Data Punch Down

If you’re installing your own telecommunications system or data network, it’s likely that you’ll encounter a punch-down block and tool (also known as a Krone block and tool, named for the Krone LSA-PLUS, the European counterpart to the American 110 block).

Punch-down blocks are IDC connectors (that’s “insulation displacement connectors”) used to terminate twisted-pair cables, and are the predecessors to patch panels. While they are often used in low-bandwidth Ethernet, punch-down blocks are not usually able to support the Cat-5 cabling that is used in most Ethernet connections.

Installing cables into a punch-down block requires the use of a punch-down tool, which is specifically designed to punch the wire into place, where it is automatically stripped and cut. The block has a series of slots, each containing two sharp metal blades that cut through the wire’s insulation as it is punched down. Because there are no screws to tighten and no stripping and cutting of individual wires to worry about, punch-down blocks are a quick and easy way to connect telecommunications wires.

It’s important to note that punch-down tools come in different sizes, and it’s important to use the correct size, or you risk damaging the connectors-which, turn, risks bad connections and poor performance.

Installing your wiring in a punch-down box is simple, and requires just three easy steps:

  • Start by stripping the insulation off of your twisted-pair cable, using a wire stripper. If there’s a cotton string inside the insulation, pull on it to help you strip the insulation as far as you desire. Often, the exposed ends of the wires will get damaged, so just snip them off so you’re sure you’re working with wire in top condition.
  • Untwist the colored wires and locate the color key on the side of the punch-down box. This key will indicate which slots are used to connect the wires with matching colors. NOTE that there is no need to strip the PVC insulation off of these individual wires; the box will do that for you automatically.
  • Insert the colored wire into the matching-colored terminal and punch down with your punch-down tool until it clicks. The click indicates that it has stripped and cut the wire and established the connection. And that’s all there is to it!


Home and business lighting systems are not something you want to have to think about; that’s our job! From designing just the right lighting system for your home or business to keeping it properly maintained for optimal performance and efficiency, we worry about lighting maintenance so you don’t have to.


As with any part of your home or business life, when it comes to lighting you want more bang for your buck. In lighting terms, that means delivering more lumens per watt (LPW). Achieving that goal is, in part, a matter of having the right equipment. Our experienced team can perform a lighting audit to determine which parts of your current system are operating efficiently and which parts are costing you more money than they should. Where appropriate, we’ll help you to upgrade to energy-efficient LED lighting—from selecting the right fixtures, to engineering services, and on to installation. We handle initial lighting design, custom retrofits, and ongoing servicing to make sure you have the most efficient equipment and that it’s working to its full potential.

Operations and Management

Having the right equipment is only the first part of an efficient, cost-effective lighting system. Just like car maintenance, lighting maintenance causes you fewer headaches and costs you less money when you’re being proactive and not just responding to things that go wrong. Take light bulbs, for instance. An effective lighting maintenance program will get maintenance costs under control by staying ahead of burned-out bulbs. And our experienced team will see to proper disposal of old bulbs to ensure safety.

Did you know that some bulbs lose a significant amount of their brightness over time? When that happens, you’re paying for more watts just to get the same amount of light. And then there’s cleaning. Just keeping your lighting fixtures properly cleaned and maintained helps ensure your lighting dollars aren’t being wasted.

With a proper lighting maintenance program in place, you’ll keep your lighting systems at peak performance for the life of your building. Call us for a lighting system audit to determine where we can save you money on your energy bill.