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 years leading up to 2016 were transitional for the security industry. As products and services continue to move to the cloud, the industry has been hard at work learning the morphing landscape and how to best approach the new wave of opportunity emerging from every front.

In the past year, fiber optics underwent some important developments, some technical and some market-related. For those of you working in fiber optic network design and installation, the changes present opportunities and challenges.

This article is the first in a series that provides a step-by-step approach for performing arc flash calculations.
 Arc flash studies and software

I often give my power quality (PQ) 101 course to new engineers or salespeople. This introduction starts with the basics: an overview of PQ phenomena based on IEEE 1159 Table 4.2 followed by Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s laws and how they apply to power quality.

More on Systems

Automation for the People

While the home-automation market is still in a bit of a Wild West state, the combined factors of industry consolidation and consumers’ growing interest in interoperability are forcing some order into the chaos of available products.

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.