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MK Electric and Convergent Home Technologies Join Forces

AstralMK Electric – the UK’s leading manufacturer of wiring devices and accessories – has collaborated with home automation specialist, Convergent Home Technologies (CHT), to offer an advanced and cost-effective lighting, control, security and home entertainment system.

The system incorporates MK Astral – MK Electric’s Z-Wave wireless lighting system – which can be installed using standard backboxes, allowing for simple installation for both new build and retrofit projects. It offers the user the ability to control multiple lights at the push of a single button as well as each light independently. These lights can be spread throughout the property and need not be wired together or back to a central point.

Z-Wave is a market-leading open protocol language that allows different manufacturers’ products to work together. By collaborating with CHT, MK Astral can now be incorporated into a flexible and very capable “Dianemo” system. In addition to overhead lighting, Astral can be extended to wirelessly control plug-in lighting and blinds, which can also be selectively activated by a PIR if needed. It also allows a user to play their music, DVD or Blu-Ray collection, control their TV's, manage the temperature of their home or view their security cameras from anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to the internet.

Jason Ng, Marketing Communications Specialist for MK Electric, said: “For customers looking for a reputable  and easy-to-install home automation system the selling points are often the “wow factor” and ease of control, however the biggest unforseen tangible benefits are usually the energy savings and lower electricity bills. The ability to control whole areas of the house with one button or use a simple PIR device to turn on the lighting only when needed can generate savings much higher than expected.

Home Automation“One of the great advantages MK Astral has over its competitors is that as well as being installed on traditional wiring it is easy to create  occupancy simulation. By selecting “holiday mode” the lighting will replicate its pattern from the preceding 24 hours – a fantastic security feature when away from home, either for just the evening or for extended periods.”

Systems like MK Astral can now be controlled by Wi-Fi devices such as iPhones and iPads, which has led to a surge in home control for the masses. All chosen aspects of the home can be managed using a common floorplan interface either individually or together.  The system also provides for a hierarchy of users to give some users – for example parents – more authority and control than others.

For security, the intelligence within the “nerve centre” behind each Dianemo system can allow a PIR sensor to act as a security sensor when the home is unoccupied and call a neighbour, or sound an alarm if movement is detected. Alternatively, when occupied, the sensor could illuminate low level lighting so a youngster could make their way to the bathroom during the night.

Andy Dimbleby, a Director of CHT, commented: “A few years ago this type of technology was seen as “the home of the future”, only  available to  the rich and famous. However, with advances in digital technology driving down costs, it’s actually available for the home of today.

“There is a new generation of both property developers and home owners who expect modern wiring systems to support home automation. As consumer aspirations and expectations for a digital lifestyle increase – including for cost-effective and energy-saving systems – projects using this  latest digital technology will become more pervasive – and the UK is leading the way.”

By using many technologies together, such as Z-Wave and EnOcean – for example devices from the MK Echo range – Dianemo can provide audio and video distribution via standard Cat 5e or Cat 6 cabling.

MK Electric

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