The Wireless World’s Guilty Secret: Wires!

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When you’re thinking about installing your Smart Home WiFi, entertainment and security devices certain things make themselves annoyingly apparent. Cables.

Every electronic device naturally needs its own power supply, notwithstanding the application is ‘wireless’. Wireless speakers still need to be connected to the mains, even if they don’t need to be connected to the amplifier or TV. To keep up with the power supply demands means using all the available power points or littering your home with extension cables. And suddenly becoming ‘unwired’ is looking like more and more of an impossibility.

If we look at the case of wireless speakers a good deal of the problems with going ‘wireless’ come to a head. Despite the fact that the drivers don’t need to be connected to the device which is playing the sound, they do still need a power supply, so they need to be located near a power point, or have a long extension cable running to them. Wireless speakers also have a certain range. Take them too far away and they start to show a reduction in sound quality. They can also experience interference from microwaves, phones, and other wireless devices. None of these problems exist if there is a cable running to the speaker, although the wire can be unsightly, and pose a potential trip hazard.

With the advent of flat screen TVs it’s been possible to hang the screen on an interior wall. They take up almost no space and are easily located out of harm’s way. The down-side is that this means having several cables running up an otherwise blank section of wall.

Instead of cluttering up your living space with cords, there are a number of solutions, some a simple quick-fix, others a permanent, attractive remedy.

The first, and easiest solution is trunking. You can buy trunking from the DIY store, it’s cheap and simple. All you need to do is attach it to the wall where the cables are to go and seal it up. It stops the wires from hanging loose, but that’s about all. You can paint over the trunking to stop it standing out against your wall, making it a little more discreet too, but it’s still clearly visible.
It doesn’t solve all the problems of cabling either. When wires need to run along a wall, from the power point to the TV, HiFi, Router, etc, it’s not practical to place them in trunking. So we need a permanent solution.

Ultimately the best solution to too many cables is to place them all within a wall. This eliminates a plethora of problems associated with cabling. There is no trip hazard, the cables don’t use up all your available power points, and you don’t have to worry about pulling things over when you try to clean behind or around them. Because this fix to the problem involves much more labour, it is consequentially a good deal more expensive than trunking or conduit. Once your living space has been planned to incorporate the new devices the cable loom can be inserted. Once the walls are back up, holes for speakers, TV and control panels are cut and the whole lot finished off so that there is no obvious cabling anywhere.

Concealed Cables Are No Barrier To Expansion

Placing cabling inside a wall doesn’t limit your capacity for expansion. When the set-up is being installed there should be access panels built in, along with traditional power points and USB charging points. And of course, should you run out of alternatives, you can still use your power outlets in the same way you did before.

You can put up trunking and conduit yourself. Many brands offer a self-adhesive option so you don’t need to put screws into your walls, meaning the job can be done in an afternoon without the need of for power tools. If you decide to put your cabling behind the wall, you have several options here too. These depend on the amount you are prepared to spend, and the nature of your walls. If you live in an older house a channel could be chased out, the cable put in and plastered over. If, on the other hand, you have cavity walls apertures can be made to receive not only the cabling, but the TV and speakers too. Given the amount of work involved, and the expense, this option would naturally take some careful consideration.

On the other hand, if you, like many other people are considering renovation or extension rather than moving house, then incorporation your home theatre and Smart devices into the design would barely add anything to the design costs and give you an energy efficient, labour saving home. Smart home installers offer a design service and can work in tandem with your architects or builders to give you the best set-up for your property.

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