The electrical installation within a domestic property has undergone significant changes in recent years, and the smart electrician has had to keep pace with these changes.
It seems only a generation ago that lights and power were the main requirement in a home, but as technology has evolved, so has the demand of the consumer.
Smart technology is transforming the way we live our lives. More and more homes are now dependant on connectivity to the internet and the electrical industry has had to embrace this new digital world and data communications.
The ability to control heating and lighting systems around the home via a tablet, smartphone or app has changed the market significantly and continues to do so, on a daily basis.
Householders are now more switched on to what technology can do. It is consumers’ awareness of the latest trends that is driving up the demand for smart technology, a sector that was previously the domain of the high street architect or tech savvy designer. Smart homes are now something more and more people want as a basic function.
Falling costs are helping to drive this demand. Systems which can control security, entertainment, heating, lighting, cooling, windows and blinds are all now much more affordable than when they first came on to the market almost a decade ago.
Estimates suggest costs have fallen by more than 50% in that time, making the technology a much more attractive option to homeowners. It has also improved, meaning systems can now integrate seamlessly with each other and be controlled from the same tablet or smart phone.
Householders are also drawn to the savings that can be made through energy efficient lighting and heating systems which can react instantly to demand and periods of less use.
As Alan Charlton, training manager at NICEIC comments: “If a total re-wire of a large development is going to cost £30,000 then it makes sense to build in a requirement for smart technology of, say, £5000 – the potential savings through heating and light consumption alone are well justified.”
Good news for electricians
The upshot of all of this is that a growing number of sparks are now benefiting from the need to install, maintain and upgrade the wired and wireless infrastructures that are crucial to the successful operation of these systems. A dodgy internet or wifi connection, which drops out every so often, is simply not good enough these days.
For reliable operation, these home networks depend on a strong electrical/data cabling infrastructure, providing a clear point of entry for electrical contractors. A growing number of installers are now moving into this area, as more and more householders adopt new technologies in their homes.
The need for training
NICEIC has been at the forefront of helping installers get the right training to succeed in this area. We listened to feedback from our customers who wanted the basic knowledge and skills needed to install data communication points, both within domestic properties and commercial premises.
We set up two courses – specifically designed for the electrician working in both the domestic and commercial arenas.
The two-day Data cabling for the domestic installer course provides the installer with the confidence to be able to install and commission a domestic network. The course is broken down into simple, easy-to-follow sections covering:
- Understanding of the network
- IP addresses
- WAN and LAN
- Types of cables and connections
- Signal quality
- Resistance and attenuation
Data cabling for the commercial installer is a one-day course covering much of the same, providing a balanced mix of theory and practice relating to the structured cabling system.
Practical exercises are part of both courses, which conclude with the delegates installing and commissioning a data/video network.
NICEIC has seen an increased number of installers signing up for both courses in recent months. The course has received positive feedback and is confirmation that electricians are the best body of people to be installing such a system.
For more information please visit www.niceic.com.