Stay Ahead Of The Regs With Eco Friendly LED Lighting
1st May 2017
Did you know lower performing halogens are expected to be banned by 2018? Now is the time to be switching to LED. Wayne Lysaght-Mason, managing director at ElectricalDirect.co.uk, discusses the benefits of LED for external lighting.
Last year EU regulations came into place to ensure that only lamps with an energy rating of B or better are now available to purchase, as part of a shift towards more efficient technology. To put that into perspective your typical, old style, incandescent lamp has an energy rating of E.
Other lower performing halogens are expected to be banned by 2018 and from what we have seen of the new 18th Edition Wiring Regulations, also due out next year, environmental consideration will be a key factor in the work of the electrical contractor going forward. So now is the perfect time to be advising customers to switch to LED.
LEDs are by far the greenest lighting solution, using less energy to emit comparable levels of light to a traditional lamp. They also last for an incredibly long time – they typically have a lifespan of around five to 11 years – and don’t contain mercury like standard CFL lamps.
As the days get longer and warmer people will be spending more time in their gardens and so looking for the best outdoor lighting solutions. From an outdoor lighting perspective LEDs are far superior in terms of performance, when compared to traditional lighting fixtures and can be used for a variety of functions from decorative to security.
When advising on the various LED lamps available today, it’s important to ensure they have the correct technical and design features to meet your customers’ needs.
LED lights come in a variety of colours and hues meaning they can provide highly creative, cost effective, systems to outline garden landscapes, or to create a personalised outdoor space.
LEDs can also be used to create dramatic features with waterfalls or fountains, and swimming pool areas, as well as for wall lighting, patio lighting, landscape lighting, outdoor flood lights, and deck lighting. Walkways and stairs can also be outlined with LED lighting, creating a safe and imaginative setting.
LED lighting is ideal for the garden as it is more durable than other lighting sources, and can withstand the weather better. It also doesn’t produce the same heat as other lighting, so is gentler on plants and safer for children and pets and there is less danger of fire because it operates on lower wattage.
LED is perfect for security lighting as the lamps have a thick epoxy which makes them incredibly durable and almost impossible to break. Also, as their lifespan comes to an end LEDs fade rather than break, giving the owner adequate time to replace the lamp and so never leaving spaces in the dark.
LED lights generate significantly brighter white light which is a lot like daylight. By installing these lights, users can easily see items in the dark, making them ideal for motion sensing security systems. Some modern security lighting systems now also come with an integral motion sensitive infrared camera, helping to make homes even more secure.
Floodlights can be used for a variety of purposes, whether lighting a building, car park, driveway, garden, fountain, patio, tennis court, tree or yard.
LED floodlights are up to 90% more energy efficient than their halogen equivalents and operate reliably in very cold temperatures down to around -20°C. They are also resistant to shock or vibration and as mentioned, have a very long lifespan, making LEDs an excellent choice for hard-to-reach places where replacing a lamp would be difficult.
The natural directional output of an LED floodlight also helps to cut out stray light which is important when placing external lighting in built up areas or close to roads.
While LEDs use direct light, meaning there is no unnecessary light overspill, electricians should be careful that the intensity and direction of light does not disturb others. People can suffer extreme disturbance due to excessive or poorly designed lighting intruding into their space.
Security lights fitted with passive infrared detectors (PIRs) and/or timing devices should be adjusted so that they minimise nuisance to neighbours and are set so that they are not triggered by traffic or pedestrians passing outside a property. It is also worth investigating whether the property is a listed building as, if so, you will need to consult the local planning authority.
While LED is a clear choice for external lighting solutions, there are a number of options and factors to take into consideration when planning for optimum use.
SCL Tigers Face Off To Security Challenges
17th April 2017
Swiss ice hockey club SCL Tigers have put the freeze on disruption at matches thanks to the installation of a new Panasonic security camera system.
The club has chosen the company’s 4K dome camera, the WV-SFV781L, to monitor spectator stands at the Ilfishalle Stadium in Langnau. With 6x optical zoom and true 4K, the club is able to monitor the entire length of each stand using just two cameras.
Alongside the 4K technology SCL Tigers also opted for WV-SW598A full HD fixed dome cameras outside the stadium and in areas away from the spectator stands. Operators benefit from a 30x optical zoom, PTZ functionality and a 128x dynamic range to capture clear evidence day and night.
The Tigers play in the National League A, the top division in Switzerland. Strict regulations regarding the safety of spectators as well as the security of stadiums meant it was crucial the club had a camera setup that would be dependable and compliant.
“The stadium operators needed to be able to review the video material of the stands and the areas outside the stadium within hours of an incident taking place,” says CEO of SCL Tigers Peter Müller.
“The Panasonic brand is well known for its reliability and high quality products. Value for money was another key aspect, and Panasonic provides exactly what we were looking for. For us, it’s important that we invest capital in the best way possible and get the most out of it.”
Survey says homeowners want outdoor lighting to make homes more attractive to buyers
10th April 2017
Rather than wanting to blend in, homeowners want impact from outdoor lighting to increase the curb-appeal of their home, a European-wide study from Philips Lighting has revealed.
Outdoor lighting is a key consideration when buying a home for nearly half of Europeans (45%) – beating the type of windows, roof or paintwork of a house, as a consideration.
While one third of all Europeans agree that outdoor lighting has a significant impact on the appeal of a home.
Setting the right scene
The study of more than 7,000 adults across five European countries – Germany, UK, France, the Netherlands and Spain – also emphasised the importance of lighting up outdoor spaces to create the right mood, inside and outside the home.
Two thirds (65%) of those surveyed agree that outdoor lighting in the garden adds to the overall atmosphere of a home.
The Spanish place the most value on outdoor lighting for setting the perfect scene, with over 80% agreeing outdoor lighting adds to a home's ambiance.
While in the North of Europe, many believe the opposite, with nearly half (43%) of Britons disagreeing that outdoor lighting adds to creating the right mood.
"Outdoor lighting can often be overlooked but it is key to showing off your home the way it was meant to be seen at nighttime, and can be used to highlight the most attractive aspects, whether you're viewing from inside the home, or out.
Purchasing outdoor lights which use LED modules or LED lightbulbs, such as Philips LED outdoor lighting, is also a great value-add for the property owner, with the short-term investment paying dividends in the long-run," commented Bianca Heiszwolf, leader of Philips Lighting Home Luminaires.
Smoke Alarm Research May Help To Save Children’s Lives
1st March 2107
Researchers from the University of Dundee are seeking hundreds of families to help them trial a new smoke alarm sound aimed specifically at waking children.
The number of lives lost as a result of fires has fallen by half since home usage of smoke alarms became widespread. However, there is evidence to suggest that some children do not wake to commonly used smoke alarms.
This has prompted a research study by professor Niamh Nic Daeid of the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) and her research student Dave Coss, a fire investigator and watch commander with Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. The project is also supported by Derby Housing and smoke alarm manufacturer Ei Electronics.
The research showed that children respond to different tones and frequencies of alarm than adults and that boys and girls are wakened by a different combination of sounds. The research team investigated different sounds and found that a low frequency intermittent bleep-rest-bleep pattern followed by a recorded spoken message appeared to be effective in waking up both boys and girls, with preliminary tests indicating a 90% success rate.
Research shows that children respond to different tones and frequencies of alarm than adults.
The researchers are now asking families to take part in what will be the largest citizen science project ever attempted in this research area.
Professor Niamh NicDaeid says: “We know that smoke alarms are vital in making our homes and communities safe in the event of a fire. Our research has demonstrated however, that the current smoke alarms used do not always wake children from sleep.
“The first stage of the project tested 34 children, both boys and girls, of varying ages, to see if they woke when a smoke alarm was activated. The tests were carried out in the family home and 80 per cent of the children, including all of the boys slept through the alarm. Protecting our children in the event of fire is so fundamentally important that we want to involve parents and their children in expanding this research.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the smoke alarm study needs to have children under 16 years of age and should contact the research team at: www.derbys-fire.gov.uk/keeping-safe/smoke-alarm-study/.
Light Efficient Design UK Announces Unique LED Solution
1st February 2017
Light Efficient Design UK has announced the immediate availability of its LED-8090A 120W retrofit lighting solution for low bay and floodlight installations.
The LED-8090A allows affordable and non-invasive replacement of 400W HIDs with 120W LED. Its single sided LED design allows a very high light output ratio, while saving up to 70% in energy costs and emissions.
Using the existing light fittings, installation simply requires bypassing the ballast or control gear and directly connecting the lamp holder to the 240V supply.
Fully CE and ROHS certified, the 4,000K LED-8090A 120W is also available as a 5,700K option. Low maintenance is assured with a 50,000 hour rated lamp life together with integrated active cooling fans rated for 70,000 hours. The product is backed by a five year warranty.
Light Efficient Design UK’s Newbury based warehouse offers prompt delivery to UK/Ireland electrical wholesalers on all Light Efficient Design retrofit LED products.
Why The 2018 Halogen Ban Is Brilliant News For Everyone
11th January 2017
When halogen bulbs are finally banned across the EU in September 2018, V-Tac explains why we should be celebrating the end of unnecessarily high lighting bills, inefficient technology and a massive 15.2 million tonne reduction in Europe’s carbon footprint by 2025.
There are still an estimated 500 million halogen spotlights being used in homes across Europe and, if they were replaced with good LED alternatives, every household would save an average of £42 a year and save enough energy to power 11 million homes.
New technology has resulted in a dramatic evolution of LED lighting and it is now easy to find lights which give out an attractive warm white light for homes or a brighter white light for the workplace.
This includes highly efficient A++ rated lights which produce 120 lumens per watt (a traditional halogen bulb produces only around 12 lumens per watt) with much less wasted heat. LED lights have also become more reliable and consistent and have a longer lamp life.
LED lights can cut energy usage by 80% and so pay for themselves within a year – especially if they are bought at a competitive price.
Satish Sajnani, cofounder of V-Tac, says: “People working in the trade need to start stocking LED lighting products and gear up for the 2018 ban. They also need to play their part in educating the public about LED lights and explain why they have so many advantages. The biggest benefits of the transition from halogen to LED lighting will be lower energy bills and a healthier planet.”
1st January 2017
For any of your electrical problems, Riva's team of NICEIC registered electricians are available 24/7. Give us a call us on 0203 174 2509.
Works completed this year
We have recently been working at a luxury 5 star hotel and restaurant in Marylebone completing additional electrical works to enhance the hotel and restaurant helping to give the customers’ an enhanced experience.
We have also been carrying out works to many local schools in and around the M25. We have installed hand dryers to the toilets, outdoor LED lighting, installing additional sockets and completing Electrical Installation Condition Reports to name a few. Another year is just around the corner and 2017 is already shaping up to be an eventful year for Riva. Give us a call now on 01753 596 600 to discuss any requirements that you may have.
All at Riva would like to thank you for your business during the past year and we hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Looking ahead for 2017
Another year is just around the corner and 2017 is already shaping up to be an eventful year for Riva. We look forward to working with you in the New Year for any requirements you may have.
Recolight uses LuxLive to expand free recycling services
Recolight will be exhibiting at LuxLive, ExCel London 23 to 24 November. The company will be highlighting the expansion of its free recycling service for all waste lighting.
Recolight is the UK’s largest lighting WEEE scheme, and the customers of Recolight members can access a unique, free of charge, waste lamp and luminaire collection service. The company has recently reduced the minimum collection quantity to just 1,000 lamps every three months, which makes the free service accessible to many more companies.
An increasing number of organisations are making waste collection a contractual requirement when purchasing new lighting. This includes the supply of empty containers to store the waste on the customer site, delivery of full containers to a recycler, and provision of paperwork to show compliant recycling. Recolight is able to provide an integrated waste lamp, luminaire and battery collection service across multiple sites, with container deliveries carefully scheduled to fit in with the customer’s roll-out plans. Where luminaires are supplied by lighting producers that are members of the Recolight compliance scheme, the waste lamp and luminaire collection service, including the provision of containers, is free of charge. Producers that are not yet members of the Recolight compliance scheme will be able to discuss the joining options on the Recolight stand.
Recolight CEO Nigel Harvey will be speaking at the Lux Live conference on 24 November 15:30 in Tech2 Theatre with a presentation entitled “WEEE and the Circular Economy”.
He will give an update of changes to the regulations, and their impact on the lighting industry.
Mini goes electrical
18th Oct 2016
Mini will soon sell its first plug-in hybrid car when the new Countryman arrives in UK showrooms next year.
The carmaker confirmed its first step into the hybrid market at the weekend, previewing what the second-generation compact SUV will look like for 2017.
The Countryman PHEV will be capable of driving at speeds of up to 78mph in pure-electric mode, the manufacturer has claimed.
The second-generation of the popular Mini crossover is due to be unveiled later in October, but ahead of the official unwrapping the brand rubber-stamped rumours that it would offer a petrol-electric version that charges directly from the mains.
A selection of images of a highly camouflaged prototype model was released on Sunday, though the British carmaker owned by BMW refused to reveal the exact details of the powertrain that will propel its first production plug-in hybrid.
Most expect the Countryman PHEV to feature the same 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine the current Mini hatchbacks and new Clubman all feature - the same engine that's used in its parent-brands' plug-in hybrid BMW i8 supercar - where it is combined with an electric motor.
While Mini claimed the new Countryman hybrid would be able to travel beyond the legal speed limit in electric-only mode, the official statement did not clarify for how long.
It only stated the new PHEV would be capable of 'long-lasting electric driving'.
Official power output and price are yet to be disclosed, but Mini has confirmed the car will be all-wheel drive, with the electric motor powering the rear wheels and the petrol engine the front wheels.
The new model will have to incorporate both an electric motor and fairly heavy batteries to power it, but Mini has said the chassis and suspension will be exactly the same as the standard petrol and diesel Countrymans, with the additional electric components spread across both axles rather than being dumped at the back.
Mini also confirmed that the Countryman PHEV will have three different driving modes: Auto eDrive that automatically switches between electric and unleaded power on demand and can used electric-only thrust to speeds up to 58mph, Max eDrive for full battery use at a speed of almost 80mph and Save Battery mode that runs the petrol engine only - probably the best setting for motorway use.
'With this model we want to convince Mini customers of the benefits of hybrid drive and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with Mini’s unique go-kart driving feel', head of Mini brand management Sebastian Mackensen said.
Apart from all the branding, the plug-in hybrid Countryman will be decorated in, the tell-tale giveaway will be the charging socket for the high-voltage battery that's located above the passenger-side front wheel.
The interior should look almost identical to the standard car, though there are subtle differences, such as the start-stop button in the dashboard glowing yellow instead of red and the rev counter in the instrument cluster displaying a power displaying instead of an RPM needle.
Now is the time to turn on to LEDs
16th Sep 2016
Newey & Eyre has welcomed a new report which indicates that LED lighting is set to be the fastest-growing sector in the general lighting market.
According to market research undertaken by Technavio, LED lighting will be the fastest-growing segment in the lighting market with its revenue share surpassing traditional lighting by 2018.
The report suggests this is due to the rapid emergence of ‘smart cities,’ which have been designed to drive forward energy efficiency in everyday living, as well as propel economic growth and quality of living through the integration of “connected” technology.
The research also indicates that the market growth is likely to increase as the demand for both commercial and residential space continues to rise.
James Harding, category manager at Newey & Eyre comments: “LED technology is leading the way when it comes to cost effective, long-lasting lighting solutions. And, in recent years it has moved to the forefront of energy efficiency, making LEDs the first port-of-call for commercial customers looking to improve the performance of their buildings.
“It is therefore great to see from this research that the UK sector is growing, indicating that specifiers across both large and small projects are switching on to the benefits of LED lighting.
James adds: “As a business committed to helping to drive the green economy forward, Newey & Eyre has long championed the importance of lighting’s role in reducing harmful impacts on the environment, while optimising efficiencies and lowering energy costs for UK businesses. Specifiers should continue to embrace sustainable strategy as a way to make major cost and energy savings, with LED technology at its core.
“At Newey and Eyre, we’ve done all the hard work for you, seeking out the most innovative products in the market and allowing you to access them in one, convenient place through our new LED Solutions catalogue. This means specifiers and contractors can easily arm themselves with the latest LED innovations on the market that will tick all the right boxes for cost and energy efficiency.”
To help installers in their product choice, the new Rexel LED Lighting Solutions catalogue offers a quick and easy guide for the most cost-effective, genuine like-for-like energy efficient replacements for traditional light sources.
All products featured in the guide are set against a rigorous benchmarking system and products are tested extensively to ensure that they perform to the highest levels and meet all relevant UK legislation.
60th anniversary for NICEIC
5th August 2016
This August marks an important milestone for NICEIC as it celebrates the 60th anniversary since its first inception.
The UK’s leading voluntary body for electrical contractors was officially incorporated on August 10 1956. The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting as it was first known, started out with 3,500 contractors on its roll.
Today, it has more than 19 000 Approved Contractors and an additional 9,000 domestic installers – making it the UK’s largest and most recognised voluntary body within the electrical industry.
“The 60th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the history of NICEC,” commented current CEO of NICEIC, Emma Clancy.
“Much has changed within the industry during the last six decades but the values of safety and competence remain at the core of everything we do.“
“More and more businesses now turn to NICEIC for accreditation - firms who have voluntarily chosen to have their work assessed on an annual basis. They provide the appropriate insurances and customer protection policies, and have a detailed record of their work through the certification and notification process.“
“This has to be a good thing, not only for the industry, but consumers too, and we will keep working hard to continue to improve and meet our customers’ needs today and tomorrow.“
NICEIC was created in a post war era when there was a lack of uniform standards for wiring and there was no regulation of anyone carrying out electrical work.
Although the first edition of the wiring regulations was produced way back in 1882 there was little control over the guidance being implemented.
In 1923 The National Register of Electrical Installation Contractors (NREIC) was set up to help the public identify competent contractors - although many of the contractors around at the time were not obliged to sign up.
It would be another 33 years before NICEIC was set up as the first voluntary body and although much has changed, the principles remain the same – to keep a roll of approved contractors, to carry out inspections of their work, and to inform the public about the dangers of unsafe installations.
Don’t blow out your summer party with a bang
4th July 2016
More than 40% of us will attend or host a garden party or outdoor celebration this summer.
But two thirds of hosts (66%) don’t ensure guests are protected from common electrical accidents
The ESC study found that garden parties across the UK this summer are quite extravagant events with the following items now being a common part of the mix. When those who will attend or host a garden party were asked what the party will include:
6% will have a bouncy castle
11% will have a paddling pool / water slide
12% will have live music
Furthermore, 34% will attend or host an outdoor party that includes stereos or speakers outside and 12% where indoor-use lighting is taken outside for the occasion.
It’s great that people are being imaginative with their garden parties but electrical safety is still not the priority it needs to be. Using an RCD is a simple safety measure but it is vital, especially when doing anything outdoors, where there is increased risk of electric shock. RCDs offer a level of protection that ordinary fuses or circuit breakers cannot provide.
Brexit Shock: Markets Buckle as Britain Quits the European Union
24th June 2016
Britain has voted to leave the European Union, stunning global financial markets and sending a seismic shock through the Continent.
The pound suffered its worst day in more than 30 years, plunging downward, as Dow Industrials futures and other markets prepared for a huge jolt to the global financial system.
British Prime Minister David Cameron resigned early this morning. The humiliating defeat is a stunning reversal of fortune for Cameron, who called the referendum himself and confidently expected to win. Cameron was returned to office with a surprise overall majority amid scenes of Conservative jubilation in the general election just over a year ago.
A leading anti-European Union campaigner, who had earlier said he expected to lose the referendum, reappeared as dawn broke over Britain to claim a dramatic victory.
“Let June 23rd go down in history as our Independence Day,” shouted Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party, with both arms held aloft.
As he spoke, billions of pounds were already being drained from the British economy.
It was a tumultuous end to an extraordinary day in which thunderous storms and floodwater lashed Britain as the nation faced up to its most profound decision in a generation.
Euro 2016 Dilemma: TV or pub?
9th June 2016
Football fans thinking of upgrading their TV for Euro 2016 could choose to watch the whole tournament in the pub after new research revealed how many pints could be consumed for the same cash.
The new study by money-saving website Voucherbox.co.uk looked at the cost of upgrading to a new TV against watching all 51 Euro 2016 games in the pub.
International football tournaments have traditionally been seen as a bumper time for electrical retailers as many fans choose to upgrade their technology.
The study looked at the cost of a pint of lager in 12 UK cities alongside a comparison of Samsung, Sony and LG televisions in three different sizes, to discover how to get the most value for money out of all 51 Euro2016 matches.
Fans in Leeds could down 566 pints for the same price as one new Samsung H6400 television set – that’s more than 11 pints for every game in the Euro 2016 tournament.
In comparison, a pint in London costs a whopping £5.12 – making the price tag 102% more expensive than Leeds.
Unsurprisingly, the capital is home to the priciest pint in the country, closely followed by Manchester and Liverpool at £3.95 and £3.94 respectively.
For fellow bargain booze, Glasgow is next on the list with a pint for £2.75, followed by Birmingham at £2.87.
With the cheapest TV coming in at £364.55, supporters in Leeds may feel ever so slightly sozzled with 147.9 lagers at their disposal throughout the entire Euro 2016 for the same amount of money. This breaks down to 2.89 pints per match.
For a middle-range model, such as the Sony KDL55W805CBU, which comes in at £599, lads in Leeds can neck 242.51 pints of lager during the length of the competition – that’s 4.76 pints a game.
This doesn’t mean however that Londoners can’t still enjoy a fair few beverages during the event. Instead of purchasing the lowest-priced TV, they could drink 71.20 lagers throughout Euro2016 (1.4 pints a match).
Shane Forster, Voucherbox UK Country Manager stated, “For those unable to go to France to watch Euro2016 in action, the next best thing is a shiny new TV to watch it on.
“While the context of this study is a bit of fun, it’s interesting to see in which cities’ pubs you can get most value for money.
“If you are planning a weekend away to watch the match, or for any other reason, maybe you could consider Leeds. If you’re looking for a new TV, it’s also worth shopping around. A 65” Samsung is 22% more expensive than a Sony of the same spec and size.”
Risk of power cuts could become ‘historic relic’
25th May 2016
ECA issues three-point energy market action plan to MPs.
The risk of winter power cuts occurring in the UK could become a thing of the past, according to a submission from the ECA to a House of Commons Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Committee inquiry.
The ECA’s input focuses on three core proposals, which have the capacity to substantially mitigate against high-energy demand and shift usage away from peak times, namely:
Fostering an energy storage revolution across the country, allowing for this stored power from renewable sources to then be deployed at times of peak demand, but at much lower cost Facilitating a substantial increase in the use of electric vehicles, resulting in power usage shifting primarily to overnight when the vehicles are charged.
Developing plans for a European-wide energy ‘super grid’, that would allow power to be transported across borders to mitigate against high levels of demand.
The proposals involve potentially little or no public incentive, as cost savings would result from storing power at cheap rates, and then using and potentially exporting energy at high rates.
According to Bill Wright, ECA Head of Energy Solutions, “The risk of power cuts, especially during the winter months, remains a genuine prospect in Britain, particularly given the gradual closure of power stations. The ECA’s vision to revolutionise the energy market could in time lead to these concerns about blackouts becoming a historic relic.
“The combination of widespread energy storage, large-scale take-up of electric vehicles and a European-wide ‘super grid’ is a compelling, clean and cost effective programme that could revolutionise the UK energy market.”
The submission follows a request by MPs sitting on the ECC Committee for ‘innovations that have the greatest potential to revolutionise energy markets’. The ECA’s chosen criteria for the proposals were: creating economic benefits, ensuring security of supply, scalability and providing clean energy.
The proposals come as politicians consider the UK’s Fifth Carbon Budget, which legally commits the government to meet specific carbon reduction targets, as part of efforts to reduce emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050.
Construction gains momentum in March
21st April 2016
The construction industry has picked up the pace in March, with £6.1 billion worth of construction contracts delivered, according to the latest Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI.
This is the highest figures of the year to date, which was particularly influenced by the continued strength of the residential sector.
Total construction contract value figures for March were almost 10% higher than in February.
Alongside the improving figures, residential construction contract values were worth £1.9 billion in March, 31 per cent of the total amount of contracts for the month (see figure).
The positive news from March continues as the commercial and retail sector increased its monthly contract value by 25 per cent and Infrastructure by 30 per cent, which is an extra £500 million of contract value compared to February.
Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI, said the encouraging industry pick-up is welcome after a lacklustre start to the year.
He said, "Housebuilding once again continues to storm ahead in the industry, as housebuilders continue to try to keep pace with the demand and appetite for new housing.
“With both the commercial and retail and infrastructure sectors increasing their levels of activity in March, it would be good to see this continue and take some of the pressure away from private housing, which has been the only sector that has continually grown and at times propped up the industry in recent years.
“With the EU referendum looming, this will be interesting to follow over the coming months to see what affect it will have across the construction sector as there is anecdotal evidence to suggest this is starting to make an impact on investment decisions inside the boardrooms of construction firms.”
UK businesses hit by rising number of power outages
21st April 2016
The number of power outages in the UK rose dramatically last year, resulting in widespread productivity losses across industry, the latest Blackout Tracker report has revealed.
In total, there were 640 outages in 2015, a marked increase on the 537 incidents recorded in 2014. The report also found that a total of 2,564,827 people were affected by the outages, which lasted for an average of 50 minutes.
The statistics in the Blackout Tracker highlight the problem of unreliable electricity supply at a time when the UK’s ageing energy infrastructure is coming under increasing pressure.
A report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) warns that as many older coal-fired power stations are shut down, the UK is facing a 40-55 per cent electricity supply gap, resulting in the likelihood of more frequent power outages.
Dr Jenifer Baxter, head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and lead author of the report said as the UK population rises and with the greater use of electricity use in transport and heating it looks "almost certain that electricity demand is going to rise".
He said, “However with little or no focus on reducing electricity demand, the retirement of the majority of the country’s ageing nuclear fleet, recent proposals to phase out coal-fired power by 2025 and the cut in renewable energy subsidies, the UK is on course to produce even less electricity than it does at the moment.”
Steve Spicer, IT Segment Lead, UK, says that the spike in the number of outages highlighted by the Blackout Tracker report emphasises how fragile the UK power networks are becoming, increasing the need for businesses to develop an adequate power protection plan.
Spicer said, “Businesses are being hugely inconvenienced by an unreliable power supply. Outages lead to downtime, and that costs money. For example, on average, a medium sized data centre will experience over three downtime events each year, with the average power cut lasting over three and half hours.
"Based on this, the total cost for downtime will be over 66,170 euros per hour. With the ability to cause irreparable damage and irretrievable loss of revenue in a matter of minutes, downtime is, in a word, disastrous.
“Eaton has been using the Blackout Tracker tool to report on power outages for eight years, and the number of incidents has risen steadily over time. That upward trend suggests this is not a problem that is going to go away any time soon and both reports indicate that unreliable power supply could have a huge impact on British businesses over the medium-term. Company owners need to ensure that continuity can be maintained when these outages do occur.”
In terms of geographic regions, the South East of England suffered the most blackouts, with 124 incidents in 2015. The South West of England endured the second highest number of blackouts (98), while the North West of England saw the lights go out 75 times across the year.
The Blackout Tracker reveals that the most significant outage occurred on 10 January 2015 when one million people across the North East of Scotland were left in the dark after a huge storm toppled power lines.
On the 21 July, meanwhile, 135,000 people in and around Havering in Greater London were left without power after a fire damaged electrical cables.
The report also highlights some of the more unusual causes of outages, including a combine harvester bringing down power lines in Diss, Norfolk, and a squirrel chewing through power cables in Yeovil, Somerset, cutting electricity to 1,000 customers.
Companies can also make the most of Eaton’s Blackout and Power Outage Tracker, an online tool that enables users to discover how vulnerable the power grid in their area is to outages.
Government supports ESF campaign against dangerous electrical goods
24th March 2016
Electrical Safety First has expressed its delight at the Government acknowledging the importance of its campaign against dangerous electrical items.
The campaign has recently gained media exposure in headlines around damage caused by white goods such as tumble-dryers and gadgets such as hoverboards.
At a recent Westminster Hall debate, MPs discussed not only the flood of fakes entering the UK – particularly through online outlets – but also the issue of substandard items.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills, Nick Boles MP, who praised the Charity for its campaign, agreed that more needs to be done to protect consumers in the digital age and that a review into how Trading Standards can address this issue was being undertaken by his department.
Research by Electrical Safety First found that a quarter of us have knowingly bought a counterfeit item and a third would consider doing so, if it saved money or if they saw no difference to the genuine article.
And the situation is worsening due to the rapid growth in fakes available via social media, where sales of counterfeit items increased by 15% in 2014 – 2015 alone.
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, who arranged the Westminster Hall debate and whose constituent, Linda Merron, died in a fire caused by a faulty air purifier bought on eBay, highlighted not only the prevalence and danger of counterfeit goods but also the problem of substandard components in electrical items.
The Charity has also noted the impact of an increasing complex supply chain in relation to substandard items and called for a tightening of the product recall process.
Currently, recalls have only a 10 to 20% success rate, leaving millions of potentially lethal products in people’s homes.
“A fake designer handbag can’t kill you but a fake or substandard electrical item could”, explains Phil Buckle, director general of Electrical Safety First.”
And while counterfeit is not the same as substandard, it isn’t surprising that many fakes ignore safety and technical regulations.
“Our report, A Shocking Rip-Off, the True Cost of Counterfeit Electrical Products, found that the key reason fakes are sold so cheaply is that they contain ‘shortcuts’ – omitting components entirely, or using substandard ones, which can significantly impact on a product’s safety and functionality.
And the increasing sophistication of fake products means that often, the only way to identify them as counterfeit is by checking their internal components – not something consumers are likely to do!”
What does the ECIS Annual Healthcheck of Tradespeople say?
10th March 2016
In its third Annual Healthcheck of the UK’s contractors and tradespeople*, ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction industry, has found confidence at its highest level since the survey began three years ago with 48% of respondents saying they feel confident about the year ahead. But behind this upbeat outlook is a workforce under immense strain with close to half (41%) saying their business was under increased pressure to fulfil contracts.
Reflecting the increased demand for their skills, many tradespeople saw their work/life balance tip heavily towards work in 2015. The survey found that over a quarter of tradespeople regularly worked evenings and weekends in 2015 with 60% saying they had felt more pressure to do so in the last year.
But despite working longer hours, shockingly, 58% had to turn work away in 2015, and more worryingly, 38% confirmed they had resorted to unskilled labour to help fulfil contracts.
Even more galling for tradespeople is that the hard work did not equate to higher earnings for all. While 35% earned more in 2015 compared to the year before. This is a slight decrease from the 40% who earned more in 2014 compared to 2013.
Commenting on this year’s Healthcheck, Phil Scarrett, sales and marketing director for ECIS, says, “Despite the fact that fewer tradespeople saw their earnings going up last year compared to the year before, contractors are generally feeling more confident about 2016 than they did this time last year. And you can see why with a series of major construction projects underway and the knock on effects of this. Plus, a focus by the UK Government on housebuilding. Just in the past week we have seen new proposals to create competition for handling planning applications and a fast track application process**.
“However, the fact that 22% of tradespeople would not encourage young people to enter the industry underlines the struggle many people in the trade are facing between earning a living, managing customer demands and having a life outside of work. There is no shortage of work to go around but serving that demand is evidently a source of significant pressure for tradespeople – so much so that 38% have had turn to unskilled labour.
“This can add further pressure in terms of training and ensuring people taken on have the right level of competence to undertake the work needed. 2015 saw the introduction of the new Construction Design and Management Regulations, which puts new requirements on the contracting sector to support risk management and part of this is having the right people for the right job at the right time. For many contractors, this is so much easier said than done, but it’s vital they remain focused on health and safety and where necessary continue to take the brave and difficult decision to turn work away.”
Tradesman to the rescue as DIYers dice with danger
9th February 2016
DIY on a Sunday is as much a part of the British weekend as woodland walks and pub lunches. Tradesmen, meanwhile, brace themselves for the calls for rescue on a Monday morning. A&E visits, lost work days and property damage are also part of the picture according to a new study by AXA Insurance.
DIY can be a useful money-saver in hard times, but the study suggested that most people take on these projects because they love the challenge and enjoy flexing their skills. Happily, six out of ten DIY projects are completed successfully – but almost a quarter go so badly wrong that only a tradesman can put things right.
And despite one in five householders saying they do it themselves because they fear ‘rogue traders’, tradesmen turn out to be their best friend in a disaster. On average, tradesmen are spending 22 per cent of their time (or one full day a week) rescuing DIY jobs, and most – 65 per cent – don’t charge extra if the job takes longer due to the customer’s mistakes.
One builder’s experience was typical: “I was called out at midnight, got the job safely sorted, worked until 2am and only charged for normal nine to five hours”. Tradesmen revealed that plumbing jobs are the most expensive DIY projects to put right, followed by painting projects and botched joinery. Hazardous jobs best left to the professionals
Sixteen per cent of UK workers have suffered a DIY failure so severe that they have had to miss work. One in twenty – equivalent to more than 3 million people2 – have even ended up in A&E as a consequence.
Electricians are the trade most often called out to faulty DIY jobs, which supports industry warnings that half of severe electrical shocks are caused by DIY attempts3. For instance, while most people say they would install a light fitting without help, when it comes to it, almost a third find the job too dangerous to continue.
Other home improvements best left to the professionals included: plumbing in bathroom fittings (45 per cent rescue rate), laying a floor (44 per cent rescue rate) and plastering a wall (33 per cent rescue rate). Online videos encouraging hazardous DIY projects
People under the age of 35 are more likely to take on hazardous projects they are not skilled enough to complete – and they are three times more likely to end up in A&E as a result.
Meanwhile, basic skills seem to be lacking: 28 per cent of under 35’s said they didn’t know how to rewire a plug (compared to six per cent of those over 35); 14 per cent don’t know how to bleed a radiator (compared to five per cent of older people); and one in ten don’t know how to unblock a sink.
And it seems that they are learning DIY in a different way to older generations: people under 35 are twice as likely to have learnt their skills through online videos instead of from their parents or manuals.
Darrell Sansom, managing director of AXA Business Insurance, comments: “People up and down the country tell us they have a real passion for DIY. It’s something we do to relax, and it can save a bit of money too. But the research shows that taking on too much can be costly and even dangerous at times. It’s important to be realistic about your abilities and the risks involved.
“Online videos show you how to do everything from rewire a house, work on your roof and even solder heating pipes yourself! Only a qualified tradesman should ever attempt such jobs, particularly electrical jobs that often require certification from a qualified electrician.
“If people are also doing these jobs because they fear ‘cowboys’ and ‘rogue traders’, we have to challenge these stereotypes. Our studies have shown time and again that most tradespeople operate responsibly and often go above and beyond for customers. A few simple checks can ensure that the person you are calling is qualified and competent.”
Vacancy - Maintenance Team / Skilled Handyman
11th January 2016
Riva Property Services are looking for a skilled handyman to join our team, must have basic tools and be based within the M25.
They will be responsible for various tasks as required and including painting/decorating, minor plumbing & electrical works for reactive and proactive maintenance works for commercial and residential premises. You will be required to have excellent communication skills, full driving license and must be eligible to work in the UK and have proven track record in the property maintenance field.
You will need experience in the following trades:
Painting & decorating
The successful applicant will be supervised by fully qualified personnel at all times
1st December 2015
With warm and friendly wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Bright and Happy New Year.
Riva Property Services
We are heavily involved in the replacement of a generator and cable installation in a worldwide publishing house.
Countdown to GMT and Daylight Saving Time ending
British Summer time is nearly over and Britons are looking forward to lighter mornings and an extra hour in bed when the clocks go back later this month. With the dark night’s getting closer it is time to check all outdoor lighting is fully functional essential for those dark morning and nights when leaving your property giving you peace of mind that your property is safe and secure.
Riva Property Services
22nd September 2015
Riva currently working with one of the leading estate agents in the country on several large contracts providing both contract works and call out responses
Riva Property Services
1st September 2015
Riva Property Services are currently working on 2 substantial properties on the exclusive Wentworth Golfing Estate carrying out various electrical installations including LED lighting. We provide NICEIC certificates for all the relevant electrical works we carry out.
24th July 2015
Riva Property Services is NICEIC registered check out www.niceic.com for more details.
We cover all aspects of electrical work so give us a call any time of the day or night on 0203 174 2509 or 01753 596 600.
13th May 2015
Riva Property Services has been awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for its commitment to achieving excellence in health and safety.
Safecontractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises very high standards in health and safety management amongst UK contractors.
Riva Property Services
9th April 2015
Riva Property services have recently been working with a prestigious London hotel looking after the emergency lighting system. We have also undertaken periodic inspection and testing for a chain of London hotels
We have also recently won many contracts working for local schools in the Kent area.
Balaam Leisure Centre
5th March 2015
Riva Property Services is working on behalf of Newham Council renovating Balaam Leisure Centre.
Leisure centre members will soon have access to some of the latest fitness technology which will improve users work out experience.
Voltis Home - The first domestic optimiser to meet new BS rules
26th January 2015
Marshall-Tufflex has launched the first domestic voltage optimiser to comply with amended British Standards governing the performance of consumer units and switchgear assemblies.
The IET has updated BS 7671:2008 to provide greater protection from fires started by loose connections within consumer units and switchgear assemblies. The new regulations state units must be made from non-combustible material or enclosed within a non-combustible box.
New Voltis Home is the first domestic optimiser to comply with the amendment. The slimmed down, lighter metal unit delivers market-leading savings via a 9% fixed voltage reduction.
It has an internal 100Amp main switch/isolator meaning no additional installation costs and can be turned through 90° for flexible fixing. Units have a traffic light system to indicate mode of operation and include as standard a built-in bypass facility. Operation is continuous at 60Amp loads (in save mode) on a 100Amp bypass circuit. For more information please visit www.marshall-tufflex.com
Light Efficient Design sets University of Nottingham on path to brighter lighting
9th December 2014
The University of Nottingham has successfully completed an initial project to replace exterior low pressure sodium (LPS) campus lighting with retrofit LED lamps manufactured and supplied by Light Efficient Design.
This was in response to the university’s rising energy costs with lighting accounting for approximately 20 per cent of the total annual UK energy bill, its commitment to reducing overall carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, and the requirement for brighter campus lighting for added pedestrian safety.
Installed at the main 300 acre University Park Campus in Nottingham, Light Efficient Design’s retrofit solution has enabled the existing lighting columns, heads, holders and fittings to be reused. Approximately 1,000 retrofit LED units were ordered for relamping the external areas of the University Park Campus - comprising around 750 lamp tops - while leaving sufficient quantities for potential requirements elsewhere.
LED lighting update
17th November 2014
Riva Property Services has launched an LED lighting division working with leading suppliers to promote low cost, low carbon and safe means of lighting to both home owners as well as the public sector.
The future of lighting has arrived, reducing the heat loss from halogen light fittings and not only has this reduced our energy bills but has drastically reduced the potential risk of fire to households.
LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United Kingdom. Residential LEDs -- especially ENERGY STAR rated products -- use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
If you require flood lights or feature lights, dimming LED lights at formal dining lights, Riva Property Services are here to help.
Leaving your electrical devices on standby costs £80 a year
17th October 2014
Leaving electrical devices such as televisions and games consoles on standby can cost up to £80 a year in electricity bills.
Turning appliances off when they are not in use would save UK homes £1.7billion a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust, Despite the cost, a poll found that three-quarters of homes with a spare television leave it on standby.
A games console on standby can cost up to £30 a year, but nearly two-fifths of console owners leave them on, according to the Ipsos Mori poll. Old appliances can also waste money if they have small faults or are inefficient.
Wiring regulations update to be launched in 2015
17th September 2014
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has announced that the IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2008 incorporating Amendment No. 3:2015 will be available in January 2015 in both print and digital formats. The amended IET Wiring Regulations, which sets out the national standard for which all new and amended electrical installations are to comply, will feature a number of important new changes and will be available from the IET from 5 January 2015. This latest amendment, the third following Amendment No.1 which was published back in 2011 and Amendment No.2 in 2013, will be published as a new consolidated book. The amended regulations will include changes to the electrical condition report section, new requirements for mobile and transportable electrical units and changes for the installation of luminaires and light fittings – bringing them in line with the latest international and European standards. The amended IET Wiring Regulations will also include the new Regulation 421.1.200.
This regulation requires that within domestic (household) premises, consumer units and similar switchgear assemblies shall comply with BS EN 61439-3 and shall have their enclosure manufactured from non-combustible material, or enclosed in a cabinet or enclosure constructed of non-combustible material and complying with Regulation 132.12. This has been developed to safeguard against the risk of fire that can be produced from the overheating of connections in consumer units. Geoff Cronshaw, chief electrical engineer at the IET said, “The amended IET Wiring Regulations BS 7671:2008 incorporating Amendment No. 3:2015 will set the electrical standards for those professionals working in the electrical, construction and built environment industries. It is paramount that, as an organisation, the IET continues to ensure that electrical standards are up-to-date and relevant to the ever evolving requirements of the UK’s electrical industry. “What’s more, it is essential that all electrical industry professionals familiarise themselves with the amended IET Wiring Regulations when they are published in January 2015, to ensure that the work they do is compliant and, most importantly, is carried out in a safe and appropriate manner.”
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