When it comes to smart home technology, there are both wired and wireless options available, but if you have the opportunity to future-proof your home from the start then you should considering the following:
1. Allow enough space
It’s important to ensure that you and your home are well-prepared for the future – Loxone recommends that you allocate 20% of the space in your distribution board as a reserve for future expansion when planning your electrical installation.
2. Plan for renewable energy sources
Whether you are considering solar panels, a heat pump or just a simple boiler, Loxone recommend that you install cable conduit to locations such as your loft and the rear of your house to accommodate future technologies. Consider adding energy meters at this stage to monitor consumption.
3. Think switches
Switches should be in easily accessible locations. This doesn’t always have to be next to doors – how about a switch above the work surface in the kitchen? Some smart switches can even be integrated into work surfaces, furniture or behind tiling. Think about how you would use a room and where it would be practical to install a switch to control the lighting, shading, and multiroom audio. You should also consider how many switches you use. One switch can have many functions and less is often more.
4. Consider AV and networking
To deal with rising data demands from music and video streaming, Loxone recommends that you install a wired network throughout your self-build, especially in locations where you may have a TV. For maximum flexibility and future-proofing, Loxone suggests that you also run your speaker cables back to a central point for the audio distribution.
5. Control sockets
By controlling sockets in key locations, you can stop devices using power on standby when you’re not using them. Not every socket in your smart home needs to be controlled though, Loxone recommends that you use a ring main for the majority. After all, you can upgrade any socket to be switchable with a Smart Socket Air at any time.
6. Use future-proof cable
Loxone strongly recommends using a data rated cable such as CAT 7 for all sensors and your network. This will ensure that you are not limited by what you install now in 10 years’ time, but have peace of mind that no matter how technology progresses, your self-build is ready for it. Alternatively, if you’re going for 24V smart lighting, consider a single cable that carries both power and data. This can significantly reduce installation time.
7. Charge your electric car
Fossil fuels are a finite resource. To be prepared for the years to come, Loxone recommends planning ahead by installing cable conduit to your garage or drive so that you can have a charging station for your future electric car.
8. Don’t forget the garden
It is all too easy to forget about the garden when you are busy building your house. To ensure you won’t have to sit in the dark, Loxone recommends that you either install a cable conduit or even make an allowance for a separate sub-distribution board. This will allow you to think about garden lights, irrigation and more when your self-build is finished.
9. Sensors are essential
Sensors are the eyes and ears of your smart home. To enjoy the smartest features, Loxone recommends a minimum set of sensors that are essential in and around your home. The Loxone Standard includes switches, motion and temperature sensors in every room, as well as window and door contacts. For outside the company suggests wind and rain sensors, as well as door contacts on the garage door.
10. Consult an expert
If you’re planning your own smart home self-build, it’s important to work with a smart home expert. They have the necessary skills and know-how for the design, installation and commissioning of a single system that delivers a real smart home; taking care of all the lighting, heating, security, shading, multiroom audio and more.