What is an Astro timer clock
The Astro timer clock controls the stair lighting on and off times. The clock is configured to shadow 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.
Any standard timeclock can be used
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 and some of the first generation digital clocks are 30 years old 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 Here . 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 might not cover you. AEW does not and will not give advise to members of the public on how to access or work on this type of equipment.
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 here for more information