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. 

For several recent columns, I have been writing about splicing optical fibers. Last month, I covered managing fibers inside the splice trays and closures. But there is even more to know about splice closures.

The evolution of intelligent building system technology has triggered shifting roles for contractors and integrators, and the choices they make in their own specializations over the coming years can mean the difference between winning contracts and keeping customers or becoming less relevant.

Demand for wiring and cabling is expected to grow in the months and years ahead. Low-voltage applications for light-emitting diode (LED) technology and fiber optic cabling within the power-generation and telecommunications industries will help drive this market.

The 93XC OTDR is part of the Greenlee Communications family of fiber equipment.

With the increasing use of fiber optic cable in structured wiring, many electricians experienced in low-voltage copper work are extending their skills to include fiber. Working with fiber requires training and the right tools and testers to correctly install and maintain fiber optic cable.

More on Systems

Pay Attention

I often think how lucky we are to work in a profession in which we save lives. It can also make us a good living if we pay attention. Do you pay attention?

The Rising Sun

The outlook for solar-power project deployment continues to brighten, creating opportunities for electrical contractors. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Washington, D.C., 2014 was a banner year for U.S. photovoltaic (PV) projects.

Greenlee tools for copper VDV installations
Cool Tools: Copper Tool Kits

For installing alarm, surveillance and building control system copper wiring, technicians use many of the same tools as they do for placing data and communications networks.

The NSW Oscars crew, from left, Justing Slojkowski, Shaun Lomax and Jeff Smith
California Firm Emphasizes Value

While virtually any electrical contractor can branch out into low-voltage work, gaining a foothold and growing the business requires a competitive advantage. For National Security Works (NSW), a low-voltage company based in San Diego, that advantage is value.

The Converged World Of Automation and Communication

Don’t blink! If you do, you may miss some of the rapidly developing changes occurring in the technology sector.

At The Center Of Data Centers

Last month, we discussed how long-distance dark fiber is used to connect data centers. Everywhere you look, you read about new data centers being built by Google or Facebook or Amazon or some other one with a strange, unpronounceable name.

Connect And Power Up

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a way to safely transmit electrical power and data over standard structured cabling to remote devices where there may not be a power outlet or where it is too expensive to install a new outlet or bring in additional electrical service.