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

Virtual Viewing with CCTV

Networking and digitization continues to revolutionize closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance. Systems can be scaled to the application and integrated with other voice-data products to satisfy a host of needs that range from security and video management to identification and accountability.

Contractors Needed for Biometrics

Over the past few years, the biometrics industry has experienced significant activity, resulting in myriad new applications as the demand for these products has increased. This trend is still on the rise, going full speed ahead.

Installing Fire-Alarm Systems, Part II

Last month, in part one of this article, we said the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the “National Fire Alarm Code” from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) were two of the most important resources needed to properly install a fire-alarm system.

Market Convergence Means Opportunity

While the general market outlook for unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) and coax cable is flat, certain segments will jump this year. “Overall market growth will be in the lower single-digit area,” said Bill Miller, director of marketing for Belden Electronics Division.

Home Theater: Broadening Your View

You’re familiar with the concept of the “smart house,” which is in the third generation of development. Their computerized electrical systems open garage doors, program lighting schemes and operate home-security systems. Some even turn on the coffee pot.

Home Automation Gains Momentum

From personal home theaters complete with surround-sound speakers, high-definition, large-screen projection and DVD recordings to total-system lighting packages, electrical contractors are profiting from rapid technological advances.

MACs: A 'Contractor Paradise'

When it comes to moves, adds and changes, most customers can’t or won’t do what it takes to cut costs. As a result, many VDV contractors are surviving tough times thanks primarily to MACs work.