Moving to upstart revenue streams and mobile, remote systems management is the way smart, low-voltage electrical contractors are doing something about the changing security and integrated systems market.
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.
In May 2016, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) released Networked Lighting Controls System Specification V1.01. By the end of June, the DLC published a Qualified Products List (QPL) for networked controls. This may have a profound impact on demand for networked controls in existing buildings.
The Internet of Things (IoT) may alter the appearance of data centers. The IoT is a growing system of data that puts demand on existing data centers and pushes for new facilities that are centrally located and “on the edge,” a trendy phrase to describe the point at which sensors are installed.
The green buildings market can offer a significant opportunity for electrical contractors that install fire alarm systems. Are you ready for this? How does your plain old fire alarm system installation help to meet the requirements of a green building?
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.
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.
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.
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.
A June 2016 report, "Market Data: IoT for Residential Energy Customers," published by Navigant Research, examines the global market for devices and services that are considered to be part of the residential "Internet of Things" (IoT), including forecasts for shipments, installed base, average sellin
The future of energy efficiency may be more than saving energy. It may also be efficient energy capture, storage and delivery. Technologists, engineers and some forward-thinking manufacturers are working to set a bigger table for direct current (DC), and one effort may be all-encompassing.
If you don’t agree that a fire alarm system is more than a fire alarm system, you should probably revisit Chapter 21, Emergency Control Function Interfaces, in NFPA 72 2016, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code.
A good fire alarm system design becomes a function of how well you understand fire-protection principles as well as the requirements of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, and NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC).
The evolution of intelligent building system technology has triggered shifting roles for contractors and integrators, and the choices they make in their own specializations over the coming years can mean the difference between winning contracts and keeping customers or becoming less relevant.
With the increasing use of fiber optic cable in structured wiring, many electricians experienced in low-voltage copper work are extending their skills to include fiber. Working with fiber requires training and the right tools and testers to correctly install and maintain fiber optic cable.