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

Gains In The Security Sector

Never before in the electronic security industry has change been so profound. As hardware and boxes moved onto the network, they have morphed into intelligent, connected products.

Put Down The Pencil

Contractors that are still putting estimates together using pencil and paper are not only wasting time and money, but they also are losing business. Contractors who think they can’t afford estimating software are just plain wrong.

At The Plug

Plug loads, according to a pilot study performed by New York-based green technology company ThinkEco Inc., make up the fastest growing end-use of electricity in the commercial sector. As the amount of electricity used by plug loads grows, it becomes increasingly important to manage it.

It's Just Math

In attempting to explain to a colleague why we care about negative sequence components, I tried to follow the guidance that Bob Lawrie, another member of the NFPA 70B Electrical Equipment Maintenance committee, offered to me many years ago: never use a formula in an article.

The Codes Are Not Always Clear

One of my responsibilities over the years has been to field questions from our members and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) to help them find and understand code requirements. I have benefitted from the process as well.

Filling Installation Needs

A limited number of low-voltage contractors specialize in the installation of sprinkler systems power and controls. For them, it provides a regular source of revenue that most contractors have bypassed.

Fluke Networks DSX-5000 CableAnalyzer certification tester
Cool Tools: Certification Testers

A certification tester is the basic instrument for certifying that a building’s structured wiring meets industry standards. At one time, structured wiring referred to a facility’s communications network, but that has changed.