It’s great to see so many new lighting products coming onto the marketplace and delivering ever-better opportunities for energy savings for the customer.
But all their new features are all pretty useless until the customer makes up his or her mind, and the controller or lighting is installed and set up. That is where your profits are made…or eaten up. Manufacturers can help themselves by helping to sell an idea; and then making it as easy as possible to complete the job.
Even though we have the opportunity to bring really exciting technical and energy saving innovations to customers, because retooling was too expensive in a price-led market, they have often looked exactly the same as their predecessors.
That may have made it harder to convince the customers to upgrade and, even when you do, it probably means you are going to have to deal with old-style and cumbersome wiring.
So take an iPAD with you when you go to scope a job and show them what you are recommending. Even better, take a sample along. Aesthetic design is all-important these days – people don’t want ugliness in and around their homes and offices.
So, while our core promise will always be one of superior branded quality, at Timeguard we do feel that it is important to reinforce our investment in superior componentry, with designs that help to communicate that difference.
Our R&D team includes designers who were reared on the likes of Apple, Habitat and Zara Home, so they take good product design for granted. Our electronic Programastat wall thermostats and heating controllers marked a watershed in our approach, but the real revolution was our approach to outdoor LED lighting.
But we do not allow cosmetic design for its own sake – each design feature has a function. So essential cooling fins (missing from cheaper LED lighting) became rows of pins making up the featured metallic backs of our newly design LED lights; the need to diffuse LED beams for courtesy lighting and expand the beam for effective security became diode arrays and reflector plates; and so on. The end result is, we think, an easier sell for you.
These design features extend to making an installer’s life easier, too. Spring clips, replaceable knock outs, separate mounting brackets and clip-in baseplates are the way ahead. Tough polycarbonate housings make products much lighter, but you still don’t need to be balanced up a ladder hanging on for dear life to a heavy luminaire. With our NIGHTeye pan-and-tilt LED security lights
you can simply wire up the base plate, then clip the main body of the unit in place. It couldn’t be quicker, simpler or safer. The feedback from installers was so great that we’ve done the same with our PIR detectors.
Our floodlight designs have separate mounting brackets which are fitted first and then hold the unit while you connect it.
Made a mistake with an outdoor socket? Customer changed their mind about the location? No worries – we’ve designed in replaceable cable knock outs that mean you keep the IP rating intact.
Keep it simple and match your choice of product with what the customer. You ought to be able to check out the user instructions on the manufacturer’s website to give you an idea of how easy they really are to use!
Its horses for courses. We offer everything from electronic thermostats that still operate using a dial, through to zoned heating controllers for larger homes so their owners really can enjoy maximum comfort.
All too often, property owners and occupiers simply don’t realise how versatile and effective the technology at their fingertips can be; and when they don’t reap the benefits, that reflects badly on you.
The old days of needing to be a genius to programme a timer are, thankfully, past. But do still take a little time to go through it with your customers – hopefully once you’ve set-up a timer, or the field and lux sensitivity of a PIR detector, it will suit a happy customer’s needs for years to come. All the same, it’s still worth making a note to phone back in a few weeks to check.
The line between, “The man’s a genius ” and “It’s no ****** use – they sold us a dud” can be very thin indeed. Even when it’s not your fault, bad reviews can be online in no time. Of course, some of the duds we’ve been hearing about recently have been LED lights, originally accepted to be the answer to everyone’s energy-saving dreams. Here, the reliability issue seems to come down to the quality of the componentry, with drivers and the real ratings of PIRs used for automatic switching of LEDs, named as prime culprits.
My advice is, as ever, caveat emptor – branded quality counts. If a manufacturer is prepared to put an extended guarantee behind their products, you can bet it’s because they know there will be a negligible number of returns.
For more information on Timeguard, telephone (NI) 020 8452 1112 or (RoI) 0044 20 8452 1112; or e-mail [email protected]