Featured Articles

Lutron Simplifies Local and National Energy Code Compliance with New Tools, Products, and Webinar

Mon, 22 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Making Code Compliance Simple and Easy National, state and local energy codes are constantly changing, making it a challenge to stay on top of the latest requirements. Lutron’s Vive wireless lighting control solution offers lighting and new receptacle control capabilities to meet even the most stringent energy codes with ease and flexibility. Lutron launched its Vive wireless solution help customers maximize productivity, comfort and energy efficiency in any building while easily meeting required energy codes—including California’s Title 24, as well as the latest versions of ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC.

Generators – Portable Power for Work and Play

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

I live in a college town. And that means: football! Every game day, visitors flood the area, filling parking lots, campgrounds and every spare foot of unused space. And of course, game day means tailgate parties. In the parking lots around the stadium, you hear the hum… and sometimes the roar… of portable generators powering grills, coffee pots and who knows what.

Sensing Becomes an Opportunity in Latest Energy Codes

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Occupancy and vacancy sensors are set to become significantly more important elements in commercial electrical designs over the next several years, thanks to increasingly stringent efficiency requirements in state and national energy codes. As a result, electrical contractors should take some time to understand the latest code updates and the products available to meet new demands.

Generators for Emergency Power in Home and Industry

Thu, 18 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Let’s face facts. Even though power technology is advancing, many of us, both in residential and commercial/industrial settings, have a problem. Our power grid is aging and deteriorating. Failures are common from both degradation and weather-related catastrophes.

Street Light LED Retrofits Provide Multiple Benefits

Thu, 4 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Three recent case studies from Acuity Brands’ American Electric Lighting (AEL) enumerate the multiple benefits municipalities can get from replacing aging street light lamps with new LEDs. In Elk Grove, California, for instance, the city purchased and installed 9800 LED luminaires to replace HPS (high pressure sodium) fixtures and achieve energy savings of 60 to 70 percent.

Keeping Current on Voltage-Testing Options

Thu, 4 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Among the most basic tasks for electrical contractors is testing for the presence – or absence – of electrical voltage. Whether it’s simply to determine if a system is de-energized and safe to work on, or part of a more complicated troubleshooting exercise, voltage testing is a critical element in any contractor’s job. Choosing the right tester can be more than an issue of convenience, it also can make a difference in an electrician’s productivity – and, more importantly, safety.

New Outdoor Lighting Maximizes Security and Saves Energy at Indiana Prison Yard

Thu, 4 May 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Outdoor lighting is almost always about convenience and safety, along roadways, in parking lots and in common spaces throughout communities. Sometimes, though, it becomes a critical security measure, as in the case of the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana.

Greenlee Offers 855GX IntelliBender, Advanced Bending Software via BendWorks

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Greenlee’s 855GX IntelliBender cable and conduit bender offers electrical contractors a programmable and portable bender capable of making the most advanced bends with relative ease and speed. It can bend 3/4-inch rigid in either of its 1-inch rigid or 1-inch EMT shoe grooves, and 1-to-2-inch rigid, EMT or conduit with just one shoe featuring smart sensors that know exactly what diameter conduit and type you are going to bend.

Overcurrent Protection Designed for PV

Thu, 6 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Direct-current (DC) electrical distribution is certainly nothing new – in fact, the technology was the basis for Thomas Edison’s original designs back in the 1880s. While alternating current (AC) distribution has since become more prevalent, the rapid growth in solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and more recent interest in energy storage has electrical contractors paying attention to DC requirements all over again.

New Fuses Address Arc-Flash Risks Posed by Medium-Voltage Connections

Thu, 6 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Despite the volumes that have been written regarding the dangers of arc-flash to electrical workers, many facilities are still working to address the risks in their own facilities. It can be a complicated issue, with what can often be multiple layers of hazards. Of course, the first line of defense is personal protective equipment (PPE), and tremendous advances have been made in this area over the last decade.

Control Cable Management

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Over the years, I've built and refurbished quite a few control panels. Last year, I was tasked with cleaning up a rat's nest of control wiring in a packaging machine. The only way to make it right was to gut the panel and start from scratch. Now, even though the wiring was in disarray, the machine was still operational. However, when it did malfunction, troubleshooting was a nightmare. Over the years, the control cabling had been tugged, pulled, and generally left in a big ball of spaghetti.

Combining Dimming with Other Commands – It’s a Bright Idea

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

The possibility of enhanced energy savings is a big driver behind the adoption of dimmer switches – but what about all those table lamps in a typical home that aren’t controlled by a wall switch? Or when light dimming is part of an effort to set a scene or make a room more comfortable? Thanks to the “internet of things,” consumers are gaining new options for controlling new devices – such as table lamps – and grouping together the operations of multiple device types – such as, say, lighting and fans – using a single remote control or mobile-device app.

Matching Dimmers and Bulbs Is Critical to Successful LED Conversions

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400

Dimming switches and LED light bulbs seem like they should be a perfect match, right? Both products offer end-users advanced capabilities for controlling a room’s light and lowering energy bills in a home or building. Unfortunately, as many have discovered, ensuring compatibility between dimmer switches and the LED bulbs they’re controlling is a bit more complicated than previously was the case with old-school incandescent bulbs. However, this situation is improving quickly as…

Security Lighting Location and Design Guidelines

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Safety and security appear to go together when it comes to lighting. And in many cases, there is some overlap. Even so, for this article, let's use these definitions: Safety lighting is used to protect people from potentially unsafe physical conditions. For example, stairwell lighting and lighting for dark work areas.

Discover How Wireless Lighting Controls Offer Scalable Control, Simplify Installation and Save Energy

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

University Lighting Retrofit Project: Lighting and lighting control has come a long way in the last 5 years, with LED technology largely replacing traditional fluorescent lighting fixtures. To take advantage of LED benefits, renovations in any office, classroom, or dorm almost always include a lighting and control upgrade.

Wiremold Presents “Off the Wall” — and Over the Floor — Raceway

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

In what it calls an “off the wall” move, Wiremold is offering its OFR Series Overfloor Raceway, taking traditional on-or-inside the wall raceway onto the carpet, concrete or wood floors of offices, schools, conference rooms and fitness centers. Wiremold promotes the OFR series as perfect for relocatable or permanent installations, citing quick and easy installation over existing floor coverings such as carpet or tile or wood without any need for alteration.

Mesh Cable Tray as a Conduit Alternative

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Calling it a lower-cost, lower-risk and faster install, Cablofil offers its Wire Mesh Cable Tray as a conduit alternative, citing five reasons why mesh cable management beats conduit installation. Those five reasons include: fewer parts; a bolt cutter as the only install tool; adaptability to any installation; ease of forming sweeps and bends on-site; and, finally, single-person installation capability.

Lighting Industry Experts Develop Whitepaper on TLEDs: Examining TLED Lighting Scenarios in Retrofit Applications

Wed, 8 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Now available--a technical whitepaper on TLED (Tubular Lighting Emitting Diodes) Lighting Scenarios for Retrofit Application Lighting created by industry experts from Lutron Electronics, the leader in energy-saving, wireless lighting and shade control. The paper will help facility managers and lighting professionals successfully select and install an appropriate TLED solution to retrofit existing fluorescent fixtures.

Datacom Considerations

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

From the early days of telegraph and POTS (plain old telephone systems) to today's modern IT infrastructures, the transmission of various forms of information has increased exponentially. Who would have guessed that the tap-tap-tapping of early telegraph operators would someday be replaced by data whizzing by at the speed of light?

Confessions of a Toolbox Junkie

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Alright… confession time here. Ever since I first walked into the tool department at our local Sears®, I was hooked. And that was over 45 years ago! Most kids headed to the toys or sporting goods departments. Not me. It was straight to the screwdrivers, wrenches and saws. I was in paradise.