Systems

 

 

Integrated electrical and low-voltage systems of all types—inside and outside a building—encompass the range of work that electrical contractors do. The articles in this section highlight different types of work, from security, fire and life safety, to traditional electrical power and distribution, to lighting, cabling and more. 

At a small telecommunications facility, equipment mysteriously started self-destructing for no apparent reason. Laptops, routers, printers and cell phones were apparently just becoming nonfunctional.

After 15 years of rural living on a small farm in Southern California, my wife and I recently moved back into the city. Now, as we walk around our neighborhood, we are often reminded that we live in one of the smartest “smart cities” in the world: Santa Monica, Calif.

As new technology such as Amazon Alexa is linked to smart home devices, lamps are becoming more than simple lights that turn on when you flip a switch.  


In the last year or two, I have written a few articles about NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, and NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing. These were both part of NFPA 3 starting in 2013.

More on Systems

 
Bosch 18V LED work light
Cool Tools: Job-Site Lighting

For years, electricians carried a basic flashlight. While most people in the trade still use them, flashlights are nothing like they were even two years ago.



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Outside Forces Are Changing the Security Industry

What a year it has been for the physical security industry. In the residential market, new entrants applied competitive pressure greater than ever before.


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Rise to Power: Smart, Connected Devices Drive PoE Innovation

Power over ethernet (PoE) is a critical technology for integrated, IP-connected devices. Development and innovation in PoE continues to increase its capabilities, resulting in new standards, devices and methods to manage the technology for greater efficiency.



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Completing The Circle: McKinstry Electric

There are many low-voltage contractors in the United States, but few of them embrace the future and opportunities for deployment of new technologies as actively and passionately as Seattle-based McKinstry Electric, which provides consulting, construction, energy and facilities services.


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Step Toward Better Fire Protection

In the last year or two, I have written a few articles about NFPA 3, Recommended Practice for Commissioning of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems, and NFPA 4, Standard for Integrated Fire Protection and Life Safety System Testing. These were both part of NFPA 3 starting in 2013.


READ MORE
 
A Seismic Shift: PoE, Intelligent Buildings and the Future of Systems

I used to get weary of hearing intelligent buildings would be the norm in the near future. I never believed the concept would catch on. First, it was expensive. Second, there had to be a coordinated design for all of the systems in the buildings.


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Tool Talk

In Austin, Texas, monk parakeets nest in power transformers on poles high above street level. The nests become so large they can cause fires and power outages.


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