Timers &Controls

The smart money is still on time control

Smart buildings and the Internet of things have caught the popular imagination and, while not every homeowner has the budget for integrated control and scene-setting lighting, there are plenty of products ideal for wholesaler shelves that enable installers to add an impressive level of automation to any home.

By Andy Douglas, Managing Director, Timeguard Ltd. T

here’s still big business in time control for the wholesaler channel and, if manufactures continue to innovate, it need not be wholly price led and you can maintain

your margins. But, you may ask, is there anything new to bring to the timers’ market, other than a few cosmetic tweaks? How can you tell the difference between a gimmick and innovation? One easy test is to look at the control functionality: it may be a bigger,

clearer screen, better text prompts, or the availability of more on/off times. If there is some new functionality, you know the designers have invested in putting new and updated componentry and chips inside and not just repackaged the old technology. If they’ve updated, you can be pretty sure they’ve gone through the whole design with a fine toothcomb. So, yes, there’s good reason to review and update your timer stock.

New generation time controls offer different benefits to smart

technology in that they help you to supply a big and persistent marketplace at affordable prices and a marketplace that is only going to get bigger as awareness of high-end building intelligence grows and people’s expectations rise in quantum leaps, even if their budgets can’t quite keep up.

WiFi – an installer product WiFi devices, in particular, are flying off the shelves as virtually every home and workplace has the benefits of good, strong and reliable WiFi signals. The beauty is that they are still hard wired and

Timeguard’s new Programastat+ range of wall-mounted thermostats and multi-channel heating controllers for 2018 delivers premium looks, premium performance without premium pricing.

36 | electrical wholesalerJune 2018

are installer products, even though the user controls them via a ‘phone App. So, we’ll continue

to support that market and broaden our range, which started with Wi-Fi controlled timing added to fused spurs and, for 2018, now includes wall thermostats and timers. WiFi timing is no consumer gimmick, either; it’s finding its way into commercial premises, where 16A ratings

Energy efficiency the core focus

Across the board, energy efficiency is still a major concern. Householders are shouldering big increases in their energy costs, which are going to really start hurting when the colder

weather comes in. Meanwhile, owners of commercial premises are now subject to MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards), as indeed are residential landlords. Since 1st April it has been illegal to set up a new lease or

letting agreement if a property doesn’t meet the minimum standard (currently EPC band E, but likely to go up after the planned 2021 review of the legislation). The type and siting of controls and thermostats has a key bearing on an energy assessment, of course. However, controls are just wall acne if the customers cannot use them to achieve real energy savings. Installers should look for

WiFi control: still a role for installers.

manage most loads and a lockable anti-tamper covers can shield the over-ride button.

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