Communal stair lighting astro clocks
Getting a few enquiries about problems with communal stair lighting astro clocks and questions on why they fail. Below is a rundown on the reason why and how they operate.
What are the main problems with astro clocks
- Age:–The clock on the right looks like it should be in a museum . I have found around 50% of the current stair astro clocks are electro mechanical. They are between 40 to 70 years old. Also there are first generation digital models fitted around 25-30 years ago. Both types are starting to fail.
- Why they fail:-– Well as above its down to wear and tear along with constant use over a long period. The first generation of digital models are failing because they can no longer retain their settings after a power failure. Also it is usually after a power cut that highlights problems with the clocks.
How a Astro clock works
- Misunderstanding on how they work:–A lot of people think they are just a standard time clock. In reality they are set up to track the sunset and sunrise times of the Edinburgh area. They also switch the lights to 50% operation at midnight as a energy saving mode that extends the life of the tubes.
- Digital replacement models:–There is 2 different types of stair lighting systems. So the Astro clocks has to be programmed to comply with EDC,s stair lighting specification that includes energy saving modes.
- How do I know my clock is not working:– If you go to the BBC weather site and type in Edinburgh as a location you will see the sunset and sunrise times. This should give you a rough idea if the clock is working ok
Why can’t I do it myself
Can I fix this problem ? :– This is not a good or practical idea as there is safety implications to think of with regards to electrical work. What if I think my clock is not working :— I would have to complete a survey of the stair. This is free of charge where you get a condition report on your system with costs and options. Beware of handymen :- I have had to fix a couple of Astro clocks after the local handymen had looked at them. Leaving the customer with 2 bills. The apparent logic is anyone can change a bulb and there is not a lot to the workings of a timeclock. Thing is an Astro clock is not the same as the standard timeclock.
Examples of Astro clocks via my Twitter feed