Changes in Wiring Accessories
How to deal with the modern day explosion of wiring accessories
Makeovers and advanced technology have transformed the wiring accessory from a functional necessity into a multi-purpose product which must look good too.
Homes now double up as offices and entertainment venues, meanwhile an escalating range of electrical products, from PCs and satellite systems, to home security equipment and kitchen gadgets have evolved.
As well as providing wiring accessories for equipment, today’s huge interest in interior design means they are commonly used for special lighting to create moods.
Once upon a time, the average room would have managed with one light switch and two or three power points for a lamp, TV and the odd appliance. Now the demand is for many more of each.
This increased need for wiring accessories is accompanied by a requirement for aesthetic products, as the homeowner’s choice of design is often based as much on how they look as simply on how they function.
This in turn presents a challenge for electricians. For no matter how pretty the consumer wants the product to be, the first and foremost issue for electricians is to maintain levels of safety.
Fortunately innovative design has not been confined to home aesthetics, and enhanced safety measures have been introduced over the years, for example with single and then double switches on sockets, and the addition of 2 and 3 pin safety shutters in place of earth pin release shutter systems.
Manufacturers do strive to keep up with technological advances by designing wiring accessories with the electrician installing them in mind. As a result they are logically planned to make circuit testing as easy as possible, which enables the electrician to install them easily and keep costs down. This has been facilitated by the introduction of grid systems for interchangeable wiring devices.
Today’s brief for electricians is to cover all eventualities and complexities of wiring accessories and their intended use, installing them so that they are accessible and will not confuse the homeowner, whilst at the same time allowing all equipment to work well together. Plus, wiring accessories should still be fixed to the standard black–box.
There are three kinds of carriers capable of doing this more easily.
Mains cables and mains borne signals
Mains cables providing power can double up to provide signals for communication. Mains borne or power line carrier (PLC) signals injected on the positive/negative pair can be harnessed to create a value–for–money home network solution, with a simple upgrade of an existing switch or socket to a PLC device keeping costs down.
Wi–Fi (Wireless Fidelity) operates on the same range as cordless phones and can therefore provide a wire–free connection to TVs, DVDs and scenario switching. Although it does still need a mains power, a wiring accessory modified for in–built Wi–Fi access is all that’s needed.
Category 5e networks
Known as Cat 5e, this type of network cable is expensive but reliable, meaning devices throughout the home can be accessed via remote control wiring accessories. As with the other two solutions, Cat 5e also works for lights and power.
Providing an electrician researches the range of wiring accessories available, the job won’t seem as complicated, not even on the surface. Which means a job well done, in terms of both safety and aesthetics.Start of page