Andy Douglas, Managing Director at Timeguard, says a back to basics approach is key to smart energy saving in a cost of living crisis.
With this month’s big price hike, energy saving is on everyone’s lips, but the cost-of-living crisis is biting across the board. Money is tight all round, and a lot of people will not be able to make big financial commitments to smart technology solutions that are going to take many years to pay for themselves. You need to be ready to offer fast, affordable solutions.
That’s not to say that your installer customers shouldn’t be investing in their own future by upskilling to high end smart technology in the longer term. Timeguard’s parent company, Theben, is a leading supplier of KNX-compatible products, and after all, I’m a big believer in KNX. For reference, KNX is the installer friendly open protocol that doesn’t tie your customers (or you!) into a single source of devices; instead enabling them to build tailored smart systems using compatible products from multiple manufacturers.
But right here, right now, and with government support seemingly tinkering around the edges of the problem, worried homeowners will want to see immediate impact on their utility bills. They are savvy to the flaky low-end gadgets, so forget them and make sure you’re stocked up with practical, proven, easy-to-use energy saving devices that are both affordable and reliably smart enough to have a competitive edge.
There’s no doubt that the idea of smart home and smart office control has taken root, and that Wi-Fi control sells! People love it and, given the assurance of a good brand behind the devices they choose, they trust it too. The Timeguard range gets the balance between reliable smart tech and affordability just right.
The basics of switching off and saving
Among the most popular of Timeguard’s easy install solutions to avoid leaving lights and space and water heaters on when they are not needed are our fused spur timers. These are direct replacements for traditional fused spurs, fitting onto the old back plate. They still provide fused protection but are also sophisticated electronic timers. The newest, smart addition to the range is Wi-Fi-enabled, giving users complete control from wherever they can get online. There’s even an IP66 weatherproof version. What smart control could be simpler to install or use?
Other affordable Wi-Fi devices focused on energy saving include 13A (3kW) twin sockets with a USB port. Daily and weekly timing programmes and countdown timing are offered via the smart app, with each socket under individual control. Also available is an in-line adaptor for use with existing ceiling lights or appliances. It’s even small enough to be tucked in through the ceiling aperture.
It’s not just energy saving that can be smart. Safety and security have long been reasons to install automatic timing and switching, especially for outdoor lights, where they can deter unwanted guests and light the way to the door for those that are welcome. Now we are also increasingly keen on local surveillance too, and devices like Timeguard’s indoor Wi-Fi camera are ideal for that.
The LEDPROCAM kills both birds with one stone as the Wi-Fi camera is built into the PIR unit. As it draws on the mains power to the LED light, there’s no extra wiring. The Wi-Fi connection shows end users who’s approaching their door, or on their driveway etc.
If an indoor camera is preferred, choose one that offers high-resolution and two-way audio, night vision, and detector masking to avoid nuisance recording. Alternatively, a Wi-Fi doorbell with integral camera enables people to check who is outside. Make sure the ones you supply have everything installers need to get their customers set up – it’s surprising how many Wi-Fi doorbells come without a chime or the ability to use multiple chimes.
Choosing the right WiFi platform
The Timeguard development team has chosen the proven Tuya Smart IoT (Internet of Things) platform for control of its Wi-Fi accessories range of Wi-Fi controlled devices. Tuya works with Alexa and Google Assistant and the free download enables consumers to control all their smart home devices from a single app, as well as any of the other 90,000 compatible products from other manufacturers.
Not all devices marketed as Tuya compatible are equal of course. The processes for tailoring the Tuya app and getting devices approved is quite robust, so choose products with a brand name you can trust that will be properly certified and using genuine Tuya chips, and for good measure, receive good support from online tutorial videos and even real people at the end of the phone line!
That adds up to smart business sense for the challenging Winter of 2022/23.
Discover additional smart energy saving devices here