we benefit from some of the strictest quality and safety standards across all construction disciplines, the need for conduit has been avoided due to the straight, linear runs typical of wiring
• Stainless Steel / Mild Steel • Easy Mounting Brackets Included
• Bespoke Service Available
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CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR
installations, which make it easy to predict the route of electric cables from the location of sockets and light fittings. Most electricians (and their customers) would be horrified to see the haphazard installation of electrical networks in countries where compliance is less rigorous. However, as the safety of electrical installations has become an increasingly central element of installation best practice, the added protection provided by conduit has led to more widespread use, particularly in retrofit installations. According to current wiring regulations, where a cable is concealed in a wall or partition at a depth of less than 50mm, it must be enclosed in earthed metal conduit (trunking or ducting) or installed either horizontally within 150mm of the top of the wall or vertically to the wiring accessory or consumer unit. For retrofit installations in particular, therefore, use of conduit can enable less invasive installations and greater flexibility for the location of cables. From both a safety and service life perspective, the increased use of conduit for UK electrical installations is good news. The more challenging element of this evolving trend, however, is the need to protect the electrical cables as they are pulled through the conduit during installation. Because the UK electrical sector has traditionally used less conduit, electricians are also less familiar with electrical lube and how to select a lubricant with the right performance and properties for their installation.
Why is lube necessary? Regardless of the type of cable or conduit used, or whether the installation is in a commercial or domestic, or an interior or exterior setting, cabling is vulnerable to damage as it is pulled through the conduit unless a suitable lubricant is used. When installing cables in conduit, therefore, lube is an essential part of any electrician’s toolkit. And, just like every other tool or component used on an installation, the quality of the lube chosen can affect speed and ease of installation, safety and long-term performance. The main purpose of an electrical lube is to help the cable slide easily through the conduit to avoid friction and snagging. Often, conduit is congested with multiple cables, and it may be extended in length and include awkward bends and angles, all of which are potential causes of friction and difficulty in pulling the cable. Use of a suitable lubricant makes pulling the cable easier for the electrician with a lower risk of damage to the cable during installation. It’s not unusual for electricians to improvise by using non-specialist products, such as washing liquid for example, to provide the slipperiness of a lubricant,
which can make it easier to manoeuvre the cable through the conduit. However, generic products like this are not designed to reduce friction and snagging and have not been tested for use with electrical cables, so should not be used because they may not offer the protection and compatibility required.
What to look for in an electrical lube The most fundamental property of any electrical lubricant is that it must be benign when in contact with the jacket material of the cable so that it not only protects the cable from friction or snagging, but also prevents any loss of integrity for the jacket that protects the wire. As a wide range of jacket materials are used in cable manufacture, checking that the chosen lubricant is certified for use on the specific cable being installed is essential. All Ideal Industries lubricants have been independently tested to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), CE & UL standards and are clearly labelled to enable electricians to verify compatibility. They are also pH neutral, environmentally-safe, nontoxic, non-flammable and non-corrosive; all properties that electricians should look for when selecting a lubricant to ensure the installation is safe and avoid any long-term damage to the cable or the conduit from the lubricant. The ‘clingability’ of the lubricant is also essential, as this determines how well the lubricant performs throughout the pull. This is particularly important for longer and more complex runs. For example, Ideal Industries’ Yellow 77 Lube, which is most commonly used for industrial and commercial installations, has enhanced clingability to provide improved performance in tougher environments. Ideal Yellow 77 also has the lowest coefficient of friction of any lubricant in the Ideal Industries lube range, which is another key indicator of performance. The lower the co-efficient of friction, the more protected the cable will be all the way through the pull, so electricians installing cables in extended conduit networks should select the lowest co-efficient of friction available. Temperature stability is also important because performance of the lube could be affected if it is installed outside the recommended temperature range. For Ideal Yellow 77, which is often used for industrial and power sector installations, the temperature range is 0°C to 54°C, providing sufficient variability for most UK installations. For Ideal Industries Aqua-Gel lubes, a polymer-based lube alternative to wax for exterior installations, the temperature range is even greater at -2°C to 88°C.
“When it comes to selecting a lubricant, quality counts, so lubes should never be seen as a generic, commodity item.”
The temperature range for Ideal Industries’ Clearglide lube, which is usually recommended for residential, office, data comms and retrofit installations, is 0°C – 82°C. For these environments, ease of application and clean-up are also important considerations to prevent damage to interior finishes. The Clearglide bottle is designed to allow the lubricant to be dispensed straight into the conduit to prevent spills, and the product has been formulated with added perfume to prevent chemical odours in interior spaces.
Yellow 77 Lube has enhanced clingability to provide improved performance in tougher environments
Quality counts As with all electrical consumables, when it comes to selecting a lubricant, quality counts, so lubes should never be seen as a generic, commodity item. Selecting the right lubricant from a trusted manufacturer with an established range and quality assured in-house production is the only way to ensure the product offers the performance, safety and protection needed for the specific installation challenges and environment. Ideal Industries, idealindustriesemea.com/en
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CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR
Today, there are over 30 million units of medium-voltage switchgear installed worldwide using sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
TIME TO SWITCH YOUR SWITCHGEAR? Alexandre Golisano, Strategy Director – Power Systems at Schneider Electric, assesses how switching your switchgear to a ‘SF6-free’ option can help to combat the fight against climate change.
rom forest fires in Australia to climate activist Greta Thunberg, the world is finally listening and working to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and slow down climate change. Concerns in the electrical industry revolve around the commonly used SF6 or sulphur hexafluoride gas. While it can vastly reduce the switchgear footprint and is easy and cost effective to use, it also has
the highest global warming potential of any known substance. Clearly, the need to replace technology using SF6 to SF6-free, has become more attractive. Distribution network operations (DNOs) in the UK are increasingly expected to provide a trajectory of the amount of SF6 emissions emitted and phase it out of their infrastructure altogether. Due to the durable design of components in our electrical infrastructure, it can take many years or even decades until all the old components are replaced, and the new technology becomes the norm.
However, the industry is expecting the introduction of new legislation and regulation around the use of SF6 gas, especially in medium voltage applications, to be introduced over the next few years – meaning that DNOs need to begin rethinking their approach to substation insulation now in order to be ahead of the curve. That’s exactly what’s behind the development and adoption of new switchgear technology, which allows electricity companies and building managers to wage war on global heating and slash their carbon footprint.
ISOLATORS • Switch Disconnectors
Control & Automation www.niglon.co.uk
0121 711 1990 | email@example.com 44 | July 2020
Circuit Protection & Switchgear – Schneider.indd 44
• Manual Changeover Switches • 20A -125A • IP54 - IP65
CIRCUIT PROTECTION & SWITCHGEAR
There’s more to SF6 than meets the eye
Switching to sustainable solutions
Electrical power systems use switchgear, which are circuit interruption devices that control the flow of electrical current by stopping or starting the current between points A and B. Every piece of switchgear must be able to break electrical currents and must insulate itself and ensure safe operation of the network. Today, there are over 30 million units of medium-voltage switchgear installed worldwide using sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). SF6 has been trusted and used extensively since the mid-1950s as a highly reliable replacement of oil as an insulator in electric equipment. However, SF6 is a greenhouse gas and contributes to the climate challenges we face today. Thinking about reverting back to oil insulated electrical equipment as opposed to innovative alternative solutions? The case against moving back to oil insulated equipment is strong too. The main reasons why there was a shift towards SF6 is that oil required more maintenance work because it could quickly become a safety issue, with the possibility of the inflamed oil exploding. It was therefore wise to move towards an alternative as a precautionary measure. The impact? Think of a typical load break switch, part of a unit of switchgear. On average, it contains 1kg of SF6. That 1kg of SF6 equals the same impact as 23,500kg of CO2. That’s the same as driving a car about 200,000 kilometres (your typical vehicle emits around 120g of CO2 per kilometre).
Sustainable medium voltage switchgear reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need to create a new gas to replace SF6 and avoids the problems with end-of-life recapture, recycling and leakage. The utilities industry represents 80% of the SF6 global market, so it is logical that they lead the charge for reducing the use of SF6 by adopting more environmentallyfriendly products. UK DNOs are also very aware of the impact that the energy industry has by using SF6 gas, and it’s clear that proactively searching for an alternative solution which meets network requirements and is environmentally sustainable is imperative. Pursuing SF6-free alternatives is a priority because overall energy consumption continues to grow, with an anticipated 48% growth by 2040. New medium-voltage switchgear technology that uses vacuum interruption and pressurised air insulation allows us to avoid SF6. And while ambient air-insulated switchgear for medium voltage applications above 24kV has long had a reputation of being too large compared to SF6 technology, this is not the case with pressurised air which is able to keep SF6 dimensions at 24 kV with a pressure of 2.5 bar absolute. Today’s alternatives to SF6 switchgear are as compact as SF6 versions, and costeffective. They offer all functions, including fuse-switch, which can meet requirements of varied customer applications and deliver the most sought-after transformer methods. It’s the ideal alternative to the status quo.
Staying ahead of the game
New mediumvoltage switchgear technology that uses vacuum interruption and pressurised air insulation allows us to avoid SF6, says Alexandre
• Switch Disconnectors • Switchfuses • Manual Changeover Switches • Automatic Transfer Switches
Circuit Protection & Switchgear – Schneider.indd 45
With a growing appetite from businesses and individuals alike to reduce their carbon footprint, it’s clear that sustainability and climate change is at the top of the global agenda. As such, looking towards adopting SF6-free switching technology, such as vacuum interruption technology with pure air insulation, combines the best of both worlds of retaining the benefits of a sealed pressure system like compactness, safety, longevity and sustainability without the use of SF6 gas. As regulators look towards imposing more restrictions to encourage environmentally friendly solutions, stakeholders in the energy supply chain should be taking this opportunity to get ahead of the game before the rules change. After all, the best gas is air.
Sustainable medium voltage switchgear reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the need to create a new gas to replace SF6
Schneider Electric, se.com/uk
Control & Automation www.niglon.co.uk
0121 711 1990 | firstname.lastname@example.org July 2020 | 45
SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
THE KNX RE-EVOLUTION By Javier Aguirre – Technical Director of Zennio UK. KNX has been a synonym for innovation and evolution ever since its conception in 1990. For 30 years, KNX partners have come up with ideas and products to make the smart home industry more accessible. This evolution can be seen in the ETS software, in the use of new technologies, in the compatibility of KNX with other control systems… but it is not that often that we can see an evolution in the way a KNX line looks like, and this is what Zennio has managed to do with its latest invention: The ALLinBOX. The question was simple: can a KNX installation have one single device? KNX installations require a KNX Power Supply, an interface (usually USB or IP), outputs (to control things) and inputs (to provide user control), and this is the starting point for almost every KNX installation. So, why not put it all together in one device? And that’s how the ALLinBOX was born; an industry revolution making it possible to have a fully operative KNX installation with just one device. The name, as with every Zennio device, gives some additional information, so the first device of the ALLinBOX family, the ALLinBOX 1612, is a 640mA KNX Power Supply with an auxiliary 29VDC power supply, an IP Interface, 16 relay outputs (configurable as individual, shutter channel or fancoil controller), 12 analogic/digital inputs and 20 logical functions. The 640mA Power Supply is perfect to then add all the other KNX bits: actuators, inputs, touch panels, switches and so on. The IP interface makes it perfect for remote support and BMS communication and the multifunction outputs and inputs plus the logical functions make it suitable for any project. For further information, visit zennio.com/products/actuators/allinbox-1612
UNICRIMP SEALS THE DEAL WITH ADHESIVES RANGE
TIME FOR FAN ISOLATORS TO JOIN THE GRID Knightsbridge, one of the UK’s leading brands of wiring devices, accessories and lighting, is adding a modern slant to the traditional fan isolator switch with the launch of its fan isolator switch grid modules. Offering the contractor both cost and time savings, and the end user greater convenience, the new switches combine good looks with everyday practicality. The 10A rated, triple-pole modules occupy a single grid position and are suitable for use across several Knightsbridge grid faceplates including screwless, flat plate, raised edge and metal clad. There are five contemporary finishes to choose from – brushed chrome, polished chrome, matt white, white and matt black – so isolating the fan has never been so stylish. For ease of identification when installed in a grid format, each module has the text ‘Fan Isolator’ in upper case either neatly engraved or laser printed (dependant on finish) on the surface of the rocker. For further information, visit mlaccessories.co.uk
For further information, visit unicrimp.com
LEWDEN OFFERS BESPOKE POWER DISTRIBUTION SOLUTIONS Lewden has expertise in providing bespoke power distribution solutions, customised to suit customers’ requirements with full concept and product design, assembled by its experienced engineering team with exclusive consultation provided throughout the process. With short turnaround times, starting from concept to delivery, Lewden provides prefinished solutions to reduce installation time on-site. View Lewden’s scope and some of the company’s previous bespoke power distribution solutions at www. lewden.com/custom-designbuild-service.
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CLOUD-BASED ESTIMATING AND CONTRACT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE Trimble Metrics is the new cloud-based estimation and contract management software helping MEP contractors to improve their profit margins on small projects by managing all their project costs and cash flows in one place. Designed specifically to increase profit, Trimble Metrics allows users to perform digital takeoff, create estimates and manage their project profitability in real-time, from tender all the way through to completion. The easy-to-use software combines graphical takeoff, the LUCKINS database, integrated contract management, and cash-flow visibility with unlimited document storage into one solution that can be accessed via a web browser. Trimble Metrics is available for MEP contractors in the United Kingdom. Contractors, estimators and installers can sign up for a free 60-day trial or purchase it online at https://go.metrics.trimble.com/ For further information, visit trimble.com
For more information, visit lewden.com
Scolmore Group company, Unicrimp, supplies the Siroflex range of adhesives and sealants – a trusted brand among professional tradespeople. The high quality, universal range of adhesives and sealants is based on hybrid technology for both interior and exterior applications. The full range comprises silicone adhesives, bonding adhesives, expanding foams, plaster fillers, decorators caulk, threadlocker, putty and fixing tapes. The SX Mighty Strength Grip & Grab Adhesive has initial bond strength which is double that of most other grab adhesives. It bonds heavy objects to vertical surfaces immediately without slippage or support, making it an excellent alternative fixing adhesive that replaces nails, screws and other mechanical fixings. The SX Mighty Strength Seal & Fix is a high quality, universal adhesive that can be used safely in food preparation areas and cold storage. It has excellent adhesion to most non-porous surfaces, will bond to damp surfaces and is paintable with water based and two component paints.
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
THE CONVERTIBLE WALL-FLOOR MOUNTING DATA CABINET Pattrick Brothers Communications has been involved in the manufacture and distribution of data and telecommunications equipment since 1987. Its data and network cabinet ranges are marketed under the KAUDEN and Convicab brands, as well as OEM branding for other well-known distributors. The Convicab concept is, in a nutshell, ‘convertible convenience’. We have taken our standard Wall Mounted Data Cabinet and re-engineered it for quick conversion to a floor standing version when required. It was discovered after some market research that around a third of our customers who buy standard wall cabinets actually want to mount them on the floor and they don’t necessarily want the generally more expensive models that are seen in data centres. Recalibrated for strength, the floor section has been made suitable to accept four castors along with a range of accessories that are specially designed to accommodate both wall and floor scenarios. There are six models available in 9U, 12 and 15U and either 450 or 600mm depth. An economic solution for a floor mount data cabinet. One enclosure with two applications means convenient convertibility, and thus no need for distributors to stock two ranges. Lockable side and front doors are provided for security and the glass door panel is tempered to BS EN12150. Added options provided are new style wider knockouts, rear knockouts and the option to attach brush plates to keep the dust out. All Convicabs have knockouts on the top, bottom and rear. The 9U has one rear knockout in the centre and the 12 and 15U both have two rear knockouts near the top and bottom. The size of the knockouts have been designed to enable a CAT5e or CAT6 patch panel removed from another device to be pulled through saving the re-punching of the cables back in again. The top mounted surface 5mm deep Brush Plate has been designed with the back edge open so that it can be attached after the cables have been pulled through the knockout. The back-mount surface brush plate incorporates a smooth ledge so that the cables are not resting on the actual cabinet edge, reducing possible damage to the cabling when floor mounting, hence the 10mm depth of the plate. For further information, visit kauden.co.uk
OVIA FIRE-RATED DOWNLIGHTS GUARANTEE COMPLIANCE
PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONING UNITS Airmaster desk and floor fans by CED Electrical have been at the heart of the summer cooling market for over 25 years, with an ever-expanding and improving range of products. The traditional Premium range includes 9”, 12” and 16” table fans, 16” pedestal and pull cord wall fans, plus a 30” tower fan with timer – all with three speed options except the 9” (two speeds). Last year, the range was boosted with a comprehensive Economy offering featuring a similar range of products but with the addition of a 6” desk/clip-on fan and a remote-control version of the pedestal fan. Antique chrome 12” table and 16” pedestal fans, plus an 8” high velocity floor fan, add decorative options to the current range, which, new for 2020, now features two Portable Air Conditioning Units – 9000 and 12000 BTU – both with remote control as standard. All products are CE approved, Lot 20 compliant and certified to BS3456 and BS EN 60335. For further information, visit cedelectrical.co.uk
Ovia Lighting’s full range of Inceptor and Flameguard fire-rated downlights have always been subject to the strictest test measures to ensure they offer full compliance and have the corresponding test certification. With the increasing use of I-joists as part of floor construction, the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC) recently updated its technical guidance on recessed light fittings in ceilings to intermediate floors in houses. The NHBC now requires test evidence showing that recessed downlights are suitable for a similar I-joist and plasterboard combination. Ovia has successfully completed further fire resistance testing to demonstrate that its fire-rated downlights satisfy the new guidelines issued by the NHBC. The testing was carried out by Efectis – a major player in fire science, covering all fire safety expertise in testing and modelling, certification and inspection around the world. The NHBC guidance states that only correctly tested products can be used in the type of floor construction in which they are being fitted. For further information, visit oviauk.com
YOU’VE GOT THE POWER WITH MAKITA’S NEW 40V LINE-UP Introducing Makita’s range of its highest power cordless solutions yet: XGT 40V Max. The XGT range of machines – including combi drills, grinders, rotary hammers, impact drivers, circular saws and reciprocating saws – offers high output, durability and fast charge times, keeping you working for longer without disruption. XGT 40V Max is the new standalone cordless battery platform from Makita – with its own range of tools, lithiumion batteries and chargers. The new 40V Max system will stand side-by-side with Makita’s industry-leading LXT platform to offer a battery solution for all applications. XGT has been built around three concepts: high power, tough design and smart technology. Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita, says, “Makita’s new XGT platform is the next generation in cordless technology, leading the way in both performance and intelligence. With XGT, you can experience the same high power associated with corded and petrol machines, but with the increased flexibility of cordless.”
ANTIMICROBIAL ASSISTANCE ALARM KIT ESP’s Assistance Alarm Kit is a simple to install, three-part kit designed to meet the criteria of care standards set out in Part M building regulations and British Standard BS8300. It comprises an indication module, pull cord module and reset module. Each module is manufactured from urea formaldehyde which has antimicrobial properties, making it an ideal choice for hygiene sensitive applications. When independently tested, the modules proved to be 99.99% effective in reducing Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The indication module includes an 80db distinctive tone alert sounder with clear LED alert triangle indication for when the alarm has been triggered. The pull cord module features an anti-ligature mechanism and has a distinctive red pull cord supplied with two handles, including an LED alert triangle. The reset module features a clear LED alert triangle indication with internal sounder to reassure the user the alarm has been raised and assistance is on the way. For further information, visit espuk.com
For further information, visit makitauk.com
48 | July 2020
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SPONSORED STORIES FROM THE INDUSTRY
NEW EMERGENCY LIGHTING RANGE FROM ADVANCED Advanced is extending its range of emergency lighting solutions with the launch of EasySafe addressable, lowvoltage emergency luminaires and exit signs. All EasySafe products are designed to work with LuxIntelligent, Advanced’s emergency light testing system. Powered directly from the LuxIntelligent panel, Advanced’s EasySafe devices require no local power supply and are compatible with any existing LuxIntelligent luminaires and exit
signs, enabling the easy installation of devices onto existing wiring to form one intelligent emergency lighting system. The low-voltage lights offer quick and easy fitting and service, with a simple ‘twist and click’ installation onto a first-fix base. EasySafe has been designed to offer true scalability, with just one LuxIntelligent panel supporting up to 400 EasySafe devices alongside an additional 1,592 locally-powered devices. Matt Jones, Advanced’s Emergency Lighting Business Manager, says, “EasySafe is a valuable new addition to our range of emergency lighting solutions for our customers. Quick, simple installation, using the twist and click mechanism, and compatibility with almost any existing emergency lighting system mean less fitting time on site. And that of course brings significant time and resource savings.” Managing maintenance and compliance is easy. Test result data is available at the touch of a button via the cloudconnected LuxIntelligent control panel, PC or mobile app. Matt adds, “After significant product development involving input from installers, service and maintenance engineers, specifiers and facilities managers, we’re
confident our customers will find tangible efficiency and compliance benefits from using EasySafe. In essence, EasySafe is an innovative solution delivering the performance, quality and ease of use our customers have come to expect from Advanced.” Advanced, owned by FTSE 100 company Halma PLC, protects a wide range of prestigious and high-profile sites across the globe – from London’s Shard to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Miami’s Sands Pointe development. For further information, visit advancedco.com
MAKITA ADDS TO XGT 40V RANGE WITH NEW DRILLS AND DRIVERS
ELLIS INTRODUCES CABLE CLEAT CALCULATOR Ellis Patents has developed an online calculator that will provide users with completely accurate specification information for any project in a matter of seconds. The cable cleat calculator provides correctly specified cleat spacings with respect to short circuit conditions and recommends the ideal products for that specific project. This is achieved through a pre-programmed calculation that takes into consideration cable formation, cable size, short circuit current and the installation environment. Stephen Walton, Technical Director of Ellis Patents, says, “Correctly specifying cable cleats and the spacing they need to be installed at is vital in ensuring they function properly when called into action. Until now, specifiers and planners needed to make the calculation using a complex formula, and then interpret these results into product type, quantity and exact spacing. “Our cable cleat calculator removes this complicated mathematical element from the specification process and replaces it with a fool-proof option that provides the correct cleat specification quickly and easily.”
Makita UK has introduced its new XGT range of cordless high-performance 40V Max tools, with the addition of two models of rotary hammer, a new combi-drill and an impact driver – ideal for heavy duty applications where cordless may not have previously coped. All four new products benefit from Makita’s advanced brushless motor technology. The HR003G and HR004G 40V Max Brushless Rotary Hammers offer outstanding performance with speeds up to 980 revolutions per minute (rpm) and up to 5,000 blows per minute (bpm) of hammer action. They feature a variable speed trigger and three function options – rotary hammer, rotary only and hammer only – making them versatile and easy to adjust to each task. The HR004G is also equipped with a Quick Change Chuck to make switching between drill bits fast and simple. Both machines include Makita’s AntiVibration Technology (AVT) for improved operator comfort and safety.
For further information, visit ellispatents.co.uk/cleat-calculator
For further information, visit makitauk.com
THORN LIGHTING’S NEW ALL-ROUND PROBLEM SOLVER Thorn Lighting’s new Katona combines market-leading efficiency, ease of installation and powerful IP65 protection against water, dust and damage to provide an all-round problem solver for almost every lighting task. This cutting-edge surfacemounted wall and ceiling light is ideal for use in both interior and exterior applications and is rated IK10, resisting impacts of up to 20 joules. Katona’s clean, minimal design (depth of only 58mm) also reduces the accumulation of dirt and dust, ensuring easy cleaning and maintenance. Katona offers lumen outputs ranging from 1000lm to 2000lm and colour temperatures of 4000K or a warmer 3000K, and is available in both round and square designs. Its marketleading luminous efficacy of up to 120 lm/W makes it easy to save energy when compared to traditional light sources and to other LED options. Sophisticated DALI control, a corridor function and the option of wireless connectivity makes it possible to save energy by ensuring that the lighting is only on when necessary.
SCOLMORE ADDS TYPE C USB SOCKET OUTLETS Scolmore has expanded its wiring accessories range to include 13A two-gang socket outlets with integrated Type A and Type C USB charging ports, to meet growing demand and developments in the market for charging solutions. By integrating both Type A and Type C on the same socket, the range will have broader functionality and cover charging options for the widest possible range of devices that now use different sized ports. Used independently, the Type C USB has a charging output of 5V DC, 3A, while the Type A USB has a charging output of 5V DC, 2.4A (independent charge). When both USB ports are in use, the 4.2A charge is shared, with Type C given priority to output its full 3A, with Type A reduced to an output of 1.2A. The charging ports have been moved to a central position above one another, allowing the rocker switches to be moved to an ‘outboard position.’ For further information, visit scolmore.com
For further information, visit thornlighting.co.uk
Company Showcase.indd 49
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BUYERS’ GUIDE FIRE, SAFETY AND SECURITY PRODUCTS Fire, safety and security products that help deter false fire alarms, prevent theft and minimise damage to building equipment.
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OVER 4,000 EV CHARGING POINTS ON THE EV CHARGE.ONLINE NETWORK Fleetwood
Peak District National Park
Chester Congleton Matlock
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Burton upon Trent
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COMPLETE CONTROL OF YOUR EV CHARGING POINTS Pay-to-charge option to increase business revenue Suitable for all private & public locations Mobile phone & RFID operated Customisable EV driver tariffs
PRODUCT AWARENESS TRAINING Attend our Rolec EV Product Awareness Days to find out more about our EV charge points and back office management solutions. To attend, contact Head of Technical and Contractor Relation, Gary Frost: email@example.com
For more details contact Rolec’s technical / support / sales team or visit your local electrical wholesaler
t: 01205 724754 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
@RolecEV / Rolec-Services www.rolecserv.com 19/03/2020 16:18