What is an Astro timer clock
The Astro timer clock controls the stair lighting on and off times by shadowing Edinburgh’s sunset and sunrise times. As the seasons change the astro clock adjusts the on and off times daily to suit. Also the clock should comply with City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) stair lighting switching specification that includes energy saving and tube life extension modes.
Can the wrong Astro clock be used
It certainly can as I have found a few that the organiser did not realise that it did not comply with CEC Stair lighting specification and also it shortened the life of the tubes and used more electricity putting more wear and tear on the 45+ year old light fittings. See my Twitter feed on this
Remember cheaper is not always better.
Why can’t I use a standard timeclock
I hear this a lot but no an Astro clock is the only stair lighting timer that can be used. The clock has to be set and configured for the area that it is in for optimum operation. If it does not comply then CEC may insist that a meter be fitted transferring the cost of the electricity to the residents.
Why are they failing
They are coming to the end of their service life as the averge age of a Astro timer clock for stair lighting is 40-50 years old. Some clocks are 70 years old with the first generation digital clocks that are 30 years old. These are failing due to poor technology at the time of manufacture. Also combined with the age of the light fittings and the high cost of clock replacement these are the main reasons why CEC stopped maintaining them.
How do I check if my stair Astro clock is working
Log on to the BBC website for Edinburgh’s weather . If you look on the bottom right hand side of the page you will see the sunset and sunrise times for that day. Then at the allocated times check if your stairwell lights come on and off. Its also not a good idea to try and alter the parameters of the Astro clock as you may make the situation worse
On a point of safety please do not try and gain access to the control panel. Unless you are a qualified electrician you could be putting yourself at risk of injury and or electrical shock. You may also find that any personal accident insurance you have may not cover you.
Due to legal and insurance restrictions AEW cannot and will not give advise to members of the public on how to access or work on this type of equipment.
Faulty Astro Timer Stair Lighting Clock
Due to a faulty Astro timer clock where there is no lights in the stair I can try to either reset or reprogramme the clock or if not possible get the lights on for safety. Both should be seen as temporary measures.There is a nominal charge of £40 for this service but this will be refunded if any part of my quote is taken up with 3 calander months. The reason for this charge is due to a minorty of potential customers abusing the free survey offer.
Clock Time Summer / Winter Changes
The EU have now confirmed after consulting with the other members that the twice yearly clock changes on the last Sunday in March and October will cease in 2021. The UK Parliament is currently debating if the UK should do the same. Most of the stair lighting astro timers have this function built in so, cannot be changed. Check my blog out for more information