Home, Residential, electrical services
Written by Larry Cook

Structured Wiring for the Modern Home – Part 1

What makes homes modern and a participant in the digital age is structured wiring. Structured wiring consists of data lines for media, security, and communications purposes. You may not be aware that some licensed electricians are also experts at structured wiring. Below are three examples of how structured wiring can help you attain some practical and fun functions for your digital home:

Connect all your family’s computers on one Internet connection, keep in touch via instant messaging, send files, and share one printer.

Play a Will Ferrell comedy on Blu-Ray in your living room while watching it in your bedroom.

Watch all the video signals from several security cameras on your entertainment center’s 72-inch 1080p flat screen television.

Signal Basics

To visualize a home’s structured wiring system, think of an electrical layout. Electrical current enters a residence via a main power cable, which is connected to an electrical circuit breaker panel. From there, electricity is distributed throughout the home via smaller electric lines. These wires run through walls and terminate at power outlets around the home. Appliances and other electrical devices are then plugged in to receive electricity.

In a structured wiring layout, each external data line (Internet, telephone or cable TV) enters the house and connects to a centralized structured wiring box. The control box is roughly the size of an electric circuit breaker panel and is situated in a utility closet or basement.

Inside the control box, each data signal is distributed through wires to rooms throughout the home. A high-quality control box will feature a splitter that has a signal amplifier. Ensuring that an outgoing signal is of equal strength as the main incoming signal, the signal amplifier prevents performance loss, which would result in poor audio or video quality.

Wiring Configuration

A sound structured wiring layout will have a star topology configuration, where each set of wires terminates at one outlet. Star topology retains high signal quality in contrast to less costly daisy chaining, which has each individual wire running from room to room.

Part 2 will discuss types of wires and their uses.

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. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040.