The dynamics of homeownership has changed drastically due to the available technology. Realtors have indicated a sharp and consistent uptick in the number of requests they receive from buyers looking for “Smart Homes.” The smart home technology is certainly a modern wave and is not a passing trend.
There are so many possibilities for integrated home technology that it is difficult to know where to begin. The following reference points are meant to guide homeowners through the wiring process. Wiring is by far the most important consideration when upgrading or buying their dream Smart Home.
Starting At The Foundation
In the case of preparing a home for smart technology, the investigation literally begins at the foundation. Most existing homes are hardwired from the basement or a utility room on the lowest level of the floor plan. In most homes built more than a decade ago, the wiring will need to be upgraded or partially replaced. High-speed conduits are required for most new smart home technology. Consider how wi-fi would be compatible with the original dial-up internet connection modems.
Wiring systems are essentially the central nervous system of a home. They carry messages from an appliance or smart device to the main control panel and expect a response. The technology can only respond as quickly as its message is received and processed by the wiring in the home.
Although a Smart Home may have many amazing features and options, they are only useful when the home is fully integrated. Consider a speaker system that acts as both a two-way monitor, intercom and an actual speaker that pipes music throughout the home. Radio waves must be able to reach this system for both input and output. Whatever electronic device or internet connection that feeds this speaker system must be integrated into the home wiring system. This could be a hardwired connection, but more frequently is a soft connection that is filtered through a wireless internet device.
Either way, the connection must be compatible with the home’s wiring layout in order to provide the desired result. There must be communication between any smart appliance, home security system, or other Smart Home technology and the wiring control panel that transports it. Fiber optic cables are the most commonly used carriers for Smart Home technology.