How much power?


I'm building a new house. I've designed a technology closet (head-end) right behind my entertainment center. All my low voltage system will head-end in this room. I'll be doing Home Automation, Distributed Audio, Home Netorking, Home Theater, etc.

Any ideas on how much electric power I should have the electricians wire into the room?



Active Member
... all of it ;)

I would suggest at least a dedicated 30 amp circuit, but 2 would be better. If you are doing x-10 then I suggest that you have a dedicated line just for your x-10 transmitter/receiver that goes direct to the panel, with noting else on that line, this will help in noise and signal strength. If cost is not an issue then there are a lot of other options. I.E. Lightolier firewalls


New Member
Don't forget your low voltage source. I just picked up (2) Elk PD-9's from automated outlet that give me 18 regulated 12VDC power supplies. Great units to power all your PIR's, smokes, etc.


Senior Member
Don't forget to physically keep low voltage seperate (Cat5 / RG6 / Audio / Video sources) from high voltage for noise and RF interference.


Active Member
You're going to hate me for this, but 3 (or more) would be best.

1. Dedicated for X10 only (15 amp). Only put your master transmitter/receiver here. If you want, you can hook all your wall-warts on this circuit also, but they would be better on another circuit.

2. Audio/video/etc (20-30 amps). If the entertainment center in the next room could be on another circuit, all the better.

3. All computers (20-30 amps). Isolating this branch is critical, as you probably will have at least one UPS (or possibly more), and UPS are known for being signal suckers. B-A-A-D for X10.

The comment about the ELK is a good one. Wall-wart control is also a PITA, as they will chew up a gazillion receptacles. Either get a few plug-in Wiremold power strips (~3 ft. with 8 receptacles), or a couple of the permanentlyl mounted Wiremold strips (1 receptacle/ft.)

And before you ask, yes, I practice what I preach. :)

1) X10 and burglar alarm (15 amp)
2) Whole house A/V and misc other automation stuff (20 amp)
3) 3 KVA UPS (30 amp)
4) 3 KVA UPS (20 amp @ 240v)
5) Lights (including the rest of the basement lighting)