The benefits of grid-fix systems
19 September 2011Grid fixed wiring accessories offer almost complete flexibility and they’re now growing in popularity in residential developments as well as in their traditional commercial settings. Our Group Product Development and Export Sales Executive, John Purnell, discusses how modular systems can benefit electrical contractors and their customers.
In this industry we’re used to the popularity of grid fix wiring accessories in hotels. Electricians are often able to sell the flexibility of the system based on the premise that anything from a single 13A socket to a 12-gang plate containing switches for a number of different uses, can be matched in terms of design and finish, and made up quickly and efficiently on-site. Hotels and other hospitality and commercial environments have traditionally been where grid fix systems really come into their own.
However, at Hamilton we’ve recently noticed an upturn in our ‘Grid It’ grid fixed wiring accessories range being specified in residential developments, from one-off luxury properties to entire developments. We put this down to growing numbers of electricians and electrical contractors capitalising on the high level of flexibility that a modular system allows both themselves and the end user, who can change their mind about a switch function or socket at the last minute with little inconvenience or expense. Due to the simple modular purchasing and on-site assembly, different combinations of switch plates, sockets and even lighting control units can be created, disassembled and recreated with minimal fuss – and once installed they can be easily upgraded or changed at a later date. With the ‘improve, don’t move’ ethos still in full swing and ever-increasing sophistication required in the UK’s domestic developments, grid fix accessories can simply and efficiently bridge the gap between standard monobloc box fix and bespoke products – and this is a major selling point for your customers.
Grid It consists of a variety of switches, fuse units, cable outlets, dimming controls and 13A sockets available in all our most popular designs and finishes from slim, glossy black plates with concealed fixings to traditional brass plates with decorative edging. The latest addition to the range is a 10A switch, which has just launched. Some popular features of Grid It are the fuse units, which have a built-in halo neon, meaning they come as one module rather than two, and our plates, which come with the grid yoke included – no need for a separate order.
Many grid fix ranges, including Grid It, include pre-printed switches for typical uses such as washing machine, microwave, fan and cooker, with the appliance name or symbol displayed on the module itself. Not only is this necessary on something like a 12-gang plate which operates a large kitchen or utility room, it can also be a desired effect in residential properties as it adds a bespoke look to the plate, without the bespoke price tag!
So, with hotel building for London 2012 reaching fever pitch and countless grid fix systems being installed in new hospitality and commercial premises, don’t forget that grid fix also has real benefits for residential developments too. It can prove a highly flexible, efficient solution to the challenges faced by many electricians in meeting the ever-more exacting requirements of today’s specifier or homeowner.
Top Five Benefits of Grid-fix Systems:
1. ’Mix-and-match’ system means you can build the required plates on-site
2. Plates can be upgraded at a later date without the need to replace the whole product
3. Last minute change of mind by customers are easily dealt with
4. Pre-printed switches give a premium look to the end result as well as being highly functional
5. Could mean that you don’t have to commission a bespoke fitting if you can make what you need yourself
Simply Installing Hamilton’s Grid-It
1. Install box (not pictured)
2. Insert the two lugs on the grid module into the locators on the grid yoke, then screw in the single retaining screw (picture 1)
3. Connect the cables to the appropriate grid module (picture 2)
4. Attach the grid assembly to the back box using the two captive fixing screws provided (picture 3)
5. Attached the front plate to grid yoke using the screws provided (picture 4)
Decorative electrical wiring accessories, audio and lighting control manufacturer Hamilton Litestat has supplied a varied selection of its switch plates and sockets to renowned horse trainer Paul Nicholls’ new house in Ditcheat, Somerset.