Let's say you ripped out all of your drywall, how would you wire for IOT?

One of the most frustrating aspects of transitioning to an automated home is adapting an older build (1973) to today’s standards.

Wireless is great. But it also ain’t great. Power can’t be wireless.

So, let’s imagine for a moment that you had the opportunity to strip your entire house of all of the drywal and you had access to the studs, where you could pre-wire anything you want (let’s leave the discussion of local codes out of this.)

Where would you wire what?

Neutral cabling to all the light switch boxes.

Adequate numbers of power outlets in appropriate places. This alone would allow you to run wifi sensors everywhere.

At least 2x cat6e data cables to each room from a central server cupboard with adequate ventilation. Think about the devices that will need a connection when placing the outlets. TVs, streaming boxes, projectors, laptops, PCs etc…

RG6 quad shield coax used to be recommended for digital free to air television antenna connections in the rooms that require it. But with this service pretty much in the beginning of it’s death throws I wouldn’t bother with more than one or two rooms.

Speaker cabling from the front of the entertainment rooms to the back and side walls for 5/7.1 surround. Ceiling speaker cabling for Dolby ATMOS / DTS:X if required.

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I also ran some power outlets (strategically placed) on ups power through the whole house. So when power outage my wifi, internet, zigbee and z-wave networks keep running.

I’ll also soon have the opportunity to do that at my appartment.

What I intend to do :

  • run some cable (probably ethernet) to each door and window (to know when a door is open.)
  • run at least one cable for a motion sensor in each room
  • Wire each light switch and permanent light fixture to a central location
  • For ambient/non permanent light, simply use a wifi (tasmota) plug
  • at least two RJ45 plug in each room

Good luck with your work !

A PVC conduit “network” to a strategic point in each room to allow for future pulling of cables with minimal disruption.


How is everyone handling all the ugly power warts for your Echo/GoogleHome/Sonos etc ? I use Pi Zero for room assistant and

I think a 2-3 port USB-C PD outlet next to each power outlet would be super awesome. I haven’t seen anything like that in the market though.

What about running Cat5/6 solely for the purpose of delivering low voltage power throughout the house? 5V, 12V, 24V etc.

What will I do? is to make sure all my switch outlet will have ground wired (support wifi wall switch) Run all my ethernet cable from one place to all of the room (maybe multiple cable in case one fail) Make sure all my house can be cover by multiple small router with cable available to improve performance.

  • CAT6 to two locations in each room to a central cool location that is away from bedrooms (noise from fans) that is easy to access. Avoid mounting the cabinet high on a wall
  • CAT6 to active room locations for ceiling mounted access points. You want WiFi where your people are
  • CAT6 for all of your intended CCTV cameras back to central location. Powered via PoE switch.
  • For audio/video zones, allow 4 x CAT6 or provision for an Ethernet switch
  • If you want to distribute HDMI video to other displays, allow CAT6 (or fiber) from your main audio/video location to other TV locations.
  • Lots of power outlets, recessed ones for behind TV locations
  • RG6 for antenna distribution for all TV locations if you have an outside antenna for free-to-air TV
  • 6 core 0.5mm alarm cable in rooms for PIR’s, wired smoke detectors and keypads. Most modern alarms can now be interfaced to HA making for a very powerful integration
  • Stereo speaker cable from each zone to data cabinet for multi-room audio if you want more powerful ceiling speakers. Can use Google Home Audio as a zone source/s.
  • If you desire hidden surround sound speakers in your main audio/video zone (recessed into wall), allow to run speakers cables to recessed speaker locations and a decent screened cable from the amp to the intended subwoofer location/s

N.B 5v devices can be powered over CAT6 using one of these devices. I have two Google Home minis being run this way

P.S I’m jealous! I’ve done most of the above in a two story house with the drywall in place!

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What about SDI runs to handle PTZ security cameras with a central video switch?

In addition to what others have said: Also make sure you’ve got cabling in place to read your electric/gas/water meters, both for getting a graph of usage and for security functions (The water meter has been running at full speed for two hours? That probably was not a long shower, but a broken pipe or forgotten garden hose).

I’m thinking water flow sensors on every branch of the water system…just for fun.

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Someone mentioned it earlier but I thought I’d mention it again. Conduit. Best way to future proof. As I renovate every room of my house, I run conduit from all boxes and any location I think I might want stuff in the future (ie. window frames) to a central box, one per room. About as future proof as one can get. :slight_smile:

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I run a lot of that stuff as POE and just let my switch deliver the power. Anything that’s 5v or 12v can easily be run over POE providing your switch is beefy enough to deliver the juice, or you don’t mind using dedicated POE injectors in your network/server closet.

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That’s what I tried, but for my use case, it did not work as I was driving speakers off Raspberry Pi with 5v PoE. and a lack of grounding in POE causes speaker to have a high hiss when connected via this. But it will work well for non audio setups. Good idea

RE POE, what happens if you have say, 5 devices in one room that you want to power? Doesn’t make sense to use a port on the switch for each device. Can a single port be split or would it make sense to provide static power from an alternate source, use a single line in one of the cat 5 pairs as ground, and the remaining 7 as VCC so you could essentially deliver power to 7 devices, or would you simply run a single power feed to the area, then split it in the area?

You can use something like this or this, but these are passive devices with power always on so if your device can not handle that, you’ll cook it. A better but more expensive approach is to use a proper 802.3af/at PoE device like this from UniFi providing of course that your remote devices are also PoE at/af compliant. I have two remote 8 ports switches in my config along with two central switches; one with PoE.

If you use Poe you need 1 cat6/device. Hacking cat6 to carry dc current like you said is likely out of the question if the devices aren’t nearby. You will pick up and emit a ton of noise from that cable otherwise. At the end, putting cat6 everywhere you need, and all the other places you dont need it is a good idea, whether you have lots of poe or not.

I was in your shoes 8years ago rebuilding my home (before me being into home auto). My buddy electrician recommended 2 cat6 to every light switch… I didn’t end up doing that because ‘overkill & cost’… just did 2 cat6 2 rg6u 1spk pair and one telephone to most rooms (office/workshop areas got more). I really regret not listening to by buddy honestly (did all the work myself so wouldn’t have REALLY cost me). Cat6 oozing everywhere not just for Poe devices, but also control of alarm and whole home a/v you get lots of options. You said it, wireless sucks… how much is a few more boxes of cat6… a few $100… you get options you’d have to pay $1000’s for to match with wireless.

Also, definitely dont forget to run cat6 to any place you think a camera may go… and places where a camera shouldn’t go lol. This will be a huge bonus if/when you add cameras. Bottom line, poe cameras tend to be good (like protecting banks good), other cameras tend to be more like toys.