SPECIAL FEATURE WIRING ACCESSORIES CONCEPT OVER COMPLEXITY When it comes to wiring accessories, installers want products that are as simple to fit as possible. Marie Parry, marketing director at Scolmore Group, looks at the sector and how it needs to keep evolving to meet these requirements. E xpected to be worth £1.8bn by 2018 according to AMA Research, the UK wiring accessories market is a mature one, with the product mix remaining fairly stable in recent years. As a mature and sizeable market, the forecasts for electrical accessories are for relatively slow and steady growth of 1-3 per cent per annum until 2020, in line with relatively subdued forecasts for construction as a whole, following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Key influencing factors on the market include legislation on energy efficiency and carbon emissions, which has seen increased use of integrated systems spreading throughout domestic and The evolution in smart homes is bringing significant business opportunities for switched on electrical contractors and installers. commercial markets to provide greater control for heating, lighting and all electrical systems. The current focus is on integrated solutions and systems within the electrical accessories market and this trend will continue to feed demand in the medium term, as well as an increased use of prefabricated and modular wiring assemblies that make installations easier and quicker. Modularity equals flexibility The whole area of wiring installations continues to evolve, with one of the key words today being ‘modularity’. It is not necessarily about new and exciting finishes, it’s about flexibility and functionality and incorporating multiple modules into one plate – media modules, USB ports, HDMI outlets – and ultimately being able to create bespoke installations to suit individual requirements. The modern home is now more than a mere home. It doubles up occasionally as a cinema, concert hall, meeting venue, computer room and office, and each of these functions brings unique requirements in terms of the provision of necessary services such as telephone or satellite sockets, as well as the myriad of different electrical and electronic products which proliferate our homes. Traditionally, products such as telephone and TV coaxial sockets have been all supplied built into a standard size wall plate. The environment in today’s office and home, however, requires a number of services to be provided to a specific work station or convenient access point. The 58 | May 2017 Wiring accessories account for a significant element of the overall investment in any electrical installation infrastructure.