Whilst product functionality, reliability and price are common considerations when selecting a lighting control product, manufacturers also need to consider the user experience. Lighting control products should meet the needs of both the electrical contractor and the end user. Paul Robbins, green-i Divisional Manager of CP Electronics explains

With several lighting control products in the market place, it can be tricky to choose the right lighting control product for your needs. The product should meet your own requirements as well as those of your customers. In this respect, the product needs to offer the functionality the customer requires while also making life easier from an installer’s point of view.

This approach needs to begin at the very start of the product selection process, with packaging that is easy to dispose of on-site, and packaging that helps to identify the product involved. If you have a van with lots of similar looking boxes it can take quite a while to read all the descriptions to find the one you’re looking for. Life is made much easier if the packaging allows you to see at-a-glance ‘what’s in the box’. CP Electronics’ green-i range is designed with this in mind – for example clam-shell packaging or clear labelling showing product imagery.

This ease of identification is particularly important with modular lighting control systems, where a number of different elements may be required. Of course, a key advantage of using a modular system is it can grow and adapt to suit the installation such as CP Electronics’ Vitesse Modular lighting connection system. Modules can be added or removed depending on future requirements. As there are few components, you don’t have to waste space in a warehouse or vehicle with a huge variety of different parts in the eventuality of needing them.

A further benefit of modular lighting control systems is that you don’t need to carry – or pay upfront for as many individual components as you would with other systems. For example, the Vitesse Modular system, grows over time to accommodate a change in environment and needs, making it future-proof.

Clearly another major issue for the installer is ease of installation. The elements of the system need to be sufficiently robust to withstand everyday handling so there is less chance of breakages. They should also use industry standard fixings as well as incorporating features such as ‘plug and play’ connection, rather than fiddly screw terminals.

Once installed the system should also be easy to configure, without needing to access awkwardly located system components. For instance, when setting lux levels and time delay on a ceiling-mounted passive infrared (PIR) movement sensor this should be quick and straightforward. Push-button controls that can be accessed from below, for instance, make this whole process quicker and easier. The new green-i flush mounted PIR movement sensor with push button functionality, GEFL-PB, is exemplary whereby installation is simple and intuitive.

Alternatively, lighting control products can be configured using a handy programming handset such as CP Electronics’ UHS5 and UNLCDHS products. Once again they have intuitive operation to make set up fast and easy.

The key point here is that when selecting lighting controls it is clearly important to meet the customer’s requirements but it makes sense to choose those that will also make your life easier too. Manufacturers such as CP Electronics are constantly looking for new ways to evolve and expand its product range to meet these.