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. 

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. 

Sometimes called the third wave of the Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next technology megatrend.

There is an old saying that liars figure and figures lie, which implies that the truth can be a challenge to discern from both people and data. At a recent standards-making conference, I encountered some examples of this concept that seemed worth sharing.

For electrical contractors with a low-voltage or security division—or for any company involved in physical security and surveillance—keeping pace with new technology is one of the greatest challenges.

More on Systems

Deterring the Mob Mentality

The State College (Pennsylvania) Borough Council was looking for answers. During the summers of 1998 and 2000, students from Penn State took part in large-scale riots.

Testing for Category 6 Cabling

As you may know, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has agreed that Level III-qualified testers are to be used when certifying or verifying Category 6 cabling systems (Category 6 cable is a 100-Ohm cable with transmission characteristics specified up to 250 MHz).

The Little Engine that Could

Ask most electrical contractors about the latest cogenerating technology—microturbines—and you’re likely to get silence, or possibly: “micro-what?” This technology, which has only been on the market a few years (Capstone Turbine’s C30 model was introduced in December 1998), may still be relatively u

Layer Security with Sensors and Detectors

Critical surveillance calls for a variety of detectors and sensors, and there are some heavy hitters to get the job done.

Don't Gamble with Abandoned Cable

There’s a problem that is either right in front of us or lurking around the corner. The problem involves data communications cabling above drop ceilings in commercial buildings—some of that old cable has been accumulating in ceiling spaces for years and years.

The Dark Side of Fiber

Generally, the dark side refers to Darth Vader and other not-so-good things. Leave it to the communications industry to turn something dark into something powerfully marketable and profitable—dark fiber.

Where are the Fiber Optic Jobs?

Since the fiber optic “bubble” burst a couple of years ago, employment ads for fiber optic installers have been scarce. But are real jobs still available? If so, where are they? Is the outside plant market dead? What about premises applications? What technologies are driving new installations?