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. 

A variety of carts and reel carriers are available to hold and transport wire reels.

From shipping and arrival of wire supplies through installation, efficiently managing electric wire on the job can be the difference between a profit or loss.

When it comes to the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable power, financing is always a challenge, especially in rural areas. A new partnership between a business group and an environmental advocacy organization takes aim at that challenge.

I know from experience with contractors in the field that, when it comes to mass notification systems (MNS), being required to perform a risk analysis for the MNS ranks just above getting a root canal at the dentist’s office!

With all the talk about advancements in so many categories of building cabling, wireless networks that support in-building communications, resilient mission critical infrastructure, and adding new intelligent amenities into next-generation real estate, how far have we really come in 30 years?

More on Systems

Integrated Fire Protection

To protect today’s public spaces, integration of systems is more important than ever. And in light of recent catastrophic events, the pluses of integrated fire and life safety communications have become perfectly clear.

The Gap Between CCD and CMOS Narrows

Camera surveillance is one of the fastest growing segments in the physical security arena. But the real story involves a potential paradigm shift from charge coupled device (CCD) imaging technology to complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS).

Philadelphia One Step Closer to Muni Wi-Fi Accessibility

The city of Philadelphia is steamrolling ahead toward its goal of becoming the nation’s first completely wireless major city. In May, Mayor John F. Street announced the approval of a 15-square-mile test zone for the city’s fledgling Muni Wi-Fi network.

Waste Not, Want Not

At wastewater treatment facilities, microturbines are turning the gases emitted by waste into electricity. Dairy farms are powering their own facilities with methane gas from cattle waste.

The Truth About Fiber Optics

Fiber optics is not a new technology, having been available for communications for more than two decades now, but fiber still seems to have the “rocket science” aura. (In the interest of full disclosure, I once was a rocket scientist.

Consistency Builds Profit

Over the last few weeks of traveling, I have spoken with colleagues at meetings in various states. I realized that every time we had a choice of where to eat breakfast or lunch, we would universally choose a Cracker Barrel restaurant. We never hesitated in this choice. Why?

New Record Achieved in Data Transmission
by Staff |

Particles of light serving as “quantum keys”—the latest in encryption technology—have been sent over a record-setting 200-kilometer fiber optic link by researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), NTT Corp. in Japan and Stanford University in California.