Adding electric and how to install data keystones in 6 easy steps

Real exciting post, right? There are just some renovation tasks that aren’t sexy…. unless you’re a fan of super high speed network connectivity. If so, this post will totally be your jam.

Among the many, many (many, many, many) tasks that preceded painting the studio, Aaron amped up (hee, hee) the space with some new electrical outlets. It’s as if this space was being used as a garage and not a studio housing a variety of electrical equipment. So strange.



He ran conduit, added boxes, pulled wire and installed 21 outlets.


Tape blocked the holes and wires from being covered with paint.




After painting he installed all the receptacles.



Along with the electrical rough in, he also added conduit and boxes for a data network. A wireless network isn’t something you need in most normal residential spaces (though we would argue that it’s awesome to have). We needed it for 3 reasons.
1. The photography studio deals with lots of more data than a wireless network can handle.
2. Covering a masonry building this big with a wireless signal is nearly impossible.
3. Aaron has always wanted a hard-wired network. He’ll fly his tech geek flag and get excited over the speed and stability of this network. He’ll even toss around insults(?) like “Our network is faster than your network.” So there’s that.

We opted for cat 6 cable (instead of cat 5e) to get the most life out of it. Data requirements change so rapidly. We wanted the system to work at a high speed for as long as possible. We added 10 network drops in the studio and an additional run upstairs for our wireless network on that floor.

If you want to install your own data network, it’s actually pretty easy. Hang the conduit, pull the wires through and then install the keystones (what the wires plug into for us non techy folks). Gather up your tools and then follow these 6 easy steps for installing keystones.

Here’s what you’ll need (left to right): stripper, crimping tool for keystone/jack, punch tool for keystone, wire cutters, mini screwdriver


1. Strip outside sheath. Be careful with a new stripper. Ours was so sharp that it cut the actual wires and Aaron had to redo some of the keystones.



2. Separate and straighten the pairs of wire.



3. Place the wires into the keystone following the colors on the side.



4. Use the data punch to push the wires completely into the jumper. This will also cut off the access wire.



5. Add the cap


6. Insert the keystone into the housing. Pro tip – Label the keystone and jumper (which goes into the router) so each data run is marked.


Anyone else wiring their home (or business) with high speed data cables?