Don't Dwell On It

By Julie Mazur and Timothy Johnson | Mar 15, 2016
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The family home. It might be an apartment, a condo, a townhouse or a detached, single-family home. Or a mansion. We don’t know your life, but most of us live somewhere with lights, appliances and a TV (or two), and someone has to keep all of that functioning. According to the 2014 Profile of the Electrical Contractor, about 40 percent of electrical contractors are working on residential projects. However, we’re confident that 100 percent of you will find this issue, which is devoted to residential electrical work, fascinating.

While we’re talking numbers, we know from reading this month’s Industry Watch that, according to a Coldwell Banker Real Estate report, 45 percent of Americans either own, or plan to invest in, smart-home technology in 2016. Of people who do not yet have it, 27 percent say they will incorporate it into their lives in 2016.

Depending on your company’s size, the residential market is either your bread and butter or something you rarely dabble in, but we know that the home is becoming a more technologically connected place. How can an electrical contractor (EC) take advantage of the burgeoning systems homeowners are installing?

Begin with this issue in the same place you might start a project: lighting. Craig DiLouie’s “Where the Light Is,” explains lighting’s role in residential technology, from energy-efficient design to connectivity and security. Often described as the low-hanging fruit, lighting can be the gateway to a home’s efficiency and integration.

How do these technologies communicate more often? Wirelessly. Jeff Gavin tells us that the EC that understands the two wireless approaches—open and proprietary protocols—is in a good position to help customers of all kinds. Read all about it in “Operating in a Wireless World.” And if you want some specific product information, take a peek at the Control Systems products.

Susan Bloom shares tips from experts about how ECs can boost their role in the residential service/maintenance arena in “At Your Service.”

We have two profiles this month. In “High Density,” Claire Swedberg introduces us to an Anaheim, Calif., contractor working on an extensive multifamily project in the shadow of Disneyland. In "Heavenly Voices," Susan Casey writes about the highs and lows of two contractors that performed audiovisual upgrades on churches with unusual architecture that they needed to preserve.

Even though drivers these days are gloating about low gas prices ($1.49/gal.), Chuck Ross assures us that electric vehicles are flourishing in his feature, “What’s Driving EVs.”

Last but not least, remember to check out our newest feature, App of the Month. We know you are using mobile apps on the job, so make the most of them.

Also, we would love to see what you are working on. If you want to share your own projects with us, send your stories to us on Facebook (, Twitter­­­ ( and ­Instagram (username: ecmagdotcom).

By the way, the ceiling fan in Julie’s guest room is not working. Can one of you help her fix it? Thanks.

P.S. Look out for the 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor surveys in your mail or inbox in the coming weeks. If you’re lucky enough to receive it, please fill it out and send it back. It helps us shape content that is geared toward you.

About The Author

A woman, Julie Mazur, smiles at the camera. Image by Julie Mazur.

Julie Mazur

Managing Editor, Electrical Contractor magazine

Julie Mazur is the managing editor of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, Safety Leader and Line Contractor magazines. Before coming to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, she was an editor at Knight-Ridder/Tribune newspapers and the Los Angeles Times and taught English as a foreign language in Egypt and Japan. As managing editor, Julie oversees the whole publishing arc. She plans and assigns the stories for every issue, works with writers and designers and interacts with the printing plant. She has a mass communications B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Go Bears!

Permanently retired from ziplining, Julie is an enthusiastic sports spectator and radio listener. She likes to read, exercise and cook.

Timothy Johnson is the former digital editor for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine.





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