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. 

Brady BMP21-Plus label printer

Making labels on the job site can be a time-consuming task for integrated systems contractors, but it can pay big dividends in the long run.

In the last issue, I wrote about the practice of splicing two fibers with a fusion-­splicing machine. This month, I discuss some secrets that experienced splicers have learned—often the hard way.

Figure 1: Notching caused by semiconductor-controlled rectifier switching during commutation period

Maybe it is because they are rarely seen by the human eye or because the proliferation of surge protector strips makes everyone feel immune, but transients still exist and can wreak havoc with electrical equipment.

With cities and utilities worldwide upgrading to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting for streets and outdoor areas, owners and installers wonder when they 
will build in the controls for smart-city applications.

More on Systems

Digital Video Innovation Boosts Applications

In no other market has technology advanced as quickly as in digital video and closed circuit television video (CCTV) surveillance. Digital signal processing is state-of-the-art and beyond, and cameras are nearly end-to-end digital.

Reverse Auctions and Construction - Online Bidding Has Promise and Problems

In reverse actions, also knows as "online auctions," " e-sourcing," and "e-procurement," buyers use the Web to drive prices down. If this concept is new to you, it might sound weird. An auction might be held after a company goes bankrupt and sells off its possessions, including desks and computers.

Installing Fire Alarm Systems - Part I: A Quick Guide To Getting Started In The Business

Many electrical contractors have attempted to install commercial fire alarm systems and because they were not properly prepared, they did not enjoy the experience. What steps do you take to properly install such a system?

Fiber Optic Update - A Peek At The Future, A Look At The Past

The beginning of the year is always a good time to reflect on the past and contemplate the future. Except in fiber optics. It is hard to get people to look back, as the last year and a half has been pretty painful for many in fiber.

Contractors Should Learn About Wireless LANs - They're No Longer Cost-Prohibitive

Just yesterday, or so it seems, wireless technology meant nothing more than cell phones. In fact, it may be that the whole love affair with all things wireless truly began with pagers. Remember when everybody and their brother had one? Don’t you wonder where they all went?

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.

IT Professionals Concerned about WLAN Security

Ft. Lee, New Jersey, Nov. 11, 2002––ReefEdge, Inc., an industry leader in wireless network infrastructure solutions, today announced the results of a Wireless LAN (WLAN) survey of 935 IT professionals conducted via the company's website. Wireless LANs were widely deployed among the respondents.