While the magazine’s headquarters are in Bethesda, md., ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR can’t cover a national industry without getting out to various locales for trade shows and conventions. They are some of our best resources for learning what’s going on, so we can pass that knowledge on to you.
We were on the road again recently, and this time, we found ourselves in San Diego at Lightfair International (LFI). We know from our biannual profile—another vital research vessel for us (the new one is coming next month!)—that more than 90 percent of electrical contractors (ECs) engage in lighting work, so we are aware it is very important to you.
At LFI, we noted two big trends that will likely hit the mainstream soon: lighting fixtures integrating with the Internet of Things (IoT) and color tuning. Innovators are building sensors right into lighting fixtures and cutting out the reliance on wireless networks and controls, which will offer ECs the ability to reach a level of granularity that was previously infeasible and will appeal to owners who don’t have much money to spend on automation.
Were you just getting your head around the IoT? Us, too. Craig DiLouie furthers our education about it in the “Industrial Revolution.” In “Steamlining the System,” Susan Bloom consults the experts about selecting a compatible LED driver in an industry that is still undergoing standardization.
Also in this issue, Jeff Gavin explains that the benefits of efficiency, lower cost and building operation analysis from LEDs and controls have extended to warehouses. Read “Wide Open Spaces.” In “Power to the People,” Chuck Ross breaks down how efficient, high-voltage DC-based transmission systems bring renewable energy into the mainstream. In “Under Your Feet,” Jeff Griffin tells us how ECs are active in underground fiber deployment.
We also feature the bimonthly integrated systems contractor. First up, in “Is the World Ready for Biometrics?” Deborah O’Mara gauges society’s comfort level with the technology. Then, in “Integration Opens Doors,” by Claire Swedberg, learn about how today’s low-voltage contractors are integrating themselves to become one-stop shops. No edition of integrated systems contractor is complete without a Cool Tools report focused on systems-related tools.
Like running any business, making a magazine requires balance and meticulous planning. While crossing three time zones, we work on physical and virtual products spanning three (or 12) months, and it’s all to help you optimize your business so you can help your customers with theirs. Don’t worry, though. The situation is all under control (the editors write in self-affirmation).