Time Control Is Still The Bottom Line Of Energy Saving Lighting
- Published: Tuesday, 13 September 2016 07:56
There’s no doubt that ever more precise timing is entering every sphere of our lives, and that one of the main drivers of our quest for precision time control is the need to save energy and money.
That’s just as important for average households and smaller businesses as it is for mansions and multi-nationals.
The best way to help the majority of energy consumers to achieve savings without the sudden financial shock of a major refit is to provide controls that are easy to use, and to help them identify more devices and appliances that can be timed for greater efficiency. Yes, it all comes back to time switches.
Time switching is, of course, at the heart of the Timeguard range – the clue is clearly in the name. We’ve continued to invest in new products, but with increased focus on products for the professional installer, with options for retrofitting those old tired-out, and old-tech switches and out of date controls.
What can you time?
As we’ve developed our technical and design edge with time control, it’s made sense to see how we can apply it to other control needs; and our sales figures tell us we’ve made the right choices.
Heating: Combining our time controllers within our heating range, both plug-in and hard-wired makes perfect sense. Fitting the full, flexible timing functionality into standard back boxes called for some lateral thinking in our design office. The result is a fully comprehensive range including wireless options.
The key skill is in engineering these combinations to fit neatly into standard single gang back boxes and the latest design coup has been to add timing functions to the ubiquitous fused connection units. Installers are now choosing these combined units over basic FCU’s for water and space heating.
Another clever combination combines a 13A fused spur with an electronic Boost Timer that automatically turns appliances off after a pre-set time and, again, it all fits in a single gang back box.
Users simply select how long they want the power for: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour or two hours, and then the device counts down and switches off. Pushing the boost button again will refresh the timed output. There’s no danger of leaving appliances such as heaters, fans or towel rails switched on for hours on end. This is an ideal solution for the young, the elderly or those concerned about fuel poverty, and opens a whole range of possibilities for energy management.
Safety: Wherever you need an F.C.U (fused connection unit), it now makes sense to provide the added benefit of “energy-saving time control” with the flexibility of push-button manual over-ride and programmable On / Off times especially when all the functionality is encased in a single-gang unit.
Attention to detail means that, where wiring from the back is not practicable, there is a simple, replaceable cable knock-out tab to keeps cables flush to the wall for conduit connection.
Retrofitting is quick and simple and is an ideal replacement for so many of those old FCU’s in place across the land.
Lighting: Lighting and the relentless switch to LED is still the big business driver and we’ve addressed issues with quality and reliability that dogged the market in its early days. We’ve stuck to our guns and remain as a source of products you can rely on, with quality componentry and properly rated PIR switches that can tolerate LEDs’ in-rush current. It’s just not worth compromising.
Our new light switches with integral electronic timers have always been an attractive option. Installation is as simple as changing the light switch and these complement our already growing range which includes delay switches, photocells, PIR and pneumatic options.
However there can be issues with these smart two-wire switches, no matter who manufactures them when they are used to control lighting. The small current they draw to power themselves, while insignificant with incandescent lighting, can be enough to cause flicker with LEDs. Our design engineers in the UK have been first to crack the problem and this summer we have introduced our automatic Switch Load Controller. It’s a compact device, fitted just one per lighting circuit. It should work when controlling LED lighting using any make of smart wall switch, although, of course, we hope you’ll be stocking Timeguard’s.
By Andy Douglas, Managing Director Timeguard Ltd