Electric vehicle charging - Photo by Mike Bird
The government says it plans to introduce low and zero-emission transport. 
 
Today you could go a long way and without seeing an electric vehicle, but numbers are slowly increasing. Only 1.8% of new cars registered were electric or low-emission in 2017, but that figure rose to 2.5 percent in 2018. 
The weather is getting warmer and summer is around the corner, so outdoor spaces will become more popular again very soon. Outdoor lighting can help to make the most of these areas. 
 
Here are some things to think about to make sure your outdoor lighting is safe and effective. 
 
Safety 
Firstly, make sure fittings are designed for outdoor use and locations are safe and unlikely to flood. Any light you fit outdoors should have an IP (Ingress Protection) rating of at least IP44. 
 
All outdoor sockets must be protected with a residual current device (RCD) to switch off electricity if a cable is cut. Cables must also be suitable for outdoor uses. 
 
 
Outdoor cables should be buried so they won’t be damaged by garden tools. 
A new report highlights how improved management and monitoring of building systems such as air-conditioning and ventilation, can reduce CO2 levels to improve the comfort and health of employees. 
It’s difficult to identify counterfeit electrical products, just by looking at them. 
 
The problem is growing as more products are bought online. Some online sellers are misleading shoppers with images taken from official product sites and fake official safety marks. They are often priced only slightly lower than the recommended retail price to avoid suspicion. 
To make a difference to our use of the national power grid, we need to store the energy generated through the wind and sun until we need it. 
There are some things in the home that we just take for granted. The humble three pin plug and socket are amongst them. 
Last year electrical contractors, their customers and installation specifiers were all challenged to improve their environmental credentials. 
 
The goal is to promote the use of trunking cabling solutions made with a minimum of 50% recycled plastic. 
 
Work is going ahead to define specifications and engage with businesses who will help to substantially reduce the amount of recyclable plastic sent to landfill. 
OLEDs – or organic light-emitting diodes – offer quite a few benefits including lack of glare and excellent energy efficiency. 
 
They sound amazing, but their uptake for commercial lighting applications has been slow. 
With the increasing cost of residential care for older people and younger family members struggling to afford a home of their own, many properties now have to meet the needs of three generations or more. 
 
Smart technology is helping to provide a range of products that are easy to install and straightforward to use to meet the challenge. 
 
These can include everything from basic security floodlights, to closed-circuit security (CCTV) systems and smart door bells. 
Not quite London, Paris and New York, but we have been out and about this month providing electrical installation condition reports (EICRs) across the north of England and Scotland. 
 
We’ve just visited Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sheffield and Bradford. 
 
Next we're off to Hounslow, Leicester, Birmingham and Cardiff. Never a dull moment! 
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