Automated Home 2.0 – #36 What To Wire For In Your New House

CAT6A to TVs

It’s easy to forget something when the time comes to put your electrical drawing together, and it’s even easier to overlook planning for the future too.

While switching issues are massively simplified with a smart home setup, getting everything sorted for the first fix is crucial, whatever type of wiring you are installing.

So here’s a quick list of electrical ideas, outside of the standard stuff, which might save you from missing something in your plans.

Inside

  • Cables at front and back door for smart (or dumb) doorbell.
  • You may want to leave a conduit route from main living room TV to another site for Game consoles etc.
  • 5amp (round pin) sockets for lamps that can be switched from the wall.
  • LED tape under cupboards, under worktops, shelves, in bathroom niches etc.
  • A Circuit for lighting inside your wardrobes or dressing room space.
  • Stair lighting – lots of options.
  • Switch bathroom mirrors with the other lights (or can often be left on).
  • Security system, PIR / Movement sensors etc.
  • Multiroom audio / ceiling speakers.
  • Check the positions of light switches seem natural as you enter a room (remember not to place them where they may end up blocked behind a door once opened).
  • Rather that a huge bank of conventional switches for kitchen appliances, consider a neater grid switch setup instead.
  • Run power to beneath kitchen sink for boiling water tap.
  • Cables to windows for motorised blinds or curtains.
  • Be able to switch external lights from your front and back doors.
  • Double socket at each side of the bed (built-in USB chargers if required).
  • Bedside Light Switches.
  • Consider wiring for pendant lights above the bedside tables which helps keep them clear.
  • Bedside Panic button for all lights on.
  • Wiring for electric door locks.
  • Dining Table / Kitchen Island Pendant lights.
  • Places to charge mobile devices (drawers, shelves in dressing room etc).
  • Lighting in the loft plus capacity for future expansion of any conversion.
  • Indoor socket at location for Christmas tree.
  • High socket for wall-mounted battery vacuum cleaner, one on the ground for robot too.
  • Sockets in Kitchen Island.
  • Consider positions for smoke detectors when spacing the lights.
  • HVAC cables for MVHR, Heat Pump, Air Con etc.
  • Light in crawl space or loft etc to change MVHR filter.

Outside & Garage

  • Electric Vehicle charger circuit to outside wall or garage (32amp) plus a data cable.
  • Lights outside front and back doors and general outside flood lighting with movement sensors.
  • Leave expansion for future outside / garden lighting circuits (and irrigation if required).
  • Put a double socket beside your consumer units so you can power an energy monitor.
  • Outdoor socket at location for Christmas tree.
  • Ducting to garage for future Solar PV system.
  • Put a power socket where your phone line enters (in garage in our case) for future Fibre to the Premises power supply.
  • Run power for Gates, intercoms, NFC readers for access control – we ran a conduit to gates and down side of drive too for future lighting.
  • Cable to septic tank if required.
  • Run low voltage cables to you garage door motors for connection to smart home system.
  • Outside sockets – power hose, robot lawnmowers, temporary lighting etc – ours are controlled by the Loxone system so can be scheduled for Christmas tree lighting for example.
Loxone Controlled Outside Sockets

Data

  • Use Cat6a which supports up to 10GB (Cat6 only 1GB).
  • Data cables to all rooms.
  • Data cables for multiple Wi-Fi access points around the house – using something like the UniFi In-Wall unit kills 2 birds with one stone here.
  • At least 1 x data & 1 x coax to each TV point.
  • Data Cables for WiFi to the Garage / Patio / Outdoor.
  • Data cables for CCTV points all around the house (may not use them all, but gives you options for future).
  • Use PoE (Power over Ethernet) where possible. This tech powers your CCTV Cameras, WiFi access points etc all over a single cable.
  • Cable for a wall mounted iPad or similar touchscreen (PoE).

What Else?

Let us know in the comments below what you did so we can add it and make this list as useful as possible.

Remember to check out our Instagram to follow the project, read the rest of the Automated Home 2.0 blog posts and find the links to all the products we’ve used in our self-build.

8 Comments on "Automated Home 2.0 – #36 What To Wire For In Your New House"

  1. CAT6 can do 2.5 and 5 Gigabit up to 100 metres and 10 Gigabit up to 55 metres.

  2. Derek Holtham | February 22, 2021 at 10:12 am |

    A very comprehensive summary, Mark.

    I would just comment that you should never underestimate what you need for each of your TVs!

    I ran 4x Cat6a cables (and installed 4 x power sockets) to our main TV location in the lounge, but I’m beginning to wonder if that was enough!

    I’m already using all four of the Cat6a cables as follows:
    * To provide HDMI TV connection from our centralised Blustream HD matrix (feeds VirginMedia, bluray etc to every room)
    * LAN connection for smart TV
    * LAN connection for Sonos Playbar (part of a Sonos 5.1 audio setup in that room)
    * LAN connection for Amazon Fire 4K stick

    I would always recommend hard-wired ethernet internet connections rather than using wireless ones.

    I’ve also concluded that it’s always better to have a Fire stick connected even if you have a brand new smart TV, because (a) they are never quite smart enough – (e.g. you can’t get Apple+ TV on a brand new Philips OLED TV) and (b) over time the smart TV is likely to become outdated in terms of features and it’s easier and cheaper to update a cheap Fire stick than the whole TV.

    I also use 3 of the 4 power sockets (TV, Sonos Playbar and Amazon Fire stick, which is preferable to using the USB slot on the TV).

  3. @Derek – great info, thanks. We have 4 x CAT6A to TV in barn. One in use so far (the TV has built in Chromecast). We ran 2 x CAT6A to all other TV locations.

  4. One thing I forget but could solve easily: A socket under the sink in the toilet … for an electric tap.

  5. @Michiel – thanks. I just added similar one to above list for boiling water tap too

  6. Power in the bathrooms for heated/smart mirrors and also potentially for an Amazon echo or similar in the bathrooms (high level perhaps) tricky with regs but not impossible.

  7. @Noel – thanks. We have power to back of mirrors but would have preferred they switch with Loxone rather than on mirror itself.

  8. Derek Holtham | February 26, 2021 at 8:36 pm |

    @Noel – agree your comments re bathrooms.

    We have mounted Echo Dots (Gen 3 – not sure how you do it with the bulbous newest ones) in our bathroom ceilings, powered by USB into power sockets in the loft above. Works very well and makes it easy to play music/radio through the Sonos speakers we have in those ceilings.

    The ceiling mounts we used are these https://www.amazon.co.uk/Genie-Ceiling-Bluetooth-Optional-Fantastic-White/dp/B07KWH57S6/, which are ideal.

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