As the name suggests, Low Voltage Wiring involves running wires that are rated for 50 volts (V) or less, which is much lower than the typical 120V/240V power wires in every home or business. These low voltage wires provide power and/or data to various tech throughout the building like cameras, speakers, computers, TVs, and much more.
Most buildings today have at least some low voltage wiring. Many people are familiar with coax cable (RG6/U), which delivers “cable” TV and internet to the TV cable boxes and modems. Some homes and businesses have speaker wire, ethernet (Cat5e/Cat6), or even fiber optic cable wired into the walls for various functions. All this wiring is included in the term Low Voltage Wiring.
The purpose of putting all these wires in the wall varies depending on the system you’re wiring up. We’ll walk through some of the systems that are typically involved in Low Voltage Wiring.
TVs are the most common devices to pre-wire in a construction job. They typically need a coaxial cable for live TV service (unless you are cable-cutting), and nowadays you should add at least one Cat6 cable to every TV to ensure the best and most reliable internet speeds. Plus, did you know you can send video and audio signals over category cable? More on that in a future blog.
The next most common devices to receive wired connections are those that are essential to a functioning network. These include routers, access points, switches, and servers. It also includes any user devices, like computers, gaming consoles, media racks, and more that need a rock-solid internet connection. A good wired connection is ALWAYS better than a wireless signal!
Traditionally, all audio systems required a robust system of wires to power speakers around the building from centralized amplifiers. While wireless speakers have skyrocketed in popularity, pre-wiring a building for speakers is still a valuable service for most people. In fact, we recommend wiring for speakers in outdoor spaces, home theaters, businesses, and several other locations. Check out our blog “Should you Pre-Wire for Speakers or go Wireless?” for more information.
For the ultimate smart home or business, pre-wiring is required for many automation devices. Automatic shades, touch screens on the wall, video and audio distribution, and much more require a hardwired connection to a central “brain” of the building to operate properly. Security systems also frequently require low voltage wiring to maximize the reliability of those crucial devices.
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider low voltage wiring when taking on a construction project. Installing low voltage wire after the walls have gone up is extremely challenging, and often impossible. This forces clients to use certain wireless devices that may not have the functionality or reliability that their wired counterparts have. We can help make sure you wire up everything you need while futureproofing for the tech of tomorrow.