The article below is from the Electrical Wholesaler News – entitled, Keeping Energy Saving Simple – and is by our good friends at CP Electronics. Especially these days there is a lot of emphasis on SAVING money, energy, and saving the planet! Go Green + save the energy! Below you can find some simple tips and new technologies from CP Electronics that will definitely help in this endeavor to save the energy.
In today’s climate of growing environmental awareness, the need to save the energy is at the top of the agenda. But it isn’t just about saving energy to meet legislation because rising energy prices continue to be a cause for concern. Paul Mans, Managing Director of CP Electronics explains why energy saving lighting controls provide the perfect answer for everyone.
We may all be fed up with hearing about the latest targets which the Government requires us to hit or the latest energy saving devices which have to be incorporated into both new-build and refurbishment projects, but the fact remains that these targets are here to stay. I have heard many people say that they are starting to become overwhelmed by the number of energy saving products which have found their way onto the market and I am sure that sometimes you feel the same, because every day there is a new company launching a new device which is guaranteed to save you thousands. While I don’t dispute the fact that they do, my advice would be to start with the simple ‘quick wins’ before even looking at other ‘gadgets’.
A quick win
Lighting is without a doubt one of the best ways to make quick and easy energy savings. In theory it should be as simple as asking staff to switch off the lights when they leave a room – sadly this is often easier said than done and it therefore makes sense to introduce some form of control. When I mention lighting control many installers will instantly think that this is a job for a specialist, but in actual fact any qualified electrician is able to fit a lighting control system, they just need to know where to start – and that is where you come in.
Gone are the days when presence detection meant jumping up and down in front of a light until it eventually flickered into life. Today’s modern control systems can be programmed to suit any environment and come with the functionality which enables them to be flexible and thus meet the demands of any commercial space. But with such a huge range of products on the market how do you know where to start and what types of products should you expect your customers to be asking for?
The key as always is with new technology. This sounds quite simple but with technology progressing at such a fast rate it pays to keep up to date with what is happening in the market. One of the main advances in recent years has been in wireless technology and while in the past some installers have experienced teething problems, I am happy to say that the latest products on the market really do stand up to the claims they make. CP Electronics has recently introduced An-10, a new lighting control system which uses wireless technology and allows you to install a fully featured lighting control system easily and with minimal disruption. One of the key benefits of this system comes from the simple installation which wireless technology brings. Because wireless signals can pass through walls, floors and ceilings, you can position switches and sensors exactly where you need them and there is no need to run expensive control wires between devices or back to a central controller.
As budget cuts continue to take hold more and more companies are choosing to spruce up their office space rather than move. Wireless technology is particularly beneficial in this situation as it involves minimum disruption and the installation time can be cut to a minimum. It is also ideal for historic and listed buildings where disturbing the fabric of the building would prove to be either difficult or just plain impossible.
Flexibility is another key area where wireless technology wins every time as the system functionality is achieved by programming rather than hard wiring. This makes it incredibly easy to design the operation of the lighting system and if at any point you need to re-organise your working space, you simply reprogram the devices for the new layout. Wireless technology also works well if there is a need to future-proof a building for example if a large building is only half occupied or if the company is planning to expand. With the An-10 control system it is simply a matter of adding extra devices, programming it into the system and you’re ready to go.
How it works
The system works with a number of different components which include PIR presence detectors to switch lighting on and off when a person is detected in a room; they can also work as absence detectors which work with a separate wireless switch to turn lighting on then automatically turn the lighting off. The system also incorporates dimming detectors which allows the artificial lighting to be balanced by daylight, saving even more energy.
So in a small office for example, there may be four ceiling lights which are switched and dimmed by the output of the PIR (in this case programmed to work as an absence detector). A push button wall plate is connected to a concealed wireless Switch Module and all of the An-10 devices are then set to the same local code. By simply pressing a button on the wall plate, a message is sent to the PIR detector which can turn the lights on and dim them to a pre-set level. The lights are then automatically turned off when the room is unoccupied. The final part of the system comes in the form of the infrared handsets which are compact and lightweight in design and provide the multi-functional operation for the configuration of the detectors, ballast controllers and input units.
Make those savings
Let’s face it – you can’t always rely on the human element and therefore expecting everyone to be as diligent as you are about switching off lights just isn’t going to work in the long term. With lighting accounting for around 20% of the total amount of electricity used in the UK there are clearly huge savings to be made and the installation of a simple lighting control system is one way to make instant savings. The real benefit is that because this is a modular system it is suitable for all applications and whether the job is large or small there are guaranteed savings to be made.
It can also prove to be a good source of revenue for you, the wholesaler because each system is made up of a selection of devices which take up little space on the trade counter. By stocking a good variety of devices to suit every application, you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to meet the needs of your customers – whatever installation they are working on. So next time a customer comes in looking for energy saving devices, point them in the direction of a lighting control system – it’s a good revenue stream for you, a quick installation for your customer and an energy saver for the end-user – pretty much a win win situation all round.
If you are interested in more Energy Saving Tips, we recommend the Articles about Energy Saving Lights, Devices, and other fittings. There are many energy saving devices on our website, and we would recommend especially the Energy Management category, with Photocells, Timers and Thermostats, Time Lag Switches, Occupancy detectors and switches, etc.