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One Stop Shop

January 20, 2012

Until a decade ago, we would have to go to several shops and stores, to do our household shopping. Then came the supermarket, and in today’s scenario, with Food Bazaars, we have the option of shopping for everything related to the home, under one roof. Similarly, before the advent of the departmental store, one would have to go to as many as 10 stores to buy different items of clothing, accessories and so on. Now, with Pantaloons, Shopper Stop and other such departmental stores, we can be in the cool confines of a well appointed multi-level store that stocks everything from socks, to suits, to shoes.

This has meant a transforming change in our buying habits and patterns. Gone are the days of store-hopping, and in are the times of the all-under-one-roof convenience. So why must it be any differentwhen it comes to our home electrical needs? After all, this too is a widespread product category that includes several things that we have to hunt for at different shops. Well, those days of hunting for wires at one hardware store, and switches at another, are also thankfully behind us. Say hello to the electrical mega-store!

Geysers, Motors, CFL, Wires & Cables, all the way to Circuit Protection, Capacitors, and Fans; even Lighting and the extremely popular Modular Switches; all this and more is now made by the same brand, and the choice of brands here is world class and endless. And the best part, these brands have stand alone flagship stores. Think of them like supermarkets for all your electrical needs, where under one giant space, you have all the convenience and luxury of experiencing all these products in real world situations first, and then, buying whatever you need, all at the same place!

Companies such as Havells, with their dedicated super stores like Havells Galaxy, have taken the game to a whole new level. As the name suggests, Havells Galaxy is an initiative taken by the company for the customers to provide them with the complete range of electrical products manufactured by Havells and facilitate them with personalized services and support; all under a single roof! With an already robust network of 123 Galaxies in various cities across the country, Havells is quickly adding Galaxy outlets sooner than one can imagine; providing perhaps for the first time in India, a one-stop-shop for all your electrical component needs, at a single point of purchase, with world class products

The super store of the 21st century has made strides that are revolutionary, and continues to innovate and accelerate, and challenge convention. A one stop shop, unlike any other!

Hire Your Own Wire

December 27, 2011

Wiring, one crucial aspect of home or office building that is often overlooked. Either we are happy to leave the wiring to the builder of a space, or we are content with moving into an old space with its existing wiring. Neither is a situation that is very conducive. Why? Because wiring needs vary from space to space and are very specific to one’s requirements. Your lifestyle, your requirements, the state of the building, the kind of appliances you will be running; and many more factors influence the wiring that should be installed. And while we take a personal & keen interest in several other more cosmetic aspects of our spaces – paint, décor etc, we often ignore what is not visible to the naked eye – the wiring.

We surround our homes with the best possible quality products. If it is electronics, we use Sony, Samsung, Apple and a slew of other world class brands for our entertainment needs. When it comes to other appliances like heating & cooling, it is no different. We use the best possible brands like Hitachi for cooling and heating purposes. The same kind of importance ought to be paid to the wiring as well – the best quality, for the safest and longest lasting results.

It is therefore strongly advised that we take personal charge of the wiring. Hire your own workers, buy your own wire, and get the wiring done as per your exact needs and requirements. What does this do? In simple terms, it makes the wiring Structured. Unstructured wiring always stands the risk of being hazardous. And at the very least, it is inconvenient. Only you know what part of the room you will want to place the TV in, or what section of the dining area you will want the microwave to
be put. All this and more will determine the ideal way of wiring the space, so that potential disasters can be avoided.

These are some of the basic advantages of doing your own wiring:

i) Custom Wiring – With all of the cables running back to the Central Wiring Panel you have easy & individual access to each cable, and you know exactly what cable governs what appliance.

ii) Simple – Easy understanding and access means smooth repair & maintenance.

iii) No splices – Splices can pickup noise and cause interference. Avoid them by doing your own wiring.

iv) Consistency & Quality – By being in charge of your own wiring, you use only the best quality wires & cables so that not only are you and your family safe, your signals, be it information, entertainment, tele-communications, or power; are all trouble free and strong.

It is crucial that wiring be given its due importance. Because at the end of the day, you want a space that not only looks good, but is sound from the inside. And that can only happen when you take control of the wiring!

Let’s start with an A for ACCL!

September 23, 2011

Switchgears – they’re used by all, but most are ignorant about them! Why? Because we see them as devices too technical to understand, and leave decisions regarding them on our electricians. But what if you were given details – would you still choose to remain ignorant? Certainly not, right That is why I have stepped in – to help you out! To give you the information you have a right to have!

Switchgears protect your electrical equipments, by regulating the flow of electricity within an electrical system. You can use them either to prevent overloads and short circuits, or to de-energize circuits for testing and maintenance. They can also be used as circuit breakers. There are various types of switchgears – ACCL, MCB, MCCB, RCCB, RCBO. The most familiar are circuit breakers and fuses which interrupt the flow of electricity to a circuit whenever the flow of current becomes too heavy.

Today, I will be talking about ACCL – an Automatic Changeover Current Limiter. Trust me, functions and benefits are simpler than the name! Most of us are terribly affected by irregular power supply, and need alternative sources. This necessitates automation, in the distribution system, because if the change is made manually, the device may be damaged due to human error. This is when an ACCL comes into the picture! It’s a fully automatic high precision microcontroller based ‘Source Changeover’ device, which also has current limiting function and offers easy and ‘controllable’ automatic changeover between main power supply and generator supply. Which is especially beneficial when used with Electronic equipments.
Its current limiting capabilities are ideally suited to the efficient utilization of the standby generators frequently used in multi-storied apartments, commercial complexes, etc.

You will be glad to know that Havells is one of the few brands to manufacture this product. This product range has various features, like:

• Inbuilt Switched-Mode Power Supply (SMPS) for low power consumption.

• Operational status LEDs.

• Provision for manual reset for restoring supply when the device is in sleep mode.

• Staggered terminal design with bottom wiring, for better isolation between phase and neutral.

• Automatic generator on/off facility is added on special demand.

SO now let me tell you how it works

When the Mains Supply is available:
a. The ACCL allows unrestricted supply from Mains in case current is in allowable limits.
b. If the current exceed the mains rating, the load is disconnected for 8 seconds as a warning and then automatically reconnects it. During this period, the consumer is expected to switch off the non-essential loads and brings it within the limit.
c. In an unlikely event, if the consumer does not switches off the non-essential loads to reduce it to within the limit, supply to the load from the mains is automatically disconnected after 5 cycles of interruptions.
d. The supply from mains to the load can be restored after pressing the reset button present in the front of ACCL.

When the Mains supply fails
Without AGS (automatic generator start features) – When the mains supply goes OFF, a consumer is automatically connected to the generator in case generator supply is available after a time delay of 8 seconds in order to limit the sudden load on the generator.
With AGS (automatic generator start features) – ACCL Provides signaling through a potential free contact for starting the Generator (Generator must have control unit for auto Start/off) and then consumer is automatically connected to the generator after a time delay of 8 seconds in order to limit the sudden load on the generator.

Once the supply goes to generator side than:

a. ACCL limits the user from drawing excess load current beyond the pre- set limit.
b. If the current exceeds the limit, the load is disconnected for 8 seconds as a warning and then automatically reconnects. During this period, the consumer is expected to switch off the non-essential loads and reduce it within the limit.
c. In an unlikely event, if the Consumer does not switch off the non essential loads to reduce it to within the limit, supply to the load from the mains is automatically disconnected after 5 cycles of interruptions.
d. The supply from mains to the load can be restored only after pressing the Reset button present in the front of ACCL.

Hopefully, the next time you are out shopping for electrical appliances, you’ll remember exactly why you need an ACCL! If not, you can always get back to me with your doubts!

Till next time, goodbye from Elex, your Electricity Expert!

Did You Know?

October 6, 2010

This time, I will let Havells do all the talking! Here are some Havells facts that you might not be aware of:

Havells is one name that is truly acclaimed!

If you are thinking of shifting into your new home and need some quick guidance, you know where to come back to!

Elex – Your Electricity Expert.


Don’t Know Where The Money Goes

August 26, 2010

This happened last weekend when I was visiting my uncle’s place. The bell rang and I opened the door to collect the monthly electricity bill. Going by the mailman’s face, I must have looked shocked.

The ridiculously high amount made me wonder how people could be so indifferent about such a huge bill! All of us know that our bills are unnecessarily high but we always have something to blame it on, like an old meter or the good ol’ electricity theft. That might indeed be the case for some of us, but what about other wasteful reasons we overlook? Like sleeping or reading a newspaper while the TV is on? We all think we have spent that time sleeping or reading the newspaper but forget that our meter has been running all this while.

We all talk about it; but what are we really doing about it? You don’t have to buy a new house to change your consumption patters. Just keep a check on your daily actions. For instance, not only must you switch off the lights in a vacant room, but also tell others to do so. If you have a second TV, fridge, air conditioner or water heater, ask yourself if you really need to keep them running.

So here is what you can do to actually keep a check on where that money goes.

  1. The refrigerator that served you for 20 years, now needs some rest! That’s because they are not very energy efficient, although they last long. In fact, they can be two times less energy-efficient as compared to new ones.
  2. The water drips and drips from different ends of your house. Do you know that some of the worst water leaks are found inside the toilet? You might think of it as a minor thing, but can you imagine the amount of water that gets wasted? Get it fixed right away! Or don’t complain if you don’t get water even for a single day!
  3. The air conditioning in your rooms is not getting enough air returns. You think the voltage is low and put on your fans because the AC is not cooling enough. Well, what comes next? A doubled electricity bill! Check if the air grills are covered and your air filters clean. Too little cross air can make your ACs inefficient.
  4. Gardening and landscape activities increase water wastage if not dealt with care.
  5. Most or all the lights in your house are on! You might have guests or a large family but doesn’t it make sense if you turn off the lights of vacant rooms? Why not sit together and enjoy each other’s company, at least once in a while.
  6. Is it the room mate effect? Each member of the house has a different level of thermal comfort and a different level of concern for energy conservation. The energy practices of the least concerned and least conserving individual often become the norm for all residents. So make sure you check your actions and make others follow it too.
  7. And, in the end, don’t forget to check and re-check your electricity bill closely because errors can be costly.

Cutting electricity bills helps especially when it is for yourself and for the environment. And I can guarantee you that it will surely make you and your pocket feel better!


Not Just Any Other Switch!

August 5, 2010

Did you ever imagine that switches could be of any more use than just turning things “on” and “off”? In fact, they can do a lot more than just control your electrical appliances. Crabtree, a pioneer in the switches industry, helps you do just that extra bit!

Crabtree’s ranges Athena, Thames and Piccadilly are a fine blend of art and science, I must say! Not only are these names unique, but their features are too. For instance Athena switches are dust free, having been especially designed for rugged Indian conditions. These switches are created with fire-retardant, self-extinguishing polycarbonate plastic and can withstand the glow wire test at 850 degrees C! Also, an ultra-violet stabilized material is used to avoid any discoloration from exposure to sunlight.

Have you always wanted to give your house a classic look? Then Crabtree’s range, Thames is the perfect choice for you! It has been especially designed for high-end users to give your house an extra edge over others’.

But if you prefer a serene atmosphere, then Piccadilly – the third rangeis the best! They have been specially designed to minimize noise level when switched on and off. The switches are flame-retardant, have a UV light stabilized and an unbreakable plastic housing. They have an advantage of having silver plated brass terminals that provide high conductivity and reduce heating.

You will be glad to know that the range is available through a vast network of distributors, stockists and retailers across the country, ensuring effective services for its consumers. So, the next time you are out shopping for your home, remember that Crabtree is not just any other switch!


Know your ‘house wiring’

July 6, 2010


Building a home, is a lifetime dream, isn’t it? But do we really pay heed to all the minute details required for building it up? The answer is no! Today let me share with you a recent incident. My friend bought a flat last week and asked me to accompany her to the new place. While taking a look at her house, all she would talk about was, which color shade will look the best on the wall?, what kind of interiors should be bought? When I questioned her, “What type of wiring have you chosen?”, she was totally blank!

It was time for me to step in. We had a detailed discussion with the electrician and asked for the correct size and type of wiring to be used. The electrician guided us to get wire nuts and an MCB installed to reduce the risk of fire or shock. He got the wiring covered to avoid getting damaged by a dry wall or wall covering fasteners like nails or screws. He also made sure that the walls were clear of any wiring while getting wholes drilled as the wiring may get damaged.

After helping out my friend, I knew I had to discuss this with you.  Well, did you all know that wiring is a very important constituent for building homes? We all use electronics that are completely dependent on wiring systems like air conditioners, television sets and kitchen appliances to name a few. If the wiring of your house is not proper or has become old, you have an accident waiting to happen. Like a house provides safety to you and your family, wires add safety and longevity to your electrical appliances. Here are some essential wiring tips you might want to keep in mind while building your house:


  1. Your electrician is the most important person. He should be consulted at an early stage in the construction process to approve and supervise wiring. At the same time one should not be totally dependent on them and have thorough knowledge about what wiring is being used and why?
  2. Create a detailed map of your house wiring, you will make repairs and added extras far easier at a later date.
  3. It is important to have a central point in which all your wires run from. The most appropriate place would be next to your other electrical furnishings like the fuse box.
  4. The color coding of your wires and tubing can add to the ease of wiring your house. If you keep a check of what all the colors correspond to you will always know exactly what has been installed.
  5. You must also ensure that you install basic sockets into each room like a plug and a phone socket. By doing this you are ensuring that you will not need to return to the wiring process again.

Although it may seem like a lot of extra work to begin with, it is all very time saving in the long run. Havells offers a variety of wires and cables for your need.

For instance, Havells ZHLS (Zero Halogen Low Smoke) wires are apt for being used for building new homes. Everyday thousands of hazardous Halogen gases are released in the atmosphere leading to the green house effect. Havells ZHLS wires contain practically 0% halogen with a very high oxygen index. These wires give your house superior protection against fire as they do not catch fire easily. They do not release hazardous gases which make them extremely eco-friendly. These wires make your house and the environment a safe place to live in.

So the next time you plan to make your dream home, I hope you will put a conscious effort to get your own wire!