New Construction: Where Do I Plug in My Robot?
Updated: Feb 22
If you have experienced new construction or renovation, you know the decision making process is like drinking from a fire hose. One of the trickiest decision areas is the electrical plan. Where do outlets go? Where do lights go? Where do switches go? Where do we power all the components essential to our lives? There might be a need for plugs up high, down low, in the walls, in the cabinets, in the closets, on the stairs, and in the garage. Plugs, plugs, everywhere, plugs.
We, as a society, have a growing and seemingly unlimited amount of equipment that needs power. Contractors usually follow a standard and non-customized plan. It’s up to you to ensure your needs are met, now and in the future. This part of the design process requires some powers of visualization. Visualize your furniture placement. For example, do you have a spot in mind for a particular table and lamp? Visualize cooking in the kitchen and using small appliances. Visualize where you might read, sew, iron, use power tools, use a phone, exercise, compute, and dock your robotic house cleaners. We are all approaching higher demands for charging stations for autonomous appliances, electric vehicles, computers, phones, tablets, drones, and more. Our entertainment needs have increased; where and how do you watch tv or listen to music? Do you want to pursue a specialized whole house installation of audio-visual-lighting plans or is a more simplistic plan right for you?
Although lighting fixtures are beautiful elements in themselves, they also have an important task to perform. They might light up a kitchen counter or an island, splash some light on wall art, provide bathroom vanity lighting, light a hallway, or just be a soothing accent piece such as a sconce. The placement of these little beauties needs the same forethought and visualization. The switch locations that control lighting also have a major impact on the flow and use of your space.
In this design process, take your time! Do not let the contractor or electrician rush you; electrical wires are difficult to change once walls are up. Walk through the space as often as possible to visualize its use. The bottom line is we are a power hungry society who also appreciate convenience. Think about your power needs, your lifestyle, and where you like to create, recreate, and recharge. Unless extension cords are aesthetically appealing to you, plan your electrical space thoroughly so your robot is charged and ready to bring you a much needed cocktail!