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. 

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.

When I entered the business, I “sold” fire alarm systems. Codes at the time had begun to require that such systems be installed in some occupancies.

In its paper, “Intelligent Efficiency: Innovations Reshaping the Energy Efficiency Market,” Greentech Media notes that efficiency is an untapped energy resource that is already embedded in every commercial building, manufacturing facility and corporate campus.

More on Systems

Code Question

Question: I know you have addressed the practice of using 15 amp rated conductors for switch legs in residential 20 amp lighting circuits. I still have electricians saying it meets code. Will you try again? Thanks, Don Stephens Answer: Thanks for your comment Don.

Wireless Local Loop Technology Eyeing the Last Mile
by Staff |

In spite of previous setbacks, many in the telcom industry still see potential in Wireless Local Loop (WLL) technology to complete the connection between users and their phone companies. Past attempts have not been encouraging.

California's Energy Future Looking Brighter
by Staff |

According to the California Energy Commission, Golden State residents will have no trouble turning on their air conditioners this summer.

Fiberoptic Cabling May Have Bottomed Out

By Rick Laezman Like many high tech products over the last few years, fiberoptic cable has experienced a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows. 2001 was a peak year for installations of single- and multi-mode fiberoptic.

Fiber Is Tougher Than You Think

Fiber optic cable has typically been categorized as fragile,like glass, which the actual fiber is, of course. But unlike drinking glasses that break when dropped or windows that lose every battle with a kid's baseball, glass optical fiber is incredibly strong and flexible.

Generators and GFCI, Pool Wiring, Inspection Questions and More

CODE CITATIONS Article 225 Feeders Article 230 Services Article 250 Grounding Article 408 Switchboards and Panelboards Article 445 Generators Article 680 Swimming Pools, Fountains and Similar Installation Systems NFPA 20 1999 Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection Grou

Intelligibility--What Did You Say?

How many times have you been to a large corporate complex and struggled to hear an announcement on the public address system? Now consider the same sound system and the dangers when the listener is instructed in emergency evacuation procedures.