KNX is the only global open standard for building automation and home automation, or domotics. In 2020, KNX celebrates its 30th birthday. Although KNX has been around for quite some time, the adoption of the open standard communication protocol keeps expanding.
The innovations by the KNX Association and its members continue to lead to new applications, capabilities and integrations in residential and commercial buildings and beyond.
The interoperability and openness of KNX, along with the smart solutions and systems which companies build upon the KNX architecture, are some of the reasons why the future of KNX looks bright. Connecting ecosystems is key here.
Various Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems for smart homes, buildings, and even communities become part of this broader picture as well with standardization and interoperability remaining essential in the evolution of this market. KNX IoT, which the KNX Association launched in 2016, enabled to connect the KNX ecosystem to the newer IoT systems that popped up in recent years, at the same time allowing for more complex and tailored configurations.
As the KNX landscape evolves, the domains in which KNX is used, increase. Consequently, KNX shows up beyond the typical types of applications and environments in which it is well-known, while its global footprint and installed base grow in these more recent areas as well.
With newer solutions such as KNX IoT and KNX Secure, and improvements in the latest versions of ETS, the engineering tool software to install KNX systems in facilities, the KNX ecosystem will continue to expand as the demand for smart homes and buildings evolves.
Moreover, the technology’s place is developing in the context of our changing overall built environment that needs to respond to ever more challenges and needs. Here too, connectivity is key, albeit more in the sense of connecting systems within this broader context.
We cover this more in-depth in an interview where you can read how Schneider Electric brings KNX to the next level of smart buildings and communities, including the smart grid and energy management, with its SpaceLogic approach to extend the capabilities of KNX.
Where KNX is used today – KNX across the globe and applications
The interview zoomed in on the Light & Room Control certification of EcoXpert (Schneider Electric’s partner program). Partners who are certified for Light & Room Control are active in both home automation and building automation.
And it’s here that KNX is one of the leading standards with room control consisting of many functions (and whereby a room could be a room in a home, a meeting room, or any limited part of a building really).
Yet, although KNX is a global open standard, it’s not used in the same degree everywhere. Jean explained how the open system was dominant in many European countries and the Middle East while gaining a larger footprint in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.
KNX, among others, has a large installed base in China, where it is by far the leading communication protocol in the smart homes and light commercial market (in 2007, KNX became a standard in China). In recent years, Vietnam became an important KNX market, and in India, KNX is doing well too.
KNX leads the home solutions market in Germany (where electrical contractors are trained in KNX at school) and also is dominant in France and The Netherlands. In the UK, it accounts for over a quarter of communication protocols. The KNX ecosystem is also very active in, among others, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Spain, and Italy, with new economies outside Europe on the rise.
As demand for building automation and energy efficiency in many ‘new’ economies is growing, KNX is expanding at different speeds, depending on local factors. However, in general, in these new economies, there is also a lot of innovation and competition. The dominant position of KNX in several European countries is partially due to the roots and history of KNX.
KNX is present in around 190 countries through a network of KNX (installation) partners. End March 2020, the KNX Association, announced the opening of its 500th certified KNX training center (in Cameroon). There are such training centers in over 70 countries. Moreover, there are KNX National Groups in over 40 countries (such groups are important to promote the standard and work with the ecosystem in these focus markets).