2017 NECA Showstopper Winners

By Jeff Griffin | Jan 15, 2018
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There was great diversity among the 163 entries in the 2017 NECA Showstopper competition. They ranged from simple items that can fit in a pocket to complex electrical components.

To be eligible to participate in the competition, products or services had to be exhibited at the 2017 NECA Convention and Trade Show in Seattle, introduced to the market after Oct. 1, 2016, and currently be available for purchase.

A group of experienced judges, all of whom are active in the electrical industry, carefully evaluated entries before making their selections. The Showstopper Award competition has been sponsored by ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR for more than 20 years and has become a tradition at the annual NECA Convention and Trade Show.


GoggleGear safety glasses have a Scotchgard anti-fog coating to keep lenses clear in steamy, wet environments. The anti-fog coating produces a reduced-contact angle that flattens water into a thin, transparent film, allowing light to pass through without restricting vision. In addition, the coating provides abrasion resistance. A low-profile design with an adjustable strap provides indirect ventilation.

Acuity Brands 

The EPANL Series LED edge-lit flat panel is an easy-to-install luminaire that provides a glare-free light. The aluminum frame provides strength and durability and is welded, sanded and painted to eliminate light leakage. The acrylic lens will not yellow over time. The plate on the back of the fixture allows easy access to the electrical compartment. It is available in two lumen packages and three sizes.

Bridgeport Fittings

Mighty-Bite Push-EMT fittings are used to ground EMT and mechanically protect voice/data cables. Push-EMT grounding connectors provide an integral grounding lug with a captive nylon 105°C insulator. It meets NEC, ANSI and TIA/EIA-568 standards for cabling in commercial buildings, and prefab opportunities provide greater productivity in the field. Zinc die-cast fittings are available in ½-, ¾- and 1-in. sizes.

Cable Ferret

This wireless inspection camera and cabling tool provides exceptional visibility and clarity when working in enclosed or hard-to-reach spaces. The 3½-in.-long rechargeable camera has six bright LEDs. Images are displayed on a 4.3-in. LCD display. Long-range capability provides a clear view to 40 ft. from the camera. A 2-GB SD card can accommodate up to 10,000 photos or one hour of video. Accessories are available to enhance versatility.

Construction Electrical Products

The Barricade Box is a temporary power box that can be bolted to a wall or structure. This 125/250V, 50A, single-phase unit enables a job site to meet the new OSHA requirement to keep working spaces and walkways free of cords that may create hazards. Options are available in 125V, 20A NEMA 5-20 U-Ground and NEMA L5-20 Twist-Lock, with and without frame, and with six or eight circuits.


This 20V SDS rotary hammer with dust collection is powered by a brushless motor that delivers 2.1 joules of impact energy. With its lightweight design and Shocks Active Vibration Control technology, this hammer is ideal for use in overhead applications. The dust extraction system has a powerful built-in motor for increased suction. A 2-second power-off delay ensures dust extraction continues after the drill is switched off.


The out-of-the-box functionality of this distributed low-voltage power (DLVP) system provides LED lighting and controls functions with fast, simple installation, reduced wiring materials, and minimal complexity. DLVP system components include a power module, available in 300W and 600W. Traditional lighting control options include occupancy and daylight sensors, zone and scene wall stations, and receptacle control switch packs to control receptacle plug loads.


The Pow-R-Command intelligent panel board has a compact, easily scalable architecture that helps maximize savings and meet new energy code requirements. Consolidating branch circuit protection, intelligent controls for switching and dimming, and energy metering into a single enclosure simplifies design and reduces required wall space by 50 percent. Material and labor costs are reduced by eliminating additional control cabinets, external metering and related wiring.

Fluke Corp. 

The T6 Electric Tester enables electricians to take simultaneous voltage and current measurements without test leads, making it possible to take reliable true-rms measurements in crowded junction boxes or along conductors with inaccessible end points, saving time, minimizing potential errors and greatly reducing the possibility of arc flash. New Fluke FieldSense technology enables the tester to provide simultaneous, reliable voltage and current readings.


The Graybar SmartWire cart can store and dispense wire from as many as 18 reels. Mounted on four swivel casters, the cart can be moved by one person. It has multiple reel-mounting positions for independently spinning reels so a user can make multiple pulls simultaneously. It has adjustable, removable shelving for pop-box applications. It reduces material handling and loss. No setup is required—a local Graybar prepares the cart.


Ergonomically designed to eliminate heavy lifting, the G6 Turbo 6,000-lb. puller can be set up in 60 seconds. The puller has no loose pieces for quick changeover and easy transporting on the built-in dolly. A patent-pending, adjustable clamp secures conduit in seconds without adapters. Dual capstans increase pulling speed and efficiency, and a visual force indicator helps prevent damage to the puller. A circuit breaker monitor provides safe automatic shutoff to protect the motor and extend its life.


The Next Generation Tool line of tool bags/backpacks includes eight bags in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed to reduce strain on the user and withstand wear and tear. Constructed from a poly and nylon ripstop fabric reinforced with double and triple stitching, Next Generation bags have a light green interior to increase visibility of bag contents. A hard plastic bottom keeps dirt and water out and enables the bag to stand in an upright position.


These single-point, cast-in anchors provide pre-installed fastening points for suspending electrical conduits, cable trays, seismic bracing and other overhead elements. Plastic fins prevent concrete intrusion, and the low profile helps reduce knockovers. Long, notched nails provide secure fastening to wooden forms. With the Hilti KC-WF-ST installation tool, users can install each anchor from a standing position.


Safely drive rods in less than a minute with iTOOLco’s Ground Rod Dawg. Once the rod is driven down far enough, the tool will hammer from top to finish, driving a rod under grade levels. The tool locks into a hammer drill SDS Max bit end and connects to the hammer drill for secure driving. The bent, hardened steel tool makes it easy to set up for driving rod. The ground sinker drives the top of ground rod. The tool drives ½-, 5/8-, and ¾-in. rods.


This outdoor ground box is described as the first UL-listed in-ground box for providing permanent outdoor power for use in any climate. The “diving bell” design creates and maintains an air pocket that protects electrical connections from water. Holes on the bottom of the box allow water to drain into the ground. Anti-float clips prevent the cover from lifting up and keep the protective air pocket intact. A locking cover prevents unauthorized use. 

Milwaukee Tool 

The new lighting line includes a 700-lumen flashlight, hardhat headlamp and pocket flood light powered by a Redlithium USB battery developed to provide rechargeable convenience and performance where maintaining a compact size. Each employs TrueviewLED technology and optical designs that deliver a consistent beam, optimized color temperature, and true representation of colors and detail.

Milwaukee Tool 

The new M18 Rover mounting floodlight has a 2-in., spring-loaded clamp and powerful magnets, allowing it to be hung from virtually any job-site surface. The rotating, folding head can be positioned to where light is needed without moving the light itself. Producing up to 1,500 lumens, it can light large areas for 20 hours on a single charge. The high-impact polycarbonate lens withstands harsh job-site conditions, and the floodlight’s rubber overmold can survive a 9-ft. drop.

Orbit Industries

Orbit’s Height Adjustable Box Installation Template is a reusable tool that enables installers to consistently mount boxes or brackets at a uniform height. The adjustable platform is magnetic to hold tight to metallic box and bracket assemblies as they are secured to studs. The platform is adjustable from zero to 21 in., locked at the desired height with wing nuts. Without tools, a second template can be stacked on top of the first, so installers can raise the second platform as high as 49 in.


The new Hoffman angled trough eliminates the need for 90-degree conduit bends, provides flexibility for wire distribution, and reduces installation time by up to 80 percent. Patented design of the angled trough allows conduit runs through the front of the enclosure and can be mounted in any corner, eliminating the need for costly conduit bends. Applications include wire distribution and junctions and terminations of a variety of indoor commercial applications.

ProBuilt Professional Lighting

The Wobblelight V3 LED has the same patented self-righting feature of previous models, with a new look and LED panel technology producing 15,000 lumens, 200W of high-output temporary lighting of areas up to 75 ft. in diameter. Its integrated cord gives the unit a “suitable for wet locations” IP55 rating. An integrated carry handle provides ease of portability. The Wobblelight V3 is rated for temperatures to –40°F.

Schneider Electric

The Wiser Energy System provides real-time, easy-to-understand, actionable data to help homeowners manage energy costs. Clear charts and graphics give homeowners insight into how and where their energy is used, enabling them to modify their habits to save money. Electrical contractors and solar installers can use the Wiser Energy System to monitor their customers’ energy consumption, solar power generation and remotely diagnose issues.

Southwire Tools 

Southwire LED string lights are available in 100- (8,000 lumens) and 50-ft. lengths (4,000 lumens). Each string has molded male and female ends that can be daisy-chained (eight strings for 100-ft. version; 20 strings for 50-ft. version). LEDs provide top and bottom illumination for full job-site coverage. The LED string lights are IP65-rated, which protects from dust and water damage on the job.

Ugly’s Electrical References 

Ugly’s Electrical References app for iOS and Android accesses the 2017 Ugly’s Electrical References e-book, calculators, videos, diagrams, etc., updated to include NFPA 70 and NEC. The app works offline on iOS and Android devices. The search function helps find what’s needed quickly. Ugly’s delivers dependable, comprehensive and essential information in an easy-to-use way that is quickly accessible in the field in situations when it is needed most.

About The Author

GRIFFIN, a construction journalist from Oklahoma City, can be reached at [email protected].





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