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Tips for on cabling for your new home or renovation for smart home technology

CEDIA is the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association is the International trade organisation representing the home automation industry. Members of CEDIA specialise in the planning, design, supply and installation of home automated systems for the contemporary, state of the art home. CEDIA provides education and certification to ensure its members work to an industry standard, providing reassurance for you, the client.

CEDIA have provided guidance on the wiring to ensure a good cabling infrastructure is installed at the build or refurbishment stage to support your requirements now and in the future. The benefits of a good cabling infrastructure are multifold:

  • You have the ability to discreetly integrate and distribute music, visual and communication system
  • You preserve the decor and structure of your home by planning for future needs
  • You ensure a robust wireless network to meet future demands with changing technology
  • You can enjoy multi-room media throughout your home
  • You can ensure that all incoming services (e.g. satellite, cable, broadband) are connected and distributed effectively around your home

Once you have the correct cabling infrastructure, it is essential you incorporate the correct cabling; good quality cabling will ensure that your technology needs are met now and in the future.

What are some of the benefits of selecting the correct cabling?

  1. The copper content should meet or exceed specification
  2. Oxygen free copper in speaker cable will ensure premium quality. If copper oxide is formed, it can affect low-level signal transmission. Oxygen free copper ensures a richer sound quality as it prevents the formation of copper oxide, promoting a pure sound.
  3. All communication cable for high speed, gigabyte, Ethernet and LAN applications should be tested to 30mHz
  4. The cable should meet the European Directive for the restriction of hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury etc.
  5. The cable should be coated with an appropriate compound to ensure cable can be fitted to avoid, friction, bending and support communication
  6. Cabling recommended by each manufacturer e.g. Lutron, Vantage cabling should be used in installations to ensure the product warranty is maintained.
  7. Cabling should be certified to ensure it meets with performance requirements of the International standards

Cable placement

Home Automation cables should be as far away as possible from electromagnetic interference (e.g. electrical cables, transformers, light fixtures).
To ensure effective transmission, cables should be placed to avoid bending, kinking, stretching and overstress, as these can all compromise functioning.

The Importance of Testing

Fixing a fault at second fix is 10 times cheaper that fixing a fault at commissioning. Consequently appropriate testing should be carried out at each stage to ensure the cabling supports the required functioning; when each cable is terminated it must be continuity tested and wire mapped.