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. 

As projects become more complex, electrical contractors need high-tech management methods to ensure more efficient results. Here are just a few examples to help you get headed in the right direction. 5pm

The dark fiber providers that most people are familiar with are private companies that were started to offer fiber connectivity for a profit. Today, there is a major movement toward building fiber networks as a public-private partnership.

Phasor diagram and equivalent sinewave plots

When considering power quality disturbances or the quality of the electrical supply, phenomena such as rms variations (sags, swells and interruptions), harmonics, unbalance and flicker usually come to mind.

Data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software enables data center operators to manage assets and changes, plan capacity, and monitor power, environment and energy usage.

More on Systems

Spin Doctors

Last month, we looked into positive, negative and zero-sequence components, also known as symmetrical components, with virtually no math involved.

Life Safety Maintenance Should Not Be Deferred

It is a sign of tight budgets when facility directors at most K–12 and higher education institutions receive mandates to defer maintenance on their existing building inventory to allow for budget dollar application elsewhere.

Dark Fibers Lie In Wait

“Dark fiber” is a term often heard in conversations about fiber optic communications. Perhaps this is because it has a name that sounds evil or nefarious. But dark fiber is just fiber that has been installed and is not currently in use; instead, it is reserved for spares or future use.

Digital Tools On The Go

If you’re going to do a job right, you need the right tools. Today, the definition of tool goes beyond wire crimpers and multimeters. It now includes smartphones and the apps that make them crucial to a contractor’s success. The following are some of the apps that contractors could consider using.

Redefining Intrusion Detection

Motion sensors are now a mainstay of intrusion detection, but, back in the day, traditional devices were obtrusive, prone to false triggering and difficult to program.

Bringing Coverage Everywhere

Another year has passed, and we have nothing revolutionary to report about fiber optic technology—no instant-on connectors, dirt-cheap lasers or simple solutions to installation problems.

Code-Compliant Systems Design

When a potential client calls on you to provide a fire alarm system, do you assume the design responsibility? If so, what resources do you use?