Stair Lighting Repairs Edinburgh
From 1st of July 2016 Edinburgh district council will cease to maintain stair lighting in communal areas within private properties. This moves the onus of responsibility of repair and maintenance onto the owners who now find they have a legal duty of care to ensure the lighting is operational.
AEW can complete a free survey report of your communal stair that includes fixed costs options and system condition . With no tied in weekly maintenance contract. Also included below is information sheets you can print off to assist you informing the residents and to coordinate the work.
If you live in a property with lighting in communal areas then there is 2 ways you can maintain your stair lighting.
If you have a Factor then you should contact them to ask if they are aware of the changes. Plus ask what systems they have in place to ensure repairs are completed without compromising safety and security for the residents.
Owners or Residents Association
If you do not have a Factor then it may be prudent and to form a residents or owners association. If you already have one then that’s a great start. But if not then now is the time to do it and the best way is to appoint a trustee who will organise the communal stair lighting. This can work out cheaper than a Factor or a maintenance contract but best get quotes to compare costs.
Also if you are one of the owners who is organising the repairs then you may find these information sheets created by AEW a help.
Click here for the Common stair lighting notification
Click here for the Residents stair lighting sign off sheet.
How easy is it to form a residents association ?
It helps if everybody gets along and in this electronic age its a lot easier to organise jobs and keep residents informed by email. I have completed work for a few associations where residents pay a small amount into a maintenance fund bank account every month. Click here to get more information from the Scottish government on how to achieve this.
Q. Can I replace the lamps myself ?
A. On the grounds of safety this is not advisable and be aware getting access to some lights can be challenging as some are continually on or live in some areas. The majority are fitted with anti tamper screws that can prevent the general public gaining access. Also it is not as easy as say changing the bulbs or tubes. Check any insurance you have to make sure you are covered in case there is a problem. Click this link for advise from Edinburgh District Council on this subject.
Q. What is most cost effective way to maintain these lights ?
A. Fluorescent lamps have a tight manufacturers tolerance with regards to lifespan . This means they will start to fail around the same time. So it pays to relamp the whole stair.
Q. Why not just change lamps as and when required.
A. This can be more expensive in the long run. Plus all fluorescent lamps fade through time. So there can be a big difference in light output after a relamp and clean.
Q. How do I know when they need changed. ?
A. When you see 2-3 tubes fail that’s the time to start organising a relamp before the lighting is compromised .
Q. Are all tubes the same.
A. Not really they vary in colour and lifespan . Plus AEW only uses long life lamps meaning extended periods between relamping.
Q. Is converting LED lights and option ?
A. Yes but remember the cost is initially higher but in the long run. There is less maintenance with regards changing lamps/tubes and LED,s come on instantly and do not fade. The light output is also higher plus you are not having to organise a relamp every couple of years.
Q. What is the life expectancy of these light fittings ?
A. With the right fittings you would approximately get between 5-6 years on a light that is on 24 hours a day or 10-12 years on a light fitting controlled via a Astro timeclock
Q. Would it be cost effective to convert to LED
A. Yes there are two parts to this one is if you have a metered supply then it would be cost effective as you would have less maintenance and save up to 40-50% of electricity cost. The other thing to consider the majority of stairs have a un-metered supply that Edinburgh District Council pay via your council tax then just like the maintenance of these lights they may in the future move these costs over to the property owner.
Q. Why is Edinburgh District Council converting these lights to LED.
A. The existing lights are 30-40 years old and are coming to the end of their service life plus LED lights are cheaper to run and maintain. So for EDC in the long run its cost effective.
Q. Can you use any LED light.
A. Basically no EDC has a specification for the LED replacements and although they are not forthcoming by insisting you use their spec it makes good sense to do so.
How stair lighting works
Q. What controls my stair lighting.
A. Good question it is a Astro timeclock set up for Edinburgh’s dawn till dusk times . There are a lot of the old electro/mechanical models that are coming to the end of their service life plus see my blog on this for more information. If you want to check your lights click Here for Edinburgh’s sunset till sunrise times and remember there may be a variation if your clock time and date is out of sync.
Q. Can any type of time clock be used.
A. In a word No a astro clock has to be used to comply with EDC stair lighting switching specification.
Q. Does it matter what type of astro clock that can be used.
A. There are two types single and twin circuit systems and both require different types of astro clock that is programmed to comply with the EDC switching specification.
Q. How do I know if my astro clock is working ok.
A. Click here to get a copy of Edinburgh astro times. Also Edinburgh district council put a offset in some of the digital clocks so expect your lights to come on earlier and switch off later than the times on the table but if the lights come on later or go off earlier then it may need checked.