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happysteve

happysteve

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What's the most badly designed accessory you've had to install?

I present my nomination, the ML Accessories/Knightsbridge RWL5 wall-mounted LED guide light

This nice-looking wall light has a low profile, is IP54 rated, and looks quite neat in "anthracite" colour. It's also about the right shape and size to cover over a hole where a small brick light used to be. I have no issue with any of the other ML/Knightbridge products I've installed - their downlights (integrated and GU10) are usually my go-to products.

This particular product, though, is awful to install.

If this post sounds over-whingy, then apologies. At the end of the day I just got on with it, and got the job done. But gosh.....

20211005_151917_resized.jpg

Let's start with the rubber grommet. It's tiny. Fine for 0.75mm H05RN-F, 1mm H07RN-F is really, really hard to get through.

So, you have to attach the plastic back plate to the wall, threading the cable through the (non-sealed) hole. So far, so good.

You have to remove the internal back plate using 4 tiny screws that would not be out of place inside a Rolex. Two of them have teeny tiny rubber washers, two don't. You pass your cable through the grommet (if you can). There is no space at all inside what will be the weather-proof internal enclosure for any excess cable - it must go straight into the screw connector, soldered directly to the PCB. Try not to snap this off, as you tighten the terminals with your jewel screwdriver. If you're thinking of using T&E, no can do... you need a tiny bit of flexibility to get the PCB into position into some internal slots, then screw the back on.

The PCB slots into the main part of the outer enclosure... but wait, don't forget the flimsy rubber gasket, which sticks neither to the lid, nor the larger bit it's sealing against. You screw the lid to the enclosure using those 4 tiny screws (you remember which two have the rubber washers on, right?).

So there is no slack whatsoever between the rubber grommet and the PCB-mounted connector, a few mm away. There is no space behind the internal lid and the outer backing plate for any loose cable. So the only possible way of screwing the lid back on, is to have slack in the cable behind the backing plate, sufficient that you can angle the whole unit downwards while you get the lid back on, somehow maintaining the IP rating using the flimsy gasket, and then hope you can feed the spare cable back into the hole you presumably have to make behind the back plate.

Finally, you offer the completed main bit of the enclosure to the back plate, and screw using two more tiny screws, one on each side. Don't over-tighten these... they are tiny, and "I imagine" it would be very easy to strip the plastic thread.

I was fortunate in that (a) there was a large existing void behind the back plate (where the brick lights were), and (b) I was putting in new cables of my choice, so could put sufficient spare in there to allow installation.

Never again. :)

What's your worst experience with accessories designed without any thought to the poor person installing them?
 
littlespark

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Any decorative light fitting from Next.

Lap 5ft LED baton from Screwfix.
Good enough to fit. Screw brackets up, then fitting clips in, like under unit lights.
Batons have push fit connections at either end, but only L and N. No earth.
Fine if it’s one fitting, but I put two into an attic. Couldn’t then loop an earth between the two. Even if the loop was from same end, the earth joint would be outside the fitting.
Just ran a t&e to each one from switch.
 
Lister1987

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The mute/off buttons for th wife and kids, not worked since day one and there's only so many time you can hit them with a hammer before acquiring a battery charge and a record 🤣
 
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ToonSparky

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Not necessarily badly designed and they've been around forever but I think bakelite backboxes are stupid!

Soft plastic backboxes for the win!
 
robd

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Any light including the metal roses that fit over a braided flex type pendant and more recently a Wickes outside up and down light with PIR. Did 20 mins trying to fit to bumpy brick wall then put back in box and said I'm not wasting any more time let's fit the ones I always fit that take 5 mins.
 
123

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Not necessarily badly designed and they've been around forever but I think bakelite backboxes are stupid!

Soft plastic backboxes for the win!
I use bakelite a lot for shower pullcords and kitchen isolators in tall housings - prefer them to PVC in these instances as they stand firm and don't bow or bend at all, whereas PVC tends to be a bugger
 
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ToonSparky

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I use bakelite a lot for shower pullcords and kitchen isolators in tall housings - prefer them to PVC in these instances as they stand firm and don't bow or bend at all, whereas PVC tends to be a bugger

Just hate that you're always a screw turn or two away from cracking them and having to start again 🙄

Never quite sure how to tackle the little square top entry knockouts on them either. Do you knock them out or do you grip and bend them out with pliers? Can't even remember now it's been that long since I used one
 
Dave OCD

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How about those awful plaster quarter sphere wall lights. You have to drill the fixing holes at a downhill angle to have any chance of getting a screwdriver on the screws, and you can't tighten the fixings too much or CRACK ! Also they have a teeny weeny recess behind which necessitates hollowing out the wall for your connections , a proper pain in the @rse.
 
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Just hate that you're always a screw turn or two away from cracking them and having to start again 🙄

Never quite sure how to tackle the little square top entry knockouts on them either. Do you knock them out or do you grip and bend them out with pliers? Can't even remember now it's been that long since I used one
I drill the back of them, agree on the knockouts, it's a fine line there, touch wood can't remember breaking one though
 
SparkySy

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Fiddly light fittings are all the work of the devil! I hate fiddly little non captive screws in stuff especially when you are outside, up a ladder or in a shrubbery, you know they will be gone forever if you drop one! I had some up down lights that the cable entry came in dead centre on the back plate right opposite the fixing and wires to the light. I deliberately only took one wire to each light as I know they are a [email protected], but I must have re-terminated them about 5 times before I got an all clear on my insulation resistance test!😬
 
M
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How about those awful plaster quarter sphere wall lights. You have to drill the fixing holes at a downhill angle to have any chance of getting a screwdriver on the screws, and you can't tighten the fixings too much or CRACK ! Also they have a teeny weeny recess behind which necessitates hollowing out the wall for your connections , a proper pain in the @rse.
Ive actually refused to install those wretched things before! Everything you say is spot on! Then when they are installed they just look Pants in my opinion!
 

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