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

Resisting Change

Since the 1980s, the National Fire Protection Association’s fire alarm standards have required the notification appliance (speaker) circuits used in high-rise building Emergency Voice/Alarm Communications systems to “survive” during a fire.

New Multimode Fiber Spec Approved

Previously, I informed you about ongoing activity concerning 10 Gbps Ethernet and a new multimode fiber. In March 2002, TIA approved the standard for this new multimode fiber and probably by the time this article is published, IEEE will have approved the 10 Gbps Ethernet specifications.

Why is Bandwidth Finite?

When fiber was introduced,its enormous bandwidth and extremely low attenuation made it the No. 1 choice to replace copper in long-distance telephone networks. Once the telcos switched from multimode to single-mode fiber in 1984, they found almost boundless bandwidth.

Stationary Pump Installation, Grounding and More

CODE CITATIONS Article 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations Article 250 Grounding Article 408 Switchboards and Panelboards Article 410 Luminaires (Lighting Fixtures), Lampholders, and Lamps Article 430 Motors, Motor Circuits, and Controllers

Storage Area Networks Take Two Steps Forward

The latest buzz in the low-voltage market is Storage Area Networks (SANs). SANs began in a mixed environment, and contractors had to deal with different host bus adapters and different configurations. Resolving compatibility problems often involved calls to numerous vendors. That is changing.

TIA Approves Automation Standard

In the March 2002 issue, I reported on the activity within the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) to develop a cabling system in support of building-automation systems (BAS). At the time of writing that article, the document was out for industry ballot.

Choosing the Right Fiber Optic Cable

Choosing the right fiber optic cable is extremely important for any installation. The purpose of the cable is to protect the fibers during installation and the service lifetime. Several types of cable are available.