Current Issue
This week, the ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR e-newsletter brings you the latest lighting content from and recent issues of the magazine. Plus, the latest news from the world of electrical construction. 
News From This Week
Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining traction and the federal government is paving the way. Last month, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the formation of a joint office to support the development of a national network of EV charging stations.
Because of numerous, recent, high-profile hacks, cyber security is a concern for smart building developers, contractors and owners. “Cybersecurity in Smart Buildings,” a report from British software company amBX, states cybersecurity is one of the largest barriers to smart buildings. The writers recommend working “together to minimize the risk, adopt commonly agreed best practice approaches and standards” for governing IoT devices.
Contractors are, overall, “very optimistic” about their prospects this year—especially those that plan to bid on projects arising from last November’s passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—though significant industry challenges remain, according to the survey report released this month by the Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, Va., and Sage, Atlanta, “Expecting Growth While Coping with the Lingering Impacts of the Pandemic: The 2022 Construction Hiring & Business Outlook.”
This year, we are sending all print magazine subscribers a link to participate in this important survey, which studies what kind of work you do, how big your company is, and what you want to learn about, among other topics. It helps us learn more about the industry so that we continue to deliver the kinds of information you need to be successful in today's electrical construction market. But, we can’t do it without your input. To participate, please follow the instructions on the January print magazine cover. Click here to learn more.
Web Exclusive
By Wayne D. Moore

If you presently work for a contractor, do you wait for the owner or your immediate boss to provide education on the fire alarm systems you’re installing? Or do you take the initiative and find sources to educate yourself on the proper way to install a fire alarm system? You may argue that the owner constantly buys the low bid so each system you install is different on each project. But that should not deter you from attempting to learn everything you can about systems installation.
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Lighting Picks
By Craig DiLouie

In March 2021, the Illuminating Engineering Society published, “Beyond 2030: What Do You See?” In it, industry experts imagine the state of the lighting industry in 2030 and beyond, challenges it faces this decade and where it should focus its energies. Media-driven environments, networked controls, DC power and healthy lighting are just a few topics covered, providing a palette of fascinating possibilities for the future of light.
By Craig DiLouie

Per a change in the 2020 National Electrical Code effective Jan. 1, 2022, 0–10V (Class 2) dimming wire insulation colors have changed to eliminate use of any reserved colors, notably gray. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Arlington, Va., responded with an industry guideline adopting pink as a substitute. Here, I discuss the color change and then take a quick look at the cost-effectiveness of 0–10V versus digital dimming.
By Susan Bloom

As the market increasingly embraces the fact that better light quality can deliver greater employee satisfaction and higher sales, electrical contractors have become more involved in the process of lighting design for their customers. In addition to creating well-lit spaces that look spectacular and are more productive and inviting for their clients, skills in the art and science of lighting design are also helping contractors differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market.
By Jeff Gavin

The right lighting fixture can make a statement, set a style or be a signature in an office lobby, hotel bar or hospital reception area. However, “wired and done” takes more than good looks. It involves getting power, color rendition and dimmability right so fixture performance contributes to a space’s feel. Working with a lighting designer, electrical engineer and others can help, but don’t forget the fixture manufacturer, because that added partnership can be invaluable.
Putting Tools to the Test
Cool Tools explains the development and evolution of tools and provides insight from tool manufacturers and product designers. Here we introduce you to a world of hands-on tool reviews, videos and social media where you can see actual users putting these tools to the test.
Martin Chavarría is a custom cabinetmaker and installer, and he shows more than 260K followers how the tools work in real life. See his reviews in Spanish at
Pro Tool Reviews provides in-depth tool reviews, news and head-to-head comparisons for the construction industry professional, tradesman and contractor. Check them out online or on social media @protoolreviews.
Eric Jopp is the editor of Tools in Action. He is on every social media platform. Find him on YouTube at On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, he’s @toolsinaction.
Rob Smith and Sarah Lee host the weekly tool show, “The Power Tool Week In Review!” on their YouTube channel Belts and Boxes. Check it out at
Adam Sperry is a commercial and industrial electrician who highlights innovative products and cordless tools serving the electrical industry. Find him on Instagram @completelycordless.
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