KNX Explained – What is KNX?

Updated 3 months ago 4 minutes

KNX is a standard for wired home automation and building automation. It exists since 1999 and describes how sensors and actors can communicate. Building a KNX system is expensive, especially in already-built houses: New cables and ducts need to be installed in the walls to every input and switch point.

Next to high costs, a KNX system is relatively inflexible. For instance, new wiring is needed whenever a new device is added or relocated. You can imagine, adding a new lightbulb or roller blind becomes quite the task. It’s also not trivial to create scenes or scenarios. This requires specific computer software called ETS, which is only available to professional installers.

KNX wired home automation system
This is what KNX wiring looks like

KNX in practice and costs

A KNX installation always has to be built, set up and modified by a certified, professional installer. Every new device and any modified scene requires the installer to pay you a visit. This amounts to higher costs.

An average system for homes usually costs around 30.000 euros. Larger home-projects can even exceed a hundred thousand euros. Costs for optional modifications or maintenance add additional costs during the lifetime of a project.

The above reasons make that KNX is mostly used to automate large buildings and projects, like concert venues and office buildings. For home automation there are alternatives that are more flexible, cheaper and more approachable. Especially with the recent rise of wireless technologies and Smart Home.

Alternatives for Smart Homes

For smart homes, most people opt for wireless home automation, like a Z-Wave system. New cables, wiring and ducts are not necessary with this wireless technology. This makes the process of adding smart devices to your home a lot simpler. It also eases relocating devices in a home, and there is no installer necessary.

Wireless modules are even cheaper than their KNX counterparts. Combined with Homey the installation can easily be done by yourself. If you would still like to hire an installer, it will only take him or her a fraction of the time and costs to get running.

Users can add and modify their own Flows, scenarios, in Homey through the clear Homey app. Installers are not necessary, or can help from a distance. A proper Z-Wave installation is available for around 1000 euros. Additional costs for maintenance or changes are not applicable.

KNX and Homey app
The Homey App combines all your KNX and other smart devices

KNX & Homey

For people that already have an existing KNX system at home, and who want to combine that with Sonos, Philips Hue, Z-Wave products or other wireless Smart Home devices, there is good news. It is possible to link Homey to a KNX network! This allows all your KNX devices to show up in the Homey smartphone app – anywhere in the world. View all your devices – KNX and wireless, from a single interface. You can also use the powerful Homey Flow to automate your home, and combine KNX and wireless smart home devices in your own scenes and scenarios.

Make you KNX installation wirelessly accessible with Homey
Make you KNX installation wirelessly accessible with Homey

To link your KNX system with Homey you need a KNX/IP Gateway. Combined with a Homey it just costs 469 euros, and includes everything you need for the entire link and visualisation.

After connecting the Gateway to your KNX network and your LAN network, you can easily import your KNX project file in Homey. In case you do not have access to your project file, Homey can even learn and copy inputs, like buttons, from your KNX network to link your setup easily.

Check out the Homey + KNX/IP Interface. Want more information on this solution? Then we welcome you to discover Homey.

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