The faster way to connect downlights. www.quickwire.co.uk
VOLUME 42 NO. 03 • MARCH 2022
SPECIAL FEATURE: SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
SPECIAL FEATURE: TEST EQUIPMENT
NEW GENERATION CONSUMER UNITS BY
SPECIAL FEATURE: WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS
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Tested in accordance with BS EN 61439-3 including annex ZB Up to 100A (InA) Rated Surface and Flush Mounted Boards Up to 24 modules single row 44 modules dual rows Type A RCD, eRCBO & Arc Fault Detection as standard
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2 Blackmoor Lane. Croxley Green Business Park, Watford London WD18 8GA. United Kingdom Manufacturer
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Fulfills the type-test requirements of: Standard
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Clauses 10.2.2 - 10.2.3.1 - 10.2.3.2 - 10.2.6 - 10.2.7 - 10.3 - 10.4 - 10.5.2 10.5.3 - 10.6 - 10.7 - 10.8 - 10.9.2 - 10.9.3 - 10.10 - 10.11 - Annex ZB 16 kA with Fuse - 10.12 - 10.13 Test results are described in the following documents: Type test report No: Certificate issued on
6th September 2021
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VOLUME 42 NO. 03 • MARCH 2022
Regulars 4 Editorial
Smart Lighting & Lighting Control
Electricians see year-on-year rise in earnings
6 Industry News TESP reports surge in electrical apprenticeships; Electricians rank in the top five paid trades across the UK; Are government initiatives helping or hindering EV rollout?; and more
15 Contract News Tilbury Douglas completes the construction of Red Kite View in Leeds; SPIE wins contract for new Boclair Academy; Vimpex’s ClamBell helps protect modular data centres; and more
the next steps in smart 30 Taking and sustainable lighting
32 Lighting the way to net zero smart way to keep a cap 34 The on energy bills begins new chapter 36 University with sensor-controlled lighting in new remodelled library
18 Training Mears encourages employers to consider apprenticeships
20 Project Focus Eco UK Group expands solutions at e-commerce fulfilment centre
lighting for our 38 Smart new world shines a light on iconic 40 Thorn Durham Cathederal
22 Interview Carly Wills speaks to Mike Andrews, CEO of NAPIT, about the role of the organisation within the industry and what’s in store for 2022
24 Advertisement Feature
ministry lights up 42 Christian recycled PV programme
Addvent launches new heat recovery kits
26 Key Issue
holistic approach to the 44 Atesting of emergency lighting
IET and BSI publish Amendment 2 to the 18th Edition
can save lives
50 Competition Win £200 Amazon vouchers with PowerBreaker consumer units
59 Company Showcase
selection and testing – 46 RCD a shocking choice
48 Detecting and visualising leaks
Sponsored content from across the sector
Wholesalers & Distributors
52 Getting noticed electrical 54 Supporting contractors with a multi-channel supply chain growth expected for 56 Robust electrical wholesalers’ market providing expert help 58 CMW: and easy access to products
March 2022 | 3
ELECTRICIANS SEE YEAR-ON-YEAR RISE IN EARNINGS
ello and welcome to the March issue of ECN. As we settle into the new year, Hudson Contract reports that self-employed electricians saw a year-on-year rise in earnings at the start of 2022. According to the company, the cost of hiring self-employed electricians during the seasonally slow start to the new year increased by 2% in 2022. Electrical contractors earned an average of £985 per week in January, compared to £965 during the same period in 2021. Month-on-month earnings usually decline in January as sites begin to reopen after the festive break. This year, they decreased by 14.4% against December 2021. Ian Anfield, Managing Director of Hudson Contract, says: “A year-on-year 2% rise in earnings for electrical contractors is consistent
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with general high demand and high rates for self-employed tradespeople. Our clients are saying they are still busy but more than one or two are also telling us it’s not as difficult to find skilled labour and that the 2021 flood of tender documents coming through the door has settled to a steady stream this year.” This issue we bring you the latest from the Smart Lighting & Lighting Controls, Test Equipment, and Wholesalers & Distributors sectors, along with all of our usual features. Plus, we are offering one lucky winner £200 worth of Amazon vouchers, courtesy of Greenbrook. Next issue’s features are Cabling & Cable Management, Exterior Lighting, and Software & Apps – if you would like to contribute an article on any of these subject areas, or would like to discuss future editorial ideas, please email me at email@example.com. I hope you enjoy the issue – see you next month!
Software & Apps
Carly Wills, Editor
Cabling & Cable Management
April Issue Editorial deadline: March 17 Advertising deadline: March 24
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Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower
Best New Product 2021
WISKA UK Ltd Unit 7, Hurling Way, St Columb Major Business Park St Columb Major, Cornwall, TR9 6SX 01208 816062 01208 816708 firstname.lastname@example.org Untitled-2 2 2022.indd 1 Leader Feb
10/02/2022 13:11 15:31 28/01/2022
INDUSTRY NEWS TESP REPORTS SURGE IN ELECTRICAL APPRENTICESHIPS Electrotechnical apprenticeships for 2021/2022 have got off to a positive start with nearly 4000 new apprentices recruited across England in the first three months of the academic year, TESP has reported. Figures from The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education show that the intake of electrical apprentices remained strong throughout the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrating the value employers place on apprenticeships as the preferred route for training. There are around 28,000 apprentices in training in England, with nearly 17,000 of these under the age of 19. Over 80% of these apprentices are employed by non-levy paying companies, highlighting the strong industry tradition of apprentice recruitment amongst small employers. Since the launch of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, hundreds of adults have taken advantage of the funding for industry recognised electrical training and benefitted from upskilling. From April this year, any adult in England who is earning under £18,525 annually, or is unemployed, can also access one of these free qualifications – even if they already have a Level 3 qualification or higher. The popularity of electrical apprenticeships and the Level 3 courses are also reflected in a growing number of people accessing the Electrical Careers website for information and guidance. From 2020 to 2021, the site not only doubled its number of visitors, but also received triple the amount of page views on the previous year. TESP, the-esp.org.uk
MYENERGI SHORTLISTED IN NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AWARDS Jordan Brompton, co-founder and CMO of eco-smart tech pioneer myenergi, has been announced as a finalist in the ‘entrepreneur’ category at this year’s FDM everywoman in Technology Awards. Aiming to shine a spotlight on the sector’s talent, the awards celebrate women at every stage of their career journey, recognising their ambition, innovative thinking, and commitment to making a positive impact. The judges were impressed by Jordan’s role in the international growth of myenergi – a company best known for developing the world’s first eco-smart EV charging device. The business has grown to 300 members of staff, with more than 3,000 approved installers worldwide. During the past year alone, profitability has increased by more than 2,000%. Jordan comments: “When we founded myenergi, the vision was simple – create a positive impact, push the boundaries and change the world through green technology. As society transitions away from fossil fuels and towards zero carbon, we want to provide the technologies to make eco-smart home management achievable. Our products are built on a commitment to circularity and a vision of sustainability for generations. “Being shortlisted in the FDM everywoman in Technology Awards is a real honour. I’m looking forward to telling my story, sharing myenergi’s vision and using the opportunity as a platform to inspire more women to take up roles in the tech industry.” myenergi, myenergi.com
ELECTRICIANS RANK IN THE TOP FIVE PAID TRADES ACROSS THE UK Business comparison experts at Bionic have created a UK Trade Index to help support the growing local trade economy – and electricians rank in the top five paid trades in the UK. The Bionic trade index looked at 10 of the highest populated cities in the UK outside of London, to find the trade jobs available and the average salary per trade in each city. London was omitted from the index to avoid skewing the results because of the sheer size and density of the capital’s population. Electricians rank in fifth place with an average salary of £35,141 with the highest salary being in Glasgow. There are currently a whopping 2,603 jobs available for electricians in the UK and the highest available jobs in Birmingham, with 374 electricians needed! Electricians in particular are in high demand, from domestic to maintenance electricians that make sure all technology and systems run smoothly. Building and construction trades have the highest number of trade job vacancies, with the highest volumes of these being in Birmingham (2,825). However, Bristol offers the highest average paid salaries for all construction trades analysed, sitting at £33,266. Despite a growing need and availability for roles in building and construction, there is still a substantial gender pay gap of up to £18,250, between men and women. Bionic, bionic.co.uk
6 | March 2022
Industry News.indd 6
Become an approved Sonos Become an approved Sonos Installed Solutions partner Installed Solutions partner Sonos is one of The World’s Leading Sound experience brands. We invented multiroom wireless made it sound amazing, and changed people Sonos is one of Theaudio, World’s Leading Sound experience brands. the We way invented listen at home. Known for premium sound, ease of and use,changed thoughtful multiroom wireless audio, made it sound amazing, thedesign, way people and anatopen platform, products that make listening listen home. Known we for create premium sound, and easeexperiences of use, thoughtful design, simpler and more joyful. and an open platform, we create products and experiences that make listening simpler and more joyful. Sonos innovation powers better listening experiences, We want to continue to workinnovation with the Installer and build on thoseWe successes in the future. Sonos powerscommunity better listening experiences, want to continue From Portable Home Cinema Architectural systems, in these all to work with thespeakers, Installer community andand build on those successes the future. benefit when installed by Home an approved From Portable speakers, Cinemainstaller. and Architectural systems, these all benefit when installed by an approved installer.
Sonos Approved Installers win CEDIA Awards. Apply to become an approved Sonos byInstallers emailing win Installed-Solutions-UK@sonos.com Sonos Installer Approved CEDIA Awards. Apply to become an approved or visit www.sonos.com/dealer/dealer-onboarding Sonos Installer by emailing Installed-Solutions-UK@sonos.com or visit www.sonos.com/dealer/dealer-onboarding Untitled-6 2 OY21012_Sonos_IS_Adv_245x340_V2_DEF.indd 1
21/10/2021 15:47 6/22/21 9:27 AM
INDUSTRY NEWS MATES’ RATES COST UK ELECTRICIANS OVER £650 A YEAR UK electricians are losing hundreds of pounds every year to mates’ rates, but many feel unable to say no when friends or family ask for discounts, according to new research. The study, conducted by ElectricalDirect asked electricians for their opinions on mates’ rates, as well as how often they get asked and the typical discounts they offer. On average, each worker gets asked to reduce their quotes five times a year, with only 1% of respondents saying they never get requests. Electricians tend to offer a generous 40% saving, but many knock off even more. Three in five (30%) do jobs for friends and family at less than half their usual rate. Based on the average day rate, an electrician loses over £125 a day by offering the typical level of discount, which works out at £657 a year.
Despite the significant financial hit, almost a quarter (23%) feel they are unable to say no when they get asked for mates’ rates. A similar number (26%) say they think their friends and family just assume
they will get a discount, or even get the job done for free (23%). Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at ElectricalDirect, says: “Mates’ rates have always been part of the industry, and while
it’s usually harmless to do little jobs on the cheap for friends and family, the amount of money lost can start to add up over time.” ElectricalDirect, electricaldirect.co.uk
LEGISLATION TO CHANGE SO THAT RENTED PROPERTIES ARE FIT FOR HABITATION
ECA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO ‘REBALANCE’, AVOIDING A COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS ECA has responded to Ofgem’s announcement that the energy price cap will rise by 54% to £1,971. ECA welcomes Rishi Sunak’s action to help taper the price rise by supporting middle- and lower-income households but says this is simply not enough. ECA Energy Solutions Advisor Luke Osborne says: “The severity of the announced energy price hike, and the threat this poses to millions across the country, can be remedied if the political will is there. While Sunak’s proposals will provide some respite for 80% of UK households, this will only be temporary. Long plans must be put in place to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis. “Inequalities in the UK taxation system mean electricity is expensive and gas is cheap. Currently, electricity prices per KWh are around four times higher than gas. In the past, when electricity was more carbon intensive, this approach might have been logical. “But renewable electricity generation is cleaner than gas and projected to emit only half of the emissions resulting from heating fossil fuels. The outdated levy structure does not reflect this. “We are calling on government to address the inequalities between gas and electricity levies to reflect the falling carbon intensity of electricity. This single move will have the effect of reducing fuel poverty, be good for business and the environment.”
The legislation, Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will change, effective from 15th July 2022. The new regulations are designed to ensure that private rented properties are fit for human habitation, including the provision of an adequate fire and carbon monoxide alarm system. Under The Renting Homes Regulations 2022, all private landlords in Wales must ensure that there is a working smoke alarm on every storey of a property. In addition, all smoke alarms must be mains powered and interconnected with other smoke alarms in the property. Landlords should refer to BS 5839-6:2013 for the recommended installation of the required smoke alarms, however Aico is encouraging landlords to reference BS 5839-6:2019+A1:2020. The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 also requires landlords to ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is present in any room which has a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance installed. Aico’s National Technical Manager, Andy Speake, comments: “The updated legislation is a step towards ensuring there is adequate fire safety in rented properties in Wales, as previously there were no obligations for landlords regarding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The enforcement regulations are a positive move in the right direction and will ensure greater levels of protection.” Aico, aico.co.uk
8 | March 2022
Industry News.indd 8
ARE GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES HELPING OR HINDERING EV ROLLOUT? A recent survey of EV installers in the UK, carried out by charge point management platform Fuuse, found OZEV grant applications to be the biggest hurdle installers are facing, and may be hindering EV rollout, despite the aim to incentivise it. Over half of respondents claimed that the complexity of applying for and reclaiming the government grants were posing a challenge. 40% said the process for the Homecharge scheme – which is due to scale back next month – was difficult to navigate, with over 10% calling for the OZEV schemes to be scrapped altogether. Requesting too much information, manual paperwork and lengthy payment delays were cited as the main pain points with the current application process. The Fuuse report also concludes a need for better and clearer education in the market, with 46% of installers citing client knowledge and understanding as posing another challenge. The report covers the correlation between those approaching EV transition with reluctance and those with a lower understanding of the charging needs and solutions available to them. Rising costs are also potentially holding back drivers and installers, as the report explores how increased equipment costs and salaries are leading to higher costs for installers and their customers – and the potential affect this is having on decisions to transition. Fuuse, fuuse.io
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SUPPLIES, SERVICE & SOLUTIONS Untitled-1 2
INDUSTRY NEWS CITYFIBRE’S ROLLOUT IN WOLVERHAMPTON CAN COVER MOLINEUX STADIUM 2,000 TIMES CityFibre has now laid 200km of full fibre digital infrastructure beneath the streets of Wolverhampton as part of its £50m plan to future-proof the city’s digital connectivity. CityFibre’s achievement means there is enough full fibre connecting the city’s homes to cover more than 2,100 football pitches at the Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineux Stadium. As a result of CityFibre’s Gigabit City Investment Programme, thousands of residents and businesses in Wolverhampton will soon be able to enjoy access to the fastest, most reliable connectivity available. The rollout will boost business productivity and innovation and deliver millions of pounds in economic benefits for the city, while giving access to the UK’s fastest broadband services. Wolverhampton is one of the first of a growing number of locations in the UK to benefit from CityFibre’s £4bn Gigabit City Investment Programme, which will bring new and improved broadband infrastructure within reach of up to eight million homes and businesses nationwide. CityFibre, cityfibre.com
FORMER BRISTOL CITY LEGEND SCOTT MURRAY OPENS NEW TRAVIS PERKINS SITE
MOVERS & SHAKERS…
Travis Perkins has opened the doors to its latest branch in Bristol, with a little help from former Bristol City winger, Scott Murray. The new branch has created an extra 15 roles, half of which have been filled by women, in what is traditionally a male dominated industry. The site is one of the first branches to pilot Travis Perkins’ new ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by 90% and will include electric forklift trucks and electric charging points. It also boasts a Hire Service from where customers can hire tools, plant, and equipment and more. Its new Benchmarx kitchen display showroom offers a selection of kitchen ranges, increasing Travis Perkins’ offering to its customers. The branch will stock bricks for the first time and its extended range in the yard will include timber, blocks, drainage, and lintels. Customers can choose to shop online, by using the Travis Perkins app, or in branch. The app had been designed in conjunction with customers to help save time and work smarter by enabling them to check and order stock on the go from their local branch. As well as a chance to look around the newly relocated site, visitors had a chance to meet Scott who signed several Bristol City shirts/footballs to give away to customers.
Scolmore Group has appointed Manuela Rubino Courtney to the newly created position of Group Legal and Compliance Manager. Her key responsibilities with Scolmore will be to implement a robust Group Company Compliance programme, with the support of the Board of Directors, to ensure that that the business is meeting all legal, ethical, and environmental requirements.
Travis Perkins, travisperkins.co.uk
MINISTER DECLARES UK IS ‘HUNGRY FOR SKILLS’, URGING EMPLOYERS TO BACK APPRENTICESHIPS Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Alex Burghart MP declared the UK economy is “hungry for skills” at a construction and engineering conference during National Apprenticeship Week. Mr Burghart praised Capital City College Group (CCCG), which hosted the event, and employers for providing valuable careers and training opportunities when he spoke on 9 February. CCCG’s apprenticeship and training provider, Capital City College Training (CCCT), works with 950 employers to provide high quality training to 2,000 apprentices each year. Around 50 representatives from the construction and engineering industries attended the event at Westminster Kingsway College, which is also part of CCCG along with City and Islington College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL). CCCT works with employers across London to offer apprenticeship training in brickwork, plumbing, electrical installations, engineering and rail engineering. Mr Burghart says: “It’s been a real pleasure for me going around the country meeting scores of people in different stages of their careers and lives who are really benefitting from this extraordinary way of working, whose time is really coming again. “I don’t remember a time in my lifetime when the economy was so hungry for skills. We’ve got over a million vacancies out there, we’ve got a huge host of opportunities for people to take advantage of, and it’s going to be apprenticeships that are going to help people make the jump into those opportunities.”
Seaward Electronic has announced several senior appointments as it continues to develop its operations. Andrew Davis has been promoted to the position of UK Business Development and Global Key Account Manager, while Sam Teta becomes International Development Manager. Steven Winder steps up to the role of Service Sales Manager for the company’s precision instrumentation calibration services, Calibrationhouse. The BCIA has announced three new additions to its Management Committee: Stacey Lucas, Matt Brown and Simon Patman. The BCIA is run by its members for its members and appointment to the management committee is by election.
Capital City College Training, capitalcct.ac.uk
10 | March 2022
Industry News.indd 10
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CONTRACT NEWS TILBURY DOUGLAS COMPLETES THE CONSTRUCTION OF RED KITE VIEW IN LEEDS
Richard Wilson Photography, richardwilsonphotography.co.uk
Tilbury Douglas has successfully completed the design and construction of the £20m, Red Kite View in Armley, Leeds for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Red Kite View is an exemplar new mental health inpatient unit for people aged between 13-18 and offers expert therapy and treatment to some of the most vulnerable young people in the Yorkshire region. The 22-bed unit replaces the eight-bed unit at Little Woodhouse Hall in Leeds, increasing the regional bed capacity by 14. This is part of a drive to eliminate out-of-area placements for young people who need an inpatient admission but who can’t access a bed locally. Its two main wards will be staffed by a 100-strong expert team made up of nurses, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, teachers and a wide range of allied health professionals and non-clinical support staff. John Gittins, Divisional Director – North at Tilbury Douglas, comments: “We are extremely proud to be associated with Red Kite View. In partnership we have successfully delivered a highly sustainable building incorporating air source heat pumps and photovoltaics to reduce carbon. We also provided flexibility and innovations along the journey to counter the challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit. Congratulations to all the team and partners, this is a really brilliant facility for the region.” Tilbury Douglas, tilburydouglas.co.uk
ENGINEERING COMPANY AWARDED WORKS ON OATLY’S FIRST UK MANUFACTURING PLANT
VENTOLA PROJECTS SHARES UPDATES ON BIG BOX ENTERTAINMENT VENTURE
Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services has been selected to undertake the mechanical, electrical and public health works for Oatly’s first UK manufacturing facility in Peterborough for IFP Construction. The conversion of an existing 45,000m2 industrial unit will provide a facility capable of producing 300 million litres of oat milk per year, with the capacity to grow to 450 million litres in the future, making it one of the largest plant-based non-dairy factories in the world. The UK factory is part of a wider initiative from Oatly to build factories fit for the future, with efficient use of resources and minimal negative impact on the planet. Oatly is seeking to ensure that it uses 100% renewable energy for its production by 2029, reduce its water withdrawal by at least half from 4.3 litres of water per litre of Oatly in 2019, and eliminate all production waste to landfill. Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services will be undertaking the services design and installation, which includes the HV and LV distribution, small power and lighting, fire alarm, BCWS, HWS, LTHW and CHW distribution, sprinklers, ventilation, BMS controls, steam and process cooling.
Upon completion of phase two of the Big Box Entertainment project, Ventola Projects has announced the facility is now in its final stages, ahead of a launch to the public in the coming weeks. Unlike previous projects performed by the team at Ventola Projects, the Leisuredome, based in Ashbourne, Ireland, saw the company’s technicians enter the facility right at the beginning of its creation to install both stunning and efficient lighting solutions. Mick Ventola, Managing Director and Founder of Ventola Projects, says: “It’s been a new challenge for the team, working on a project so early on in a facilities creation. To be able to come into a completely empty facility and begin the installation of our VAvR lighting solutions allowed us to work with a clean canvas, but also challenged our skills, as we had to envision how the lighting would work to complement the facility once other final elements were installed.” Once opened to the general public, the facility will support a generous capacity, providing guests with a range of entertainment options to suit the entire family, including bowling, escape rooms and laser tag to name but a few.
Briggs & Forrester Engineering Services, briggsandforrester.co.uk
SMART BUILDING TECHNOLOGY FOR WESTMINSTER HOME A large, four story, Grade II listed home in Westminster now benefits from smart building technology, thanks to global associates. The current owners of this grand property have carried out extensive refurbishments and invested in modern amenities that have been optimised to save energy. The latest refit includes a Trend controller on the main boiler plant, and wireless (LoRaWAN) TRVs on each of the 123 radiators. The Trend controller and TRVs are integrated via global’s LoRaWan to BACnet gateway to guarantee maximum comfort while providing energy efficient performance. Before this upgrade, the heating was controlled by a single thermostat with just one temperature sensor in a second-floor hallway. Recognising just how inefficient the existing setup was, the owners of the property asked global to deliver individual controls over each of the four floors, enabling them to better regulate boilers, pumps and hot water. By fitting each radiator with LoRaWAN enabled TRVs, global was able to improve on the brief and deliver direct control over individual zones rather than single floors. With a range of 10km and battery life of 10 years, LoRaWAN enabled devices have emerged as highly reliable, low cost radio technology. global’s gateway feeds the BMS with information from the smart TRVs, allowing demand-based heating by shutting off pumps when they aren’t needed. Each smart TRV installed at the property features a digital display and precisely controls the flow of hot water into the radiators, allowing the occupier to heat the house more efficiently and avoid wasted energy in heating unoccupied rooms and spaces. global not only integrated the smart TRVs into the BMS but also provided integration to the customer’s Control4 home automation system, allowing them touch screen control of all heating, lights, blinds and AV systems.
Ventola Projects, ventola.co.uk
Global associates, global-associates.co.uk
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March 2022 | 15
MICHAEL GRUBB STUDIO DELIVERS PUBLIC REALM LIGHTING STRATEGY FOR BRIGHTON’S CIRCUS STREET DEVELOPMENT With a specialism in bespoke lighting strategies and masterplans, as well as a plethora of impressive design projects, Michael Grubb Studio was able to bring its wealth of expertise to develop the powerful lighting design solution for the multi-million-pound Circus Street public realm regeneration project in Brighton. Based on the concept that lighting should be more than just visual objects, the lighting design of Circus Street sought to relate to the surrounding public realm and architecture. With three main gateways into the development, each entrance has its own catenary lighting flow system with a super-sized pendant, shaped either as a pyramid, cube or sphere. It was important that the lighting design blends seamlessly with the landscape design that had been curated by landscape architect J & L Gibbons, while complementing the bold, honest, and vibrant culture of Brighton. Exterior lighting within the site has been carefully configured and includes a balance of both horizontal and vertical illumination. The central core and main square contain layers of architectural lighting, with each complementing the other. The Circus Street site has a strong focus on sustainability and has been working towards a green future. The creation of the public realm, including public art and associated lighting, was put in place to encourage a sense of community and social interaction for those living and working there. Michael Grubb Studio, michaelgrubbstudio.com
MEP WORKS HAVE COMMENCED FOR THE NORTHERN REGIONAL COLLEGE, COLERAINE CAMPUS
VIMPEX’S CLAMBELL HELPS PROTECT REMOTE MODULAR DATA CENTRES
Michael Nugent has been appointed the mechanical and electrical contractor for the new build Northern Regional College (NRC), Coleraine Campus in Northern Ireland. The £40 million campus is funded by the Department for Economy as part of an investment programme. The project is led by main contractor Heron Bros and will create multiple jobs for the economy during the construction phase of the building alone. The 12,560m2, new build, four storey college has begun replacing the existing college alongside refurbishing and restoring the former Church of Ireland premises on Brook Street. The new building is to provide academic and vocational teaching facilities including classrooms, workshops, offices, meeting rooms, canteen, restaurant, toilets and general circulation areas. The existing former Church of Ireland premises is being refurbished, extended and internally modified to provide space for a performing arts studio, dressing room and music teaching rooms. Michael Nugent’s Building Information Management (BIM) team has been working on the design stages, ensuring the mechanical and electrical building services co-ordination is modelled to the highest standards, while investigating opportunities to utilise off site prefabrication. The project is expected to be complete in the 2023/2024 academic year.
Vimpex’s innovative new ClamBell fire alarm bell has been chosen by a leading, global supplier of modular and skid mounted solutions to be fitted to the outside of the company’s modulars to sound a loud, audible warning in case of fire. Central Engineering manufactures a range of electrical, mechanical, process and communications modules, each uniquely designed to securely house equipment and plant for the data centre, oil and gas, utility, mining and marine markets. Jack MacNelis of local installer JMN Fire Alarms says, “As these modules are often sited in hostile, remote, mountainous areas, Central’s requirement was for an extremely reliable and weatherproof external fire bell for its modulars that, in case of a fire, would be loud enough to warn anyone in the vicinity. ClamBell’s ‘two minutes to fit’ and rugged durability has proved to be the perfect solution.” Vimpex’s ClamBell is an innovative, UK manufactured, fire alarm bell with a unique hinged design that swings shut after installation, which means it’s quick to install, aesthetically pleasing and reassuringly reliable.
Michael Nugent, michaelnugent.co.uk
SPIE WINS CONTRACT FOR NEW BOCLAIR ACADEMY SPIE UK has announced a new contract with McLaughlin and Harvey relating to the new Boclair Academy in Bearsden. The contract covers mechanical and electrical work to deliver a state-of-the-art learning environment for 1,050 pupils, complete with a large entrance atrium, flexible learning zones, performance spaces and dining areas. The project encompasses a range of mechanical and electrical work throughout a new two-storey building which is set for completion by summer 2022. The new Boclair Academy will be built within the grounds of the existing school, with the current school building in use during the scheme before being demolished upon its completion. The contract is being delivered via the SCAPE Construction Framework, a public sector partnership established to develop and deliver value for money property solutions for its public sector partners. SPIE UK’s local specialist BIM team is engaging with the client’s design team and its supply chain partners throughout the pre-construction stage. Jim Skivington, Divisional Managing Director at SPIE UK, says, “We are delighted to be continuing our tradition of delivering high quality facilities management and M&E services in East Dunbartonshire by being a part of the new Boclair Academy scheme. Bringing specialist skills to bear, such as our advanced BIM capabilities, we are confident that we can help to deliver innovative designs and solutions that also provide value for money.”
SPIE UK, spieuk.com
16 | March 2022
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MEARS ENCOURAGES EMPLOYERS TO CONSIDER APPRENTICESHIPS One of the UK’s leading housing and care providers is supporting hundreds of people to get into work and gain skills and qualifications in a wide range of job roles, thanks to apprenticeships.
ears, which maintains and manages 600,000 homes nationwide, currently has 335 apprentices on programme. Ranging from 16 to 49 in age, the apprentices are employed in a variety of jobs in construction and care including electricians, plumbers, carpenters and care workers. Heather Hughes, Head of Learning and Development for Mears, said the apprenticeship programme brings so much to the company, thanks to the diverse range of skills they bring. “I am incredibly proud of all our apprentices – they bring so much and work so hard for us,” she says. “During the pandemic, our apprentices, especially in the care sector, really stepped up to the mark, working throughout the crisis. They benefit from customer service training and get on so well with our customers. “They bring new ideas and fresh thinking, sometimes teaching our more mature workers a thing or two – especially when it comes to digital skills!” Mears launched a new national recruitment strategy in February during National Apprenticeship Week and is hoping to recruit a further 200 apprentices across the business. Heather went on to say: “We have an ageing workforce, especially in construction, and due to changes in that sector resulting from technological advances, our apprentices are learning new techniques and bringing them back into the workplace.” She said they have a number of apprentices who have progressed with the company. One 21-year old who started on a business administration apprenticeship, is now working on the digital platform, running virtual classrooms for the company. He has 10 qualifications so far and hasn’t even completed his apprenticeship. “We really value our apprentices and pay more than the minimum wage required as we recognise the work they do and need a wage to buy tools, clothes – and to enjoy their lives.” Leah Sellick, 24, is a successful electrician working as part of the Mears Exeter Housing maintenance team delivering responsive maintenance and void works for Exeter City Council. She started with Mears seven years ago when she was successful in her application to become an apprentice
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The apprenticeship programme brings so much to the company, thanks to the diverse range of skills they bring
electrician. A builders’ daughter, Leah was originally planning on joining her dad but was persuaded to follow a career in electrics and since then has not looked back. Now an integral member of the team, and with the benefit of hindsight, when asked to comment on her time as an apprentice Leah says, “You need to be dedicated, resilient and passionate enough to tackle any hurdles you encounter. There are times when you think is this it? I considered giving up on several occasions when the studying was hard, but I just got my head down and got on with it. Looking back now I can see the benefit of my apprenticeship training and I am really happy that I stuck with it. I love the fact that my role is very hands-on and I get to problem solve daily, thinking on my feet knowing there’s always the rest of the team to bounce ideas off if I come across a difficult issue. I really enjoy being an electrician and would highly recommend an apprenticeship as a route to a successful career.” Her general manager comments, “Leah is an inspiration for all apprentices, firstly, and most importantly, she is a great electrician and has learnt and applied herself throughout her training period to become a competent and confident professional. But also, she’s a great role model for other young tradeswomen, as a busy working mum, Leah manages to balance the needs of her young family with the demands of working four days a week. I’ve been massively impressed with her work ethic and enthusiasm since she has returned from maternity leave. Not only is she passionate about delivering a first-class service to our tenants but she is constantly looking for new opportunities to improve her skills. In
fact, we are currently looking at finding her additional training courses so that she can also become a competent plumber as well as an electrician.” Mears has benefitted from incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice and has used the funding to support staff with a variety of benefits including driving lessons, work clothing and additional courses. Mears has its own training academy and, in addition to the qualifications that staff are learning as part of their apprenticeship, the company also provides additional courses in a range of subjects including safeguarding, mental health awareness, pastoral care and carbon awareness, equipping staff with life skills they need for their working and personal lives. Each apprentice is invited to complete at least four ‘added-value’ courses. Some apprentices also go into schools to encourage children to think about apprenticeships as a viable and rewarding option. Heather said she would encourage any employer who hasn’t considered apprenticeships to do so. She said one of the factors that has made Mears’ programme so successful is that there is a top-level commitment from all the senior managers, as well as providing support to its work-based mentors, who support apprentices in the workplace and as part of the learning process. The company is looking to further incentivise its mentors to enhance their skills in the area to benefit the company and the individual. Mears, mearsgroup.co.uk
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15/02/2022 12:01 18/02/2022 09:25
ECO UK GROUP EXPANDS SOLUTIONS AT E-COMMERCE FULFILMENT CENTRE Eco UK Group has recently returned to Team AB for a second time in a year to install its comprehensive mechanical, electrical (M&E) and energy efficient lighting solutions in another unit at its 143,000ft2 e-commerce fulfilment centre at PortOne, Blakenham.
n recent years, e-commerce has led to continued growth in online sales which has only advanced in the current climate. To help meet rising demands, Team AB’s warehouse at Port One was designed as a built-to-suit solution for the e-commerce and online sector, holding up to 31,000 pallets of goods across its 31 aisles.
Extensive mechanical expertise In order to provide an optimum thermal environment and good air quality for staff working within the office, the project will involve a full line up of the EcoMech division’s extensive mechanical expertise. This will include the installation of office VRF ceiling cassette style air conditioning units, mechanical heat recovery ventilation, thermal insulation, toilet extract systems, electric panel heaters, hot and cold water installation, above ground drainage and sanitaryware.
UK Group says it is delighted to have provided modern and effective lighting and equipment that will ensure it achieves substantial savings
Consideration for a greener future Ecolectrical engineers will also be required to install a new mains panel board and 10 sub distribution boards to operate the warehouse lighting and small power, door access control, intruder alarm and
communications cabinets. External work will include the installation of five EV charging systems in the site’s car park, incorporated to accommodate the rise in electric vehicles across the UK. EVs accounted for 164,000 pure-electric cars and over 373,600 plug-in cars in 2020 compared to just 3,500 in 2003. A fire alarm and aspiration system with optical smoke detectors and heat detectors will also be fitted at the site along with a disabled toilets alarm and disable refuge alarm system.
Powerful energy efficient LED illumination Eco UK Group’s lighting division will be installing energy efficient LED lighting at both the fulfilment centre and office accommodation, fitting 578 luminaires across the facility. Within the fulfilment centre, very specific lux levels will be achieved with the installation of 426 high bay LED luminaires.
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The office lighting will consist of 127 fittings, a combination of recessed square LED panel lights and round ceiling downlights and both offices and the warehouse will be fitted with an emergency lighting system to BS5266. Eco UK Group will also install 25 street lights and floodlights to the exterior. The new industry-leading e-commerce fulfilment centre is the second of a number of sites planned for the site at Port One Ipswich it continues to expand, and Eco UK Group says it is delighted to have provided modern and effective lighting and equipment that will ensure it achieves substantial savings in the years to come. The management team at Team AB have continually expressed their gratitude to the EcoM&E and the Ecolighting team, for their efficiency, competence and support throughout the project. They have voiced a keen interest to work with the team on upcoming installations in some of their other warehouses.
Within the fulfilment centre, very specific lux levels will be achieved with the installation of 426 high bay LED luminaires
Eco UK Group, ecoukgroup.com
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CONSTANTLY DRIVING CHANGE FOR THE GOOD OF THE INDUSTRY Carly Wills talks to Mike Andrews, CEO of NAPIT, about the role of the organisation within the industry, and what’s in store for 2022
CW: For those who may not know, can you give us an overview of the work that NAPIT does? MA: From humble beginnings as the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers, the NAPIT Group now includes: NAPIT Registration, NAPIT Certification, NAPIT Training, NAPIT Inspection, NAPIT Services and NAPIT Risk Management. We offer Government approved and United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited membership schemes through NAPIT Registration and NAPIT Certification across the building services and fabric sectors, whilst seamlessly offering inspections, training, insurance and representation through a number of areas of NAPIT. In the 30 years since we were founded as an industry association, our ethos has been to represent the interests of members with integrity and work to raise standards across the industry. We have more than 16,000 NAPIT registered members in the electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, microgeneration and building fabric trades across the UK domestic, commercial and industrial markets. As an organisation, we endeavour to always maintain a friendly, common-sense approach to business, and our goal is to raise standards and safety within the building services industry. NAPIT has grown considerably since it was founded, but with our trade association values remaining at our core and being the guiding force in how we work with our customers. CW: Tell us about your current role – what are you responsible for and what does the normal working day consist of? MA: As NAPIT Group CEO of a dynamic, ever-changing business, I am always involved. My role extends from planning to execution and everything in between. There is always more to be done. My aim is to strategically drive the business forward by offering the best possible service and champion the interests of our members. I also aim to create an environment that encourages talented people to want to work for us and where customers want to do business with us.
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people to search for registered, competent electricians in England and the introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards (in the Private Rented Sector England Regulations) in 2020 have been amongst our successes, as has NAPIT’s participation in the Electrical Safety in the Social Rented Sector Working Group of the MHCLG (now Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities).
NAPIT has been shaped by technical excellence, first-class customer service, and a continuing focus on improving the recognition of NAPIT members within the industry – I strive to maintain this standard of excellence. A typical working day for me consists of everything from meetings with the Board of Directors and senior management to the day-to-day operation of the business. I am responsible for identifying risks, implementing appropriate strategies, and ensuring that correct practices are being followed. Planning, budgeting, and travelling for business to trade events and conferences to meet members and customers are some of the other aspects of my job. As well as developing the company’s strategy and future vision for growth, my mission is to constantly drive change for the good of the industry. CW: What are the best things about your role? What are the most challenging? MA: I am fortunate that my role has so many ‘best’ aspects that I like and enjoy. Among my favourite things to do is meet with our customers, find out how we have helped them and how we can improve, with new products and services, and drive industry standards. For example, as of 2021, we introduced NAPIT FastTest, a software developed to offer more online and desktop capabilities through the management portal, mobile applications, cloud sync functionality, and access to a wider variety of certification. The product has been a tremendous success and gained rapid popularity with many businesses in the industrial, commercial and domestic sectors to generate a variety of certificates and reports. In addition, our new online member preference centre allows members to choose how they wish to be communicated with, as well as our digital ID card app, allowing our members to access their membership ID on-the-go via their smartphones, are further examples of digital development work completed within 2021. The introduction of the Registered Competent Person Electrical provides a single consumer-facing identity that allows
When it comes to challenges, I relish them. Bringing attention to the needs of our members and advocating for the right changes would rank high on the list. Gaining industry consensus and parliamentary attention to the numerous issues affecting our members is very important for us. In recent years, dealing with the diverse and ever-changing challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has also been a major challenge. In the end, the chance to affect positive change in our organisation, in our industry, and in our society at large can be truly rewarding. CW: How has COVID-19 affected the industry? Do you think things will be finally able to get back to ‘normal’ soon? MA: COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, an impact on our members’ businesses. In addition to the pressures that arise from loss of earnings, the rapid evolution of COVID-19 has caused concern for many businesses. But on a separate note, we are proud to have our members classified as ‘key workers’ and that they have been providing emergency services for the general public in these unprecedented times, while also providing support and shielding their families. It is a testament to their character and sheer sense of service and dedication that permeates our trades and tradespeople. Even though the infection levels of COVID-19’s latest manifest, Omicron, remain high, the mortality rate is down, and more people are getting vaccinated, so we need to remain positive. I am confident that things will return to normal sooner rather than later – the easing of the restrictions in England from 26 January 2022 was a great step towards returning to normality. CW: Aside from COVID-19, what have been the biggest changes across the industry in recent times? What will be the biggest changes in the future? MA: In the years to come, the Grenfell Tragedy of June 2017 and resulting Building Safety Reform agenda will continue to have a significant impact on the industry. The creation of the Building Safety Regulator, under the Health and Safety Executive, is set to be responsible for overseeing the safety and performance of buildings and will dramatically change the way that building safety is currently managed. The Building Safety Bill is currently making its way through Parliament and is expected to receive Royal Assent later in the year. Whilst many of the details are yet to be agreed, it is clear that this Bill will improve building standards, focus on promoting the competence of tradespeople and provide greater protection to residents. For tradespeople, the impact will be focused on evidencing training, CPD, qualifications, competence and registration, specific fire-stopping training if working within Higher Risk Buildings and keeping clear, accurate and detailed records of work completed to join the Golden Thread. In light of these changes, we are considering how best to support our members so they can continue their work with as minimal disruption as possible.
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This year, new legislation requiring electric vehicle charging points in new homes and buildings will come into effect, opening up new opportunities for our members. As well as our recent battery storage scheme, I am excited about the Government’s commitment to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028 – although heat pumps are not new technology, the Government’s ambition for them is new and exciting. Further, the electrification of the grid, while it poses many challenges, will have a significant impact on how many people heat their homes and will require a significant investment in infrastructure. CW: What’s next for you and for NAPIT? MA: There are a number of things that are ‘next’ on our Agenda 2022 list. As I look ahead, I do so largely with excitement. Although the previous two years have been challenging, the construction sector remains strong. With the goal of net zero carbon emissions at the core of Government policy, there will be significant opportunities for growth, development and advancement in this sector. NAPIT stands committed to supporting construction industry growth. With the emphasis on heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points clearly set out in the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy and the Net Zero Strategy, we expect a sharp increase in the demand for training and certification in these areas in the coming year and beyond. Our immediate priorities would include investing in and expanding our products and services, as well as organising CPD events for our members to participate in with the upcoming release of Amendment 2 of BS 7671:2018. Our events continue to be successful and being able to host them physically again and meet our members has been wonderful. NAPIT EXPO and the ELEX trade shows have been well received by customers and have given our team a boost. For 2022, our team is preparing to provide first-hand guidance to the electrical industry regarding the new BS 7671:2018 Wiring Regulations Amendment 2, due for release in March. This will be the focus of our EXPO events this year as we strive to deliver expert technical content and provide CPD for NAPIT members and the wider industry. All of our events are presented by NAPIT technical experts who serve on the JPEL/64 committees and have been involved in every aspect of this new amendment. On top of the seminars, attendees can look forward to free goody bags, prize draws and offers and discounts from a range of industry manufacturers who will be present on the day. We will reveal more details over the coming weeks, and I would recommend registering as soon as possible. Building on these achievements and establishing new ones, we aim to do even better in the future. We will remain focused on delivering what our customers need and on making it easy for them to do business with us.
CW: What are your interests away from work? MA: Away from work, my interests are varied and range from caravanning, learning to play the piano and playing golf. Above all, my greatest interest is my family time with my wife and two young children. NAPIT, napit.org.uk
March 2022 | 23
ADDVENT LAUNCHES NEW HEAT RECOVERY KITS Addvent has launched a range of off the shelf heat recovery electrical contractor kits, which have been specifically designed to make installation and specification easier for the electrical contractor.
Heat recovery systems are becoming the ventilation system of choice
ddvent manufactures an array of extract and supply fans for different purposes and continues to innovate with evermore impressive solutions. With changes to the building regulations and the push towards net zero and low carbon technology in our homes, heat recovery systems are becoming the ventilation system of choice with the benefits they offer the home developer and home owner. Heat recovery systems extract stale air out of the building via a heat exchanger, retaining the heat and then supplying fresh air through that heat exchanger, in turn, putting warm fresh air into the building. Addvent heat recovery units’ have a thermal heat recovery performance of up to 98% efficiency. Heat recovery systems provide the best possible EPC rating for ventilation within SAP and, in addition, installing a heat recovery system means the householder will spend less on heating their property, as heat recovery systems are energy saving products. It is estimated that heat recovery systems can reduce heating costs in certain applications by up to 50% annually. However, installing a heat recovery system is a lot more involved than adding traditional intermittent ventilation and, importantly, with heat recovery, ventilation now becomes a first fix project.
Addvent wants to make sure that heat recovery installation remains an electrical contractor install, so the company currently offers a full ventilation design service to electrical contractors using industry leading REVIT AutoCAD design package. The company also wants to make the process and installation of heat recovery easier for electrical contractors. The kits include all of the equipment they will need - the heat recovery unit, controllers, ducting, grilles and ancillaries. They are also available in three straightforward sizes – three, four and five bedroom kits. The kits still come with full technical back up via the Addvent technical team and also have a five-year warranty. Addvent’s internal support team in Bristol backs up a specification sales force covering the whole of the UK, providing expert advice to electrical contractors and end users. The company also offers a free ventilation design service - a valuable resource to all its customers. The free design service is part of Addvent’s commitment to provide electrical contractors with industry leading specialist support. The ever-growing demand for ventilation products has seen Addvent expand its commitment to its customers. Whilst acknowledging that Addvent’s success in customer service has come from close, personal contact, significant investment continues to be made in technology and logistical systems for
Features • A complete off the shelf heat recovery ventilation kit for your home • Three, four and five bedroom kits available • Complete with all ducting, grilles and ancillaries required • Thermal heat recovery efficiency of up to 98% • Exceeds Building Regulations Parts F and L • ERP compliant • High efficiency EC motor • Optional built-in humidity control • Supplied with G4 filters with F8 pollen filter • Three speed settings • Integrated control panel • Wall mounted installation • Wall controller supplied • Vertical mounting
even faster response. The high level of customer service, together with nationwide distribution, ensures that Addvent’s customers get the right products when and where they want them. Addvent also maintains a presence at major industry forums to regularly introduce new products and innovations to local authority, housing association and commercial specifiers. Addvent, addvent.co.uk
24 | March 2022
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The Guide to Implementing Electrified Heat in Domestic Properties is available to purchase from the IET bookshop This Guide will help develop your knowledge on how to correctly apply electrified heating on current and future projects, as well as gaining an insight into technologies such as heat recovery, renewables, and energy storage. Understand key areas such as: – – – –
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Fabric and comfort considerations. Electrical supply considerations. Heating options including heat pumps. Electrified heating systems and key components.
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IET & BSI PUBLISH AMENDMENT 2 TO THE 18TH EDITION The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and BSI have signed off the content for Amendment 2 to BS 7671:2018 (18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations), which introduces a new requirement for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs), updated requirements for the fire safety design for buildings and a new chapter on Prosumer’s Low Voltage Electrical Installations.
mendment 2 comes into effect immediately when published on 28 March 2022 and the previous version, BS 7671:2018+A1:2020, will be withdrawn six months later. This essential update to the IET Wiring Regulations will form the national standard to which all new electrical installations, additions and alterations to existing electrical installations in the UK are to comply. The IET and BSI are now urging all electrical professionals to ensure they become familiar with the changes. Significant changes include: • A new requirement for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in some AC final circuits for installations in some types of higher risk residential buildings • The requirement for the fire safety design of buildings to be documented where specific conditions of external influence exist, such as protected escape routes and locations with risk of fire • Method for determining the requirement to provide overvoltage protection
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• Changes to identification, labels and notices, such as for consumer units, affecting how safety information is provided to the user of the electrical installation • A chapter on Prosumer’s Low Voltage Electrical Installations, in a new part, Part 8 The IET says that members of the committee responsible for the technical content of BS 7671, JPEL/64, are not permitted to release any further information before the publication date. Dan Palmer, Associate Director of Committees at BSI says: “BS 7671 is one of the UK’s most important standards, providing authoritative requirements to promote electrical safety. The changes introduced in this new amendment will help electrical professionals keep up to date with new and innovative technologies, as well as ensuring they have current knowledge about designing safe installations.” Mark Coles, Head of Technical Regulations at the IET, says: “The IET is the authority for electrical installations in the UK and ensures that the National Wiring Regulations Committee carefully considers all necessary updates to the
Regulations to ensure they best meet the needs of the industry. “The Amendment continues the thread of embracing new technologies, and Prosumer’s Low Voltage Electrical Installations is an exciting step into the future of renewable sources of energy and their integration into our lives. “Focussing on high-risk environments with requirements for Arc Fault Detection Devices and the fire safety design of buildings is a major step in order to increase safety. “Amendment 2 is an essential update to provide for the safety of electrical installations in the UK and it is now imperative that the industry is ready to work to this amendment before BS 7671:2018+A1:2020 is withdrawn.” Further changes are included throughout all parts of BS 7671, including the incorporation of Amendment 1:2020 to BS 7671:2018 as part of the main document. Post Brexit, this Amendment sees the further adoption of CENELEC Harmonised Documents as the UK continues the inclusion of standards for new and developing technologies. IET, theiet.org
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EI Live! welcomes everyone involved in the smart building and smart home industry sector. This vast range of exhibitors can’t be found anywhere else – to visit and find out what they have to offer, keep an eye out for when visitor registration opens.
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SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
TAKING THE NEXT STEPS IN SMART AND SUSTAINABLE LIGHTING Amanda Speight, Business Development Manager at LED lighting manufacturer CFE Lighting, offers her take on where the lighting industry is headed, with circular economy concepts adding to the sustainable gains being made by LEDs and smart technologies.
Lighting systems which stand the test of time will be a vital source of savings
rom consumer pressure to new governmental legislation, businesses are operating with increasing obligations to adopt sustainable practices. Take the end of 2021. COP26 shone a bright spotlight on the climate emergency, with world leaders pledging to keep the landmark Paris Agreement of 2015 alive. Many nations, including the UK, have committed to net zero by 2050, a move which has already prompted organisations of many different shapes and sizes to rethink their priorities for the years and decades ahead. Switching to LED lighting is a simple, cost-effective solution that is gaining traction by the day. Seen as low hanging fruit when it comes to cutting carbon emissions, the rise of LEDs will continue to gather pace in the coming years – indeed, the market for LED lighting was valued at $75.81bn in 2020 and is expected to reach $160.03bn by 2026. Great strides have also been made beyond the widespread adoption of LEDs. Smart lighting, which enables homeowners and commercial building managers to intelligently control when lights are switched on and off based on usage, is becoming another relatively simple means of cutting energy consumption. In 2020, the global market for smart lighting was worth just over $11bn. By 2030, this is forecast to surge fourfold to almost $44bn.
On the residential side, the new trend of home automation is penetrating houses with middle and high income group consumers, who are turning to lighting systems that can be controlled via connections to smart devices and personal assistants such as Alexa and Siri. In the commercial sphere, the retail sector is a good example of a major beneficiary of smart lighting solutions. Asides the energy efficiency gains, systems installed in stores are leveraging technologies such as Bluetooth which allow LED light fixtures to communicate wirelessly with the antennas and cameras in smartphones. In doing so, retailers can reach consumers who visit their outlets and communicate more meaningful offers based on their purchasing data.
Smart lighting and the implications for installers As more end users become aware of the financial, social, and environmental benefits associated with smart lighting, demand for these types of systems will only grow. This means that electrical contractors should be preparing themselves to handle more smart lighting installations, and, importantly, there is no one size fits all approach or method. Indeed, depending on the exact nature of the project, smart lighting fittings will likely involve either a wireless retrofit option
“With rising energy costs already starting to hit consumers and businesses, lighting systems which stand the test of time will be a vital source of savings”
or fully wired solution. This will hinge on the inhabitants of the building and how the space is to be used, and whichever route is chosen it is imperative that the installer has a sound understanding of the different technologies available and the capabilities they provide. Of course, some may naturally be cautious about smart systems and their added complexity, but CFE Lighting’s message is not to be put off by the myth that many things can go wrong with installations. In fact, the opposite is emerging as the truth as systems continue to develop and become easier to install. For those that remain uneasy about getting to grips with new technology, a good lighting supplier will be able to provide all the technical support you need to be on your way.
Integrating deeper into the circular economy While the growing uptake of smart systems will continue to shape the future for lighting installers, another trend is starting to emerge which will strengthen the sector’s sustainability credentials further. CFE Lighting calls this ‘make, reuse, recycle’. A new business model for the lighting sector, it is all about creating products (smart or otherwise) which are built to last with parts that can be serviced and repaired. By extending a product’s life in this way, lighting can be further embedded into the circular economy, which is all about making the most of materials and keeping them in useful circulation for as long as possible before recycling or disposal. As well as producing products that are sustainable and can be re manufactured or upgraded, companies are also servicing and repairing luminaires already in the marketplace which means they are working to the directives of BS8887. Indeed, there are clear benefits to be reaped by end users. With rising energy costs already starting to hit consumers and businesses, lighting systems which stand the test of time will be a vital source of savings. CFE Lighting believes this is the right way forwards for its business and the wider lighting sector. There is clear demand from end users for more sustainable and cost-effective options, and those that are slow to respond to these changing dynamics may be left behind. CFE Lighting, cfe-lighting.co.uk
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SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
LIGHTING THE WAY TO NET ZERO A major challenge for electrical contractors is being able to future-proof new buildings for increasingly vital sustainability, and with net zero 2050 and interim targets fast approaching, commercial buildings need to make sustainable adjustments soon. Here, John Carruthers, Managing Director of CP Electronics, part of Legrand UK & Ireland, explains how lighting controls hold an important role in achieving the UK’s sustainability goals.
T Smart lighting is becoming more and more necessary
he UK has set the much-needed objective of reducing emissions to as close to zero as possible by the middle of this century. As part of this, the government has plans to change laws, making it illegal for a commercial landlord to grant a new tenancy for a building with an EPC rating of F or G. It is urgent, both environmentally and financially, to significantly lower emissions across all sectors. Schools in the UK have a yearly energy target to encourage efficiency and eco-friendly practises, and many companies have instituted green policies related to recycling and reducing waste. However, there are many buildings that are simply not yet capable of meeting the net zero 2050 requirements. One opportunity for businesses could lie in how they use lighting systems. According to Statistica, commercial lights use 12.6% of the UK’s electricity annually. With the cost of energy continuing to make headlines, we can assume that this figure will only increase.
“Many companies have instituted green policies related to recycling and reducing waste”
Over the next 15 years, in preparation for net zero 2050, the government plans to slash emissions by two thirds, meaning industrial spaces, commercial environments, and schools need to find greener lighting solutions. This is where contractors can play an integral role.
Reduced occupancy As many of us now work from home, countless commercial buildings are regularly functioning with a reduced occupancy or are entirely empty for days at a time. An office designed for 100 people requires a certain amount of lighting, and when hybrid working leaves half of the desks empty, the lighting should adapt to save otherwise wasted energy. As offices, commercial buildings and schools operate with fewer people inside, smart lighting is becoming more and more necessary when considering the global environmental impact of non-residential spaces. Once installed, they can help businesses control their energy use and ensure the lighting of buildings is always optimised.
Introducing technology that helps buildings reduce their impact on the environment should therefore no longer be feared. Digital ecosystems, for example, offer convenience, safety, and increased productivity, and provide an opportunity to reduce carbon footprints and help the UK achieve net zero 2050. Automatic detectors, which respond to a person’s presence by lighting their environment and turning the lights off when nobody is there, are an option that contractors can look to introduce. When combined with the automatic adjusting of artificial lights, they help to maximise natural daylight as an eco-friendly light source. Electrical contractors have an opportunity to promote the benefits of such lighting systems. In large indoor areas, such as schools or offices, it is common for empty areas to be constantly lit, assuming someone might enter that area. This leads to huge amounts of energy being needlessly expended and raising overall costs. Casambi enabled lighting controls by CP Electronics, combined with motion sensing and daylight harvesting, for example, can put an end these unsustainable practises. Casambi-enabled lights automatically respond to the needs of those nearby, tempered with the ability to adapt to the presence of other light sources.
Final thoughts As companies continue to adapt to hybrid working, there is an opportunity to ensure buildings are equipped and future-proofed. While offices will always need lighting, they must be smarter, adaptable, and sustainable to ensure they meet changing requirements efficiently. This is a considerable challenge, and one that contractors should not face alone. Working with a partner that offers consultative services, like CP Electronics, is the first step on this exciting journey. By supporting electrical contractors with training on a range of products, CP Electronics provides the support and tools needed to deliver sustainable smart connected lighting for its customers. The transition to smart lighting control is far simpler and user friendly than a lot of people realise. By partnering with a specialist in lighting and energy controls, commercial and industrial sectors can fulfil some of the necessary requirements for net zero 2050. CP Electronics, cpelectronics.co.uk
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SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
THE SMART WAY TO KEEP A CAP ON ENERGY BILLS With households and businesses facing huge hikes in energy bills, and the prospect of high gas and electricity prices lasting for another two years, Mike Collins, Sales Director with Ovia Lighting, looks at how being smart with lighting can help reduce energy consumption.
LEDs use less energy and cost a lot less in the long run
hen the new energy cap comes into force on 1 April, average energy bills will increase by £693, a rise of 54%, to £1,971 a year. Experts have also warned that the energy price cap could rise once again in October 2022 by 20%. There is no shortage of advice in circulation on ways that householders can reduce energy consumption, with turning off lights at the top of the list. However, as well as switching off lights in general, consideration should be given to switching the lamp itself to more energy efficient LED alternatives. According to the latest lighting report from AMA Research, the 15th edition Lighting Market Report – UK 2020-2024, the key driver for the lighting market is the rapid adoption of LED lighting in both the non-domestic and domestic construction sectors. LED’s growth in market share has been underpinned by energy efficiency regulations, leading to the removal from sale of halogen lighting from September 2021 and fluorescent lighting set to follow in September 2023. With LED lighting increasingly seen as key to improving environmental footprints and driving down energy consumption, the global LED market will continue to grow significantly in coming years. In 2020 the global LED lighting market stood at $55,201.9 million and is expected to reach $152,442.3 million by 2030 – demonstrating a CAGR of 10.7% from 2020 to 2030. Significant improvements in light output and quality, including a wider spectrum and warmer white light, is helping to boost their acceptability in the market. LEDs now represent the majority of UK lamp sales.
It pays to switch According to the Energy Savings Trust, lighting accounts for 15% of a typical UK household’s electricity bill, so all measures taken to reduce consumption will be key when trying to keep costs down. LEDs use less energy and cost a lot less in the long run. A traditional halogen bulb lasts around two years, based on three hours’ daily use, around 2,000 hours. An LED under similar conditions lasts 10,000 hours upwards, for 10 years or longer. The Energy Savings Trust also says that savings can be made of between £2-3 per year for every traditional
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For larger and more complex installation requirements, Ovia offers a more in-depth service which includes a free site survey. A member of the Ovia team will visit the site in question and carry out a full survey of the existing lighting installation. They will take into account which lamps are currently being used and the quantity, how long they are on for, any areas not in use, for example. With all the facts and figures to hand, Ovia will put the information into a calculation to work out which particular products – lamps and controls – are required to maximise the reduction in energy consumption and therefore running costs for that specific building.
The cue to lighten up halogen bulb switched to a similarly bright LED bulb. If the average UK household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £40 a year on bills and would reduce the carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40kg a year. That is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by driving a car around 140 miles. While it will have an effect, replacing traditional lamps with LEDs is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to driving down energy consumption and reducing costs and environmental impact. The advancement of smart technology has created new opportunities for individuals and businesses to really make a difference. The combination of LEDs and controls is the future. For the home, lighting can now be easily controlled via an app on a mobile device to ensure lights are only on where and when necessary.
Energy efficiency was top of the list of priorities for a recent lighting project undertaken by Ovia
Energy efficiency was top of the list of priorities for a recent lighting project undertaken by Ovia. Q Catering is a leading wholesale foodservice provider to caterers across Kent and East Sussex. When a decision was made to upgrade the outdated lighting provision in the warehouse, Ovia’s Inceptor Hion 200W LED Dimmable Highbay fittings were selected to provide a high performance, more energy efficient LED alternative to the fluorescent fittings that had been in place since 2003 and a total of 12 of the fittings were installed. Ovia, oviauk.com
Energy and cost saving calculations For businesses, replacing outdated lighting with modern LED systems will help them to improve energy consumption and reduce costs at a time when many of them are facing rising operational costs. For a quick guide to the cost and energy savings on products within the Ovia lighting collection, contractors can use the ‘Tool Kit’ feature on the Scolmore Group app where they can access the Ovia Lighting Cost Saving Calculator to see cost and energy savings across the product range.
Replacing outdated lighting with modern LED systems will help businesses to improve energy consumption and reduce costs
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SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
UNIVERSITY BEGINS NEW CHAPTER WITH SENSOR-CONTROLLED LIGHTING IN NEW REMODELLED LIBRARY A Berkshire university, which has been voted as one of the top 10 most popular green spaces in the UK, has installed new eco-friendly sensor-controlled lighting in its library as part of a £40m redevelopment.
he library building at the University of Reading on the Whiteknights campus has undergone a major refurbishment and has had new LED lighting and lighting controls installed as part of its programme to close the book on energy wastage and improve upon its carbon footprint. The campus in Shinfield Road is made up of 130 hectares of parkland and includes a lake, woodlands and a garden and, year after year, has been included in the Green Flag People’s Choice Award’s top 10 out of almost 1,800 green spaces. The study spaces and furniture inside the library building were revamped on some floors as part of the first phase of the redevelopment completed in 2014. Now the university has refurbished the remaining floors and put in place a more sustainable study environment by creating new heating and ventilation systems, replacement windows, cladding and
The University of Reading has installed new eco-friendly sensor-controlled lighting in its library
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roofing, in addition to the new lighting and controls. It aims to cut energy use by 40% and reduce carbon emissions by 30%. Lighting controls manufacturer, B.E.G., created the lighting design for the library which included LED luminaries with compatible DALI controls. The LED lighting and controls were installed by Bracknell-based electrical contractor, Antham Electrical. B.E.G. Specification Director, Tom Greenrod, says: “The University of Reading was keen to have a lighting control system that staff could maintain and adjust themselves so we proposed our range of DALI broadcast sensors for this purpose. “The DALI master can be programmed with a dedicated handheld remote control or a universal Bluetooth remote using a smartphone and the B.E.G. One App. The master can work in either presence mode which is selected by the dip switch or via the remote control. “The master has its own power supply and intelligence and can control up to 50 DALI ballasts. To increase the detection range of the master, a slave sensor can be used which only detects movement. It is possible for up to eight slaves to be wired back to the master. “DALI luminaires were installed in the basement and, despite there being no natural daylight down there, the BEG DALI sensors meant the maximum light level could be adjusted to the required design level. “With LED luminaires being very efficient the initial installation can be over-lit and so the capability to reduce the light level is of great benefit to the university in terms of both limiting possible glare or strain but also reducing its energy consumption.
“Most lighting designs allow for a 0.8 maintenance factor so the installation can be over-lit by 20%. The BEG DALI sensor can adjust the maximum level to the required design level, giving an immediate energy saving of 20%. “The BEG DALI master also has the benefit of an orientation light level too, which provides a low-level setting of 10-30% of maximum light when the area is unoccupied. This is ideal for low footfall areas and stairwells so this feature was used in the corridors in the basement.” On upper floors of the library, BEG used DALI broadcast master sensors for the study rooms, offices, circulation areas and toilets. The library project took one year to complete and the University of Reading can expect to ‘significantly’ reduce its energy consumption which will result in lower energy costs. BEG Lighting Controls, beg-luxomat.com
The DALI master can be programmed with a dedicated handheld remote control or a universal Bluetooth remote
The university aims to cut energy use by 40% and reduce carbon emissions by 30%
Software & Apps
Cabling & Cable Management
NEXT TIME… In addition to our regular range of news and viewpoints, the next issue of ECN will contain special features relating to exterior lighting, software & apps and cabling & cable management. The features will include articles and information from major companies, providing a range of information about the latest issues and technological developments affecting the sectors. For electrical contractors, the features will prove to be a valuable reference point for all that is happening within this area.
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SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
SMART LIGHTING FOR OUR NEW WORLD Post-pandemic life is still uncertain. Priorities have changed, targets shifted, and work patterns are now flexible. We know that the built world is evolving, and that change is accelerating. From the footprint buildings leave on the planet, to the space they offer for us to collaborate and their ability to help us feel safe, buildings have never been more critical.
oday, lighting infrastructure, combined with intuitive, proven control technology, can provide the backbone for more sensitive, ecological building design and implementation. The progressive digitalisation and networking of all services in a building offers enormous advantages, especially through communication and coordination. The spectrum ranges from lighting and shading to the automated preparation of a meeting room (light, temperature, and media) as soon as it is booked in the IT system. However, until now, most of the services have acted independently and had to be integrated into a higher-level building control system at great expense. Today, with the fundamental aspiration to connect people and buildings to generate the utmost energy efficiency, and design truly intelligent buildings, the number of companies with innovative technological solutions is rising. Green IoT and network-powered building automation businesses offer unique technologies to a large commercial real estate market that increasingly demands smart building technology. Proven, well-deployed technology enables data centres, universities, retail locations, and companies with office space numerous intelligent applications, providing added value to facility owners, operators, and tenants with hardware, software, and services. Combining building intelligence with lighting technology over network infrastructure to minimise lighting costs, generate a healthy working environment, and protect the climate is only the start. The next step is to make entire building complexes intelligent and efficient. In doing so, a central unit supplies vendor-neutral LED fixtures via sensors with a safe, low voltage. More precisely, with a low voltage direct current via a standard IP network infrastructure in which a multifunctional sensor network is integrated. In this process, the fine-meshed sensors track various building-relevant data, such as brightness, temperature, presence, and air quality, and supply this data to the user in real-time. Moreover, only one data cable is needed for energy and data flow, reducing the amount of cabling required. At the same time, the question arises: what direct impact does a network-based lighting technology have on its users? The answer is more flexibility and control to
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set your work environment as you like it. The light above them adjusts perfectly to their wishes and according to the natural course of the sun. On the screens around them, they can observe the presence and movement of other visitors. In front of them, the windows of a skyscraper are suddenly tinted. Behind other windows, the light is automatically switched on and off – depending on whether it is needed or not. These are examples of how smart technology is already being used today, how they replace common power infrastructure worldwide and help operate buildings intelligently and sustainably while saving natural resources. In addition to the previously mentioned technology, various additional modules can be integrated to manage and enhance the cognitive capabilities of a building.
The next step is to make entire building complexes intelligent and efficient
Implementing sensors with Bluetooth beacons with indoor navigation, asset tracking, and people-finding applications can also improve this effect.
Smart building use cases
When it comes to usage monitoring, wireless utility submeters help deliver consumption data at discrete building areas or even on individual assets – especially energy-intensive ones. Having these insights at their fingertips, facility operators can swiftly identify and locate bottlenecks for counteractive measures.
Heat mapping allows for meeting rooms and workplaces to be occupied flexibly. Customer flow can be analysed and optimised. Beyond that, Human Centric smart Lighting (HCL) can produce a surrounding naturally aligned with the sun’s course throughout the entire day, in terms of brightness and colour temperature. Every fixture is individually adaptable and highly energy efficient.
Space utilisation Many companies have little or no information about how employees, customers, and other users utilise ‘space’. A visualisation of the real-time occupancy and the analysis of historical data are available through software solutions. Based on the collected information, both the current allocation, use of space, and the planning of future requirements, can be optimised. • Occupancy: how much of your space was utilised and to what intensity? • Utilisation: how well was the capacity of a room or zone utilised? • Development over time and trends • Most and least used rooms/zones • Metrics by campus, building, floor, room, room type, time of the day, and so on • Clustering according to similar patterns
“Lighting infrastructure, combined with intuitive, proven control technology, can provide the backbone for more sensitive, ecological building design”
User experience Easy to find meeting rooms or workplaces increase the performance and motivation of employees in their daily work. With the help of real-time motion data, employees can search and book free workstations and meeting rooms. With this data, search times can be significantly reduced.
Sustainability The requirements for modern real estate in terms of energy efficiency are already very high. Only recently, the EU adopted the ‘Green Deal’. The ambitious goal: greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. The deal includes numerous climate protection measures for the real estate sector. By 2050, the building stock is to be largely climate neutral. A property built to current standards is thus generally designed to be sustainable from the outset. In 2021, to simplify the integration of lighting into the hardware and software infrastructure of digitalised buildings, Trilux invested in the IT expert, wtec. wtec specialises in building automation and IT infrastructure. Its innovative smartengine technology enables the complete lighting network to be implemented via data cabling and seamlessly integrate into the building management system – making complex building infrastructures a thing of the past and lays the foundation for individual Human Centric Smart Lighting that combines maximum efficiency with user orientation. Trilux, trilux.com
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SMART LIGHTING & LIGHTING CONTROL
THORN SHINES NEW LIGHT ON ICONIC DURHAM CATHEDRAL
A project like this has to be carefully managed and sympathetic to such a magnificent structure
Locally manufactured floodlights from Thorn Lighting are set to shine new light onto the historic Durham Cathedral.
horn Lighting is working with Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral to replace the site’s current external lighting system. The project team has been working carefully to develop a new lighting scheme that will be more efficient and reduce carbon emissions by employing the latest LED technology. The high-quality creative scheme has been developed using Thorn Lighting’s new Contrast, energy efficient floodlights, and state-of-the-art control systems. This new programme of works is the first phase of a larger project which looks to renew the lighting system at the castle in the future. The Contrast family offers a distinctive, long-lasting modern design, ideal for sympathetically lighting historic architecture. Its main benefit for the Durham Cathedral project is its RGBW option with wireless DMX and RDM (Remote Device Management), which will allow the Cathedral staff to change the colour remotely. As with the current system, operators will be able to control the colour of the
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lighting, but with increased functionality and efficient sequencing. This will allow the Cathedral to sympathetically mark certain ceremonies and events throughout the year, such as Remembrance Day. Cllr John Shuttleworth, Durham County Council’s Cabinet Member for Rural Communities and Highways, comments: “Durham Cathedral and Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is an integral part of not only the city, but County Durham as a whole. A project like this has to be carefully managed and sympathetic to such a magnificent structure. “It is a beacon across the world and a vitally important part of our culture, which complements other work being done across the county as part of our bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025. The new lighting will allow people to appreciate the Cathedral at night with a new perspective, while it also enhances the current structure and ensures the lights will be kept on for years to come.” Maya Polenz, Chief Officer: Property at Durham Cathedral, comments: “While the current system was installed only 10 years ago, it is in much need of a refresh due to continuously failing and damaged
“The high-quality creative scheme has been developed using Thorn Lighting’s new Contrast, energy efficient floodlights”
lights. This new system will once again showcase the Cathedral in all its glory, as an icon of worship, history, and heritage on Durham’s landscape. “We are grateful to Durham County Council for the investment, which will enable a reduction in our carbon footprint whilst enabling the building to be fully illuminated again. It will allow the cathedral and the wider county to mark moments of national significance, such as the upcoming celebrations for The Queen’s Jubilee.” Sam Berry, Thorn Lighting’s Head of Outdoor Sales – UK & Ireland, comments, “Thorn are delighted to be working with Durham County Council and Durham Cathedral on such an iconic local landmark. Our brief was to provide a lighting solution that could offer both energy savings and dynamic colour changing scenes. This will enable the Cathedral to pre-program the colour of the light according to the event, supporting both commemorative days and charity events. We were able to meet this brief using a product that is manufactured at our local factory in Spennymoor.” Thorn Lighting, thornlighting.co.uk
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CHRISTIAN MINISTRY LIGHTS UP RECYCLED PV PROGRAMME A Christian ministry in the Caribbean is using advanced electrical safety test equipment provided by Seaward to more efficiently measure the capacity of recycled photo voltaic (PV) panels it receives under a renewable energy donor partnership.
ood For The Poor-Haiti is part of the USA-based Food For The Poor Christian ministry that serves people in poverty in primarily 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. In Haiti, it works to provide people with much needed food, housing, healthcare, education, fresh water and emergency relief from its Port-au-Prince base. It also provides support and resources for a host of small enterprises, designed to help local people become more self-sufficient and improve their lives through greater access to work, education and learning resources. To support this work, the charity is acquiring hundreds of recycled PV modules through Brighten Haiti to provide a reliable, off-the-grid 3-14kWp energy supply – which powers the hundreds of fishing stations, schools, churches, orphanages, computer labs, street lighting and well water pumping stations dotted across the country.
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The first batch of 560 second-hand solar panels – which can still retain up to 80% of their original capacity – have been donated to the ministry by organisations that are upgrading their existing PV installations with new units. These old panels are being checked for current power capacity using a portable multi-function PV210 solar tester from Seaward. This ensures the panels are comprehensively measured and safety tested before they are assigned to the projects that best suit their capacity. Specifically, photovoltaic energy project engineer for Food For The Poor-Haiti, Francisco Marcano and his technical colleagues look for current vs voltage (I-V) curve tracers that can record irradiance and temperature. This allows measurements to be converted to STC, providing an accurate comparison against the module’s original specification. Using simple push button operation, the PV210 can also carry out all the electrical tests required by IEC 62446, including maximum power point voltage, current and power, and insulation resistance.
Seaward testers are used by Food For The Poor-Haiti to efficiently measure the capacity of recycled photo voltaic panels
Food For The Poor-Haiti’s kit also includes the SolarCert PV reporting software to record and store data from each checked panel. Once stored, Francisco can quickly search through the data, view and print records as part of an effective test regime and asset management programme. The charity’s investment in renewable energy technology comes because only a limited number of Haiti’s population has access to the national power grid. Fuel prices and the high cost of logistics supplies also limit investment in diesel power gensets for the majority of people, says Francisco. He adds that there are plans to start to use the PV210 tester to carry out safety and performance checks on all of Haiti’s existing PV infrastructure: “I have been working in solar photovoltaic installations for over 12 years, and the Seaward tester is the best one I have used so far. We are very pleased with the performance of the equipment, which allows us to check the condition of each panel in less than a minute, improving our logistics, transportation and installation operations.” Seaward, seaward.com
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A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO THE TESTING OF EMERGENCY LIGHTING CAN HELP SAVE LIVES Major incidents where occupant safety was compromised have highlighted the importance of having fully integrated emergency lighting testing systems with robust reporting, writes Abtec Building Technologies Director, Dave Watkins.
n the starkest, most brutal ways possible, the last few years have encouraged all of us to think more carefully about the safety of buildings. More than any other single event, the Grenfell Tower tragedy highlighted the dangers of not having a coherent approach to escape. Yet in the five years that have passed, we have come to realise this was not an isolated incident. In the last 12 months, fires at New Providence Wharf in London and at Regina Road in South Norwood have highlighted how much work still needs to be done in keeping building occupants safe. Most alarming is the news that 1,149 buildings in London have been deemed to have fire safety defects so severe they need waking watches. Responding to this, London Fire Brigade said: “We would again urge all building owners and managers to take immediate action to ensure their tenants are safe and can live in their homes without fear.”
Creating a safer future In this context it is only right that people have become more aware of emergency building systems – and more demanding that the necessary preventative measures have been put in place. It also underlines the need for an approach to safety that, ideally, begins at the very start of the building development or refurbishment process. From Abtec’s own experience, the company says it knows it is often the case that building services consultants and electrical contractors are called in after a lot of the primary design work has taken place. As a result, emergency testing systems can sometimes be compromised
by the building design – by then largely set in stone – as well as cost concerns that tend to grow as projects look more likely to go over time and budget. Despite the size and scale of some installations, emergency lighting, and the testing of this vital system, is one of the more straightforward aspects to get right. But like most areas of installation technology, emergency lighting has not been immune to the ‘race to the bottom’ trend, with some persisting in making decisions largely informed by cost – and a few vendors proving rather too willing to satisfy this demand. In the UK there are very clear regulations concerning the provision and testing of emergency lighting systems. Lighting that illuminates emergency routes and exits must be provided in all non-single-user public and private buildings, with a full discharge procedure to be carried out once a year – and more basic functional tests to be undertaken at least once per month. Despite the transparency of current legislation and supporting industry standards, such as BS EN 50172:2004/BS 5266-1:2016, it is widely known that regular testing of systems is sporadic at best. As a result, too many buildings reman ill-equipped with outdated systems and testing practices. This means they cannot be relied upon in the event of an incident, with safety being put at risk. A system that is robust and fully compliant is essential. But so too is a configuration that allows end-users to make regular checks and ensure that it remains ‘fit for purpose’. Increasingly, the view is that this can only be achieved by having a unified network infrastructure that allows all devices to be monitored continuously, and any potential failures to be reported at the earliest possible opportunity.
Open protocol approach
“A consistent baseline of capabilities means that KNX can bring a welcome new level of reassurance to a project”
It is for precisely these reasons that KNX has become so integral to many major construction projects today. Designed for a wide variety of commercial and domestic building automation applications, KNX allows systems including lighting, HVAC, security, AV and displays to be controlled and managed using the same open standard communications protocol. Technology manufacturers across the spectrum have adopted KNX since it began to become more widespread in the late 1990s, At a time when even major names in the lighting world are withdrawing support for their propriety systems – leaving thousands of customers with useless, unsupported technology – the case for an open, future-proofed system such as KNX has never been stronger. A consistent baseline of capabilities means that KNX can bring a welcome new level of reassurance to a project. Moreover, for lighting specifically, it can provide users with greater flexibility and control over their emergency lighting systems – both viewed individually and within the context of overall building safety. For instance, individual groups can be monitored and controlled via the DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface), while KNX/IP routers allow the lighting systems to be hooked up to the overall building lighting system in different operational ‘lines’. As well as enabling more highly detailed fault reporting, this approach also makes it considerably easier to expand or amend existing systems as requirements evolve. Those who have made KNX the foundation of their building technology systems routinely report an increased sense of confidence among their technical staff and ‘regular’ employees. And although we all fervently hope that there will be no further building safety tragedies, these types of efficient and integrated system designs will provide the best opportunity for a positive outcome, if the worst does ever happen. Abtec, abtech.co.uk
 https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/ news/2022-news/january/brigade-clarifiesimplementation-of-waking-watches-and-otherinterim-fire-safety-measures/
A system that is robust and fully compliant is essential
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RCD SELECTION AND TESTING — A SHOCKING CHOICE As the complexity and demands placed on electrical installations multiply daily, user safety is increasingly reliant on the protection offered by suitable RCDs, based on the connected appliances and verification prior to handover.
n 2015 Electrical Safety First (ESF) commissioned a study on 64 different look-alike/ counterfeit Apple plug-in chargers (50 UK three-pin and 14 EU two-pin) and “58% failed the electrical strength test and could therefore lead to a severe risk of electric shock”. In the first five weeks of this year alone, ESF identified another 15-16 products which, due to their design or a fault, posed a serious risk of electric shock to the user. Consider the number of electrical appliances connected in the average household, school etc. and the potential for faulty appliances – where the last line of defence is the RCD.
Exposure to different ‘Types’ of shock current? In Fig 1 with the appliance switched off, the user in the event of an insulation fault or carelessness would receive a Type AC shock at 50Hz. Referring to Fig 2, an insulation fault (IF1) between the output of a single-phase bridge rectifier to the appliance casing results in a Type A shock current hazard (pulsed ½ wave fault current at 50Hz). Appliances such as LED lamp drivers, power supplies and chargers contain simple diode rectifiers that can produce Type A residual currents.
Summary An insulation fault (IF2) located between the output of the inverter to the casing produces a Type F shock current. Referring back to Fig 1, with fault IF2 present, the shock current would contain complex frequency components that could saturate the iron circuit of Type AC/A RCDs, resulting in lost protection.
Do I need to complete additional tests on distinct Types of RCD? BS 7671 gives recommendations on minimum requirements and, at the time of writing (February 2022), additional tests relating to Type A, F or B RCDs are considered to be Manufacturing Type Tests by the IET. BS7671 covers basic requirements, which the HSE states as “likely to achieve conformity with the relevant parts of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989”. The Responsible Person has to make a judgement on what is appropriate for the installation and the associated risks – Ref BS7671 page 2, i.e., locations or applications where there is an added risk for example outside; additional testing may be appropriate due to the limited additional cost/time to complete those tests – refer to EAWR N° 29.
“Trading Standards/ OPSS reported in November 2021 the withdrawal of more than 10,000 unsafe products offered for online sale in the UK since April 2021”
The demands we are placing on electrical installations and the increased risk of faults in basic protection methods makes us more reliant on RCD backup protection. The type of shock current (hazard) will be determined by the characteristics of the appliance, the operational status, the location of the fault and the point where the person comes into contact with the faulty appliance or conductor. The Type of RCD mounted upstream will determine the level of protection associated with the shock hazards and appliances connected in circuit. Complex or elevated risk installations may require additional RCD tests based on the requirements of the customer and or appropriate knowledge of the installation, application and location characteristics. Standardisation has always lagged technology and attempts to set down minimum safety requirements based on history and experience. However, the complexity and speed of change related to the adoption of modern technology means that safety for users may not be covered by an existing standard. Consequently, to allow progress, regulations set down legal requirements with a simple interpretation of what is considered to be proportionate based on the risk and state of the art and any current advice available at the time. This is necessary to enable the adoption of modern technology, safer designs and working practice. Doepke UK, doepke.co.uk
 https://electrical.theiet.org/wiring-matters/ years/2019/77-september-2019/which-rcd-type
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ELECTRICAL CONTACTING NEWS - FEB 2017 - 224 X 159.indd 1
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DETECTING AND VISUALISING LEAKS Fluke discusses leak detection in tyre and cement manufacturing.
itrogen, steam and compressed air are widely used in the tyre manufacturing process. In the curing phase, steam is used to implement eight bar pressure to liquify rubber compounds – and nitrogen is used for applying 24 bar pressure to shape the tyre. If predefined pressure cannot be applied, the tyre cannot pass the quality checks and is separated as waste. Beside the production losses, recycling the waste tyre is also another source of additional cost.
Today’s practice Identifying the leaks is a big challenge, as the process leads to too much noise. Also, due to safety reasons, the machines are located behind fences, making it difficult to reach all the piping and detect the leaks. Spotting the correct location of the leak is therefore extremely time consuming. Finally, because of the high temperature, the process equipment deforms, which then causes further leaks.
Solution The cement manufacturing process involves several phases where the process temperature needs to reach up to 2,000°C
The Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager enables maintenance teams to improve process control, increase energy efficiency and reduce costs by detecting N2, steam and compressed air leaks. The ii900 helps to easily and visually detect leaks in noisy environments. Its Leak Quantification feature simplifies the estimation of losses and helps prioritise repair actions based on ROI.
Leaks are mostly found in dust removal filters, fans, connection points and valves used in the process
Fluke asked a maintenance engineer from a tyre manufacturing plant: “Why did you choose the Fluke ii900?” “We were looking for a tool to easily detect the leaks and visually see the location as this is a pain point for us. We are glad that Fluke came up with a solution, which is beyond our expectations. “Safety is our priority; we are working in harsh environments – steam and high pressure is being used in various sections. Detecting the leaks easily and visually from a distance is a major advantage. “The ii900 helped us perform preventive maintenance and we are able to reduce downtime by detecting the problems in advance.”
Cement manufacturing The cement manufacturing process involves several phases where the process temperature needs to reach up to 2,000°C. These high temperatures result in equipment deformation, making it very likely for leaks to appear in various locations. These leaks decrease process temperature, which in turn increases coal or gas consumption to compensate for the temperature drop.
Today’s practice During the calcination phase of cement production, vacuum is extremely critical. Avoiding leaks in that stage is one of the most important focus areas. Identifying those leaks might be a challenging task due to the big distances and harsh process
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conditions such as high temperatures and dusty environments. Compressed air is widely used in the cement industry, from instrument air in the beginning of production until the final packaging phase. Leaks are mostly found in dust removal filters, fans, connection points and valves used in the process.
Increasing efficiency, safety and quality The user-friendly interface of the Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager helps the team to start detecting leaks without any further training. Once a leak is found, it can be documented using acoustic and visual images, making leak identification and reporting more intuitive than ever for the maintenance teams. A maintenance leader from a cement factory says: “We were already aware of the leaks in our process but because of the high temperature and distance, we were not able to locate them. The ii900 helped us to easily pinpoint the leaks and visually see them. “Reporting is extremely important for us. Documenting the exact leak locations and the ability to calculate ROI easily helps us get approval for the required investments from our top management. “We already found over 100 leaks in our production facilities through our inspections with the ii900. We can easily improve energy efficiency by just fixing those leaks.” Fluke, fluke.com
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TODAY! www.cmd-ltd.com | firstname.lastname@example.org Untitled-1 2
POWERBREAKER MOVES INTO CONSUMER UNITS Win £200 Amazon vouchers with PowerBreaker consumer units.
s an expert in the field of circuit protection, the PowerBreaker brand has been synonymous with quality and safety for many years. It has been a natural progression for PowerBreaker to move into consumer units as an extension of its market leading range of Type A RCD sockets and spurs. GreenBrook has always played an active role in promoting product safety and helping to drive the industry forward, ensuring products are manufactured and tested to the highest possible standard. In order to ensure the high quality products you would expect from a PowerBreaker product, the company has taken its time to perfect its offering and can
now proudly show the new range which is easy to install and that fully complies with all the latest regulations, delivering optimum safety with some great installation benefits. GreenBrook is now the only supplier to be able to offer both Type A consumer units and socket RCDs from its PowerBreaker brand. With the recent changes to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, PowerBreaker has created a stylish, minimalistic metal enclosure with a top hinged door that is unobtrusive whilst very functional. Designed with the installer in mind, Greenbrook has incorporated an increased area of cabling space, multiple large clear knockouts, Type A RCDs and Type A miniature RCBOs, surge protection options and a built-in spirit level. It also offers high integrity boards.
January Competition The winner of the January competition – an EVIE 7.2Kw Smart Charge Unit – was Ron Hayden. Available in split load and pre-assembled units, you can be confident of a configuration to fit any residential or small commercial environment.
For your chance to win, simply answer the following questions correctly. 1. GreenBrook’s circuit protection brand is called PowerBreaker?
2. PowerBreaker also offers socket RCDs and spurs?
a) True b) False
3. PowerBreaker offers TYPE A RCDs and also TYPE A…
a) True b) False
a) Main switches b) Miniature RCBOs C) SPDs
Closing date All entries must be returned by 31 March 2022. The editor’s decision is final. For the full terms and conditions, visit electricalcontractingnews.com/ competition-terms. The name of the winner will be published in the May issue of ECN. *Prize not exchangeable.
To enter, please complete the form below post to: ECN Competition, All Things Media Ltd, Suite 14, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Kent, ME5 8UD. Alternatively, you can email your answers and contact details to: email@example.com.
The answers to March’s competition are:
Contact Preferences Y ES, I would like to receive the ECN newsletter Y ES, I would like to subscribe to ECN magazine
Y ES, I would like to share my data with Greenbrook
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WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS supported by
LIGHTING DESIGN SERVICE
Add value to your project with our lighting design service
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March 2022 | 51
WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS
GETTING NOTICED There’s more to the sale of an electrical product than the simple transaction itself, according to wholesaler Kew Electrical, which attributes its ongoing success to ensuring it adds value to its contractor customers while remaining easy to deal with.
t’s 2022, and the electrical wholesaling sector is at a crossroads. As contractors are wooed by online merchants, how can those who operate traditional trade counters survive – and prosper? By differentiating themselves from those merchants and playing to their strengths. Kew Electrical is a Brighton-based independent wholesaler with 26 branches, covering the south of England and Northern Ireland via Belfast. The company regularly wins awards and has prospered in the UK market for over 25 years. It has achieved this without compromising its small company ethos and has always prided itself on its agility when it comes to adapting to the changing business environment. “The key to Kew’s success – and to its future growth – is that we are easy to deal with and that we add value for our customers,” says Managing Director, Nik Mulcahy. When it comes to being easy to deal with, he believes that hinges on three areas: the right staff, the right stock and the right processes.
For staff to be easy to deal with they must know about the products that they sell
The right staff For staff to be easy to deal with, says Nik, they must know about the products that they sell. “Product knowledge is critical,” he says, “it’s important for customers to know that we understand their needs and the products that will meet those needs.” For that reason, Kew has developed an in-house digital product knowledge training programme, called iKew, which offers personalised training for individual staff at several levels. Its bronze entry-level training introduces staff that are new to wholesaling to the range of products on sale. At the silver intermediate level, staff are then taught about what those products do in more detail. To achieve the gold level, staff are enrolled on product knowledge modules created by the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA). “Gold standard product knowledge training is already provided for our industry by the EDA,” says Nik. “I had the privilege of chairing the working group that put together the EDA Fire Safety and Security Systems module, so I know from first-hand the benefits to all staff who complete these workbooks.
“We felt there was a need to have stepping stones towards the EDA workbooks,” he adds, “so we created the bronze and silver levels, which are unique to Kew.” Staff can tackle the training at their own pace, because it is available both online and as a smartphone app. For budding branch managers, Kew decided to create a management academy. For nearly six years, the company has been training its managers to run their branches the Kew way. To date, six branch managers and a distribution centre manager have graduated from the academy, where they have been instructed in leadership skills, people skills, finance and many other topics. The course takes 12 to 18 months to complete and is held at the company’s Brighton head office. Academy modules are currently run by Dan Cooper from the training company, TACS, but to ensure the training is focused on the Kew way, in-house experts are regularly drafted in, such as the Sales Director, Finance Director or Head of Operations when appropriate.
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WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS
All this is possible, says Nik, because Kew is independent. Decisions are made swiftly. “We are not suffocated by red tape and we can make decisions quickly,” he says. This means that decisions about increasing credit limits for customers, taking on new clients, employing staff, taking on new stock and even opening new branches do not have to be approved at multiple levels. Two more examples of this entrepreneurial ethos at work are: invoice accuracy – the customer’s relationship holder will oversee all invoicing, even if the customer is using a different branch at the time; and proof of delivery, which can be emailed directly to customers straight after the signature is received.
Finally, to be easy to deal with staff need to understand their customer’s needs. “Wholesaling’s not like an anonymous retail environment,” says Nik, “we do a lot of relationship building at local branch level.” Customers build trust and consistency by dealing with the same knowledgeable staff members. That, of course, is not unique to Kew, but the company has also implemented that philosophy for larger contractors by opening dedicated key account offices – in Brighton for the southeast or Trowbridge in the west. Over time, the company aims to develop this level of trust with its customers, whatever their size or needs.
The right stock
Understanding the customer is key to always holding the correct stock. “Having the correct accessibility and level of stock is essential,” says Nik. “If a customer is coming to your trade counter, they have to leave with 10 out of the 10 items they wanted.” At present, Kew has 26 branches and two distribution centres. Nik believes that this hybrid network ensures that Kew’s stock availability leads the way in the south of England. The distribution centres hold a wider range of stock in larger quantities than the branches. This enhances the branch network because branches can not only access that stock themselves, but they can also arrange direct delivery from the distribution centres to their customers. These direct-to-site deliveries in Kew vans – the company does not use third party logistics firms – are possible across the south-east, which in Kew’s world includes Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire and all points south including London. Nik says the same service will soon be offered in the West Country from the Trowbridge distribution centre.
The right processes Kew believes that its independence and its small company ethos help it work in ways different from most other electrical wholesalers. For example, when a contractor opens an account – which they can do online – credit will be available instantly, and this will generally increase after credit checks are complete. Another example is novel ways of making payments. As well as conventional payment methods such as BACS transfer and cards, Kew offers contractors payment through an online platform. The customer receives a link to a secure payment portal. They do not have to hand over any card details to Kew.
Staff can tackle the training at their own pace, because it is available both online and as a smartphone app
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Not only is Kew Electrical easy to deal with, it is committed to making contractors’ lives easier through a number of initiatives. For the hard-pressed contractor on a smaller project, there is a lighting design service, as the company has a pair of lighting designers on the payroll. They will visit the site, propose a design and work out which products the contractor should use – all without being beholden to a particular lighting equipment manufacturer. Building on the specialist design theme, Kew is now planning a green technologies team for domestic and commercial installations. “Contractors are going to need support on green technologies because they’re so new and the industry is expanding at such a rapid pace,” says Nik. The team will need to advise on technologies such as electric vehicle chargers, photovoltaics, electric heating, electric boilers and heat pumps. “These are big ticket items, and installing them is almost like a black art at the moment,” says Nik. “We need to be offering knowledge and design assistance.” Ultimately, Kew is planning to have a wide-ranging design solutions department. For contractors working on domestic new-build projects that involve multiple identical electrical installations, Kew will assemble a kit of second fix products for delivery to site. It is far simpler to accurately assemble a kit of products for each installation at the wholesaler’s premises, with skilled staff assembling and checking the products from the shelves. Using the key accounts offices, the wholesaler offers a more comprehensive project management service. “Whether it’s a large project and we’re scheduling products over a long period of time, or it’s just a one-off complex assembly,” Nik says, “the company will add value to a project
by collating products and ensuring they are available exactly when they are needed.” Going up the supply chain, Kew also fosters strong relationships with its suppliers. It entertains them to make them feel every bit as valued as its contractor customers. Nik says: “We are then able to work together to find the best solutions for the contractor.” “This is still very much a relationship-led business. There are other ways of getting electrical products out there, but they can be impersonal – you order on your smartphone and the products arrive. “We are proactively developing relationships, spending time entertaining and getting to know our customers, staff and suppliers,” he says. “It’s easier to relate to people when you know them and trust them.” And that, says Kew, is the key to its success – when you buy a product from the company, it isn’t just a transaction, you are starting a relationship with a company that is easy to deal with and is focused on adding more value than the online merchants and many other ‘bricks and mortar’ wholesalers. Kew Electrical, kewelectrical.co.uk
For the hardpressed contractor on a smaller project, there is a lighting design service
To achieve the gold level, staff are enrolled on product knowledge modules created by the Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA)
SERVICES @ecn_magazine electricalcontractingnews.com
March 2022 | 53
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SUPPORTING ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS WITH A MULTI-CHANNEL SUPPLY CHAIN Brett Smyth, General Manager EMEA at IDEAL Industries, the specialist in tools and accessories for the electrical sector, discusses the need for the electrical supply chain to provide convenience and reliability for electricians.
The shelf-ready packaging (SRP) packs are available in a variety of sizes for maximum flexibility
lectrical wholesalers play an important role in ensuring that electricians have the right products on site when they need them. It’s a role that goes far beyond being a place to buy - wholesalers are also a service provider that is available for electricians to seek advice, gain information about new products and help them get the best price for what they need. For all these reasons, IDEAL Industries works closely with electrical wholesalers; from the larger players and buying groups, right through to smaller independents. But both wholesalers and manufacturers like IDEAL Industries must remain mindful that their main role is to ensure that electricians have access to the right products as quickly as possible, as and when they need them. That’s not just true of the smaller contractors and sole traders, who often need to buy in smaller quantities as the project progresses and they discover what they need; it’s also true for the larger contractors who may need to top up on supplies urgently, as the programme or the scope of work changes. One of the key elements of the commercial strategy at IDEAL Industries is engagement with contractors to understand their pressure and pain points so that the company can develop new approaches to help address them. Brett
says it’s clear from the conversations the company has been having with contractors that the flexibility of a multi-channel supply chain is very much in demand, which is why IDEAL Industries has invested in developing new routes to market, alongside the traditional wholesaler supply chain.
The company has recently completed a trial with a major DIY and construction trades retailer, prior to a full roll out across its national store network. When this happens, it will provide a convenient option for picking up products on the way to or from site, or during the working day, seven days a week, on a grab-and-go basis. Electricians will be able choose to find the IDEAL Industries products they need in store or order them online for click and collect, and can either shop as a retail customer or with a business account.
Supply and demand – what’s changed? Even before the pandemic, IDEAL Industries was already starting to see a shift in procurement practices, with contractors not only shopping around to get the best deal but also using trade counters alongside specialist electrical wholesalers. The disruption to supply chains, sites and construction programmes brought about by COVID-19 has amplified this trend. Now the company says it has a situation where electrical contractors need to work more flexibility than ever, in terms of both programme delivery and procurement, as they tackle catch-up projects, rapid starts on site and fast-track schedules, alongside continuing supply chain, cost uncertainty and lead time challenges. The lead time and supply chain issues that have been seen in the electrical sector over the past couple of years are being echoed across the construction industry. As a consequence, programmes often have to be flexible enough to be delivered around the materials and skills available, knocking procurement out of kilter and leaving contractors with an urgent need to get materials to site.
“IDEAL Industries works closely with electrical wholesalers; from the larger players and buying groups, right through to smaller independents”
Tailored range IDEAL Industries’ new retail offering has been developed in partnership with the retailer over the past 18 months. It has involved market research to understand what electricians need from an electrical accessories manufacturer through the retail channel, aiding the development of pack sizes and formats for IDEAL Industries products that are specific and exclusive to its new retail offering. This retail range includes IDEAL Industries wire termination connectors and its FT-45 RJ45 data termination system, which supports the rise in smart tech installations. To ensure that the grab-and-go range is robust enough for both the retail environment and site, and suitable for easy product selection, the company has re-shored its packaging manufacturing to the UK and invested in new equipment to underpin excellent availability of the new pack sizes. The shelf-ready packaging (SRP) packs are available in a variety of sizes for maximum flexibility.
Supporting contractors We operate in a competitive market and a changing world. IDEAL Industries says it is an agile business that is adapting to this evolving landscape by taking all opportunities to develop sales channels and brand loyalty and providing a variety of procurement options for contractors.
Developing a multi-channel approach It is for these reasons that IDEAL Industries has decided to develop a presence in the retail channel, alongside its wholesaler partnerships and relationships with trade counters such as Screwfix.
IDEAL Industries, idealind.com
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QUALITY PRODUCTS COMPETITIVE PRICES EASY TO DEAL WITH
www.kewelectrical.co.uk Untitled-1 2
WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS
ROBUST GROWTH EXPECTED FOR ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS’ MARKET As we emerge from the restrictions of the pandemic into a brighter 2022, Katie Plumstead, Marketing Manager at Scolmore Group, looks at the findings of the latest report on the electrical wholesalers’ market and what it tells us about the future.
The market is expected to return to robust growth in 2022, as the economic situation improves
he 17th Edition of the ‘Electrical Wholesalers Market Report UK 2021-2025’, published by AMA Research, represents an informed and up-to-date review of the overall electrical wholesalers’ market, major product sectors, market trends, strengths and weaknesses and major wholesalers. The report analyses the current state of the electrical wholesalers’ market and provides an assessment of market prospects. It highlights the significant contraction of the market in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction activity and on the economy more generally, with only modest recovery expected in 2021. However, it reports that the market is expected to return to robust growth in 2022, as the economic situation improves and the construction sector revives, and market value will exceed pre-pandemic levels by 2025. Market value and profitability remain constrained by intense price competition, especially from online distribution channels, but opportunities for growth remain through wider use of high value, advanced technology products and ancillary services. COVID-19 led to significant curtailment of construction activity and electrical wholesalers’ business operation. As trading gradually returned to more normal conditions in the latter part of 2020, supply shortages were experienced in many key product areas, leading to price rises. Lighting and cable systems remain the largest product sectors within the electrical wholesaler market, accounting for around 46% of market value, though lighting’s share of total sales has declined significantly in the last two years. Direct sales and specialist distributor channels are the most notable competitors to the electrical wholesalers with electronic component distributors, trade catalogue operations, internet retails and merchants also significant.
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A number of key issues covered in the report include:
The report highlighted the importance of market expansion in new and emerging product areas, particularly in the development of integration and greater connectivity between devices. With the launch of the Click Smart+ range from Scolmore and the Fort Smart Security range from ESP last year, the company has provided the market with a range of smart home and security products that are designed to simplify and streamline connected home devices – lighting controls, smart sockets, security cameras, intruder alarms, video doorbells and sensors.
• The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK exit from the EU on the electrical wholesalers’ market and the impact on the market going forward. • The increase in raw material costs and its impacts on the market. • Market expansion in new and emerging product areas, particularly in the development of integration and greater connectivity between devices through the Internet of Things and Industrial Internet of Things. • Changing legislation regarding energy efficiency driving moves towards higher specification products, particularly in heating, ventilation, and lighting control. • Key market influences and analysis of the construction industry and its impacts on the electrical wholesalers’ market. • Trends in online trading and its impacts on the distribution channels as well as wholesalers market shares.
Weathering the storm The impact on the industry of the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK exit from the EU have been well documented. Supply chain challenges, staffing issues, increases in raw material costs and shortages of materials, have all put a huge strain on companies operating in the sector. Across the Scolmore Group of companies – Click Scolmore, Ovia, ESP and Unicrimp – there has always been the ability to hold vast stock levels which means that each of the businesses has been able to continue to fulfil orders for customers right through the pandemic and beyond. Whilst continuing to deliver the levels of service its customers have come to expect, Scolmore has also invested in a number of significant product development programmes to bring new and enhanced ranges to market – making 2021 one of the group’s busiest and most successful years in terms of major new product launches.
“COVID-19 led to significant curtailment of construction activity and electrical wholesalers’ business operation”
Ongoing wholesaler support In the midst of the long-term disruption that the pandemic has caused, Scolmore anticipated that its wholesaler customers would need greater support than ever as they navigated the difficult journey of meeting the needs of contractors and installers. With this in mind, the company invested in a number of areas of the business so that resources were there to meet their customers’ heightened requirements. This included expanding the customer service and technical departments and providing easy access to a growing range of training resources and marketing materials.
Compliance matters As Scolmore continues to grow, with more than 350 members of staff currently employed across the group of companies, the decision was made at the beginning of the year to appoint a legal and compliance manager. Manuela Rubino Courtney, a highly qualified and experienced operator, joined as Group Legal and Compliance Manager to ensure that the business, its employees and its projects comply with all relevant regulations and specifications. Scolmore, scolmore.com
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WHOLESALERS & DISTRIBUTORS
CMW: PROVIDING EXPERT HELP AND EASY ACCESS TO PRODUCTS Established in 2003, Cable Management Warehouse (CMW) is a distributor to electrical wholesalers and independent electrical installers.
MW’s Bedford headquarters is the company’s primary office and distribution centre. The offices and warehouse are situated in a large premises located at Unit 5 and 6, Arkwright Industrial Estate. The company holds approximately 5,000 different product lines in stock at any given time in its warehouse, so you can get the goods you require when you need them. CMW has invested in the installation of state-of-the-art lean lifts and a barcode scanning system to ensure that orders are picked accurately and quickly. The main sales team are also based out of this office. The team has many years of industry relevant experience and can support customers with product selection and system design, ensuring the best solution is selected to suit all budgets. The Bedford trade counter is open to from 8.30am-5.15pm Monday to Friday for customers to collect their pre-ordered goods or to quickly visit and pick up items as and when they are needed. Alongside a number of courier companies, CMW has a company vehicle based out of its Bedford offices, driven by a member of the team, which is available to deliver goods the same day within a 30-mile radius.
Farnborough offices The CWM Farnborough offices were opened in the summer of 2021. The office and trade counter are situated at Unit 4, the Royston Centre and is home to the company’s southern sales team. The team at Farnborough are knowledgeable and friendly. Their primary aim is to help make your experience of working with CMW a quick, easy and pain free one. The trade counter is perfect for you to stop by and pick up any last-minute items and get expert help and advice at the same time, whilst on your way to projects in the city and surrounding areas.
A wide and varied product range
This trade counter is open for orders and collections from 8.30am-5.15pm Monday to Friday. The Farnborough warehouse holds 2,500 product lines in stock at any given time. You can pick up everything you need, from large bulky items such as cable management and wall boxes right down to the smallest of accessories including cable fixings and desktop power solutions. CMW can also arrange for goods to be shipped directly from its Bedford offices to Farnborough if you have a specific requirement for a product that is not held in stock. By using its own company vehicle, CMW can guarantee to deliver to your preferred location in London, at a time to suit you. The company also offers a free, same day delivery service if you are within a 30-mile radius, helping to alleviate any issues with last minute requirements that crop up.
The company holds approximately 5,000 different product lines in stock at any given time in its warehouse
CMW offers a wide range of quality products from some of the industry’s leading names and continues to add to its product portfolio. These product ranges are supported by individuals who are experts in their given fields. Product ranges include trunking and conduit, basket and tray, every type of cable management available including 18th Edition fixings, as well as copper and fibre cabling solutions. Working closely with these vendor partners, CMW works hard to keep you up to date with the latest technology and provides opportunities for learning with regular webinars, open days, training sessions and access to educational documents and videos.
Value added services Sometimes an off the shelf solution is not quite right for a specific project. CMW offers several bespoke services to help combat these issues, all designed to save you time and money. These services include a VELCRO Brand shape and length cutting service, pre-terminated fibre solutions, bespoke GOP boxes and wall boxes and cabinets.
The whole solution CMW offers you: • Dedicated account management • Knowledgeable, friendly sales team • Technical support • Complete range of stock available next day to UK mainland, two to three days to Southern Ireland • No minimum order values • Comprehensive, complementary product range
Order online at a time to suit you The CMW online portal gives installers and wholesalers an alternative way to order products. It is easy to create an online account and place an order, and the portal also allows users to review their account details, check all orders and quotes and store a list of favourites. All at a time to suit the user. Reward points can be earned each time you spend money with CMW. These reward points can be redeemed against future purchases.
When working with CMW, you can be assured of a quality, professional approach, with staff providing you with the absolute best service and support. Cable Management Warehouse, cmwltd.co.uk
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HAMILTON’S HARTLAND G2 — A SCREWLESS FINISH, WITH A COLOURFUL FUTURE! Evolution has seen Hamilton develop over 20 different collections in a range of materials including plastic, metal, and even two made from FSC sourced wood – with a choice of 23 standard finishes. So, it’s fair to say that Hamilton has a collection that will suit your project.
ago, this screwless plate has been value engineered to provide a solution for contractors wanting a simpler push-to-fit plate, at a box-fix price. The plate is produced from pressed metal rather than cast, with this manufacturing method contributing to an overall cost saving without compromising on either the quality or finish. The Hartland G2 is perfect for high use areas in hotels, offices, and homes, as once the back plate is wired the front plate can be easily removed for a décor refresh. Once the wall is painted or papered, the plate simply pushes back into position. It’s available in 11 on-trend standard finishes, including sought-after metallics Polished Brass, Satin Brass and Etrium Bronze, along with Matt White and Matt Black, and the recently launched Anthra Gray. Inserts are available in White, Black and New Quartz Grey.
hilst standard solutions work for many, the demand for personalisation grows in all aspects of our lives – the home, the hotel, even in the workplace.
Custom paint job! Hamilton’s answer: its Paintable colour-matching service. With this powder coating process, accessories can be painted to blend in with a matching colour taken from a wallpaper, or to contrast with a hue from the room’s soft furnishings – giving the designer the ability to make everything feel unique. Hamilton has relocated and doubled the size of its Paintables Department, which now sits at its headquarters in Bristol.
Hamilton has relocated and doubled the size of its Paintables Department
Safeguard against colour-blindness!
The Hartland G2 is perfect for high use areas in hotels, offices, and homes
When responding to a colour request from designers or architects, be advised against colour-matching Pantones. Often the go-to colour referencing system used by many designers, its accuracy is limited when trying to colour match using a powder coating applied to metal. Pantone inks are specially formulated to work on paper, with very little white being used in the ink make-up because much of the lightening effect comes from the paper when it absorbs the ink.
For a more accurate colour-matching result, Hamilton recommends using colour reference systems RAL, British Standards, or the Natural Colour System. These standards can be accurately reproduced during powder coating. And with RAL having 1,625 options and the Natural Colour System having 1,950, you won’t be short on choice! In addition to the vast colour possibilities, Hamilton’s Paintables is available in gloss, matt, and even a metallic finish.
Hartland G2 – now in colour The Paintables service was originally only available on the versatile Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX collections. However, due to the increased popularity of Hamilton’s Hartland G2 screwless collection being installed as part of a more colour-driven interiors project, G2 is now available as a third paintable option.
A cost-conscious screwless design Now, more than ever, installation budgets need to work harder, and Hamilton’s Hartland G2 was developed with that in mind. Launched two years
Don’t forget: 25-year guarantee The Hartland G2 collection also comes with a fit and forget 25-year product guarantee. Hartland G2, a screwless design at a screw-loose price, available in eleven quality finishes, numerous paint colour-matching options, all the configurations you could want, and it comes from Bristol – quite simply, it’s the finishing touch you didn’t know you needed. Hamilton. hamilton-litestat.com
Bespoke design and manufacturing service – custom-made plates to order • Mix and match: switches, sockets, media plates and euro fix • Any size, style, finish, and any colour • Laser etching and printing services • Sample prototype service available • Low volume orders, short lead times
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Hartland G2 offers all the configurations you’d expect to see, including the new six and nine Grid plate with pre-engraved 20A double pole switches, and EuroFix options. Double switched sockets equipped with two 2.4A USB-A outlets come as standard, but the new combined double switched 2.4A USB-A and 2.4A USB-C plate is rapidly becoming the ‘must-have’ installed for charging both phones and tablets.
PAINTABLES POWDER COATING SERVICE
When you need something a little different..a special!
60 | March 2022
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COMBI 206 001 Since 1993, WISKA has been developing and innovating the industry with the now iconic COMBI Junction Box series. Designed, engineered, tested, and manufactured to the highest standard, the COMBI range consists of nine different sizes, across three colours and special types for other markets. Offering IP66/67 protection as well as threaded membrane entries (on selected models), its robust design and easy to use features have made it a market leader and the accepted standard when it comes to junction boxes. This has taken a high level of investment, with R&D, moulding and developing the brand in the marketplace. It is important for everyone this continues, and it is not devalued by fake products, to enable future investment and development. WISKA believes in continued development and actively seeking to innovate the industry and support customers with new and exciting products. “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” comments WISKA UK MD, Will Rich. “It is important to maintain high level of quality and technical performance, so that customers can be sure that they are receiving an excellent product. The range continues to develop every year, with additional enclosures and features adding to the range. This continued investment both in the design and in the equipment and facilities to produce the product is second to none.” In recent years, through this level of continued investment WISKA has produced the COMBI 407, 304, 206 and 1610 models. Since its launch in 2018/19 the COMBI 206 has taken the industry by storm, culminating in winning Best New Product at the EW Awards in 2021. The smaller design was the result of listening and speaking with contractors who were after a discreet enclosure to place behind LED lighting, CCTV systems and general outside use. The success of the 206 has only further cemented the COMBI’s place as the junction box of choice for electricians across the UK. WISKA, wiska.co.uk
KNIGHTSBRIDGE BRINGS DÉCOR MATCHING WITH PLASTER WALL LIGHTS
KNIPEX EXPANDS ITS TETHERED TOOLS RANGE KNIPEX has expanded its Tethered Tools range, which is now available for over 45 models of the company’s pliers. Working at heights is associated with increased risk and this was the reason KNIPEX initially developed its flexible fall protection system. The expanded Tethered Tools range brings safety and reassurance to users of tools working at height or in locations where falling tools could be a risk. The components of the flexible three-part fall protection system are perfectly coordinated. The tether attachment on the inside safeguards the ergonomics of the tool. The core element is the flexible tether, which permits a large operating radius and comfortable handling of the secured tool and stretches to a length of up to 1.5 metres when under strain. An adapter strap primarily guarantees that the tool can be switched safely, quickly and without problems from the tool bag to the tether. As with the tether, it can withstand strain up to a weight of 1.5kg and is therefore also suitable for use with large tools.
Knightsbridge has added two ranges of gypsum plaster wall lights to its extensive decorative lighting collection. Available as up/down surface-mounted wall lights for living spaces, or recessed fixtures that are ideal for use in areas like hallways and stairs. These new arrivals are all supplied in a stylish, timeless white that can also be painted to match any interior scheme. They work well when installed as standalone items, but also create a striking feature when mounted in series. The surface-mounted wall lights come in four curved or cuboid design options, with widths varying from 110mm to 200mm, heights from 90mm to 180mm and projections from 70mm to 150mm. The lamp fitting is designed for G9 LEDs. Offering discreet style, the recessed lights have a defined edge with a narrow opening, allowing for a subtle light output. They come in two shapes and sizes: rectangular, which is 350mm high, 100mm wide and 73mm deep; and a 78mm deep circular unit, the cut out for which is 250mm x 210mm. The lamp fitting for both items takes GU10 LEDs. ML Accessories, mlaccessories.co.uk
Push-To-Fit Pl tes
Hartland G2 – screwless finish at a screw-loose price! Thinking Box-Fix but wish you could afford screwless? Now you can with Hartland G2 ‘push-to-fit’ plates • Available in eleven on-trend finishes • NEW Paintables colour-match service • Ultra-Fast Dual 2.4A USB as standard, Type A&C • Grid & EuroFix options available • 25 year guarantee
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NEW INDUSTRIAL FLOODLIGHT RANGE FROM MERIDIAN
NEW SUN@HOME RANGE MAKES LIGHTING FEEL GOOD The new SUN@HOME range from LEDVANCE offers lamps and luminaires that use unique SunLike full-spectrum LEDs to increase well-being and performance in the home. The dimmable LEDs provide rooms with the highest quality of light (CRI >95), similar to natural daylight, with colour that can be adjusted across a wide spectrum of 2,200K to 5,000K. The SUN@HOME range fluctuates lighting in line with the human circadian rhythm. The SUN@HOME lamps and luminaires offer smart lighting solutions that counteract the listlessness caused by working indoors through their bright, white light during the day to increase concentration, improving performance and motivation. In contrast, the low blue light component of the full-spectrum LEDs improves sleep intensity at night. Alongside their positive impact on well-being, SUN@HOME products can be easily controlled with the free LEDVANCE SMART+ WIFI APP or by voice command. The products can be smoothly integrated into the home network and controlled via WiFi without any additional hardware.
Meridian Lighting by the CED Electrical Group is again strengthening its Industrial LED lighting portfolio with the launch of new slim line IP65 rated Floodlights. This follows similarly rated slim line LED Bulkheads and Integrated Anti Corrosives, all launched within the past six months. Designed for wall mounting, this latest range addition includes 50W, 100W, 150W and 200W Floodlights, delivering lumen outputs of 600lm, 1200lm, 1800lm and 2400lm respectively. Built with robust aluminium bodies, these fittings come with high quality SMD LED chips and Sosen drivers. Finished in black, each fitting delivers a 4000k cool white light output with a beam angle of 120 degrees. Quality is assured with all fittings meeting relevant BS Standards, having UK/CA and CE approvals as well as RoHS compliancy, on top of which, they are backed with a full five-year warranty period. CED Electrical, cedelectrical.co.uk
UNICRIMP ADDS NEW TRADE TUBS Unicrimp has expanded its popular range of Q-Crimp Trade Tubs with three new tub additions – T&E Metal & Plastic Cable Clips: Clout Nails and Red Plastic Wall Plugs and Squarelock Anti-Tamper Woodscrews. The Trade Tubs provide installers with a range of the most popular fixings and clips in a durable, re-sealable plastic tub with a carry handle. They are compact in size, robust design and feature convenient dividers – making them ideal to transport from job to job. The T&E Metal & Plastic Nail Clips tub contains 200 x 1-2.5mm² (Metal), 400 x 1.5mm² and 400 x 2.5mm² (Plastic). The Clout Nails tub is a 2kg tub containing 40mm Clout Nails. The third new tub addition contains 400 x Red Plastic Wall Plugs and 400, 8x1.5” Squarelock Woodscrews. Unicrimp’s full range of Q-Crimp fixings, along with the new Trade Tubs additions, are contained in the updated Unicrimp Issue 10 catalogue, which is available to download now from the Unicrimp website or via the Scolmore Group app. Unicrimp, unicrimp.com
ANSELL PROMISES HIGH EFFICACY WITH LATEST BATTEN LAUNCH Ansell Lighting has added a new product to its Tornado batten range. Delivering optimum lighting performance and optics, the Tornado EVO IP65 NonCorrosive offers high levels of efficacy – 148Lm/W, reducing the number of luminaires required to achieve desired light levels in industrial settings. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the Tornado EVO is built for heavy duty use. It is made from a durable, non-corrosive polycarbonate and has a robust, dust tight and water jet resistant IP65 rating. Available in four sizes, 2ft, 4ft, 5ft and 6ft with low and high output variants for each, the Tornado EVO delivers a cool white hue, ideal for aiding focus and concentration during the busy working day. Designed with speed and ease of installation also in mind, it can be both suspended and surface mounted and is supplied with Ansell’s unique surface mounting brackets that allow installation onto a BESA box. Ansell Lighting, anselluk.com
USB Ch rgers
FUTURE PROOF USB CHARGING
Combined USB-A & USB-C Plates and Euro Modules
USB Double Pole Switched Sockets (2.4A USB-A/2.4A USB-C) • Four plate designs and twelve finishes including Matt Black/Matt White Euro Module 45W Type C/18W Type A • Fourteen plate designs and up to twelve finishes • Insert Modules available in Black and White • Ideal for power-thirsty devices
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NEW AND IMPROVED INCEPTOR NANO V2 FROM OVIA
MAKITA: MAKING IT MESS FREE
Ovia has taken its popular Inceptor Nano fire-rated, dimmable downlight and made a number of significant improvements to enhance its overall performance. New Inceptor Nano V2 is a compact, fire-rated, dimmable downlight, which packs an array of features into its shallow profile. Its powerful SMD light source, paired with a 60° multi-faceted, Halogen-effect lens, produces exceptional light quality. The lumen output has been increased to 93LM/W Warm White and 103LM/W Cool White – and it offers 35,000 hours lifetime. There are two Nano V2 models – Fixed and Adjustable. The Adjustable version 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. Both feature the Flow Connector, the pre-wired connection system that speeds up installation and allows faster removal for testing and replacement of components. Inceptor Nano V2 offers a 30, 60, and 90 minute fire rating, and is acoustic and airflow compliant.
Makita has launched its latest XGT 40VMax vacuum cleaner, providing tradespeople with a powerful cleaning solution that they can rely on for quick and efficient clean up at the end of the working day. The XGT 40VMax CL002G Brushless Vacuum delivers the high output needed to tackle large areas and achieve a spotless clean up with ease. It offers an impressive sealed suction of 21kPa and suction power of up to 125W. Thanks to the option of four power modes, users can also adjust the output to suit different surfaces. It also comes with a redesigned nozzle for efficient floor and carpet cleaning when working in furnished premises. As part of Makita’s powerful XGT battery platform, professionals can use their existing XGT batteries to power the CL002G so that they can easily swap between construction and vacuuming tasks. The CL002G’s compact design means that it can be easily stored in the back of the van and transported to and from site when needed.
NEW MATT BLACK METAL COVER PLATES FOR CLICK DEFINITY RANGE
SANGAMO – THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY With huge hikes in energy bills looming when the new price cap comes into force on 1st April, householders are looking at ways to reduce their energy consumption to help combat rising bills. The Sangamo Choice range of timers and heating controls from ESP was revamped last year, with the main aim of introducing new features that would help boost the products’ energy saving properties. For example, the Choice+ thermostats include TPI feature to ensure a maintained temperature by analysis of the heating and cooling periods. In addition, Choice+ programmable thermostats include Optimum Start and Delayed Stop for additional efficiency for the time programmed. These features combine to offer the best in heating comfort and energy efficiency when compared to traditional on/off thermostats. A smart thermostat allows householders to control and monitor room temperature and thermostat activity around the home from anywhere in the world, via an app. Sangamo’s Wi-Fi thermostat offers energy efficient programming and remote access via the Sangamo Choice app.
Scolmore has added new Matt Black Metal cover plates to its Click Definity screwless wiring accessories range. The launch comes in response to feedback from installers working on domestic and specification projects who are looking for an alternative premium finish for interiors. With no visible screws, the smooth, clean lines of Click Definity provide the ultimate finishing touch to a feature-packed range of decorative wiring accessories. The new Matt Black Metal finish will sit alongside the White Metal plates that are already part of the range. Each Definity product comprises an insert and a decorative cover plate. In addition to the two metal options, Definity is available in five different finishes – Red, White, Stainless Steel, Brushed Steel and Polished Chrome. With the face plates supplied independently of the electrical inserts, initial installation of the product can be carried out and any subsequent maintenance or decoration completed before the final selection and fixing of the face plate.
Elemento IP – IP66 Rated Outdoor Wiring Accessories
Elemento All-weather range of IP66 rated socket outlets, switches, connection units & lockable enclosures • NEW RCD units, Retractive Switch, Double Pole Switch Hamilton Air 4-Channel Wireless Switching • Remote control multiple outdoor circuits – range 250 metres • IP56 rated, 1.25kW per channel (4kW max) • LED compatible
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