Is Low Voltage Wiring Best for New Construction?
And one of the biggest projects when building new construction is wiring. Whether high or low voltage, wiring systems in homes are a maze of well-placed and practically designed wiring. This wiring will power everything in the home from audio/visual equipment to lighting to the stove. It needs to be installed with care and a keen eye for detail.
A newer advancement in wiring is low voltage wiring, and it has been considered a viable option for many newly constructed homes for quite a while. Let’s review the differences between high and low voltage wiring and why it might be wise to make the investment in low voltage wiring.
What is Low Voltage Wiring?
Simply put, low voltage wiring is wiring that can pass up to a 50-volt current. Commonly, low voltage wiring will carry 12V, 24V, or 48V. This voltage is good for running a variety of systems in your home including:
- LED Lighting
- Wi-Fi & Internet
- Home Security Systems
- Smart Doorbells
- Heating and Cooling Thermostats
- And More
Low voltage wiring differs from high voltage wiring, which can handle an electrical current of 120V or 240V. These higher voltages are typically what major appliances will run on in your home. This is the cabling that is connected to the wall outlets in your home, so when you plug something in, it is being connected to a line that can handle a higher voltage.
It is also called structured cabling. This is mainly due to the amount of thought and structure that goes into installing it. Low voltage wiring cannot be placed too close to standard electrical cabling (i.e. high voltage) or there could be signal interference. More on the dos and don’ts in a bit.
Why New Construction?
Primarily, low voltage wiring or structured cabling is typically the preference when doing new construction because it must be well-planned and carefully installed, which is much easier to do as a house is being built and not after the fact. Similar to standard electrical cabling, a structured cabling expert will be the one to install the cable and ensure it is working properly.
What are the Differences Between High and Low Voltage Wiring?
Besides the main difference of the voltage load they can carry, low voltage wiring is much more fragile than high voltage. This is why hiring an expert installer is so important. For example, structured cabling cannot be bent at a 90-degree angle, something that standard electrical cable installers do frequently. It must also be placed near-standard cabling, but not too close or there could be interference that disrupts its ability to work.
An expert low voltage cabling installer will also know how to install redundancies and manage heating and cooling issues for the structured cable.
Low Voltage Wiring Or All-Wireless?
There has been a trend among some homebuilders to build Wi-Fi-enabled homes that are run on an all-wireless setup. While a strong and healthy wireless infrastructure should be in place, it is not necessarily the best overall option; especially when considering these possible hiccups.
- Wireless devices still need power. All wireless devices run on power of some kind, so a purely wireless setup means batteries must be replaced or recharged on a fairly regular basis.
- More interference is possible with wireless. While wireless connectivity has advanced by leaps and bounds, there is still evidence that wireless signals are subject to more interference than wired ones.
- Wireless systems are easier to compromise. While we don’t always consider security issues when installing electrical cables, the fact is that wireless systems are much easier to hack or disrupt than those that are wired.
Are There Any More Benefits to Low Voltage?
Low voltage wiring is considered safer than high voltage simply due to less electrical current running through the wire. This might be an important consideration for a home with small children or if a homeowner is looking to install an extensive outdoor landscape system where rain and other weather elements may bombard it.
In general, the overall costs for low voltage are lower, but hiring a low voltage installation expert might come with a higher price tag than hiring an electrician. Additionally, hiring a low voltage wiring installer for new construction will save money in the end. It’s definitely cheaper to build structured cabling into the open walls of a home than trying to rewire an existing space.
If you are interested in exploring the benefits of low voltage wiring or would like to talk with an expert structured cable installer, please contact Axis Network. Our highly skilled and dedicated team is ready to take your call and will work closely with you to ensure you receive outstanding service.
Call us about low voltage wiring today!