Have you ever thought that perhaps lighting control has got a bit too smart? So, why make heavy work of lighting control – just keep it simple.
At the end of the day, what sort of equipment and devices do you sell most of? Are you maximising those sales by offering products that installers will want to try out – and then get hooked on for job after job?
A lot of homeowners and office users are happy with timed switching and dimming and often don’t need complex scene setting and colour coding. Of course, apps on the phone such as Alexa and Tuya are welcome new ways of control but, unless you are ripping out and replacing with a whole new lighting installation, that’s about as far as most people need to go – and as much as they want to spend.
While the ever-more complex options for smart lighting control may be creating a market for high-value, high-margin products; they aren’t displacing traditional yet. Furthermore, with the exception of some specialist wholesalers, the bulk of revenues and profits for most of you are still coming from the more traditional approaches to timing and dimming.
Most of your customers are really only looking for the best ways to control timed switching and dimming, with an added element of low-cost WiFi remote control.
They want devices that can be used to improve and add ‘new tricks’ to existing installations; and these are the bread and butter products to focus on as we contemplate another period of economic uncertainty. End users are likely to be reluctant to commit to expensive new-build and refurbishment projects in the coming months, but keener than ever to get value for money.
Installers will be looking for style, quality and the flexibility to create better installs.
What are these volume options?
Swapping out old wall switches for smarter replacements with built in timing or PIR control.
High-quality branded models will work well with LED (check they have specific LED ratings) and, of course, they are simple wire for wire replacements into the same back box. Any problems with existing LED lamps that flicker due to the small current that a smart switch is drawing at all times can be resolved with the patented Timeguard Automatic Load controller. Similarly, making mandatory Fused Spurs work harder but swapping them for models that also include timing and boots functions has to be one of the easiest ways to automate.
Mounting PIR presence detectors to ensure lights are only on when needed is great for larger homes or commercial premises and of course there’s a huge choice of detectors on the market. Caveat emptor: good branding gives you the quality assurance you need. If homeowners don’t like the look of them, installers might suggest the mini versions that are now available. Of course, the promise of genuinely easy installation never falls on deaf ears at the wholesale counter, so be ready with ideas like our linkable mini PIRs. Connect the master and the others just plug in to each other as they run a series of detectors across the ceiling void.
Dimming LEDs should now be a doddle, but compromise on quality when choosing what to stock and your customers will miss out on the smooth dimming curves they now expect.
Purpose designed universal LED dimmers remove the risk of getting the specification wrong, and models like the Theben DIMAX deliver fit flush into the old back box, whole offering easy programming for light level and types.
Wi-Fi control is a bit of a given now but do ensure that the control is going to be reliable. Try the apps yourself – you’ll soon see if they are well maintained or if they are going to lead to a lot of disappointment and returns.
How futureproof the devices are will depend on the quality of the control chips built into them – this is no market to be buying from firms that don’t back up their products with meaningful guarantees. That applies across your whole stocklist, of course!
Your best starting point? Simply jump onto the manufacturer’s website. Most quality sites will have products and specifications and all the key benefits you need to make meaningful product choices and if this isn’t enough, you can always search for that hard copy catalogue.
So why not check out our website for the latest on new products and new innovation.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To learn more about making lighting control easy, visit: www.timeguard.com