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 quote “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know,” is popularly attributed to Albert Einstein.

Commercial building energy codes impose design standards for nonresidential buildings’ energy efficiency. Many states have implemented an energy code to regulate building design.

For many of us, these are technologically challenging times. Just when I think I have mastered the latest smartphone, it changes. Prepare yourself, because, just like mobile devices, the codes and standards are morphing in ways you might not expect.

When manufacturers are asked what is the biggest problem with installing of fiber optic components and systems, they invariably say “testing.” Practically everything they do depends on testing. During development, engineering and manufacturing in their labs, they test product performance.

More on Systems

Blink And You'll Miss It

The blinks and flickers referred to here can best be described as “voltage fluctuations on electric power systems [that] sometimes give rise to noticeable illumination changes from lighting equipment.” The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standard that covers this is about to

LED lighting can be powered and controlled through a PoE system in a data center application.
The Power of PoE

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is any of several standardized or ad-hoc systems that pass electrical power along with data on Ethernet cabling.

Communication Breakdown

The 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, established a new and separate chapter for emergency communication systems (ECS), which continues to evolve.

Step One: Commissioning

In its basic form, commissioning means testing every device, process and procedure in an integrated systems solution to ensure the final specification operates as planned and according to the owner’s design. 

A Key Component of Reliability

I have often described the reliability of a fire alarm system installation as dependent on four elements: design, equipment, installation and maintenance. I have also explained that the last two elements contribute the most to a fire alarm system’s operational reliability.

Editors' Pick
Sure Bet at Dayton Racino

Around the turn of the century, horse and car race courses began expanding into the casino market. The result is the “racino,” a gambling and entertainment combo that needs the latest electrical infrastructure, backup power, low-voltage security and digital access. Chapel Electric Co.

Services beyond security

Safe And Sound In The Cloud

Not a day passes without reference to cloud-based or hosted services. Consumers use cloud services every day with online banking, and now mobile payment is infiltrating retail and hospitality services.