How to Install Hidden Wires for Advanced Home Automation

How to Install Hidden Wires for Advanced Home Automation


Installing hidden wires for home automation allows you to control lights, temperature, security, entertainment, and more, all while keeping unsightly wires concealed. This guide will walk you through everything I learned while installing hidden wires in my own home. From planning to execution, I'll share tips and tricks to help you create an automated home with all the wires neatly tucked away.

Planning Your Home Automation System

The first step is deciding which systems you want to automate. Common options include:

Once you decide on the systems, map out their locations and connections. For example:

This planning ensures you wire the correct cables to the right spots.

Choosing Low-Voltage Cable

Most home automation devices operate on low-voltage wiring, typically 24 volts or less. This allows smaller, more flexible cables to be hidden easily. Common options include:

For my installation, I used 18-5 thermostat wire to connect switches, sensors, and controllers throughout the house. It provides 5 conductors for different signals.

Running Cables Through Walls

The key to a clean look is running cables through walls and ceilings. This conceals them completely while allowing access where needed. Here are some techniques I used:

Drilling Holes

Use a long flexible drill bit to drill straight through framing when running horizontal cables. For vertical runs in finished walls, drill small holes and fish wires between them.

Notching Studs

You can notch out sections in wood studs to lay cables in. Keep notches less than 1.5 inches deep so they don't weaken framing. Use metal plates to protect cables.

Removing Baseboards

Pry up baseboards to access the gap between drywall and floor joists. This creates an easy path to run wiring.

False Walls and Ceilings

Build new soffits or wall boxes to contain wiring. Or use existing coat closets on rear of walls.

Installing the Automation Controller

The automation controller is the brains of the system, connecting all the devices. I installed mine in a closet, along with the ethernet router. From there, I connected the controller to devices throughout the house using the hidden low-voltage wiring.

Key steps:

Testing and Troubleshooting

Before finishing the walls, test all your connected devices thoroughly:

Check for loose connections, mixed-up wires, and defects. Troubleshoot and correct any issues before closing up the walls.

Completing the Installation

Once everything checks out, you can button up the installation:

With all the wires neatly tucked away, you can enjoy seamless voice or app-based control of your automated home!


Installing hidden wires takes planning and effort, but the results are worth it. By taking the time to properly install in-wall wiring, your home automation system will operate smoothly while maintaining a clean, modern aesthetic. With the tips above, you can create an automated home controlled by invisible low-voltage wiring hidden neatly behind the scenes.