Maximizing maintenance staff time with automated lighting controls

Reliable electronic time switches like Intermatic's ET90000 Series reduce personnel burden and minimize disruptions
By: | Issue: March, 2015 | Thought Leadership
February 5, 2015

Districts today are often making do with very lean maintenance staffs. One California district, for example, employs only 26 maintenance technicians to service over 500 buildings. In these all-too-common situations, it is crucial that technicians focus their time on fixing problems that require a human touch. Any processes that can be automated, with few maintenance requirements, can keep facilities running as smoothly as possible.

Intermatic’s ET90000 Series of 365-day electronic time switches offers a maintenance-free solution for controlling how school buildings are lit. Mechanical time switches, while reliable, tend to be maintenance-intensive. Since they do not hold information after a power outage, any disruptionÑwhether caused by accidents, weather or rambunctious squirrelsÑrequires maintenance staff to reset the clocks. Even routine changes, such as daylight savings time, require maintenance staff to give up time they could be using to work on other, more important projects.

The ET90000, on the other hand, has a supercapacitor battery backup that holds all of the information that has been programmed. It also keeps the clock running for more than 100 hours after a power outage and automatically recharges within 30 minutes of power being restored. Therefore, there is no maintenance needed in nearly every power outage scenario. The ET90000 also does not require expensive batteries like most mechanical time switches, which is a great cost savings for districts.

Different spaces in a school building require different voltage levels. Because the ET90000 is auto-voltage, it automatically detects and then adjusts to the correct voltage for a facility. There is no need to have to purchase and stock several kinds of mechanical timers to fit different voltages in different locations. This eliminates another significant budget expense.

Programming the ET90000 Series is amazingly easy and convenient, since the timer only needs to be set once a year. Just one maintenance visit can schedule lighting controls for all holidays, parent-teacher conference days, special events, sports games and even twice yearly daylight savings time adjustments. And the easy-to-follow, on-screen menus allow for simple scheduling, which implements immediately upon programming.

Maintenance staff can remotely monitor and control ET90000 via an Ethernet connection. Instead of physically going to a site to check if the lights are on, monitoring and changes can be done from your PC. And all ET90000 switches come with a lockable enclosure that prevents unauthorized users from disrupting the preprogrammed light schedules.

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