home automation,Electrician - Structured Media Panels
Written by Larry Cook

Structured Wiring for Smart Homes – Part 1

The installation of structured wiring allowing network communication is the crucial first step for installing a home automation system to connect to your devices. When performed properly, it results in efficiency, conserving time, money, and effort. Generally, structured wiring carries the signals for data, video, audio, telephone, home automation, and security. Network benefits include speed, flexibility, consistency, and easier maintenance and troubleshooting. Work with a reputable and experienced electrical contractor to achieve the best results.

New Construction and Retrofitting

Structured wiring installation in new homes undergoing construction will be quite different from retrofitting existing homes. For new homes, plans will call for wiring to be installed before walls are put in place. For existing homes, the installation plan will work around the existing structure, attempting to minimize the cutting of holes. Below is a guide for structured wiring for both situations.

Wiring Advice

  • Think Ahead for Next Decade: Consider what devices you may want to install in the next 10 years to determine if your structured wiring will meet your future needs.
  • Begin with your Home’s Floor Plan: Layout your rooms and areas of those rooms to determine where your devices will be installed.
  • Wiring and Outlet Locations: Using the same floor plan, indicate the places where wiring will run and the locations of outlets in each room to connect your devices.
  • Types of Wiring: List the devices that will need Ethernet cable, coaxial cable, or wireless, along with their room locations.
  • Plan for Music: For music in desired rooms, run speaker wires that is at least 16-gauge wire and do not exceed 300 feet in length. To avoid interference, avoid running speaker wires near electrical power wires.
  • Wiring Consistency: There should be a consistent plan for running wires to every room. Structured wiring should consist of at least two coaxial cables and two pairs of CAT6 cable for Ethernet. Coaxial cables will give your home access to cable and satellite channels. For networking, the Ethernet cables should support up to 100 Mbps.

Part 2 will further discuss structured wiring for newly constructed and existing homes.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.