Home Automation: What Builders Need to Know
How to Wire a Home for Automation, and More
Home automation is on the rise, thanks to smart home technology that can control the home’s temperature, the security and everything in between.
Many homeowners add smart home technology to their homes after they’ve been built, but if these features can be installed during the construction process, that’s even better. If you’ve determined that there’s a demand for home automation in your builds, here’s what you need to know about how to automate a home.
Deciding Which Smart Home Features to Include
First, you’ll need to make a decision about the home automation technology that your new home(s) are going to include. Different technologies will have different requirements, especially in regards to wiring.
Some of your options include:
- Smart home lighting that “knows” when to turn on and off
- Security systems that can be controlled with a smart phone
- Smart sprinklers that adjust to the weather
- Smart blinds and shades that respond to the outside lighting and temperature
- Whole-house audio, complete with discreet speakers that aren’t an eyesore
Home automation is designed to reduce stress for homeowners, so you’ll want to carefully consider what your builds will include. Different demographics, and people within those demographics, will have widely varying opinions.
You should aim to make the homeowner’s lives easier, not harder. Depending on your target market, your customers could either love home automation technology or see it as a confusing burden.
Wiring a Home for Automation
Once you know which features you’d like to include in the home, you’ll want to plan how everything will be wired. This ability to pre-plan is one of the greatest perks of integrating smart home technology while the house is being built.
You likely won’t need to wire in any “special” or new way, but SmartHome.com has a few specific recommendations to help make the process easier:
- Because the neutral cable is optional in many light switch wiring schemes, run the neutral wire to each wall switch location.
- Decide where any in-wall remote control panels will be placed, then run a hot and neutral wire to a J-box at each spot.
- Use deep junction boxes to accommodate different switch sizes.
- Install a whole-house Surge Suppressor to protect the electronics.
SmartHome has even more recommendations about how to wire a home for automation, and their resources are incredibly helpful.
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