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. 

Are your low-voltage and security customers concerned over “hanging” security cameras on the enterprise network and opening it to potential vulnerabilities? Or are they looking at protecting other parts of their commercial facility that may be housing data and other privileged information? reported in October 2014 that the United States has more electrical grid blackouts than any other developed nation and that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), demand for electricity has outpaced transmission rates by 25 percent every year since 1982.

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.

More on Systems

Using System Smarts to Your Advantage

End-users can monitor events and plan responses Standard “tools” in current security and low-voltage equipment and peripherals allow installing contractors to more accurately pinpoint events so the end-user can plan an appropriate response.

Choosing Testing Equipment

Price and preference play a part The feeling of satisfaction you get when a project is complete, is accompanied by one of accomplishment, whether it’s your first installation or your thousandth.

Terminal Markings in a Panelboard and More

Article 210 Branch Circuits Article 250 Grounding Article 300 Wiring Methods Article 404 Switches Article 408 Switchboards and Panelboards Article 430 Motors, Motor Circuits and Controllers Article 527 Temporary Installations Also mentioned are the General Information for Electrical Equipment Direct

Connector Types and Terminology

Where did these terms come from? Rarely do I present a fiber optic seminar without getting some questions on what some connectors terminology means, and often I’m questioned on how such a term originated.

Building Bytes

As your “Online” correspondent, I try to track trends in electronic business, Web sites and more. In February, I journeyed to Orlando for the A/E/C Systems show, the only conference geared to construction computing. Here’s a quick look at what I saw and heard.


Brush up on what the NEC says about air conditioning During the hottest parts of the summer, most people do not notice the sound of air conditioning units turning on and off, but if a unit fails to start, the effect is noticed immediately. Comfort becomes a premium to be restored at all costs.

Double Duty

Using fire alarm systems for special applications Fire protection designers may use fire alarm systems for special applications in many building and fire protection scenarios.