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. 

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.  

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.

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.

More on Systems

ILM Flies

Construction has changed. It is no longer a business simply associated with bricks and mortar. Construction has become a comprehensive offering that includes everything contained within a building.

The Big Bang

Two decades ago, a home automation installer usually could be described either as a hobbyist or an engineer with a penchant for designing complex systems for his or her own home. Few others could work with or expand these systems.

Smell the Roses

We appear to be entering a slow construction period. Those of us in the field have experienced these slow periods before, and we know that professional electrical contractors who plan for these slowdowns prosper through them.

Do You Have the Time?

Most people who are products of the American education system could, oddly enough, tell school clock stories. Examples might include anecdotes like this one, which could have been from the high school level, “The clock in Mrs.

Shades of Green

If you've been reading Tom Glavinich’s Integrated Building Systems columns, you probably picked up a running theme.

Room Service

When it comes to information technology-facility design and construction, large-scale data centers have received more attention lately. It’s not difficult to see why. Data center construction remains one of the major bright spots in the building industry.

More Businesses Moving Phone Lines to the Internet

It was only a matter of time. The Internet offered so much more than Web searching. Even the ubiquitous landline telephone would eventually succumb to its appeal.