Building your dream modern smart home!? What cabling infrastructures should you consider?
Updated: Apr 25
Modern technology plays an ever-increasing role many aspects of our lives and our reliance on technology to work and live efficiently and comfortably has never been so important. It stands to reason that there are new considerations when building a home that are often missed at the early stages! Hopefully this text will assist your first steps exploring what is possible and ensure that all is considered before the building is sealed.
Data Cabling and Head Ends
Firstly, and by far the most essential is the need for fast wired and wireless internet connectivity in all corners of the home. Data cabling is needed for this to reach the entire home with WiFi, provide fixed links for devices such as TVs, computers, gaming consoles and is required for CCTV, Gate entry and any other smart system.
All the Data cabling for these devices and outlets should be run to a centralised “Head End” where it is terminated and tested into patch panels. Data cabling are the motorways of communication in your home and installing to this method is so important as it creates a documented cabling map of the infrastructure in your home.
Discreet multi-zone audio for both internal and external areas requires cabling and cannot be an after-thought. By running this cabling back to the Head-end, it can be terminated, tested and documented ready for any required speakers to be installed. Once you begin using the spaces, the flexibility offered by improving the cabling infrastructure is immense.
Satellite and Aerial
Although satellite and aerial systems seem largely unnecessary with today's streaming services, there is a place for them with satellite still being a requirement for services such as Sky here in the UK. Not only this but by having a professional system incorporated into the design, there is no need for unsightly dishes and antenna affixed in plain sight.
Conventional lighting is fine and suits a purpose but a modern lighting control system offer practical and impressive benefits that will transform a home and the way that spaces are used. Obviously cabling will differ greatly depending on which system you decide and so it is worth deciding this early. Lighting systems are a subject too large for this post. For more information check out our previous posting on “How to choose the best lighting system?”
If you have a single boiler, and no management necessary except valve and electric control then products such as “Heatmiser” are a fantastic way to get this system controllable from your smartphone whist being able to interface with other systems. Larger systems with multiple boilers, tanks, ground source etc will require a more in-depth and dedicated control system known as a BMS (Building Management System). If a BMS system is required, then it is important to build up a full picture of what is required early as there are various temperature sensors and cabling that will need to be installed.
Automated Shading and Drapery
Shading and drapery are often missed out in the early stages of design as it is seen as a job solely for interior design. Automated window coverings are a fantastic way of controlling light coming into a room and can be incorporated into lighting scenes for absolute control over the light in a space. Even if it is not something previously considered, it may just be worth getting cabling installed at the ready. Five, ten, fifteen years down the line it may be something that you would like to incorporate and having the infrastructure there will not only give you more options but ensure destructive and expensive works do not need to occur.
The biggest thing to take home from this post is that infrastructure is essential! Properly considered infrastructure will ensure you can achieve what you set out to do by enabling complete flexibility to choose the best suited products and technology that will stand the test of time.
Feel free to get in touch with us if you need any help or advice
The Micarta Team