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. 

Energy consumer demand for distributed-energy resources (DER) is growing for a number of reasons—unexpected utility power outages, planned rolling blackouts, power quality problems, increases in power costs, etc.


The 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor reveals how electrical contractors see the industry changing and how they intend to adapt. Change occurs in the fire alarm and communications world as well. As you know, keeping up with these changes can prove difficult. 


Evolution in action


Much has been said and written about analog video cameras and the move to internet protocol (IP) networked digital surveillance. Some predicted the demise of analog and takeover by IP devices would progress quickly, but clearly that hasn’t happened.

A while back, I wrote about a house with 14 kilowatts (kW) of solar panels installed on the southern exposure roof. Voltage and current monitoring at the breaker panel prior to the solar panel installation had shown 10–12-volt (V) deep sags occurring as frequently as every 22 minutes.

More on Systems

 
Keep the Security

The smart home, Connected technologies, Lifestyle services: No matter how you slice it, if you can enhance and automate the lives of residential customers, you’ll be in a good place for more business.



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Think Smart!

A few decades ago, the term “smart home” was regarded as science fiction and used to describe automation that few homes actually used.


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Creating A Commodity

Selecting an Internet protocol (IP) camera can be mind-boggling. Do you need 4K, one of the highest resolutions available? What about storage? Does the camera save with the super-efficient H.264 compression algorithm, or can you store on SD memory cards?



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Dressed in Overalls

In my everyday work with contractors installing fire alarm systems, I do not find many people who can honestly say they have read NFPA 72 2013, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, at least once.


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Greenlee's fusion splicer and cleaver kit
Cool Tools: Fiber Tool Kits

The days of predominately copper structured wiring are long past. Technicians are installing a growing amount of fiber optic cable in surveillance, alarm and control systems.


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A Sprinkle Of This, A Dab Of That

Low Voltage Contractors, Minneapolis, opened its doors in 1982 and specialized in design/build low-voltage work from the start. It focused on fire alarm installations.



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Into The Mainstream

All of those millions of miles of dark fiber are primarily expected to deliver broadband connections. The Internet continues to grow unabated, and bandwidth must be expanded to accommodate that growth. 



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