Featured Articles

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.

Hubbell Lighting Offers New Line of Decorative LED Fixtures

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

The new fixture family offers choices from three primary styles – cylinder and ring, cylinder or ring. With additional options, the three primary styles can be set into any of eleven different configurations. The cylinder includes concentric layers of light with a frosted and clear glass effect, while the extruded ring incorporates illumination technology to highlight a minimalist form factor with an internal flexible LED source.

Mersen Offers Advanced Fuse Protection

Thu, 2 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Mersen has come up with two innovations to help companies and contractors identify, categorize, track and troubleshoot fuses for downstream protection. First, Mersen offers its SmartSpot feature on an expanding range of fuses. SmartSpot is, in essence, an indicator on the face of fuses that turns from silver to red when a fuse is blown or open.

The Evolution of Safety in Wiring Device Design

Thu, 2 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

While Thomas Edison certainly recognized the inherent danger electrical current could pose, the safety of the wiring devices he and his competitors created, back in electricity’s early days, left a great deal to be desired. And, with their initial focus solely on lighting, these developers didn’t realize the speed with which electricity would transform all aspects of modern life. As a result, residential and commercial electrical systems of the early 20th Century were often cobbled-together rats’ nests of exposed wiring and improvised connections.

Today’s Receptacles Offering Powerful New Connections

Thu, 2 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500

When wall receptacles were first developed, electricity, water and gas were really the only services homeowners and businesses were seeking to distribute throughout their buildings. Today, as we all know, is a different story. We might want a high-speed Ethernet connection at our workspace, video and audio connections in a conference room, and, almost everywhere in our homes and offices, USB connections for recharging our growing collection of battery-powered mobile devices.

Salt Water Testing for Galvanized Metal Strut

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Most metal strut systems are made of carbon steel, which requires plating, or galvanizing, usually with zinc, to protect the components from corrosion. Thomas & Betts (T&B), manufacturer of two lines of metal strut, Kindorf® and Superstrut™ channel systems, offers a selection of zinc galvanizing options, among them being a trivalent chromium finish applied over zinc, creating a chemically bonded, nonporous barrier, as well as its characteristic yellow color.

Appleton Sees Growth, Development Trends in NEMA-Rated Enclosures

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

A potential coming rebound in capital expenditures in the oil and gas sector, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and generally improving business conditions promise to continue to spur the demand for electrical enclosures rated by NEMA, for both hazardous and non-hazardous locations.

Eaton Offers B-Line Fiberglass Enclosures

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Eaton is offering a new line of fiberglass enclosures for harsh environment usage. The new line is part of the company’s B-Line product family, and offers several type 4X NEMA-rated enclosure packages.