What Smart Home Systems Can Electrical Contractors Install?

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  Posted by: electime      11th January 2022

Emily Newton is a technical writer and the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She enjoys researching and writing about how technology is changing different industries.

Electricians and electrical contractors provide some of the most in-demand services in the building sector. Far from being threatened by the rise of commercial and consumer technologies, this field of experts is thriving on new ideas.

A 2017 survey showed clear optimism that smart home system installation projects in commercial and residential sectors are on track to “only continue to increase.” The following smart home systems are great starting points for any electrician or electrical contractor looking to broaden their expertise.

Smart Lighting Systems

Lighting systems become smart when paired with occupancy sensors, motion detectors and a range of dimming functions. Electrical contractors can set their clients up for success, whether on a new build or retrofit, by studying the available makes and models.

Smart lighting begins with lightbulbs. Today, a range of options provide colored-light ambiance, remote control via smartphone, and automation features – like lights coming on automatically when somebody attempts entry. The best smart lighting systems have a wide range of interoperability and compatibility with Amazon, Google and Apple hardware ecosystems.

Smart switches can also set the building’s owner up for success. They wirelessly become part of a smart home’s networked Internet of Things (IoT) and provide automation and control for other lighting products in the building. Unlike a regular switch, smart switches stay connected even in the “off” position.

Smart Security Systems

Smart security systems let homeowners keep their eyes on their property as well as the people who live inside it.

  • Smart cameras: These are some of the most popular smart security products on the market. It’s easier to install them in unobtrusive locations if they’re planned for early in the home’s design stage.
  • Smart locks: Contractors can install these at any time, but it could be advantageous if they’re installed alongside and synced with the rest of the home’s IoT buildout.
  • Smart doorbells: Sold with or without a smart lock, smart doorbells provide a visual feed of anybody who rings the bell or attempts entry.

Smart Entertainment Systems

Speakers are usually the first thought when smart home entertainment comes up. These are best thought of as appliances, since they can be placed anywhere a standard electrical socket is available. Some models provide USB-C power connectivity, which omits the wall-side power “brick.”

For those cases, contractors can “future-proof” the home by installing USB-C charging ports. These can support any entertainment device, like speakers, laptops, phones and other accessories, without the hassle of the wall adapter.

Smart home theater projectors are often used to complete entertainment areas undergoing a smart makeover. For entertaining in the kitchen, it’s best to take the long view and install intelligent switches, USB wall outlets and other touches to ensure this space is ready for any new tech additions.

Smart Energy Options

Saving energy is another popular reason homeowners turn to electrical contractors. The right additions to a living or working space can dramatically cut its energy consumption while improving quality of life.

Smart thermostats and mini-split ductless heating systems pair incredibly well to keep the air in homes conditioned. Electricians can help homeowners plan for the future by installing smart thermostats in each room. Mini-split systems provide HVAC functionality room-by-room, which means each resident can make adjustments independently. When nobody is present, the smart system drops the temperature to an energy-saving level until the space is needed again.

During a smart home system installation, contractors and electricians can even plan for the addition of smart textiles, including blinds and shades. This family of technology features window treatments with remote-control functionality plus automation functions, like closing the blinds during periods of intense sunlight.

Smart Connectivity

The connectivity required to keep all these internet devices powered and functional deserves consideration.

Mesh network wireless router systems have become the norm for many homeowners. Since these place signal repeaters throughout the home or building, it’s prudent to plan for them during the conception and building phase.

Another hardware element that requires planning for the best results is the home coordinator or hub. These use several protocols for communicating with the rest of the home, including infrared, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Z-wave or Zigbee. Electrical contractors should familiarize themselves with the advantages of each and know which is best suited for the home in question. The hub should be placed in a convenient, central location.

Additionally, it’s still fashionable and advantageous to wire homes with Cat-6 ethernet cable and ethernet ports anyplace technology may later be present. Computers, smart televisions, and other appliances and tools can benefit from a speedier wired connection over a wireless one.

Other Smart Home Considerations

With technology moving as fast as it does, homeowners can sometimes get swept away by the number of smart home technology choices. Electricians and other building professionals should always begin projects of this nature with a signed contract and specific goals in mind to avoid mission creep and cultivate realistic expectations.

Contractors must also familiarise themselves with IoT and smart home cybersecurity practices. Upon installation, change any default profiles and passwords to prevent unauthorised parties from logging in and accessing home networks.

Capitalise on Smart Home System Installation Today

The growth of this industry is a sign that contractors and electricians have everything to gain by learning more about these technologies. Demand is rising for homes with fully integrated smart home systems providing security, efficiency and comfort.