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. 

The new year is upon us. For electrical contractors that continue to add low-voltage security to their operations, there is a light shining brightly on what can really boost the overall future stability and profitability of a company, and that’s the category of video surveillance.

Regardless of the changes in our federal government this year, there is one thing we know for sure: we have a new NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code from the National Fire Protection Association. Does that mean we should have started using the new code on Jan. 1?

The proliferation of alternative forms of lighting—for example, LED lamps—has been accelerated by the significantly limited sale of incandescent light lamps. In case you forgot, incandescents failed to meet the efficiency rules of the Energy Independence and Securities Act of 2007.

The application of fiber optics has been growing rapidly.

More on Systems

Going Solo: Preparing for single-mode fiber

For almost a year, I’ve been covering the expansion—explosion?—of optical fiber’s applications. Data speed is a factor in almost all of these networks; networks are getting progressively faster.

Figure 1: Using horse and railcar to explain power factor
A Wealth Of Misinformation: Harmonics and Online-Information Sources

While few would argue about of the wealth of information on the Internet, there isn’t a mechanism for qualifying its accuracy. Basically, anyone can post anything. Even such peer-reviewed sites as Wikipedia can fall short of the facts. A relatively simple concept in power is a good example.

In With The New: Renovations Present Fire Alarm System Challenges

As we all know, building renovations can take many forms. In each case, the building owner will inevitably need to upgrade or replace the fire alarm system.

The State Of Video Verification

The art and science of using video to confirm the status of alarms detected at a protected premises continues to improve with affordable technology and an updated standard set for release as early as the end of this month.


Are You Ready to Compete: Strategic Planning

We never have enough time in our daily lives, but do you ever stop to think about where you want to be in the future? Strategic planning is important for personal and corporate growth. It will help you determine the types of training programs you and your staff need to meet your goals.

Specializing Without Specializing

Young Electric Co. in San Francisco has been in business since 1977. It created a separate division, Young Communications, in 1995 to support client needs related to today’s advanced data communication networks.

PoE Update

The potential of power over Ethernet (PoE) continues to grow, creating new installation opportunities for electrical contractors doing integrated systems work.