New Home Construction and Automation


Senior Member
With several of the top dog hardwired systems, the switch connects via low level (Cat5) cable and the actual switching is done in the wiring closet (usually the basement) at the Load Panels.

Best to do the whole thing up front to reduce double labor.

But, you probably could if you wired both high voltage and low voltage cable to the same outlet. Talk to your electrical inspector if they are ok with this as high and low usually don't mix unless there is a physical seperation.

Then, in the basement, wire each load home run to a central panel area. Initially, you will just have simple load boxes there. The switch location will be wired to the device.

Then, as money comes available, you can tie the high voltage together at the switch to make continuity to the lighting load. In the basement reroute the switched wire to a controller lighting load box.

You would now connect the low voltage lighting switches to the Cat5 wire. The Cat5 wire goes to the wiring closet to the lighting controller.

This is a lot of double work, but possible, depending on your electrical code.


Active Member
Considering the high cost of copper right now, you probably really want to pick a route and go with it. Trying to wire HV for multiple options will get very pricy very quick.

So a summary:

Homerun Hardwire solutions

Vantage, Lutron, Clipsal C-Bus, Litetouch, etc...

Work well but you have to do it all in one shot (or sit in the dark in some places until you buy some more switches...)

Traditional Wire solutions

OnQ ALC, EDT i-Line

Can put it together a peice at a time as you go. Perhaps not the same quality level as the homerun stuff.


New Member
So are you guys saying that the homerun hardwire choices can't be traditionally ran? This would be only one run from a breaker to where the circuit is going to take place, then power daisy chained to all the applicable outlets/switches. Then I would make a run of Cat-5 from each outlet/switch to the LV control center.

What do you mean that the Traditional Wire Controllers aren't the same quality as the Homerun Hardwire?



Senior Member

No, they are different animals. Traditional implies romex carrying 120 to the fixture and switch. In the standard hardwire system you have a load center that does all of the switching dimming and you simply run romex from that load center to the fixture. Then you run cat 5 from that load center to wherever you want switches for control, but there is no switching of 120V outside of the the central load center. All of the logic is in thge central load panel and you use 'dumb' switches that simply tell the load center what to do. The load center is 120, not LV. The LV simply controls the switching/dimming modules in the load center.

The others we mentioned, ALC, EDT, allow you to wire and switch traditionally, and each switch has the logic in it. And those switches are connected voa cat5 to an automation panel.

Another advantage of the 'standard' homerun hardwire is you can put alot less holes and switches in the wall. For example, if you have a room with 4 loads, in a traditional system you need 4 switches in a 4 gang box. With the hardwire, you can put just 1 switch with 4 buttons.

Take a look at the Centralite LiteJet, a popular system. You can look at a wiring diagram which may help explain it better.


New Member
Thanks, now I finally got it through my thick skull. haha. It makes sense and narrows down the choices for how I want to do it.