What the smart home trend means for electricians
by Mark Lewin
Do you know what your kettle’s energy rating is? Chances are you can find out very easily (assuming you didn’t buy it 10 years ago, in which case it might be time to upgrade).
It might not always feel like it, but we live in a much ‘smarter’ world. From our phones to our fridges, technology is changing so fast that it’s sometimes hard to keep up. And it’s consumers driving this revolution: they want products to work smarter to save energy and save them money. Why wouldn’t they? Thankfully, manufactures are catching up – that’s why we’re seeing products come on to the market with energy ratings listed as top line sales points.
Of course, the smart home trend isn’t only about saving energy. Thanks to the internet of things (IoT), consumers can now save energy and control their home devices remotely – you can tell your downstairs mood lighting to come on before you’ve stepped through the door.
But what does this mean for electricians and for the lighting industry? For a start, the trend towards energy efficiency has led to a surge in LED lamps and related products. The numbers speak for themselves: Take a 50-watt downlighter with a 2000-hour lamp life verses a 10-watt LED with a 30,000-hour lamp life. There’s just no comparison.
Unfortunately, as any electrician will tell you, it’s not quite that straightforward – there have been teething problems with this infant technology. While the expertise around LED lamps is growing, there are still growing pains. Some LED lamps just don’t last as long as they claim to – their components can’t manage heat effectively and they become too hot and fail. Others are unable to dim without flicker or noise.
But this is changing. Electronic companies like Philips and lighting specialists like Lutron have been at the forefront of product innovation for years. And of course, so have Zano Controls. When I founded the company in 2010, it was my mission to improve LED lighting so that homes really are smarter. That’s still our mission.
And that’s why so much of our research has been around developing technology that will minimise unwanted flicker and noise when LED lamps are dimmed – so consumers don’t give up on this energy efficient technology. It’s not been easy. But it has been worth it. Our award-winning ZBARLED1000 dimmer can deliver 2-way and intermediate 1-1000W dimming on up to 32 fittings, silently and without flicker.
This is multi point dimming made easy. It’s pretty smart too.