The merging of power and data over IP cabling for building systems requires a merger between electricians and low voltage electrician contractors. Each brings benefits to the system’s reliability.
The role of the Low Voltage Electrician contractor
By CAROL Oliver, CEO Communications — The role of the Low Voltage Electrician contractor is changing since the advent of IP cameras attached to the data network. This was combined with the ability to add power over the same infrastructure via Power over Ethernet (PoE). As more disparate building systems such as A/V, lighting and fire safety are integrated via the IP network infrastructure, Low Voltage Electrician contractors now have the responsibility of being system designers, integrators, installers, and troubleshooters.
Intelligent buildings are created by converged systems. They result in lower operating and capital costs, as well as a more reliable and efficient management system. The professional resources will also grow as the applications integrate. Integration of intelligent building systems is best when all services are involved – architects, builders, facilities, IT contractors and designers, as well as installers. This shift highlights the importance of electrical contractors understanding the impact of Low Voltage Electrician Installers’ work on their businesses and the benefits to partnering with them.
Comparison of the Old World and the New World
Although electricity is often viewed as being more recent than low-voltage electric telecommunications cabling (LVE), their paths have been parallel.
To protect their workforce, electricians formed organized unions early on. The IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), was established in 1891. Ten years later, the NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association), was created. In order to ensure the cooperation between technical societies, the IEC (Independent Electrotechnical Commission), was created in 1904. It is responsible for rating and standardizing electrical machinery. This should not be confused with Independent Electrical Contractors (also IEC), which was founded in 1957 to encourage activities that allow the electrical industry to operate with maximum efficiency and economy.
These installers must follow a different set rule because low voltage also includes low-wattage power. This is defined as not exceeding 90W. Many associations have created collectively cabling standards. These best practices are meant to ensure that data is transmitted error-free and that Low Voltage Electrician cabling doesn’t suffer signal interruptions or excessive voltage drops.
The standard bodies for low voltage electrician cabling are IEEE, ANSI and EIA – each with a unique function. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards), provides technical specifications for transmission and electrical performance. EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance) was an American trade association for electronics manufacturers. It was founded in 1957 and developed standards to ensure that equipment was interchangeable. They merged with the TIA, which was 60 organizations that contributed to the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association).