David Cleaver, Product Director at BG Electrical and Simon Shenton, Head of LED Product Development at Luceco Lighting, explore the trends and opportunities for contractors around smart technology and electrical and lighting devices for the home.
Smart technology has become increasingly popular within the home. Not only is this driven by the increased reliance on smartphones, tablets, voice assistants and small laptop devices, many consumers are becoming further dependent on their devices as a way to stay in touch, work and spend their leisure time. With so much of our lives now run through our devices, helped by the accessibility of free WiFi and the channelling of interaction through Apps, the shift towards smart technology in the home was almost inevitable. This can be seen through the increasing popularity of everything ‘smart’, from speakers to doorbells.
Opportunities aplenty for the contractor
There is also a shift towards the acceptance and in some situations, reliance, of controlling more aspects of our lives through smart technology. This has, in many cases, been fuelled by the rise in changing working patterns, including flexible and mobile working. In addition, as more people work from home, there is a greater expectation placed on residential spaces to provide more technology, which has contributed too. Statistics from market and consumer data specialists Statista completely support this. Data shows that in the smart home market, the number of active households embracing the sector in the UK is expected to rise to 25.5m users by 2025. In 2021, household penetration is set to reach 41.6% by the end of 2021, with a projected rise to 85.7% by 2025. As residential consumers become increasingly willing to spend more money to upgrade their homes, smart technology will be at the forefront of this change. For the contractor, it is a great opportunity to work alongside their customers to help them embrace smart technology, whilst opening up additional revenue streams for their business. Taking all of this into account, there is now a clear demand across the market for contractors to specify and install new smart home systems and solutions, particularly for early smart technology adopters. This may mean contractors need to upskill to access these revenue streams. To assist with this process and to ensure easy installation and set-up, BG Electrical and Luceco Lighting have created a dedicated smart microsite with technical support and product guides, to help the contractor and user set up their smart installations.
Looking to the future of smart devices
To make the most of these opportunities, contractors will need to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in smart technologies. With this in mind, BG Electrical and Luceco Lighting have now entered the market with an affordable smart home system that allows users to take control of their connected devices from anywhere. Looking for solutions that are quick, simple to install and set-up is also very important. When selecting a smart home system, one which is easy to expand and requires no home hub is an attractive proposition for consumers.
No hub required
Many smart products on the market require the initial (and sometimes costly) investment of a home hub, to create the smart ecosystem. The BG & Luceco Smart ranges connect directly to WiFi without the need for a home hub, which is much more efficient, simple and cost-effective. It also allows consumers to try individual smart products first and easily build up their smart system, without a costly upfront investment Furthermore, smart systems that communicate away from the home via an App offer users greater control over their devices, compared to systems that can only be controlled via Bluetooth. BG & Luceco Smart ranges are conveniently powered by one App – the BG Home App, via the cloud, by voice, touch or mobile App commands. Both ranges can also be controlled by common smart protocols, such as Alexa, Google, Siri and IFTTT.
The intelligent choice
Contractors should also look for smart systems that are truly intelligent, to provide a great user experience for their customers. The Luceco Smart range offers true, intelligent smart meshing which links and optimises communication between lighting devices. This prevents home routers being overloaded and disruption to the internet connection. Both ranges function through a reliable master/slave functionality. The self-managed system chooses which device(s) acts as the system master and connects to the router, whilst slave devices auto assign and communicate through the master. This prevents WiFi network overload and also acts as an extension to the WiFi signal throughout the home. The system is self-healing, so if the master goes down, one of the slaves is automatically promoted to the master, ensuring uninterrupted WiFi connection.
A complete range
Finally, it is useful to understand the many different elements of a smart home system. BG & Luceco Smart ranges include a wide range of electrical and lighting products for both interior and exterior home spaces. These include the smart FType Compact LED downlights, lamps, Castra LED floodlights, a 3-socket extension lead and a weatherproof socket, which join the existing BG smart socket and adaptor. With manufacturers responding to the changing needs of consumers, there are now affordable, introductory smart home systems that benefit both contractors and users alike, particularly those taking their first steps into the smart world. When backed up with guidance and educational resources, contractors can capitalise on these opportunities to create additional revenue streams, whilst also developing a reputation as a smart home specialist.
To get more details on the BG and Luceco Smart Ranges click here