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. 

Nineteen years ago, author Spencer Johnson wrote “Who Moved My Cheese?” This book features a fable about how to cope with change.

We have all heard the phrase “That’s good enough for government work!” Whether said in jest, sarcasm or resignation, it implies you have done all you’re going to do, and the result will just have to suffice.


For local area networks that do not require certification, qualification (or performance) testing is a less expensive option for contractors to test that an installation complies with component manufacturer standards and will perform to specifications.

There’s major disruption in the electronic access control systems (EACS) market. What was once a proprietary, closed technology sector within security has opened to align with the growing internet of things (IoT), data collection and analytics.

More on Systems

Notification Know-How: A Look at Notification Requirements

Many designers of the notification portion of a fire alarm or mass notification system (MNS) seem unaware of the specific performance requirements for each type of appliance as required or allowed by NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.

Keeping It Professional

Based in San Jose, Calif., Integrated Communication Systems (ICS) has been building its success as a low-voltage integrator for 15 years. The 80-employee firm, founded in 2002 by Aaron Colton, president and CEO, serves low-voltage integration needs in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Fluke Networks round cable stripper
Cool Tools: Tools For Copper

Correctly preparing and connecting copper wiring in a building’s structured wiring system requires special skills and the right tools. A single faulty connection can bring down an entire network.

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New Business Model: Provide Continual Service, Not Just Installation

Electrical contractors used to focus on the initial construction phase of a building. This was the “bread-and-butter” phase where contractors made their money. That business model is not the model for today or tomorrow.

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The Newest Video Compression Standard Is Here

Monumental video growth continues in every sector, ranging from small business to mission critical. Surveillance cameras are part of the Internet of Things boom, morphing into smart data collectors like billions of other connected devices.

Colorado Community Getting Smart City Makeover

Pena Station, once a rail station south of Denver International Airport, is on track to become one of the most futuristic smart cities in the nation, due to a recent decision by Japan-based Panasonic to move its Enterprise Solutions Division headquarters there.

Knowledge Is Power: Cabling for Project Managers

I think most people would agree the responsibility for a project’s success or failure ultimately lies with the project manager.