6 Essential Tips For Smart Wiring
We have picked the brains of our experts and compiled a list of six essential tips to help you when it comes to wiring up your Smart Home.
Naturally, working with electricity can be dangerous and should only be done by a qualified electrician. Our Partners have the skills and knowledge necessary to install your Loxone Smart Home neatly and safely. To find your nearest Loxone partner, you can use our handy partner map, or call us directly and we can put you in touch with a suitable Partner.
Tip 1: Size matters
It’s important to choose an enclosure with enough room – we really can’t stress this enough! The enclosure is going to be the hub of your install, so you want to ensure that you’re allowing yourself plenty of room. As a general rule of thumb, you want to have at least 20% of the space spare after the installation is complete to allow for future expansions and additional extensions. When planning your install, always keep the future in mind!
If the house is a new build, consider having sub distribution boards on different floors, in the garden and in the garage. You might like to prepare for the future by installing distributors and empty conduit for a pool or perhaps for an electric car charging station. Who knows what innovations will require electricity in 30 years’ time?
Future Automation manufacture a specific range of enclosures which have been designed for Loxone installations- you’ll find that there’s more room for cabling in between rails, and a top rail that can be set back for tall terminals. To view the range of enclosures, please click here.
Tip 2: Use terminals
We recommend that you use DIN rail mounted terminal blocks in your enclosure (by the way, these have recently become available in our webshop!) and that you use the terminals to link into and out of the Miniserver and Extensions. The reasons for this are as follows:
They stop you getting muddled up!
They allow you to see things at a glance
The clarity that the terminal blocks create will help you to keep an overview of your electrical installation, which will mean you can make changes quickly.
They give you more ‘breathing’ space
Terminal blocks will spare you the arduous task of trying to cram several cables into one place – use them to distribute power and manage your inputs and outputs.
New in the Loxone webshop: Terminal blocks
We have expanded our range of Weidmüller terminal blocks, making it even easier to get everything you need for a neat and tidy install all in one place.
Tip 3: Enclosure layout
It pays to have a clear plan of how you’re going to lay out your cable termination, circuit protection, and Loxone equipment inside your distribution board.
We recommend that you keep your circuit breakers towards the bottom of the enclosure along with your power supplies, and your cable termination towards the top, leaving room for the Loxone equipment in the middle.
Reserve space on either side of the enclosure for cable routing. Here we recommend that you keep all low voltage cables, like your CAT 7 cable, on the left hand side of the enclosure, whilst all of your mains voltage cables should be kept on the right hand side.
Tip 4: Use finger trunking
To keep wiring organised, we recommend using finger trunking. Place this between each DIN rail and around the outside. The outer trunking should be at least double the width of the trunking between the DIN rails. Why? There are simply more wires that need to go through the external trunking.
A distance of about three centimetres should be left between the Miniserver and Extension terminals and the trunking. This will make the job easier.
Tip 5: Choose the right cable
Don’t scrimp on your cable – it’s the backbone of your installation. Our recommendation for cable: use CAT7.
What is CAT7 cable and how is it different to CAT6?
CAT7 cable is a shielded twisted pair cable, boasting more power and lower voltage drop than CAT 6, plus cores that are easier to work with. CAT7 has individually shielded pairs, so the cores are better protected against interference and individual pairs can be used for different data signals.
Where do I need to use CAT7?
We recommend that you pull CAT7 cable to every sensor point in the house. Sensor points include temperature sensors, presence detectors, heating actuators, switches and so on.
Why should I pay more for CAT7?
It goes without saying that if you’re going to opt for CAT7 cable, you can expect to pay more than CAT6 and certainly CAT5. Often, when you’re running your own business, you want to keep a close eye on costs, and it can be hard to justify the upgrade to CAT7, when ‘CAT6 will do just fine’. However, the Smart Home market has exploded in recent years, and advancement isn’t going to slow down any time soon. With that in mind, we recommend CAT7 cable, as it’s the most future-proof cable available at the moment.
Where can I buy CAT7?
If you’re interested in buying CAT7 cable, we sell green CAT7 cable in boxes of 250m in our online webshop for £147.50* (£177 including VAT)
*Partner discount: To find what you’d pay as a Loxone Partner, please log into the webshop.
Tip 6: Documentation is everything
Don’t underestimate the importance of labelling your inputs and outputs… It will not only make it easier for you when setting up Loxone Config, it will also mean that your system will stay just as flexible and will be easy to change or expand in the future. Anyone who needs to access your enclosure at a later date will thank you for it!
We would like to take this opportunity to mention again the importance of calling out a qualified electrician to carry out any electrical work in your home. Find a local Loxone Partner now!
For anyone who wants to know more…
If you want to know more, have a look at our documentation. It’s where you can find further information about all things wiring!