S. Boarder Electrical - Lightwave Pro Installer Interview
We recently sat down with Stephen from S.Boarder Electrical to gain some first-hand insight into his experiences as a Lightwave PRO. Stephen has been providing electrical installation services since 2002, and sees great potential for smart home technology within the electrical installation market. This interview will be featured in the Feb 2020 edition of Professional Electrician & Installer Magazine, and you can find all of Stephen's responses below.
Hi, I’m Stephen Boarder from S. Boarder Electrical. My company offers a wide range of installation services to the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors.
Smart technology is something I’ve always been interested in, especially since starting my apprenticeship back in 2002 at the age of 16. I’ve been in the game for 17 years now and I can see it’s the future, being able to control everything from your phone while having it automated for you. I’ve seen smart systems move forward through the years, working on them in businesses, offices, colleges and now it’s becoming a lot more affordable for homes as well.
It’s just a bit of a no brainer really – everybody you speak to is interested in having smart home features in some way, shape or form in their house. There’s such a massive market for it now, especially nowadays given that there are so many big brands involved. With the right training, electricians can offer a lot more to their customers.
By absolute fluke! I had heard about Lightwave before and seen a few of the Connect Series products around. I had a recent job that required some smart home solutions and I was recommended by Mathew Hawkridge from Infinity Lighting to check out Lightwave’s newer Smart Series devices. Just by chance, I rang Lightwave and luck would have it they were about to launch their professional installer offering. I ended up taking a trip down to Lightwave’s head office and was the first person to get their pro training. There are certified NICEIC staff members at Lightwave who helped perfect the Lightwave PRO training course through a few workshops and trial sessions with other qualified electricians like me.
After doing the training and learning about the Lightwave system, it just gives me so much more to offer my clients; to go into someone’s house, office, or industrial space and give them so many more ways to control anything electrical. Even simple things like having a socket that you’ll know is going to turn your hair straighteners off when you leave the house, or lights that turn on and off in different rooms around your house when you’re not home. Those are the type of benefits that people are willing to buy into, they just need to be offered these options as a possibility.
Well I’ve got Lightwave stuff all around my own house, but apart from that I’ve actually got two pretty interesting recent jobs I used Lightwave for. The first was actually that job I had when I first heard about Lightwave PRO. The customer had built quite a large luxury house on a plot of land and wanted smart switches and sockets throughout the entire house. Using the Lightwave system, I was able to automate the entire property, from flood lights coming on when the customer arrived home to door sensors that trigger different scenes around the house before and after dusk. The second interesting Lightwave installation was for a commercial client who actually found my contact details through the installer map on Lightwave’s website. They had big industrial sized pumps that used a massive amount of electricity. I set up a system where the pumps were connected to Lightwave relays that could be controlled by a smart dimmer or by the Lightwave app. The clients ended up saving a lot of electricity and hundreds of pounds per month with the added control, mainly being able to switch the pumps off with a custom schedule when they weren’t being used.
Well the future is here already. Everything out there now is all geared up for smart technology – TVs, mobile phones, voice speakers, doorbells. Apart from my own personal interest in smart technology, my business offers smarter installations to stay ahead of the game, and I see that I’m at the beginning of the curve really. It’s only a matter of time before smart home becomes the centre of the electrical installation market. The most important thing now is for the workforce to catch up and for tradespeople to make sure they’re trained and capable to offer the right solutions to their customers.
I’m just waiting on my Electrical Vehicle Charging certificate to come through for my City & Guilds qualification and I’m looking at my options on which are the best smart EV Chargers to offer my customers. Ideally, I’d really love to do big smart home installations, full on home automation at every level – complete with everything from kitchen smart lighting to EV chargers to security systems. I’m doing quite well demonstrating to clients the amount of money they can save by switching to LED lighting and I plan on using the same business model to help customers benefit from smart technology.
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