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Timeguard thinks outside the box

9th June 2016

Automatic Switch Load Controller eliminates glow and flicker when using smart switches to control low energy lighting.


By Andy Douglas, Managing Director, Timeguard


Counter staff will be all too familiar with the ‘problems’ installers have when using smart switches to control LED and CFL lighting as the small current required to power the switches in standby causes glow and flicker in low energy lighting.


Designers have been stumped trying to redesign the switches to eliminate the problem and so we decided to think outside the box and this month, we’re unveiling our patent-protected solution – the ZV900 Automatic Switch Load Controller. Perhaps, best of all for your stock planning, it works with and can be retrofitted with nearly all makes of smart switch.


You only have to look on the internet forums to see electricians desperately trying to find answers to the same problems with LED lighting: more often than not they have suffered the problem of replacing a customer’s old incandescent lamps for new energy saving LED lamps only to find that the damn things will not switch off. No matter what you do they just glow or flash. Or the customer asked for an automatic light switch (PIR, timed, delay, or Photocell etc.) to be fitted to their state of the art LED lighting installation, only to find the automatic switch has stopped working after a week.


What’s causing the problems?


The main reason we all want to use LED lighting is to save energy as LED lamps use a fraction of the power of incandescent or halogen, so quite logically, they only need a fraction of the power for them to illuminate. So any small voltage/current within the circuit will cause the LED lamps to glow or flash – just the sort of current that is always present in the case of most 2-wire automatic switches offering PIR switching, timing, delay or remote control.


Most of these automatic switches are designed to operate as a replacement for a standard 2-wire light switch where there is normally no neutral connection available at the switch. On the face of it, that’s good news and an easy install for you, but for these switches to function a small amount of power is drawn down through the switched live connection to operate the switch whilst in standby. That was never a problem for incandescent or halogen because the current was too small to have any effect, but it has emerged as a big problem with LED lighting.


Another common problem arises when LEDs are switched on: due to the circuitry needed to power the actual LED chips a momentary power surge is created. Commonly known as an inrush current, and this can be enough to damage many switches and equipment controlling them.


What’s the solution?


Until now, there hasn’t been much you can do to help your customers. Changing to a different LED lamp manufacturer is the most commonly shared answer, but that rarely works. Installers can try changing the automatic light switch, but will only be going back to change it repeatedly if the switch has a low LED rating or, as is usually the case, no properly tested LED rating at all.


Our patented Automatic Switch Load Controller creates an electrical environment for automatic switches and LED lamps to operate in harmony without having to modify the automatic switch or LED lamp by diverting the current from the LED or CFL lamp. This new device is small, inexpensive, easy to install, slips neatly through a standard 50mm ceiling aperture and you only need one per switching circuit – and it will work with just about any make of smart switch and LED or CFL lamps so your customer’s can go out and fix existing customer problems at a stroke.


The Timeguard ZV900 is specifically designed to alleviate issues with switching LEDs and CFL lamps without the need for extensive extra wiring and in most cases no extra wiring at all.




Key features of this patented Timeguard ZV900 unit include:

  • Eliminating LED & CFL glow and flicker in 2- wire automatic light switches, IE: Timed, PIR, Delay/Timelag, Security, Audio and Photocell automatic switches.
  • Built in surge & current inrush suppression
  • Boosts 99% of automatic switches LED switching capabilities to 200W
  • Under 1W power consumption
  • No additional cabling to the switch required
  • Fits in the ceiling through a 50mm hole
  • Only 1 x ZV900 needed per switching circuit up to 200W LED/CFL



Available to stock now.



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