Stuart Tickle, managing director of AWE, discusses how the right distributor can add value for the smart electrician.
The nature of the professional smart home sector brings with it opportunity but also complexity for electrical contractors.
The concept of a smart home is now more broadly understood by consumers. True, there are many so-called smart devices that homeowners can buy directly from retail channels. These can be operated or controlled via individual apps on a mobile or tablet – but the smart home is not all about the DIY-type solution.
A professionally installed home automation system is built on an integrated wiring infrastructure that offers a significant opportunity for electrical contractors moving into the market. Home technology systems in all forms – audio, TVs and home cinemas, lighting, security, data networks, heating and more – can be integrated and concealed within the interior design scheme of the home, then operated, enjoyed and controlled quickly and easily from one interface.
Selecting the right equipment to work effectively as multiple subsystems which can then be integrated into one seamless solution demands skill, knowledge and above all support. This is where the good smart tech distributor can step up and make the difference. As suppliers of multiple brands with specialist market sector experience, they can provide the equipment, know-how, technical training and support to help electricians navigate their way into and through the challenges of professional smart home installations.
Education is vital for any electricians who are interested in moving into this industry, which is why AWE provides training through its AWE Smart Home Academy. The education programme here has been developed to promote best practice in smart home installations.
The breadth and depth of market knowledge, as well as the product range that is offered, is also crucial for distributors to have. It brings confidence that they know what they’re talking about, they have experience of which brands integrate well with others and they can bring access to multiple complementary products all from the one vendor. With over 80 years’ experience, AWE is a leading smart home distributor for professional installation, covering a range of specialist audio-visual equipment, lighting control, blind control and automation technologies.