What is low voltage wiring?
Low voltage wiring systems have been around for over 50 years. First made popular in the 50’s and designed into modern American homes and promoted by architectural luminaries such as Joseph Eichler and Terry Waters
Low voltage systems allowed for greater flexibility in lighting and ease and convenience for homeowners as far as controlling the systems they chose to install. In those days low voltage was reserved mainly to lighting and security. Thermostats, telephones and doorbells/intercoms are examples of low voltage uses.
Today more newly built and remodeled homes install low voltage systems to run the devices that make life easier and homeowners safer while home or away.Low voltage wiring is the wiring used for telephone, intercom, alarm systems, audio, video, data, HVAC or even the weather station and is generally for electronic devices using less than 24 volts.
Today high-end lighting control systems have done away with high-voltage wiring run within the walls to the light switches, instead small gauge, low-voltage cable is run to switch locations. Now when wire is run to a switch location it may consist of separate wires so that multiple light loads and lighting choices can be controlled from that one location. Low voltage lights offer more choices to set lighting moods and can save considerable amounts of energy. Low voltage lights use less than half the energy of comparable 120 volt lights.
Security systems have been around for a long time Â but today’s security systems are capable of multiple tasks. One popular group of devices are the Â tri-tech detectors that detect motion in your yard and the interiors of your home. Where the detectors of yesterday detected only motion today’s detectors look for movement and heat variations using microwave and infrared sensors. Have a pet? You can adjust your detector so Fido doesn’t trip the alarm when he goes out to the yard.
Multi-Source, Multi-Zone Whole-House Stereo
When it comes to home entertainment, low voltage wiring shows its legs. Whole house entertainment is controlled by cables run to controls mounted in any location you choose and to the devices you control, such as your TV, stereo or radio. Keypad controls are installed in all the zones you select to allow you to take your education or entertainment wherever you happen to be.Â Would you like to follow a You Tube video on baking the perfect apple pie, or how about how to change the brakes on a 2008 Honda Accord? Turn on the screen, find your video and work along with the baker or mechanic from your kitchen or garage. Children today are plugged in and many do their homework using video, you can manage the content of what your children watch and the music they listen to, content management is a snap when you have the master controller key.
Leaving and entering your home is now easier and safer with access controlled systems. This system identifies people at the front door, that’s right, your entry system can identify the difference between family members and intruders. With the swipe of a card you can unlock the door, turn off security, turn on the lights, tune into your favorite radio station and have a steaming cup of coffee waiting in your kitchen.
Is low voltage for you?
If building a new home you will surely be discussing this type of wiring with your builder. Deciding to install low voltage systems will ensure convenience, safety and energy savings for your long term needs. Buyers today want to be plugged in and have the ability to make their lives easier by having access s or even have the choice of using their smart phones to turn home devices off or on.
Remodeling a home is also another good time to consider low voltage. If you are opening or moving walls your low voltage contractor can easily run cable to yourÂ devices. Homes may always require 120 volt wiring but low voltage has proven it can and will replace high voltage wiring as the main provider of residential and commercial wiring.
This article just touches on what low voltage offers. Buyers want convenience, safety, comfort and energy savings and the homes of today and future homes will all feature low voltage wiring as a standard offering.