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. 

As renewable power increases its market share, energy storage assumes a larger role. Recognizing the importance of government benchmarks, California lawmakers have taken steps to raise the state’s energy-storage standard.

J.M. Electrical Co., a Lynnfield, Mass., contractor with a specialty in advanced automation building system installations, recently completed project operations at the 85,000-square-foot Hanscom Air Force Base Middle School in Bedford, Mass., which holds 312 students.

This summer, New York-based Consolidated Edison (Con Edison) spent $1.6 billion to upgrade its delivery system, including 12 network transformers, 70 overhead transformers, 16 underground feeder sections, 37 overhead sections of power lines and reinforcement of 25 electric feeders.

Last month, I wrote about measurement uncertainty and metrology, the science of measurements. This month, I get more specific and cover the uncertainty of some basic fiber optic measurements, starting with optical power.

More on Systems

Brace Yourself

Electrical contractors (ECs) are bearing witness to dramatic changes in the physical security industry. Everything is moving to the network. Customers connect to systems and services with smartphone apps.

Selling Service Contracts

In my 40-plus years in fire protection, I have learned that electrical contractors (ECs) sell and install the lion’s share of fire alarm systems in medium- to large-size buildings. Most of these contractors also finish the installation, pass the acceptance test and move on to the next project.

Who You Gonna Call? Fire alarm testing

There is no question today’s fire alarm systems are more complex than they were 20 years ago. More panels are addressable, which means programmers, installers and inspection and testing personnel need to be better qualified.

Collaboration Is The Key

Do you know everything you need to about the specialty electrical systems you install? What about the new technology that appears on the horizon? Probably not, since you cannot build a profitable contracting business by being a jack of all trades and master of none.

Keeping It Cool

Maintenance and renovation services don’t get much more complex, challenging or fluid than in data centers. As cloud-based computing pervades, data centers are becoming more plentiful, the data they collect and manage is growing, and security needs are becoming more critical.

Using Tech To Find Success: Sprig Electric

All electrical contracting companies—especially those involved in low-voltage work—rely on technology. Sprig Electric considers technology to be one of its most important competitive advantages, along with efficiency and personal service.

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Drones for Critical Infrastructure Surveillance and Expansion

In today’s 21st-century global economy, in both corporate and government enterprises, mission-critical applications must have a higher caliber of resiliency and reliability.