Electrical Heavy-up, Electrician
Written by Walt Meyer

Make Your Home Smart with Structured Wiring – Part 1

Installing structured wiring allowing network communication is the important first step for a home automation system. 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, easier maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Work with an experienced licensed electrician to achieve the best results. 

New Construction vs. Retrofitting

Structured wiring installation in new homes under construction is different from retrofitting existing homes. For new homes, plans will have wiring installed before walls are put in place. For a home already built, 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 Tips

  • Think Ahead for Next Decade: Consider what devices you may want to install in the next 10 years and whether the structured wiring will meet your needs.
  • Use the Floor Plan at the Start: Sketch in the types of devices and locations where they 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 where you plan to install devices.
  • Types of Wiring: List the devices that will need an Ethernet cable, coaxial cable, or wireless, along with their room locations.
  • Plan for Music: For music in desired rooms, run speaker wires of at least 16-gauge wire and to not exceed 300 feet in length. To avoid interference, avoid running speaker wires near electrical power wires.
  • Wiring Consistency: Plan the wiring for every room with consistency. Structured wiring should be made up of two coaxial cables and a pair 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 Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.