Are you an electrician or integrator looking to expand into the home automation / building control sector or increase the control systems you currently offer? With so many control systems on the market it can, at times, be a little confusing as to what system is best for your business model, the level of control you require, or the building sector you focus on be that residential, commercial, industrial, assisted living, or a mixture. This page details the capacity, benefits and infrastructure of the KNX protocol and the route to becoming a certified KNX Partner.
Established in 1990 the KNX standard has grown to be a global leader in the home automation and building control sector providing a complete management system for the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Rather than a single branded company, KNX is an open protocol which provides a robust and futureproof control platform that is supported by over 450 certified KNX manufacturers. All of which conform to the same KNX approved standards allowing one system to be comprised of various product lines from differing manufacturers. As a result, KNX offers an unparalleled level of flexibility and product choice which can be tailored to match any building type or budget.
KNX offers a holistic control system whereby all building functions such as lighting, blinds, HVAC and energy management can be regulated on one complete building control system. All functions are then controlled via a user-friendly interface / app and a series of keypads / touchscreens throughout the property. KNX also caters for a range of additional functions, such as AV control, which can be achieved natively through KNX or via various system gateways including Control4, Elan and Crestron.
The benefits of a KNX control solution are extensive, not only during the specification and project design stage but also for future support and system expansion. This allows the functional requirements of a system to be achieved in the most cost-effective manner and through an unparalleled product range match the style preferences of each client.
A KNX system runs on a bus infrastructure whereby all system devices are connected. There are four installation methods, twisted pair, power-line, RF and IP, all of which can be used together within one system if required. This provides an incredibly flexible system platform which can be tailored to the size / type of the building, that is suitable for both new build or retrofit projects and allows non-invasive system expansions if required in the future.
All KNX systems are designed, configured and programmed on the same software tool called ETS. This software is directly governed by the KNX Association which ensures all KNX certified devices within a project, regardless of manufacturer, can be freely programmed within the ETS software.
Various ETS Licences are available which cater for different project sizes or functional requirements, with the three most popular listed below. There are no monthly subscription costs for any ETS Licences, only a one-off payment. The only additional cost that might be required is an upgrade charge when a new licence update is released however, in KNX’s 30-year history there has only been 5 new licence updates showing the robust nature of the programming software.
ETS Inside is the new generation of ETS and the entry level version of the trusted ETS Professional licence which is designed for small-medium KNX projects or for those who do not have an in-depth knowledge of KNX technology. It offers a user-friendly interface with ‘drag-and-drop’ programming on a smartphone or tablet. There are various restrictions with ETS Inside including a maximum of 255 devices per system, it can only be used for one project and only one line can be configured in the system topology.
The ETS Lite Licence is designed for small KNX and allows a maximum of 20 devices to be programmed in a system. This licence can be used for an unlimited number of projects, is programmed via a computer or laptop and an unlimited number of lines can be programmed within the system topology.
ETS Professional is the most commonly used ETS Licence and the one which is advised for larger systems or when more detailed programming, wider system topology or a diverse range of devices is required. The ETS Professional Licence allows an unlimited number of lines and devices to be programmed within a system and can be used for an unlimited number of projects.
For a full comparison of ETS Inside, ETS Lite and ETS Professional Click Here
To ensure you can offer the best and most cost-effective control solutions to your clients training is vital. At the My KNX Store Academy our Core and Focused training modules support both those new to KNX and experienced KNX system integrators who are looking to expand their current knowledge.
Our Core Training portfolio provides a holistic offering from initial system introduction through to advanced system integration. All course modules have been created to provide you with the best knowledge base to design, install and maintain cost-effective and tailored KNX projects.
In partnership with our key suppliers, our Focused Training promotes the various manufacturer specific training courses and webinars. Freely available these are a great way to learn more about targeted products / product ranges.
The KNX Community supports various International and UK based events each year which are a great way to find more about the KNX protocol, meet the industry leading manufacturers and learn more about popular product lines. Key events in the KNX Community schedule are the annual Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) Event which will now be held in Barcelona from 2021 and the biennial Light & Build Event in Frankfurt, markedly the biggest event in our calendar.
Other UK based events also include London Build, Ei Live and the Home & Renovating Show which provide further opportunities to expand your KNX knowledge or as a platform to promote your own company and the solutions you offer.
For more information on the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) Event Click Here
For more information on the Light & Build Event Click Here
For more information on the London Build Event Click Here
For more information on the Ei Live Event Click Here
For more information on the Home & Renovating Show Click Here
At My KNX Store supporting our customers is a key part of what we do. This ranges from general trade support to specialist product, technical and project services including system support, board building along with lighting and blind design. Our Sales & Technical Team can also provide guidance and advice at the specification and quotation stages to ensure each project can achieve the required functionality in the most cost-effective manner.
In addition, our online Technical Resources database provides further assistance, training, product information and configuration tools from a selection of our key suppliers and well as detailing the various levels of support available for KNX integrators both globally and within the UK market.