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 storage technology plays a widening role in an energy culture that has become increasingly reliant on renewables and efficiency, the market for the technology has grown in equal measure.

Automation is on the cusp of changing our lives—from the speed with which an ecommerce order is fulfilled, to the method we use to check in to our flight and travel to our destination.

The Internet of Things (IoT) may alter the appearance of data centers. The IoT is a growing system of data that puts demand on existing data centers and pushes for new facilities that are centrally located and “on the edge,” a trendy phrase to describe the point at which sensors are installed.

The green buildings market can offer a significant opportunity for electrical contractors that install fire alarm systems. Are you ready for this? How does your plain old fire alarm system installation help to meet the requirements of a green building?

More on Systems

A New Frontier Of Sales

Are electrical contractors getting what they need online from their distributors? The answer, as it happens so often, depends on whom you ask.

Figure 1: Phase current and demand plots for July 22–Aug. 3
25 Cents A Blink

The electrical energy usage in most industrial and commercial facilities follows a reasonably consistent pattern from week to week, so a one-week monitoring program usually is adequate to determine what can be done to save 10–20 percent on electric bills.

Normal Wear And Tear

In the course of daily business, you often receive a request to update or replace electrical systems in a building. Have you ever proactively asked customers to allow you to review and audit their fire alarm systems?

The More Data The Merrier: Smart and Submeters

Utility companies have driven smart-meter installation in homes. Now, touting the amount of useful data smart meters can provide, utilities and building owners are setting their sights on commercial and industrial buildings through submetering.

ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

With so many choices, it can be difficult to know which signaling technology is best for the residential or commercial security customer.

The Rest Of The Story: NFPA 72 Changes

In my last article, I wrote about the significant changes to the 2016 NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. One change that I did not bring up is to the NFPA process. In 2016, the “change lines” in the columns next to revised or new text will no longer be there.

Emerging Applications, New Opportunities: Four formative ways commercial security is changing

It has been another monumental and transitional year for physical security systems. For low-voltage contractors specifying security, the breadth of products has changed, and solutions-deployment methods have evolved even more.