Page 89

Refurbishment: Smart, Stylish and simple By Nico Van Der Merwe, VP Home and Distribution, Schneider Electric

T

he chances are, you probably never in a million years thought you’d be cooking your dinner on your commute home from work. How is that even possible? With the surge in smart technologies, it is now possible to switch on your oven, answer your doorbell or even adjust the heating remotely through smartphones. The Internet of Things (IoT) and an explosion in smart home technologies has changed the way people in the UK are thinking about home improvement. These are exciting times for home improvement and renovation – people are no longer satisfied with surface level improvements for their homes, they are increasingly concerned with transforming their homes on a deeper level. Home improvers today are starting to look beyond aesthetics, ambitiously striving to convert their homes into smarter, safer, as well as more stylish, environments. This shift in the focus of end users presents an exciting opportunity for professional specifiers in the electrical sector. Those with access to a network of expert installers and the latest smart technologies will have a killer advantage. With the right tools, savvy electricians can guide end users in their journey towards smarter and better homes and lives through the refurbishment process. Refurbs and electrical installations A central challenge with many renovations is the upgrading of electrical systems. Light switches, temperature controls, and power distribution are the cornerstone of a home that is more connected, stylish and secure. Ensuring their optimal efficiency and the comfort and safety of the occupants should be a professional specifier’s top priority in any renovation project. This is why we are witnessing a wave of cutting-edge, connected devices entering the market. When it comes to home improvement, end-users are hungry for gadgets that provide more information and control over their comfort and energy usage. Indeed, network company, Cisco, predicts that by 2020 the number of connected devices will exceed 50 billion as homes fill up with smart sensors, meters and other connected equipment. The IoT facilitates the easy exchange of data and enables users to make the best, most informed decisions for their homes.

These are exciting times for home improvement and renovation – people are no longer satisfied with surface level improvements for their homes, they are increasingly concerned with transforming their homes on a deeper level. Home improvers today are starting to look beyond aesthetics, ambitiously striving to convert their homes into smarter, safer, as well as more stylish, environments.

Wiser Heat, Schneider Electric’s smart heating system, is one such solution. Wiser links a house’s room and radiator thermostats through the IoT, while a phone app provides users convenient and complete control over home heating. This kind of IoT solution allows users to monitor the temperatures of individual rooms and change them remotely with a swipe of their phone, wherever they are. This allows them to regulate temperatures when they need to and empowers them to be more energy efficient when they want to. Smart heating devices have become an increasingly popular addition to the smart home. A speedy refurbishment process Occupant safety and installation speed also cannot be ignored. End-users prefer installations that are fast, competitively priced and cause as little disruption as possible. Professional specifiers in the electrical industry are therefore under considerable pressure to ensure they can install the desired technology in a costeffective manner while meeting customer expectations and tight deadlines. In unfortunate circumstances speed can trump safety, leading to exposed wiring or faults that pose a danger to occupants. Neither customers nor these specifiers should have to compromise. The electrical market has seen an abundance of new products which are quick and easy to install. These products have reduced the time needed for installation, and is therefore more cost effective, as well as the danger of complications that can emerge down the line. These devices ensure electrical installers can work quickly and safely and that projects stay on track.

Home improvers may now be striving for smarter, more connected homes, but aesthetics remain an important consideration for end users. Cool taps and kitchen appliances have long been popular with end users, but we are starting to see this extend to wiring accessories too. Light switches are visible in almost every room in a home and increasingly, end users are concerned with sourcing wiring accessories that combine both visual appeal and increased functionality. Gone are the outdated, paint splattered light switches of the past, replaced by screwless, smarter switches. The plates can be attached and removed by a sturdy and reliable clipping system which can be clipped on and off for easy decorating and wallpapering. To meet the needs of increasingly connected and demanding end users, modern electrical fittings come with add-on accessories to make the home even smarter. Switches and sockets can have added smartphone and key holders, or USB port charging built in to the socket. Renovation has moved beyond the appearance of a dwelling to encompass considerations around optimisation, efficiency and safety. Homes are getting smarter, but electricians need to be smarter too to ensure that they make the most of the opportunities presented by this new trend. Professional specifiers in the electrical industry and end users alike need to seek out the latest, connected solutions and connected communities of experts for the perfect refurbishment process.

To find out more about these exciting new ranges, and keep up to date with future product updates, register to the my Schneider Electrician portal at www.schneider-electric.co.uk/ electricianpartner

RRNews - Issue 38

To ensure fast installation and long-lasting protection, products such as Schneider Electric’s Easy9+ consumer units offer straightforward flexibility and generous space for electricians to work. Reversible enclosure doors allow greater access, and semi flush mounting designs allow the consumer units to be embedded within the building’s structure. This offers professionals maximum access while also keeping wiring and end users safe.

The end goal: Smart yet stylish

89

Profile for Lapthorn Media

Refurb Renovation News Issue 38  

Refurb Renovation News is the UK's leading product magazine designed as a useful tool for professional specifiers and buyers who are involve...

Refurb Renovation News Issue 38  

Refurb Renovation News is the UK's leading product magazine designed as a useful tool for professional specifiers and buyers who are involve...