How To Wire A Smart Home – Top 8 Things for Smart Home Wiring



everybody real fast I'm gonna go over the things that we recommend pre-wiring in any home when clients sent us their design plans whether it's our local clients or when we do design plans for clients across the nation part of our pre-wired design services this is what we recommend designing or pre wiring for your home real fast so one of the questions we always get asked is with all the advances in wireless technology should you actually pre wire or should you just do everything Wireless and our attitude is that you should pre wire like crazy pre-wired pre-wired pre wire I remember an interview with Steve Jobs he was asked if laptops and tablets would eventually do away with personal desktop computers I'm gonna use the analogy of trucks and cars and he said we're always gonna need trucks to do the heavy lifting and cars to do the lightweight stuff and I think the same is true in our home we're always gonna have need for wire in the home whether it's fiber or cat6 we're always gonna have needs for wire to do the heavy lifting in the home and then we're gonna use the wireless applications for everything else in the home so this is what we recommend wiring in the home and what's not here we often do wirelessly later so first thing we're gonna talk about is the home network okay so now obviously there's a lot of wireless things we're gonna do on our network but there are some things that we want hardwired if we have the option we want all of our TVs to be hardwired into the network we want our entertainment centers hardwired into the network if you have a desktop computer that's kind of permanent or even a location where you're going to hardwire in your laptop regularly we want a network connection there and then on our hotspot what we find is that we wire up a lot more locations for wireless access points than we actually think we're going to need then when the client moves into the home we leave our options open we can see if the access point gives us the coverage we need we can relocate and if that doesn't cover us then we can add on access points so we definitely want to hardwire some things into the network yeah the next thing on the list we're going to talk about is TV or what we sometimes refer to as video distribution all right with TVs there's three things that we want to cover we want to hardwire it into the network so if you're using streaming services like Netflix or if you're downloading 4k content with something like a kaleidoscope we want to be hardwired in it's gonna make all the difference in the world we also going to send control to the TV and there's a couple of different ways we can send control we want a hardwired whichever method we use and then last and most importantly we want to send our video content to those TVs now there's a lot of ways you can go about this I see people online whenever we post content they're like I'll just run conduit everywhere what we do is we pull cat5e or cat6 to the TV and then we use something called a video ballon to convert that cat5 or cat6 into hdmi later there's different types of video ballons out there you're going to hear things that you need one cat six or two cat six it really depends on the system that you're using for the video distribution but as a general rule we recommend two cat six for your video so if you think about it you got one cat six for your network one cat six for control and two cat six for your video most the time when we know going into a home what system we're going to use for video distribution will do two to three cat six maximum but you need to understand there is that possibility depending on your TV and the video distribution that you're using that you would actually need for cat six to manage the TV we get asked a lot about fiber yes fiber is an option this is for people who are planning to do the work themselves fiber is not a great option for DIY errs okay we're gonna stick to cat six and then of course we want to run a coax to our TVs next up we're gonna talk about home audio so home audio is one we're really aggressive what we find is when people move into their home and they start using their speakers they realize they want music in a lot more rooms of the house and so we're all true aggressive and you got to understand you can put speakers anywhere you can put them in the shower you can put them in a laundry room we have a lot of clients that put them on the front deck for holiday music you can put them in the garage you've got landscape speakers that can go out and around the pool I mean really anywhere that you think you might listen to music put a wire and you can always pull the wire through the ceiling and cut a speaker out and drop a speaker in later as long as the wire is there so the next thing we're gonna do is theater and surround sounds theater is pretty straightforward you're gonna use your gonna wire up the speakers in that room for the projector we want to run conduit if we can HTM I do go bad over time if you don't have a conduit you don't have a good way to replace that HDMI and HDMI upgrades with time so what was working for HDMI three four years ago is a NAT doesn't work with current TVs and 4k video content you've got to upgrade the HDMI now if you don't have room sometimes you have like a suspended slab ceiling so you've got concrete above the projector and the Builder is not dropping the ceiling enough to fit conduit through there then we'll use two or three cat6 that way we have some option if one of the cat sticks is bad we can use the other cat six and we can always use a video about a video ballon to keep it upgraded to whatever type of HDMI we need going forward and then on the surround sound one of the things you want to consider is we have the surround sound for the theater but we also want to look at our secondary surround locations these are rooms where we want a little bit more volume than the TV can give us by itself it's going to be your great room family room your master bedroom we see a lot of covered decks that have a secondary surround sound this isn't where you're gonna spend a lot of money on your surround sound you're just trying to bring volume into the room it could be as simple as a sound bar it could be a 5.1 it could even just be a two channel external speakers left and right of the TV they're going to give you that extra sound and so we wire up a lot of secondary surround sound systems in the home and I'll talk about that in another video but just be thinking about your secondary surround sounds next we've got security and surveillance okay so security most of time anymore is gonna be wireless if you've got a really big home or if you've got a really long home kind of a Rambler that runs left to right you may want to do your hardwired sensor through your doors and windows because you can't have some range issues if it's a home that's more vertical you know to 3,000 feet it's 1,500 feet on each each floor you can usually get away doing a wireless system but the keypads require power so typically we'll run power just a low voltage wire for the keypad locations that way you don't have to have some transformer plugged into an outlet right next to the keypad besides the keypad everywhere else in the home is going to be wireless most the time okay with surveillance yeah there are a lot of wireless surveillance solutions out there if you have the opportunity during construction to run wire run wire cool thing with surveillance is you just run a cat 6 and the cat 6 is kind of a wonder wire so you can use it for your IP cameras your network based cameras and if you want to you can convert it into a coax with a special end and you can use it for an analog camera it's going to work for you either way so we just run cat 6 that keeps it simple it's an easy way to write up your cameras and I always recommend doubling up your cameras kind of like audio when people fire up their system and they start to see what the cameras giving them they're always disappointed about the blind spots and the coverage they don't have in the home why are so cheap when you're wiring up a corner of a home drop in two wires to every corner that a camera's going to and that way you can put two cameras there looking at different directions it's a no-brainer so next we've got touch screens companies like control 4 and sivan they're gonna use touch screens on the wall and it kind of depends company to company control force touch screens work as video intercoms in addition to being able to run everything in the home your audio your lighting your security savants gonna run everything in the home but it doesn't currently double as an intercom and then you have touch screens like like an iPad that's just a charging station on the wall and you slap it up on the wall that's gonna charge and when you're ready to use the iPad you pop it off the wall and you walk anywhere in the house and use the system you also have some systems like autonomics mirage they have a digital keypad for the music system and you have that option it's the same wire regardless of how you're gonna terminate it you're gonna run a cat 6 to that location and then you have your options open for whatever type of system you get ok next we're gonna do utilities this is things like your cable your satellite your internet and this actually really surprises a lot of people one of the biggest ones we want to get covered is your demarcation it's a funny word for where the cable and internet comes into the home and surprisingly a lot of homes don't have this spec into the home it's not included outside at the side of the home you have your electrical meter and right next to your electrical meter there's usually conduit that's running out to the street and that's where the cable internet providers phone providers or bringing those services into the side of the home we've got to run wires to connect to that location on the side of the home all the way into the inside of the home otherwise when your homes finished you have this beautiful brand new home and they staple wires around your home and punch a big old hole through the side of the home to bring those services into the home so we're gonna run the demarcation we do something similar if you know you're gonna use satellite we run a wire up into the attic and then out through the soffit closest to where we think the satellites going to go that prevents them from stapling those wires up the side of the home Internet services if you're doing like satellite internet you may run some wires just like the satellite that are gonna go up up up to the attic and then out through the soft and then of course things like cellphone boosters if you're in a home especially one that's got a lot of concrete and you need to boost the cell signal that does require pre wiring and a pre wire is really similar to like a satellite pre wire so these are the utility services that we're gonna make sure we pre wire in the home so lastly it's kind of a cop out but we do kind of our miscellaneous category and this is because it's sort of specific to each home so this is gonna be things like your fireplace switch video doorbell maybe your shades and blind control maybe your intercom so for example if it's a fireplace it allows us to switch it on and off then we can pull the low voltage wire into that switch we can actually tie into that switch and automate it so that you can turn your lights on and off or your fireplace on and off shade control anymore most the shades that we do are going to be wireless believe it or not we can do wireless shades that are battery-operated that you rarely ever have to change the batteries but if you're in a large room like a vaulted great room and you don't want to have to get on the ladder every few years and change out the batteries you know two stories up that's the location we're probably gonna run wire for shade control and in some instances you may even need the electricians to run the wire for you so we take that kind of on a home by home basis and then of course intercom intercoms and changing a lot we're all used to the old systems where you have a keypad on the wall and it may pipe through the speakers it may not a lot of the newer systems today allow you to use the intercom like control for its the video intercom tablet on the wall there are audio systems that allow you to just call out through the speakers through your phone so the intercoms changing but sometimes it does require some additional wiring again we take that one on kind of a case-by-case basis based on each home but it's something certainly to consider so these are the eight sort of categories that we look at every time we're gonna pre wire home there's actually a link somewhere in this video it's a free download it just gives you a list of what wire to pull for each one of these categories so if you're thinking about pre wire in your home and you just want to know real quick it's just a quick reference guide it's gonna tell you what to pull for your network what wires to pull for your TV what wires to pull for your audio so it makes it really easy while you're there on-site to make sure you're always pulling the right wire so we'll see in the next video and hopefully that's been helpful be sure to leave us some comments questions you've got we'll be sure to answer them in another video

21 Comments

  • TYM Smart Homes & Home Theaters

    April 15, 2019

    Thanks for watching my video, How To Wire A Smart Home.  Be sure to comment your best wiring tips, or ask any questions you have.

    Reply
  • Kathy Watson

    April 15, 2019

    Very helpful video. Clear and understandable!

    Reply
  • Ankit badola

    April 15, 2019

    Helpful vid but wiring size will be too large

    Reply
  • Chris Tymchuk

    April 15, 2019

    Have you done a video on terminating all the Smart Home wiring into a central network panel or sever rack??

    Reply
  • Krasimir Stanev

    April 15, 2019

    What about light? Heating?

    Reply
  • Tommy Jones

    April 15, 2019

    If anyone is watching this…I have one huge advice that people often missed when building a new smart home… THERMOSTATS…. A lot of new smart thermostats requires a C-wire… Even if your using a two wire heating system .(recommend Nest/LUX if two wire) .. I recommend you put in a 5 wire thermostat wire in the wall…it will save you tons of headaches in the future…I have a hydonic system .. I ran each room with individual heating . ($$$$) cost is a huge saving down the long run…Everyone has there own special temperature.. In the winter I like 75 degree in my room …my daughter prefer 78 degree and my son prefer 72 in his room .. say only if your son is home alone…then the only room you have to heat up is his room…while the other rooms are in save energy mode…this is where the cost is a huge savings .. I heard so many complaints from my clients that there is only one thermostat for each floor … Watch the movie Daddy Home 2 when the daughter plays with thermostat and everyone is sweating because of one thermostat..LOL

    Reply
  • Robert Poynton

    April 15, 2019

    Hi guys I’m looking at what I should use for window sensors. I have sliding windows and some that swing out. I can run wire to the bottom of the window frame but what kind? Also what would I use as a broken glass sensor? I know there are products out there that work on frequency and they look a bit like smoke detectors but I don’t really want them in every room of the house

    Reply
  • Samuel McLean

    April 15, 2019

    Excellent overview

    Reply
  • Colby Larsen

    April 15, 2019

    Why would you run multiple Cat6 lines to the same location? Wouldn't it be better to run 1 Cat6 to each room and use a 5-10 port POE switch? Seems like this is all overkill.

    Reply
  • Adam Probolsky

    April 15, 2019

    Super helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
  • D Bo

    April 15, 2019

    Great video Matt, but do any of your clients say you like Channing Tatum? Magic Matt Tthanks again

    Reply
  • Got Wire

    April 15, 2019

    2 or 3 car 6? I install Iptv and at most I've seen is if am luck is one cat 5 or cat6 at the TV location Haha

    Reply
  • Questchaun

    April 15, 2019

    It Steve said it must be true!

    Reply
  • Golden Child

    April 15, 2019

    Never go wireless on your alarm when you have a choice. Bigger and uglier sensors, batteries go low and are expensive when you consider you could have 30 sensors at $5 per battery and you will have to replace all of them within 5 years, parts cost more to replace if they ever are faulty (wireless motion $40 vs hard wired motion $10, wireless door sensor $20 vs $2 for hardwired) and hard wired sensors are just more reliable.

    A hard wired system can easily go 30 years and just need 1 main battery changed every 3-5 years. A wireless system will cost you over $1000 more just in batteries over the same period and most likely other parts will need to be replaced. DON'T DO IT!

    Alarm companies are installing them cause they only care about the bottom line and wireless systems can be installed in a quarter of the time. Original install price about the same for both as hardwired uses more labor but wireless has more expensive parts. Wireless is only going to cost the homeowner more in the long run and actually make the alarm company more money in the long run with service calls as a lot of homeowners don't want to change all those batteries themselves. Any reputable alarm company will tell you the same thing, good test to see if your alarm company is honest.

    Reply
  • haroon420

    April 15, 2019

    So basically cat 6 everywhere. Lol. Thanks for the video. It’s helpful.

    Reply
  • zemismart smart home

    April 15, 2019

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    Reply
  • Mustafa Khan

    April 15, 2019

    for TVs, If my house will have ATT fiber, do you recommend just 1 cat6 for video distribution, 1 cat 6 for control, 1 cat 6 for HDMI balun, and 1 fiber?

    Reply
  • vinnychoff

    April 15, 2019

    Thanks for your video it was what I needed although I have a smaller budget and am interested in tech so want to do most of the work myself. I have set up a network in my present home and as you mention. I ran out at the TV, I had 2 originally which was too few. Now I would say 4 minimum for the TV area. Look forward to your other videos and will post my project up when I start.

    Reply
  • walkinwithjesus

    April 15, 2019

    He's a fluffier Channing Tatum.

    Reply
  • repairdrive

    April 15, 2019

    Good info!

    Reply
  • Kevin Lange

    April 15, 2019

    ALWAYS wire security contacts and motions. Wireless contacts suck, and wireless Motions suck. Changing batteries, and interference, and random dropping of wireless contacts is very common. Many monitoring companies also charge you more per wireless contact. Wireless motions go in to timeout mode, and often are not as well suited for some applications. When we wire a home, we hard wire all doors and windows, as well as motions. If we have a cut wire, we can simply add a wireless contact there. We run all our hardwired zones to a Take Module, and then the take module is powered of a SMP3 power supply and it's own battery backup. I would NEVER leave the safety and security of my family or loved ones up to a wireless DIY security system.

    Reply

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