Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

When It comes to technology, we occasionally turn to anyone younger—who we suspect might know more than us—for help. OK, sometimes it’s because we forgot our glasses and can’t see our phone. Or we sigh really loudly and the guy in the next cubicle takes the cue to come in and fix whatever went wrong with the computer.

This issue of Electrical Contractor is devoted to all sorts of smart stuff. In “Taking It to the Streets,” Chuck Ross covers smart street lighting. He writes that, “Most of us see a streetlight as a utilitarian lighting fixture, but manufacturers, utilities and city managers see a business opportunity.” This could be a business opportunity for you, as well.

Craig DiLouie writes about the ins and outs (or ons and offs) of building exterior lighting. Learn about the capabilities, the codes and the controls in “The Bright Outdoors.”

Claire Swedberg brings us inside with “Sensory Overload,” which is about the deployment of indoor wayfinding technology. You might think it would be a little creepy to walk through a store and have coupons pop up on your phone as you pass certain merchandise, but it’s happening.

In "Let Us Entertain You," Jeff Gavin checks out the eye-popping use of LEDs in the world of entertainment from pro football to a high-end casino and resort. The lights on the ceiling of the Blossom Cocktail Lounge in the MGM National Harbor Casino inspired this month’s cover.

Taking us back to practical matters, Rae Hamilton makes us smarter about personal finance in “Life Savers.” Legal columnist Gerard Ittig explains the finer points of withdrawing or being bound by a bid in “I Wanted to, But Now I Don’t.” In his Estimating column, Stephen Carr delves deeper into change orders. “A Little Light Reading.”

We learn a lot from you readers, too. In the Industry Watch section this month, we bring you some interesting information we have gleaned from our subscriber research panel in its first year. Check that out, and consider joining the panel for a chance to win Amazon gift cards. There’s a winner every month, and all it takes to enter the drawing is a few minutes of your time. We need your industry expertise!

We hope you finish this issue feeling smarter than when you began. If you don’t understand something in subsequent pages, you can always email us, or you can just ask your children or grandkids to explain it to you.

About the Author

Julie Mazur

Julie Mazur is the editor of Electrical Contractor magazine. Contact her at .
About the Author

Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson is editor—digital for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. Reach him at

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.