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Why knx

A brief introduction to KNX

The demand for comfort and versatility in the management of heating, lighting and access control systems for a family home as well as an office complex is growing. At the same time, the efficient use of energy is becoming increasingly important. People want a comfortable, sustainable and safe place to live and work and that's where automation jumps in. However, more convenience and safety together with lower energy consumption can only be achieved by intelligent control and monitoring of all products involved. This is a true challenge as it implies more wiring, running from the sensors and actuators to the control and monitoring centres. For professionals, such a mass of wiring also means higher design and installation efforts, increased fire risk and soaring costs. That's where KNX jumps in!
KNX is the worldwide open standard for all applications in the building automation technology, from lighting and blind control to systems for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, monitoring, alarming, water control, energy management, metering, household appliances, audio/video and much more.
KNX covers a wide range of trades. Whether light or blind control, connection of heating and air conditioning - everything is connectable via the standardized KNX protocol. No further interfaces to third-party systems or other trades are required.

What is the KNX smart home standard?

KNX is an international open standard for building automation. It’s based on both KNX wiring that’s laid around the building, and programming, set up by a certified KNX installer. The standard describes how sensors (that sense and issue commands) and actors (that execute the commands) can communicate with each other and connects them to a single, interconnected system. The place where the magic happens is the bus line which acts as a central nervous system for your KNX smart home. KNX is reshaping the future of building automation by combining over 8000 products available across 500+ suppliers and thus giving you the option to choose among literally hundreds of compatible home devices that speak the same language.

What do you get for it?

A way to centrally control your home’s HVAC, lighting systems, shading, multimedia, security and energy management from anywhere via a wall switch or a mobile app. It also lets you check up on their status (whether all the windows are closed) and automate them (automatically turn on the lights as you enter the hallway). As a KNX homeowner you’re woken gently by automated raising of the blinds, the heating in the bathroom is on and you’re greeted with uplifting music in the kitchen, where your first coffee of the day is already brewing. In a KNX smart home, all of these features become part of your everyday life.

KNX suits any home!

It doesn't matter whether you want to install it in a new building or renovate an existing apartment, KNX has you covered. When KNX home automation standard was first launched in 1990 it was used for adapting large industrial buildings, stadiums and airports and later it was introduced for smaller offices and residential buildings. Size doesn’t matter when it comes to KNX as it can handle bigger loads of communication

10 reasons why anyone would enjoy living in a KNX smart home

#1 Mobile app control

Apart from the usual wall switch control, KNX also offers control via a mobile app or a mounted tablet if you decide to visualize it. This means that switching any device on or off, or simply checking the temperature is a single tap away. With some mobile apps you can also create scenes or automations by yourself. You can also customise your mobile interface to your needs and get insights on your energy usage.

#2 Centralised control in a decentralised home

KNX devices can be installed indoors (lights, blinds, …) and outdoors (lights, sprinklers, pool control, … ), all centralised in one system that controls them. No more switching mobile apps between each device as one app covers it all. Feel free to automate all devices to work synchronised, indoor and outdoor ones. The KNX smart home is a decentralised system, meaning that all devices can work together without being dependent on a central server. Your distributed system ensures that if your central server, or any sensor or actuator, breaks down, the remaining devices still function. This is especially important in commercial buildings such as shops, offices or hotels, but also your private home can benefit from a guaranteed robustness of the system.

#3 500+ manufacturers

Since KNX is an open standard, it doesn’t only mean that there are 500+ manufacturers in more than 35 countries, but the number grows regularly. This means that if you go with KNX, you’re never tied to a single manufacturer, and can choose each device from a different manufacturer to make sure you get the look and functions you need for a price that fits your budget. You can easily combine any KNX product: a push button from GIRA, motion sensors by ABB, JUNG’s actuators and MDT’s weather station, as if they were all made by the same manufacturer and join them into one automation system.

#4 Customizable

Once a KNX system has been installed, it can be expanded or reprogrammed at any time. The installer can adapt it to your requirements in case your living conditions and habits change. For instance a wall switch can be re-programmed to turn on a different device or scene, which makes KNX extremely handy. Your wants and needs change as you get older, as the kids grow up and eventually move out, and the possibility to switch up the device functions can easily be one of the reasons to decide for KNX. The only limit is that new wiring needs to be installed in walls, so it’s smart to foresee the future changes and lay the cables beforehand.

#5 Remote Access

With a KNX smart home app, you can turn off any light you may have left on, close your blinds remotely to protect your windows against heavy winds and storms, or adjust the temperature before you arrive home. Do it all via your smartphone, tablet or even some smart watches! Let remote control bring a peace of mind, ensuring you that your home is safe and sound.

#6 Energy Management

Saving energy means switching the light off when you don’t need it. This sounds so simple but it is rarely achieved in practice, especially in buildings with large numbers of people coming and going. With the help of KNX you can use presence sensors to turn off a light when no presence is detected, and save energy in the long run. Let your heating and cooling be automated depending on the outside and inside temperature and make your home more energy efficient. The sun’s natural energy can be integrated into the temperature control system in a smart way by letting blinds and heating work in harmony. This means that when the sun is in a favourable position in winter, the blinds get raised and the amount of required heating is reduced accordingly. A KNX Weather station can help greatly with that.

#7 Future-proof

KNX has been around for 30 years now and it’s definitely here to stay. The KNX standard ensures that all certified KNX devices are compatible with each other. A smart home can’t stand still: it needs to evolve throughout a building's lifetime if it is to continue adding value. Homeowners will get older and their requirements for assisted living will change over time; or maybe new babies come along or older ones come home and they have to find new ways to live alongside each other. KNX has stood the test of time and is scalable and flexible enough to stay on top of the smart home technology.

#8 Secure

A pure KNX smart home runs completely locally and is closed from the outside world, making it the best way to secure your data. A KNX smart home allows you to automatically activate your alarm as you lock the door. Movement and presence sensors will detect any suspicious movement at your door and send you a notification on your phone. You can manage your alarm system remotely and set up a routine to give the impression that you are at home when you are actually not. Give unwanted intruders no chance – close the shutters at night when you’re away or mimic presence while on vacation.

#9 Time-saving

Automate repetitive home tasks and save yourself a ton of valuable time that you can use for the things that really matter in your life. With KNX it’s easy to let your smart home devices work for you. Not only is it convenient, it also frees up the time you used to do meaningless tasks such as turning off that one light in the first floor you forgot to turn off before leaving the house.

#10 Ready for IoT world

KNX is a traditional wired standard, but it can easily be integrated with the IoT world of the 21st century. You can integrate KNX devices into the Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa or Google Home ecosystem with the help of third-party businesses. It’s a fairly simple process that brings wired KNX and wireless IoT worlds together into a single app, lets you command your KNX home with voice and add wireless devices such as the Philips Hue, IKEA Trådfri and others. Having a voice assistant in your home system feels great and will definitely impress the guests.

10 reasons for Home Automation

10 good reasons why it is worthwhile to automate the electrical system of a building and make it modern, efficient and safe.

  • Today it is unthinkable to construct a building without an open, future-oriented automation and control system. In this way, the building is by its nature innovative and safe, maintains value and commercial attractiveness over time and contributes to the indispensable environmental sustainability.
  • All functions can be managed through the use of a single device with simple and intuitive gestures. The operation of each household adapts flexibly to individual needs and requirements, thanks to the possibility of extensive customisation.
  • The house offers great active and passive security. The intrusion control is supported by the simulation of presence with lighting on and off when you are away from home, video surveillance with remote control, detection of gas leaks and the danger of flooding with relevant alarm notification.
  • The lighting control is complete: power on and off, dimming, choice of colour combinations for RGB LED sources. The concept of “dynamic light” becomes reality: brightness and colour warmth that vary according to human needs to ensure visual comfort, well-being, concentration and a correct impact on biological rhythms.
  • The control of the audio and video equipment is fully integrated with the other domotics functions. You can emulate the remote controls of multimedia devices such as TVs, video projectors or DVD and stereo players, using a single user interface on smartphones or tablets.
  • The management of blinds and shutters is automated: in combination with weather stations, it is possible to limit or exploit the solar intake (depending on the season) and thus achieve significant savings in heating and cooling energy. In case of precipitation or frost, awnings and shutters can be placed in a safe position to avoid damage.
  • The most energy-intensive appliances are actively managed (oven, induction plates, washing machines) with non-priority load’s disconnection, avoiding the intervention of the main switches. Loads are continuously monitored to increase awareness of their energy behaviour, verify which appliances determine the highest consumption and in which time slots.
  • An ideal setting for heatingventilation and air conditioning of rooms. Changing set points, selecting the conduction mode and setting fan speeds are easy. Controlling relative humidity and air quality (CO2) increases well-being. Simple daily and weekly programming of time slots.
  • Scenarios allow to delegate the repetitive everyday gestures, reset the system according to the different housing needs (outside the house - inside the house, summer-winter, exit-entrance, night-day, weekdays - holidays, children at home - outside the house, guest scenery, relaxation, etc.) and recall the programmed automations.
  • Simplicity in system design and requirements definition. Suitable for new construction and renovation.
  • Easy re-adaptation of the system following structural changes or needs that change over time (even after a long time has passed since its creation).
  • Maximum freedom and flexibility in programming devices to achieve the desired functions.
  • The wiring of the system is much simpler than the traditional solution due to a smaller number of cables installed.
  • The system equipment and the consequent number of functions managed can increase gradually over time. In order for this to be possible, it is necessary to structure the system properly and then to design and prepare it correctly. It is possible to initially set it up with the minimum necessary (at a very low cost) and then gradually develop it according to real needs.
  • This function is made possible by the availability of latest generation phones and tablets with large displays, friendly and intuitive interfaces with the possibility of adding tools and functions with Apps. Increasingly high-performance network services make it possible to interact with great reliability and very short response times. Each control task can therefore also be carried out remotely via an Internet connection.
  • Intrusion control with presence simulation by switching lights on and off when away from home, remote-controlled video surveillancegas leak and pipe breakage control with alarm notification.
  • Innovative voice control via Amazon, Apple and Google home speakers, equipped with voice assistants, provides an incomparable user experience and control convenience.
  • The installation, also thanks to the technology with which it is made, is very reliable and consequently the risk of malfunction or disservice is almost non-existent.
  • Simplicity in the design of the system and definition of requirements. Suitable for new construction and renovation.
  • Control panels connected at very low voltage (absence of mains voltage 230V). Greater safety of use, lower risk of electric shock, reduction of electromagnetic pollution in the home.
  • The system, due to its intrinsic reliability, is free from maintenance and periodic intervention.
  • Revaluation of the property in case of renovation, increase and maintenance of value over time (estimated at about 5%) in case of new construction. In the United States and the United Kingdom, more than half of Real Estate Agencies have already granted added value to properties with Home Automation solutions, and new buildings are designed or already equipped with numerous automation devices.
  • Increase of the value and commercial attractiveness of the building with higher energy class thanks to the home automation equipment (according to UNI EN 15232, to be certified by UNI/TS 11651).
  • Enhancement of the building value by achieving the system’s performance level 3 by means of advanced home automation functions (according to IEC 64-8, Chapter 37).
  • The word Savings already justifies every action.... but do we want to quantify? With a boiler combined with an intelligent thermostat, the average saving reaches 30% without any compromise on comfort, guaranteed by the perfect integration of weather station, smart thermostatic valves, sensors on openings and presence detectors. Exploitation or limitation of sunlight (via shielding or...).
  • The home automation system is the ideal infrastructure for transmitting and displaying consumption data from smart meters inside the building. Only thanks to the timely and frequent monitoring and visibility of energy and water consumption on home automation displays or Apps for smartphones does the user become aware of their behaviour and can change them virtuously.
  • Thermoregulation for individual rooms or zones and hourly programming to reduce energy consumption, guaranteeing the high level of comfort of modern buildings. Each degree of reduction in temperature corresponds to a saving of about 6% in energy.
  • Home automation technology contributes significantly to the achievement of the European Union’s objectives on “near zero energy” buildings (NZEB according to Directive 2010/31/EU and Legislative Decree no. 63 of 4 June 2013).
  • Detection of presence and movement to activate lighting and air conditioning only where and when really needed.
  • Home and building automation offers an effective tool for achieving environmental sustainability strategies and building certification (according to LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
  • Exploiting the solar contribution or limiting it through coordinated and automated management of shading.
  • Smart homes and buildings are designed for future connection to a smart grid and, more generally, to be an active part of a smart city. The automatic management of the building’s energy demand will make it possible to implement the concept of “demand response”, for example by shifting some consumption in response to the current electricity price.
  • By dimming the light sources it is possible to reduce energy consumption and adapt the intensity of the lighting to the various situations and needs.
  • Possibility of benefitting tax deduction’s schemes (e.g. Stability Law 2016, Art. 1 paragraph 88) linked to the equipment of the home automation system.
  • The modest difference in cost between the traditional system solution and the automation solution is caused by the need for certain devices to build the automation system (estimated at about 20%). This difference is largely absorbed by the lower cost of installation time (which is reduced) and by the lower cost of some installation materials (e.g. cables, pipes).
  • The KNX standard guarantees the durability and availability of the technology over time and thus the certainty of source of spare parts and replacement products in the future.
  • The spread of KNX and standardised training ensures that expert technicians and competent system integrators are available everywhere.
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