With only 4 days to go until the big day itself you will either be super organised or in a blind panic wondering what to get for the important people in your life.
Rather than going for the same old items that end up on the tat pile every year, why not give something useful? After all, electricians are well known for sniffing out the latest gadgets or up and coming tools!
What every electrician secretly wants for Christmas
It's always a bit awkward asking for work related items but take it from us, if you buy any of our suggested top gadgets for the electrician in your life, you will be responsible for starting 2014 off in a great way.
Unfortunately we can't be held responsible for the resulting hours you might loose whilst said gadget is being looked at, tested, generally fiddled with and generally molly coddled before being put to good use! :)
Up and coming 'must haves' for 2014
Turn up for work in the New Year with any of these gadgets and you'll instantly be the envy of your workmates – and you'll be certainly wowing your customers. Whether the aim is to keep your tools safe and secure or simply to make life a bit easier whilst carrying out your electrical work there will be something to suit all electrical tastes in this list.
We foresee Apps taking off in a huge way during 2014. A great all round App that should be owned by any electrician is the electricians toolbox App. There are 9 sub-apps contained within electricians toolbox with each one being compliant with BS7671:2008 17th edition. Whether you need to check if your cable is suitable with the handy cable calculator or need to know the correct spacing of fixings for conduit or trunking, this App is the place to find out quickly and easily.
An easy to use App that works great on a smart phone, it is an essential for any electrician to have with them as an easy reference point when working on the job.
2. PAT testing with advanced data handling capabilities
Need a PAT tester upgrade? If you're looking for something with speed and efficiency combined with the latest in PAT testing technology then Seawards new Apollo 500 will be an excellent contender. Incorporating all the latest safety tests for workplace appliances in accordance with the IET 4th edition code of practice including point to point testing of fixed equipment and the testing of 3 phase devices and RCD's.
Designed for high volume PAT tester users, the internal memory holds 10,000 test records, USB upload and download to PATguard 3 software, as well as remote PC transfer via your Smart phone using Bluetooth which ensures the safety of all PAT test records.
Gadget wise, this tester looks pretty good with a large colour display and intuitive menu based operating system with a built in risk assessment tool all designed for ease of use. Fast production of reports, certificates and invoices comes as standard thanks to the lightweight unit being compatible with the PATguard 3 software.
3. ESP Rapid Deployment Surveillance Camera
If the worry of stolen tools or van security is an issue then this ingenious camera from ESP is a great option to keep an eye of things when you're not around. Designed to be instantly deployed either inside or outside this camera has all the essential security features needed plus many more extremely beneficial and useful options.
Known as CanCam, the camera is battery operated, (however there is an optional plug in power supply included) and records in high resolution. Designed for either temporary or permanent use, it Features a PIR detector, SD card recording and black infra-red illumination. The CanCam detects movement and instantly records high quality images all with date and time stamping in all weather conditions both day and night.
There are many user settings on the CanCam, however one which we really like is the option to select image capture. Recordings can be set to either video with audio or stills all which record directly to the supplied SD card. SD cards up to 32GB can be used after which there is an opportunity to overwrite.
After recording the card can be removed to be replayed using Windows Media Player or can be viewed directly from a PC or TV.
4. Fully loaded CK Tool Kits
Designed to compliment the top selling CK electricians premium tool kit, CK have brought out a further 7 fully loaded tool kits containing the most popular and frequently used tools used by electricians. We think these are a great idea as money will not be wasted buying tools that won't be used.
This is not another generic tool kit, CK has aimed their latest range at electricians with most of the kits containing the well known CK VDE hand tools. If the price of the CK electricians premium tool kit is putting you off then the CK Electricians Tool Tote Kit is a lower priced alternative. New to the market, it is expected to be just as popular as its higher priced alternative. It contains all the essential tools an electrician needs including five Dextro VDE screwdrivers, VDE side cutters and combination pliers as well as other tool box must haves such as a spirit level, ST tape measure and trimming knife.
Other CK kits include the Electricians Core Tool Kit, the VDE pliers and screwdriver set, the Data Comms Tool Kit, the Technicians Tool Kit, and the Core Tool Kit.
5. Magnetic Pick Up Tool
A great stocking filler or present from the kids. This ingenious tool will make life a lot easier for busy electricians. Every electrician knows the hassle of dropping a screw into a really awkward gap and wasting time trying to retrieve it. This handy tool makes this job a whole lot easier thanks to the large magnetic end.
The telescopic tool extends to 630mm and can pick up objects weighing up to an impressive 1kg. Not bad for less than a fiver!
One reviewer explains how this tool managed to retrieve their car keys from a storm drain saving them £230!
Say no more - no home and definitely no electrician should be without a magnetic pick up tool!
6. Fibreglass Stepladder
Stepladders are extremely handy for all electricians, but with their aluminium or steel frames, they are a risk for electricians to use.
The good news is that fibreglass ladders are starting to make a real statement in the UK and we believe the market for fibreglass ladders is really going to grow in 2014. Electrically insulated up to 30,000 volts, the fibre glass step ladder from BPS Access Solutions is EN131 certified for trade use and comes complete with a handy tool tray on the top tread and is designed to withstand heavy use.
They are available in 3 sizes and are perfect for the needs of an electrician. Having a fibreglass stepladder will be going a long way to maintaining a safe working environment whether on site or in a clients home.
From stocking fillers to main presents, there is sure to be a gadget to suit even the most discerning electrician.
All that remains is to discover just how popular some of these gadgets get through 2014!
Christmas is almost here and we thought it was only fitting to have a look at some of the best Christmas lighting displays around. We all have a house in our town that has to go those few steps too far and we have found some of those and brought them together in this blog post.
The Largest Display in the World!
The current World Record for the largest outdoor Christmas lights display consists of 29,630M of LED strings, 15,000 cable ties and 27 kilometres of lights (which formed a light controlled Christmas tree.) It is held by David Richards of Canberra, Australia. Just to give you an idea it's so big we can't really find a good picture of the whole thing!
Moving a little closer to home, we take a look at some Christmas lighting displays found in the UK.
Electrician Alex Goodhind takes a month off work to string up Christmas lights which have cost an estimated £30,000. The collection of Christmas lights have taken 15 years to build up. The display is growing year on year with coach loads of people paying a visit to them.
Bernard and Denise Lumsden used 50,000 light bulbs and Santa scenes even inviting the public into their home to view their Winter Wonderland. In 2006 they won a National Award for the best decorated house in the country. Unfortunately soaring electricity costs of over £1,200 forced them to stop in 2008.
Twin brothers Paul and Lee Brailsford decorate the outside of their home with £20,000 of Christmas lights transforming it into a winter wonderland. The display includes tens of thousands of Christmas lights. Wallace and Gromit even came to switch on the 2012 display which costs £450 per day to run.
Rather than neighbourhood rivalry, this neighbourhood in Dorset club together to create a Christmas lighting display that is a drain on the National Grid. Known as Britain's most festive street, the neighbours report a 'dip' in the electrical supply when the displays are switched on at dusk. Around 50 households take part with the display visible up to half a mile away. Residents club together to pay an extra £50 per month on each homes electricity bill.
And Is this the craziest lighting display ever?
A Texan home adorned with more than 25,000 LED lights flash in perfect timing to the four minute song Gangham Style before stopping abruptly and beginning again. It has to be seen to be believed, by watching the official video
According to christmaslightsetc.com you are classed as “enthusiastic” if cars line up outside your house to watch your display. To be defined in this category you would be catching up rapidly with those featured in our crazy lighting displays, as you would be adding lights to every inch of your property including wrapping trees and any other physical feature in your garden with lights. Open spaces would be filled with animated Christmas character often accompanied by the sound of music.
All of this unsurprisingly does not come cheap. An enthusiastic user can expect to use 2,369 watts of electricity which equates to £24.58 for the season if they're using LED lights. Users of traditional incandescent lighting will be using 18,332 watts which equates to £190.25 for the season. Crazy!
It comes as little surprise to see more displays of a competing nature popping up in neighbourhoods in recent years. This is thanks to the low energy use of LED lights which are not only recommended to reduce risk of fire and electric shock but also from a financial perspective.
In the past, heavy users of outdoor lighting would've bee restricted to those who could afford them. Now the opportunity for crazy Christmas lighting displays is open to all!