Internet of Things (IoT) is entering our life gradually, driven by the advanced technology and deployment of FTTH (fiber to the home). Smart home, as an importance part of IoT, allows home owners to control devices including lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio & video systems, security, and camera systems by phone or Internet, regardless of whether anyone is home. A smart home can provide home owner comfort, security, energy efficiency (low operating costs) and convenience. Smart home is no longer strange to most of us, as there are already a wide range of related products provided in the market and many of our devices can be connected to the Internet. However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of smart home, a systemically cabling network should be built in your house.
Apparently, we depend on WiFi for many things and many of our devices in our home can be connected to the Internet via WiFi. It’s necessary that a smart home should have WiFi signal. However, if the whole house is going to wireless, you may not be able to get the top performance of smart home. Why? This is because WiFi is not as strong as you think. It is common that your WiFi signal bar changes, if you are in different places of your home. WiFi signals can be dramatically reduced, when they travel through walls. In addition, wireless has bandwidth limits even in a perfect situation. Thus, WiFi cannot supply enough bandwidth for devices like HD TV. Then cables are suggested to connect these devices to the Internet.
Devices in our home are generally powered by electricity and most of them have RJ45 interfaces. Thus, copper cables are suggest to connect household electrical appliances. Here offers an example of smart home network. The above picture shows the floor plan of a typical two-story residential house and the required functions that each room should have.
Introducing Fiber to Home
As shown in the floor plan, the fiber optic distribution point is near the basement. And the basement is not a frequently used area in a house. Thus, fiber optic cable is suggested to get into the home from basement. Basement is also suggested as a distribution point of the whole smart home network. The following picture illustrates how to introduce the fiber optic cable to the home. A flexible plastic conduit is installed from the outside termination point to the basement to protect the fiber optic cable.
Design the Smart Home Network
The design and cabling of the smart home network should be based on both the functions of each room and the future possibilities. The following is a table listing the functions of the rooms that need wiring.
|living room||TV, Telephone, Media Console, Computer|
|bedroom3||TV, Telephone, Computer|
|office||TV, Telephone, Computer|
According to the list, it is recommended to install at least two RJ45 type jacks on the same faceplate for phone and Internet on the occupied room. As to the cable choice, It depends on the Ethernet requirement. Cat5e—a high quality copper cable can support 1 Gigabit Etherent over a distance of 100 m and Cat6—a higher quality copper which can support up to 10 Gigabit are suggested. Both of them are economical solutions for smart home cabling.
At the basement, where the smart home network distribution point located, an ONT (optical network terminal) is installed to connection the outside fiber optic network with the smart home network. For this house, as shown in the above picture, an ONT with 4 RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports and built in wireless is used. An additional 12 port patch panel is used to distribute voice and Ethernet throughout the home over the wired network.
Finally, the the whole cabling system of smart home network is done. The above picture shows the details. With almost every occupied room connected to the whole smart home system by cables and wireless, the householder can enjoy the convenience provided by the smart house.