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Manufacturer focus: Timeguard

Timeguard give us an overview of their company and discuss the products about to make an impact on wholesaler’s shelves.

Received wisdom even then was that designs would just be ‘ripped off’ and goods imported from China and the Far East. All that mattered was achieving the lowest price to market. The electrical accessories business was simply a commodity marketplace where the wholesale and retail chain buyers were the power brokers.

And, indeed, Timeguard too has moved much (but by no means all) manufacturing to China over the years in order to remain competitive…but that is far from the whole story.

Timeguard, originally part of the Smiths Industries Group and now a subsidiary of Theben AG, one of Europe’s leading innovators of electrical systems for time, light and climate control, has a deeply-ingrained culture of designing and introducing new ideas and technologies to the UK marketplace. One of the ideas coming from the Timeguard stable was automating basic electrical appliances with plugin time controllers, as did automatic PIR security and courtesy lighting (now being brought up to date with the company’s new Eco PIR range). Later came the launch of sockets with integral RCDs including the U.K’s first single gang version and then came the immensely successful Weathersafe Range of IP66 outdoor 13A sockets and switches. This of course was followed up with the equally successful Thermolay range of underfloor heating mats, sold in ready-to-lay kits. All of these ideas have, of course, been widely imitated and the products have indeed become commodity items in a price led market.

But, and this is the main thing, Timeguard has remained faithful to the wholesale channel. The commoditisation (copying!) of its new product ideas and consequent cliff-edge price drops do not happen before smart wholesalers, who recognise the value of innovative products, have had a chance to turn a decent profit.

By then, a quality benchmark has been set, so the cheaper products that follow do at least have to meet a reasonable specification and quality levels.

It’s clear, believes Andy Douglas, the wholesalers are there and will drive a hard bargain on price but our team are employed to deliver the right products at the right prices.

Their latest project is a new range of room thermostats and heating controllers that tick all the boxes: the energy savings of precise electronic control, ease of use and even the option of a traditional-looking ‘analogue’ dial control, and the ability to offer zoned heating with multi-channel programmers and, of course, good design.


Timeguard have unveiled a new product range that will boost your business and give your customers better service and performance.

The Programastat range was conceived by the Timeguard team, based in North London, to plug an obvious gap in the market for electronic control that is affordable, ‘user friendly’ to both installers and householders, recommended by the Energy Saving Trust and packaged both attractively and practically in a way that is easy for wholesalers to stock and sell.

Timeguard Technical Manager Adrian Lay explains that the human body is highly sensitive to heat gain and heat loss, so comfort can be elusive and even those of us who ought to know better are tempted to turn up the room thermostat in an attempt to make the room heat up quicker (which, of course, doesn’t work). Today’s energy saving agenda calls for more sophistication that that!
To do its job properly, a thermostat should eliminate broad swings in room temperature. During the heating season, room temperature drops to a low point right before the heat goes on and reaches a high just after the heat goes off. It is generally accepted that the key to comfort is to maintain room temperatures within a 0.5ºC "comfort window" within which people don't notice a variation in temperature. That’s a tall order and, though all electronic thermostats may look alike, they’re not.

If one is considerably cheaper than another, there is always going to be a reason for the price difference. Some bargainbasement models may not be able to maintain a narrow "comfort window." Others may not adequately anticipate at what point the boiler must turn off, thereby wasting residual heat and overshooting the desired room temperature. Others may be more difficult to program.

The Programastat range of electronic room thermostats and heating programmers provides all the options installers will need to improve energy efficiency in your customer’s homes and, as you will have come to expect from Timeguard, the range combines superior, guaranteed performance with remarkably competitive pricing.

Behind the sleek exteriors of the range are sophisticated electronic controls that react immediately to changes in temperature, avoiding the overand under-shoots (sawtoothing) of traditional thermostats. Even the simple room thermostats in the range, with adjustable dials, are electronically controlled. The, precise control these products exert can quickly add up to big energy savings.

Wire free installation is ideal where it is impractical to run wires between a room thermostat and other central heating controls, and this new device can be relied on to transmit time and temperature programmes to its wall- mounted receiver box up to 60m away.

The wire free room thermostat has an attractive illuminated display, showing temperature and status, while all the other controls are neatly hidden behind a drop-down flap.

These enable householders to choose different settings for different days of the week, workdays and weekends for instance.

The Programastat range also meets the steadily growing demand for multi zone control. It includes programmers with seven-day or 24 hour options and with as many as four independently controlled channels. These will cover, say, hot water and three heating zones in the home.

Overall, the range includes a mix of 12 products with wall mounted room thermostats, from the entry level electronic room thermostat with it’s special "blue" temperature dial, followed by the more sophisticated digital controls with digital programmers, programmable thermostats, multi channel programmers and of course "wireless" programmable room thermostats. To finish off the range is the "tamper proof" frost stats and electronic room thermostats, cylinder/pipe thermostats and a spacious wiring centre box.

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