Apple docks and home automation

We have to admit that Apple produce masterfully designed products on the inside as well as on the outside, and its no surprise that half of the US and UK population have at least one apple product; 30% in continental Europe. To maintain market position Apple continue to innovate, and half of us are hungry for it, but it’s not without the usual frustration when it comes to upgrading all our peripherals to suit the latest fruity docking device. Where ipads are used as a control interface for home automation, the situation is compounded.. One of the aims of a Lighting / AV consultant is to provide future-proof control, so its frustrating when the aforementioned innovator makes these kind of hardware mods.


At the time of writing we are on Lightning connectivity.  There is speculation that iphone6 will incorporate a wireless port (similar to the Nokia Lumia).  Could this possibly mean we won’t need to buy anymore Apple authorized accessories? Well.. you know Apple…

Retrofit LED: sailing close to the wind

I was very sorry to hear the unfortunate news from Benetti Shipyard in August about a fire on-board one of their fine yachts…

An electricity spike was the probable cause, and when it’s a lightning strike there is not much that one can do to prevent it.  I hope that Benetti can make good of it. I suspect that MY Seafaris that caught fire earlier this month is scrap. That’s tough.

It goes without saying – potential hazards where electricity, water and fuel are in abundance are always best avoided. Whilst LED lighting promises sustainable and hassle free illumination, there remain issues with quality, particularly on retrofit LED lamps that are being offered to replace the tungsten halogen lightsource that we know and love. There have been several recalls in 2013 on leading brand products that have had overheating issues or electrical leakage, and this should ring alarm bells.

There are clear advantages in using retrofit lamps, particularly mains dimmable ones that do not need a remote power supply hidden away in an electrical cabinet or ceiling void somewhere… this space is precious, right? But we must remind ourselves that this technology is still relatively new, and thermal control of the LED chip is critical. Even if there is not a catastrophic event, early failures of the lamps could inadvertently scuttle the low energy, low maintenance lighting scheme that was promised.

So the advice is choose retrofit LED lamps cautiously or – better still – use a quality engineered LED lightsource. Get in touch if you want to discuss led lighting for your project.