Glossary of Electrical Technology Terms

What is structured cabling?

Structured cabling is the cable infrastructure designed in order to support a smart home system. It consists of specialist cables run from specific points around the home to a centralised location. Companies such as electrical technolo-g, who have highly experienced and competent systems integrators, can design and install a cable infrastructure capable of supporting a smart home system.

Why do I need a wireless network?

In the connected home, a robust and well-designed wireless network is essential. The homeowner and family require the ability to roam around the home, effortlessly controlling their environment without connectivity issues. This is achieved by carrying out a survey to avoid dead spots and carefully selecting products, which will give reliable, long-term operation.

Great demands can be placed on the home network given the myriad of connected devices, streaming audio and video services. Sufficient bandwidth is required so that everything works seamlessly, even when under periods of high demand.

Why do I need lighting design and control?

There are many ways to enhance the beauty and look of your home, well-designed lighting can dramatically change the feel and mood of a room at the touch of a button. electrical technolo-g have their own dedicated lighting designer. Paula is highly experienced and has created stunning lighting solutions for both residential and corporate customers.
A lighting control system adds drama and a touch of luxury, but also brings the following benefits to the homeowner.

• Energy savings – Use less electricity
• Convenience – Control your lights from an iPad
• Reduce wall Clutter – No unsightly banks of switches
• Timed Events – Garden lights on at sunset
• Holiday Mode – Potential burglars will think your home is occupied
• Pathways – One button press to light the path to your kitchen
• All lights Off – A convenient button by your front door
• All lights On – Peace of mind in an emergency

What are lighting scenes?

With a lighting control system, we need to think a little differently, as you want to make your smart home work for you. A lighting control keypad will have several buttons, programmed to recall lighting scenes. The homeowner decides what the scenes will be and these can be refined during the project. We like to think of scenes as being task or mood specific such as food preparation, dining, cleaning, entertaining, watching movies and reading. Pressing a single button will recall a scene.

A lighting scene could be:
• Down lighters – 50% brightness
• Wall Lights – 30% brightness
• Table lamps – Off
• LED mood lighting – Blue, 40% brightness

These changes happen concurrently and smoothly over a few seconds.

What is multiroom audio distribution?

Audio distribution systems, or multi-room, allow the distribution of audio sources from a central location, to any area of your home. It is the homeowner’s choice where audio will be available. Typically, invisible or architectural speakers can be installed in living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms bathrooms, gardens, studies and gymnasiums.

The choice of audio source is almost endless. You can choose from::

  • FM, DAB or Internet radio
  • Streaming services such as Spotify
  • Archived music from a connected NAS or computer
  • Stream from mobile devices such as iPhone

Integrate your multi-room with your hi-fi or home cinema system for superior sound quality. Play different sources in different rooms simultaneously, link rooms and create a party zone, enjoy your music wherever you are!

What is multiroom video distribution?

Like multi-room audio, multi-room video distribution allows the distribution of video sources from a central location, to any area of your home. By installing a specialist cable such as cat-6 or fibre, high definition video can be distributed around the home. Sources can be:

  • Satellite – Sky or FreeSat
  • Terrestrial TV
  • Blu-Ray or DVD
  • Streaming services such as Netflix
  • Apple TV
  • Movie servers such as Kaleidescape

Using the latest technology, a single category data cable is capable of distributing full HD Video, multi-channel audio, ethernet, various control options including IR, and IP. Connected display devices can be TVs, waterproof bathroom TVs, mirror TVs or projectors.

Should I have a home cinema system?

Yes, absolutely! If you’re going to have a large screen TV, why not have a good multi-channel audio system to get really absorbed into your favourite TV programme, movie or music concert. Your system can be unobtrusive, designed to merge seamlessly with your interior décor or a dedicated cinema room.

There are many considerations when thinking about home cinema:

  • Size, orientation and décor of the room
  • Cinema equipment and control system
  • What level of performance?
  • Lighting design and control
  • Other usage, such as gaming or listening to music
  • Viewing medium, large screen or projection system
  • Bespoke furniture and cinema seating

electrical technolo-g can guide you through this process to ensure you have the home cinema of your dreams.

Why use electrical technolo-g?

Our team consists of electrical, smart home and lighting designers. We have our own installation experts covering electrical, home automation and IT. We take responsibility for and own the entire process, from design and first fix to programming and commissioning. We don’t need to outsource any part of the project. Additionally, we have strong relationships with other professionals such as kitchen and furniture manufacturers.

We are members of our respective trade organisations and hold all relevant accreditations and insurance.

What are the benefits of home networking and home automation?

According to CEDIA members and industry research, those who have integrated homes view these systems as a way to save time, improve comfort and spend more quality time with their families.

What is a Smart Home?

A Smart Home is described as having the ability to integrate television, home cinema, lighting control, multi-room audio, HVAC, security, domestic appliances and other systems through a centrally controlled network. These systems are custom designed for the homeowner and family. They offer connectivity, convenience, safety and lifestyle enhancement.


Acronym for Integrated Services for Digital Network is a set of communication standards for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network. Home and business users who install an ISDN adapter (in place of a telephone modem) receive Web pages at up to 128 Kbps (Kilobits per second) compared with the maximum 56 Kbps rate of a modem connection.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A computer network, usually within one building, that connects computers, file and mail servers, storage, peripherals, and other devices in a way that permits data interchange and sharing of resources and devices.


Acronym for Liquid Crystal Display is the technology used for displays in notebook and other smaller computers allowing displays to be thin.


Acronym for Light Emitting Diode a semiconductor diode that converts applied voltage to light and is used in lamps and digital displays.

Megabit per second (Mbps)

In telecommunications, bit rate or data transfer rate is the average number of bits, characters, or blocks per unit time passing between equipment in a data transmission system typically measured in multiples of the unit bits per second.


Acronym for Radio Data System found in many radio tuners which supplies additional information for display e.g. the display of the station name. More sophisticated models can switch to travel updates when they are broadcast on other stations.


Another name for a radio or tuner.

Satellite speaker

Smaller, additional speakers placed to the rear and side of the TV or screen.


21-pin socket used to interconnect satellite receivers, television sets, and other audiovisual equipment.

Speaker systems – 2.1, 5.1, 7.1

2.1 – These systems do not use the rear and centre speakers, leaving only the
sub-woofer and two front speakers.

5.1 – Three front speakers, positioned to the left, right and centre at the front of the room, but also includes two rear speakers positioned behind the listener and a subwoofer positioned elsewhere in the room.The lower bass notes that come from the subwoofer are less directional than the higher frequencies, positioning is less critical than the placing of the satellite speakers.

7.1 – Takes the basic 5.1 layout and adds two more rear speakers. However, the majority of Blu-ray discs are only mixed for 5.1 audio so the addition of these two extra speakers has no significant effect. Some 7.1 discs are available but in small numbers. 7.1 is for those who want the ultimate system.


The speaker that produces low-frequency sounds.


Acronym for Universal Serial Bus (USB), an industry standard developed in the
mid-1990s that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices. Some audio devices can play MP3 tracks directly from a USB memory stick.


A derived unit of power named after the Scottish engineer James Watt (1736–1819) that can be used to express the rate of energy conversion or transfer in relation to time. The watt is often used to describe the output power of loudspeakers.

Wireless speakers

Wireless speakers have a transmitter that allows them to operate without wires.

Auto set-up

Obtains the best sound balance from your home cinema system based on where you intend to sit. Auto set-up bounces sounds from each speaker to a microphone placed in the position you will sit to measure the optimum delay and distance for each speaker.


A digital optical disc data storage format capable of storing high-definition video resolution. The major application of Blu-ray Discs is as amedium for video material such as feature films.

Blue Tooth

Technology that allows voice and data connections between a wide range of mobile and stationary devices through short-range digital two-way radio.


Transmission medium with enough bandwidth to carry multiple voice, video, or data channels simultaneously for example to provide Internet access via cable TV.


Short for Category 5, CAT5 refers to Ethernet cabling that satisfies the criteria for the EIA/TIA-568 standard’s Category 5, which allows data transfers up to 100Mbps.

Coaxial Cable

A type of cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer. Applications include use in Local Area Networks for computer network connections.
Coaxial cable can be installed next to metal objects such as gutters without the power losses and can offer protection of the signal from external electromagnetic interference.

Copper Cable

A mechanically assembled group of copper wires, used in place of a single, large wire to allow flexibility.

Data Cable

Used to transmit electronic information from a source to a destination. Used in computer and telecommunication systems the data cabling is either copper or fibre optic.

Decibel (dB)

A unit used to measure the intensity of a sound or the power level of an electrical signal by comparing it to a reference level.

Dolby surround

A family of digital audio encoding technologies from Dolby used in commercial cinemas, home cinemas and video games. Introduced in the movie “Batman Returns” in 1992, Dolby Digital is the most widely used surround sound system in the world.


Acronym derived from digital video disc or digital versatile disc a DVD is a digital optical disc storage format. A DVD can be played in multiple types of players, including DVD players and computers. They offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.


System for connecting a number of computers or devices to form a Local Area Network (LAN), with protocols to control the passing of information.

Fibre optics

A technology that uses specially designed bundles of transparent fibres to transmit light and used to transmit data.


Acronym for High-Definition Multimedia Interface which is a proprietary audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device.

Audio power output

Electrical power transferred from an audio amplifier to a loudspeaker, measured in watts. The electrical power delivered to the loudspeaker, together with its sensitivity, determines the sound power level generated. It is important to ensure the amplification is compatible with the speakers. The average audio power output is usually referred to as an RMS (Root Mean Square) value and is often seen quoted as “Watts RMS”.


An electronic device that is used to increase the strength of a signal that is input into it. The amplifier delivers electrical power to the loudspeakers and is used to adjust the sound power level (loudness) generated.