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. 

All of those millions of miles of dark fiber are primarily expected to deliver broadband connections. The Internet continues to grow unabated, and bandwidth must be expanded to accommodate that growth. 

Sometimes called the third wave of the Internet, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the next technology megatrend.

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.

More on Systems

Wiring Wireless

All of that dark fiber we have been discussing the last few months is getting used for some fast-growing applications, and the fastest may be connecting cell towers. Cell phones have evolved into mobile data devices. Smartphones and tablets consume vast amounts of data.

Screaming For Ice Cream

A hot summer’s evening usually begets long lines at the local ice cream shop. Recently, at one such shop, the line grew extra long when the cash registers and credit card machines mysteriously powered off and on.

The Power of Microinverters

Historically, if a problem occurs with a traditional string power inverter that links several solar panels together in series, or even simple shade, that issue can bring down an entire solar photovoltaic (PV) array.

Beyond Retrofits

As government tax credits and utility rebates and incentives dry up, energy-efficiency improvements have evolved beyond the low-hanging fruit of fixture replacement at low cost.

Researching The Future

As with most clean-energy markets, activity in the energy-storage segment is directly tied to government policies.

Overhead and Underground

When it comes to both overhead and underground distribution and transmission lines, all may not be as it seems.

Navigating the World of Connectivity

Global positioning systems (GPS) and radio frequency identification (RFID) are receiving renewed attention for security, operations management and logistical applications, bringing new sources of revenue to installing contractors and additional benefits to their customers.