As homes are built to be more efficient, low voltage wiring in new construction is becoming more prevalent in residential home construction. To help you learn what low voltage wiring is (and what it’s not), and whether you should work with a wiring contractor who offers it, we’re providing an in-depth look at low-voltage wiring.
What Is Low Voltage Wiring?
Anything with 50 volts or less is considered low voltage, and thus, wiring that is designed to carry less than 50 volts is considered low voltage wiring. It carries less power than what is typically found in the home – for example, most standard wall outlets are 120V or 240V. While lamps and appliances require that standard voltage to run consistently and reliably, much of your homes network and communication wiring is low voltage and the infrastructure of low voltage wiring is also known as structured cabling.
Structured cabling is built on a network that is separate from your home’s standard wiring. Because it’s separate, an experienced wiring contractor who specializes in low voltage wiring is essential during new home construction. They will be able to efficiently build an infrastructure that supports the standard needs of most modern homeowners as well as ensure it can scale up to handle any additional electrical upgrades in the future.
Common types of cables used in low-voltage wiring includes:
- Category 5 (Cat 5) and Category 6 (Cat 6) used for high-speed computer networks and to carry audio and video signals.
- Fiber optic can transmit large amounts of data at high speeds and is widely used in internet networks.
- RG-6 is a coaxial cable commonly used in au
Low Voltage Wiring Uses
Pretty much anything connected to your home’s network can utilize low voltage wiring, including LED lighting, though its most commonly used for:
Internet and Wi-Fi
Structured cabling is used to set up both large and small networks. With structured cabling that connects devices to a central hub, there’s dedicated bandwidth and minimal interference. Even if much of the home relies on wi-fi, the network itself is built on low voltage wiring.
While most people don’t use landlines for personal use, they are often necessary for home offices. With more people working remotely, having telephone lines ran is still a necessity.
Alarm and Security Systems
Having a low voltage wiring system mapped out efficiently is essential for adding security systems and alarm systems, especially where cameras and motion sensors are needed. Also, commonly used Smart doorbells with cameras would also be a part of this cabling system.
Low voltage wiring in homes is also used to support audio-visual wiring, including surround sound audio systems, run cable television, and even set up intercom systems.
Low Voltage Wiring in Home Construction
In 2004, nearly 70 percent of new homes were built with low voltage, structured cabling infrastructure. Naturally, with the increased dependence on home networks, nearly all homes have the option of including this in construction.
However, low voltage wiring and structured cabling doesn’t run with standard voltage wiring. Generally, the main wiring is installed first, then a separate wiring contractor who specializes in structured cabling will design and build the infrastructure for the low-voltage wiring. Great care and experience is necessary for this because low-voltage cables must be installed at least one foot from standard electrical wires, running parallel with all the cabling beginning at a set distribution panel.
The distribution panel is where signals enter the home, then connect to specific structured cabling bundles. Each bundle runs to a set location in the home. In addition to being able to handle standard electrical equipment, the wiring contractor should build the system to scale upward to handle additional upgrades while keeping the system organized and safe.
Contact Us for Low Voltage Wiring
If you are building a home or want to retrofit your home for low voltage wiring that will provide you with a safe, scalable network for your internet, communications, and security, we can help. Strategic Connections provides the experience and skill necessary to organize effective, efficient cabling infrastructure in homes and businesses in Raleigh, Charlotte, and across North Carolina.
To learn more about our services, contact us today by filling out our contact form or calling us today at (800) 255-5664.