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. 

Another storm on the horizon and another image of electric utility trucks heading off to help with recovery efforts. That seemed to be an almost-nightly occurrence in late August through mid-September, as hurricanes Harvey and Irma made their way to the U.S. mainland.

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.

Residential and commercial security products are becoming easier to integrate. Big box stores and electronics retailers sell security systems that enable users to check on their home or business from anywhere, with advanced features such as night vision, phone alerts and more.

When a customer complained about the lights flickering in the past, it was difficult to get a quantitative measure of the problem. The parameter, Pst (perceptibility short term), specified in IEC Std 61000-4-15 and eventually IEEE Std 1453-2004, now provides such a quantitative approach.

More on Systems

Distributed Generation of Solar Could Help Light up North Carolina

One of the advantages of solar power is the ability to generate power on-site, eliminating the need to transport it over transmission lines.

Choosing OSP Components

The choice of outside plant (OSP) fiber optics components begins with last month’s work: developing the route the cable plant will follow. Once the route is set, it is certain where cables will be run, where splices are located and where the cables will be terminated.

Planning the Route

Having decided to use fiber optics and chosen equipment appropriate for the application, it is time to determine exactly where the cable plant and hardware will be located. One thing to remember: Every installation is unique.

Choosing Transmission Equipment

Choosing transmission equipment is the next step in designing a fiber optic network. This step usually will be a cooperative venture involving the customer, who knows which types of data they need to communicate; the designer and installer; and the manufacturers of transmission equipment.

Where's the Fire

Alarm communications have evolved, especially over the past decade, and one of the most relevant changes is the ongoing push to communicate using Internet protocol.

Copper, Fiber or Wireless?

While the debate over which is better—copper, fiber or wireless—has enlivened cabling discussions for decades, it is becoming moot. Communications technology and the end-user market, it seems, already have made decisions that generally dictate the media.

Campus Security Notification

Most people still equate public address systems with the loud, tinny horn systems of the past. The quality and stability of these systems has certainly improved.