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. More about the KNX cable HERE
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.
The downside is that a KNX smart home is relatively inflexible when it comes to minor changes. You need new wiring for each newly added device such as a lamp or a blind. Although KNX also supports wireless KNX RF devices, they are not widely used. As you can imagine adding new devices can be quite tedious as the walls need to be opened up again.
More on KNX cable and other types of KNX wiring HERE.
This is where 1Home jumps in: we let you integrate smart assistant platforms such as Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home and this lets you adapt home automation and create new scenes for your smart home right from your smartphone. The integration also allows you to add any popular wireless device (e.g. Philips Hue lamps, Sonos speaker, IKEA Trådfri device line, …), and other great features such as:
🗣 voice control
⚙️ custom automations
Why do you need a KNX smart home?
Here are 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.
For example here’s a Apple Home mobile app:
Here’s how to start controlling your KNX smart home with Apple Home.
#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.
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.
One way to gain Remote Access functionality is the 1Home Bridge, which also allows your integrator to re-program your home remotely when you’ve decided to make changes. This spares you a lot of time you’d spent waiting for and arranging the integrator’s visit.
#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, read about our top 10 KNX weather station list.
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.
More than 8000 devices have been certified up until now:
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.
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 😉
On of the easiest ways to do it is with 1Home, see how you can connect:
That’s a wrap on the 10 reasons you need a KNX smart home. Well, only if you like convenience, fun and a futuristic feel to your home.
Worried about the cost of creating a KNX smart home?
Try out KNX smart home cost calculator that estimates the cost of installation and programming based on the size of your home, the number of devices and the type of devices you choose.