News

Echo the future of the switch

Batteryless, Wireless, Self-powered Switch

Mar 01, 2009

MK Electric, the UK’s leading manufacturer of wiring devices and accessories, is transforming light operation with the introduction of a range of innovative ‘self powered’ switches – called Echo – that are entirely wireless and battery-free!

MK is the first major UK manufacturer to incorporate this patented technology – so-called ‘enabled by EnOcean’, after the German company that developed it – into switches; and the new Echo range harvests tiny amounts of ambient energy to wirelessly operate lighting at ranges of up to 30 metres within buildings.

The benefits of such technology – combined with MK Electric’s market-leading wiring devices and accessories – include almost instant switch installation; total location flexibility of light switches within buildings; and easy relocation, re-installation and considerable cost-savings when ‘churning’ office and other commercial spaces. The Echo range is also incredibly low maintenance thanks to the lack of batteries (that would need replacing) and lack of wiring in the wall.

Furthermore, the switches aid compliance with Building Regulations such as Part L by providing for localised control of lighting and integration with lighting management systems and other networks covering areas such as heating and air-conditioning. They also help with meeting Part M requirements thanks to their immense flexibility when positioning them, combined with their easy-to-operate wide rockers.

The wireless, battery free Echo range is suitable for a wide range of applications and installation environments: from office new build and refurbishment which may have a need to re-arrange space periodically, or glass partitions – preventing the use of wired devices – through to conservation or listed environments where chasing wires is not possible.

It also lends itself to domestic extensions or conservatories where switch location may be an issue or – again – where areas of glass feature; and, finally, one-off or ‘portable’ locations such as park homes, caravans, exhibition stands and temporary buildings where a fast, flexible solution is required.

The MK Electric Echo lighting system essentially comprises two components: the ‘self powered’ switch, and an RF receiver. The receiver is installed at the lighting fixture and wired into to the lighting circuit at the time of ceiling installation. The switch is then mounted, using either adhesive pads – for super-fast fixing or onto awkward surfaces like marble or glass – or with screws if additional security is necessary.

The switch is simply ‘aligned’ to the receiver by setting it into ‘learn mode’ and pressing the rocker. The switch is now wirelessly dedicated to the fixture in question. One receiver can be programmed so it can be operated by up to 30 switches; while conversely, any number of receivers can be activated by a single switch. Where signals may be obstructed by impervious materials such as granite or steel, repeater units are available which will divert and/ or extend transmissions around a building.

MK Electric’s first ‘enabled by EnOcean’ Echo switches will be from its immensely popular Logic Plus wiring accessories range. Logic Plus has been designed to complement contemporary interiors and is probably the largest selection of wiring accessories available in any single range on the market today.

The Logic Plus Echo switches are available in one or two gang variants; and readily integrate with other accessories in the Logic range – from socket outlets through to Euro, LJU6C and MK modular data frontplates. Other Echo range styles and options will be added over the coming months.

MK Electric’s new ‘enabled by EnOcean’ Echo range of ‘self powered’ switches mean no wires, no batteries and no fuss. They will radically revise the way switching is treated within commercial spaces; and deliver a host of benefits to the specifier, installer and facilities manager – whether seeking products permitting super-fast installation; to mount switches on glass; or total flexibility over switch location in partitioned offices subject to re-arrangement.

Low maintenance, sustainable and highly accessible products; MK Electric’s Echo range represents a new generation of switching devices and helps take the company’s renowned strength of product in depth, quality and service to a new level.

Click here for more information on the Echo range.

 

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