Traditional VS "Smart" Electrical Wiring. Comparative analysis.

The popularity of Smart Homes is rapidly increasing, and this is already an axiom. This trend is clearly evident in economically developed countries, where the key attributes of a Smart Home - autonomy, energy independence, energy efficiency, operational safety, and security - have long become a norm of life. Already during the planning phase of a Smart Home, the owner should consider the specific features of electrical wiring for this type of house. In this case, it is useful to know the main differences and advantages of electrical wiring in a Smart Home compared to its traditional counterpart for a regular house.

Traditional Electrical Wiring

The traditional variant of electrical wiring involves laying power cables with a cross-section of 2.5 mm² for electrical sockets (for kitchen sockets, it may be 4 mm²) and cables with a cross-section of 1.5 mm² for lighting.


Diagram of the traditional electrical wiring system.

As evident from the provided description, in the implementation of the lighting in the traditional electrical wiring system, the "neutral" wire of the power supply network goes directly from the distribution box to the load (light bulbs), while the "phase" wire is interrupted using a switch before reaching the load (light bulbs). For the electrical sockets in the traditional wiring variant, both the "phase" and "neutral" wires run from the distribution box to the sockets. Therefore, with the traditional electrical wiring, it is possible to control the lights and sockets in the house simply by physically pressing the switch or plugging something into the socket.

"Smart" Electrical Wiring

For a smart electrical wiring system, the presence of a smart home controller is characteristic, which allows for remote control of all the building's engineering systems. This control can be achieved using a smartphone, voice assistant, automation rules, scenarios, or even a regular switch, which, in this case, transforms into a "smart" switch with rich and extensive functionality (refer to the article "Universal Switch in the Smart Home System").
With smart electrical wiring, homeowners can enjoy the convenience of managing various aspects of their home remotely and through different devices, making it a more flexible and technologically advanced option compared to traditional electrical wiring.


According to the provided description of a smart electrical wiring system, there are significant differences compared to traditional wiring. For example, the lighting switch is no longer physically connected to the light bulb; instead, it controls its operation through a controller like the Atom series. Additionally, the same switch, under specific conditions (e.g., holding it for 3 seconds), can control other equipment such as the air conditioner, ventilation system, boiler, blinds, etc. With smart electrical wiring installed in the house, users can implement various scenarios, such as the "Nobody is Home" scenario. All this can be achieved using a single switch: a long press would turn off all lights in the house, switch the heating to ECO mode, close motorized curtains or blinds, shut off the water supply to the house, and activate the internal security system. Any changes in parameters will trigger corresponding push notifications on the I3 Home app on the smartphone.
Of course, some electricians, after analyzing the smart electrical wiring system, may say, "it's not all straightforward." Indeed, from the smart electrical wiring system diagram, it's apparent that each controlled device or group of devices requires a cable to be connected to the electrical panel. However, it's possible to significantly reduce the number of expensive power cables like NYM-J with a cross-section of 1.5-2.5 mm². This is because sensors, switches, reed switches, dry contact devices, and RS-485 interface devices allow the use of low-voltage 8-core UTP cables, which are much cheaper compared to power cables. As a result, one UTP cable can be used to connect up to 7 devices.

It is worth noting that for multi-story buildings and large private houses, when planning a smart electrical wiring system, it is advisable to allocate several separate control nodes (panels). Each of these panels is equipped with a controller from the Atom series, to which sensors, switches, and controlled devices of specific zones are connected. The controllers of individual nodes are interconnected in an i3-NET network using low-voltage 2-core cables (as described in section 4 of the Atom series controller installation instructions). This approach significantly optimizes cable routing and reduces their cost, as there is no longer a need to pull lengthy cables from all rooms of the house to a single designated location, such as a garage or utility room on the 1st floor.
The reward for successfully implementing a smart electrical wiring system is the ability to use the "Smart Home" system, which allows for easy reassignment of switches, implementation of functionality for multi-way switches and master switches, as well as complete remote control over the house from anywhere on the globe and many other features that a "Smart Home" system offers. Additionally, using low-voltage cables with the mentioned devices helps to reduce the cost and complexity of laying power cables.

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