Timeguard’s Andy Douglas explains why the latest generation of electricians are benefitting from advancements in lighting product quality and usability.
Remember the ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ Monty Python sketch? You can just imagine them at the wholesaler counter: “We had to strip wires with our bare teeth and ‘t lad had to march up and down the gardens for hours before we got the PIR set up right … but we were ‘appy.”
We’re not so sure. We doubt that the younger generation is unhappy with spring clips, RJ11 plugs, huge (by comparison) wiring blocks, captive screws, clip on covers, replaceable knockouts, glands that fit and PIR controls that react to gentle changes instead of jumping straight from ‘marching band’ to ‘neighbour’s cat’ setting.
So we thought we’d spotlight the key areas that smart manufacturers focus on to make your work so much easier these days: namely reliable ‘fit-and-forget’ quality and easy installation/set-up.
Brands have made big investments in quality and reliability. Sure, you can still choose to buy bargain basement, but it’s becoming less common to do so. Today’s installers are much more aware of – and vulnerable to – the speed with which reputations spread – and bad reputation travels even faster. No-one can risk installing kit that is going to let them down.
The key factors in improving quality have been:
Each generation of componentry is better and the trusted brands are at the forefront of using the best and latest. If something’s really cheap, it might well have a job lot of old technology inside!
That’s how markets are supposed to work. The customer is king.
In the old days you just installed, say, an outdoor light. Now it has to be a good looking outdoor light, even for commercial premises. New shapes mean engineers have to fit it all together, and that can lead to all sorts of other refinements.
At Timeguard, we’ve now designed new PIR detectors with lenses that have enabled us to evolve that super design and hidden the PIR detectors within the main, sleek body of our super-compact NIGHTeyes. They looked good enough on the drawing board to use indoors so we added a 360˚ twist to the head, and you have instant, easy uplighting!
The long view
Sustainability sells and it’s no longer going to be acceptable to treat outdoor lighting as disposable items to be replaced as soon as the British weather or coastal sea air does its worst. IP ratings are only the tip of the iceberg. Our new Coastal Range of floodlights will fight corrosion at every level, right down to their stainless steel fixing screws.
Easier installation and set-up
From spring clips to plug-in accessories and slave units – ease of installation is becoming mainstream. Companies like ours come up with new ideas and, before too long, everyone else has to follow suit. It might, however, take them a year or two, by which time we’ll have taken another step forward.
Adjustments for PIR detection, lux levels and time on are much easier and more precise, for instance, but sometimes low-tech ideas make a big difference. With our patented curved bracket for outdoor floodlights, range and precision of detection and illumination is refined simply by adjusting the orientation of the luminaire and tightening a screw.
When jobs are done faster and you rarely have to return to fix anything, we know which generation is happiest!