Electrical Wiring: The Central Nervous System of the Smart House
Everyone wants to take advantage of the latest advances in home technology and why not? Turning your home into a high tech smart home has myriad benefits that will enable you and your loved ones to live safer, more comfortable lives. But as we at Hotwire Electric see all the time not every home is ready from a wiring standpoint to pick up the mantle of high tech house.
Why you need Custom Wiring ?
Recently, the good folks at eieihome.com asked us to comment on the situation for an article on their site intended to alert homeowners in the GTA to the dangers of wading into the high tech water without the proper high tech home Electric wiring. As we stated to them:
“Basic wiring is affected by automation. When you no longer turn lights on by wall switch, but rather on a phone or a keypad, iPad or android phones, it requires a different way to wire the home. From Control4, to Lutron or Legrand, our teams are ready to install and incorporate these into the wiring schematics of the home,”
That’s easy for us to say but not always easy for homeowners to understand. Where they typically get a bit lost is in trying to understand why remote operation by a smartphone or tablet requires different wiring than if you turn the light on using a wall switch? It’s a good and valid question and we’ll see if we can explain it.
Wiring for Today’s Technology
While appliances and the like run directly by electricity supplied through power lines don’t need too much in the way special wiring, wiring for automation is a different story. Any light, appliance or other device you wish to control remotely is going to have to have a neutral wire at the associated wall switch. Something the average home doesn’t have. That means dimmers and keypads will need a 3-wire (hot, neutral, load) connection installed or they simply won’t work.
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Likewise, there’s a good chance your high-tech home is going to call for some in-wall remote control panels and these will have to be installed by one of our master electricians. These panels provide control over clusters or groups of lights and as well as providing the ability to institute lighting macros that may be very complex. Without the in-wall RC panel this type of automation isn’t possible.
But that’s not all. The high tech home is also likely to call for the installation of:
- Deep junction boxes to accommodate various size switches.
- Whole house surge protectors to ensure your high tech devices are as safe as your porch light.
- Proper data wiring that’s a step or 2 up from standard cat 5 or 5e.
Hopefully a picture is beginning to emerge that wiring the high tech house of today is not the same as wiring what passed for a high tech home 30 years ago.
Involving Specialist Electricians Like those at HotWire Electric
As the eieihome.com article points out:
“Complete home automation can involve many different things, from security automation with cameras and motion detection, to thermostats, lighting, and surround sound. With that in mind, when planning your custom home, it’s important to involve your specialist electrical contractor as early on as possible.”
That means the sooner you contact HotWire Electric and get us involved in the planning of your new home or the renovating of your existing home the better. Our experts will be able to assess your needs and design a structured electrical system for you that takes all of your current devices into consideration and yet is also completely scalable to accommodate what may be coming in the years ahead.