What is KNX?

KNX is a standard for wired home automation and building automation. KNX exists since 1999 and describes how sensors and actors in a KNX system communicate. Because KNX is wired, building a KNX system is expensive, especially in already built houses. For the system, new cables and ducts need to be applied in the walls to every input and switch point.

Next to high costs, a KNX system is relatively inflexible. Apart from the fact that new wiring is needed whenever a new device, like a roller blind, is added to the network, also the creation and changing of scenarios, or scenes, is not trivial. This requires specific computer software called ETA, which is only available to professional installers.

what is knx

Practice and costs

In practice, a KNX installation always has to be built, set up and modified by a certified, professional installer. This also means every new device and any modified scene requires the installer to pay you a visit. This too amounts to higher costs.

An average KNX system in homes easily costs around 30.000 euros, with larger projects exceeding a hundred thousand euros. Costs for optional modifications or maintenance add additional costs during the lifetime of a project.

Alternatives for Smart Homes

For smart homes, most people nowadays opt for a wireless home automation, for instance based on the Z-Wave technology. With this technology, new cables, wiring and ducts are not necessary, thus simplifying the process of adding smart devices to your home enormously.

Next to that, the modules themselves are cheaper as well, and combined with a Z-Wave controller like Homey, installation can either be done by the user himself, or by an installer in only a fraction of the time needed for KNX. In the Smartphone App of Homey, users can easily create and modify their own scenarios using Homey Flows, preventing the need of an installer driving by for these actions. A proper Z-Wave installation is realizable for around 1000 euros in devices, without any extra costs for maintenance or changes in scenes.

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. The KNX devices will be combined in a single smartphone app, together with all other smart devices Homey supports. Also, it allows you as a user to add your own scenarios, Flows, including both KNX modules and other devices combined.

make your knx wireless with homey

To link your KNX system with Homey you need a KNX/IP Gateway. This Gateway is for sale in a combi deal with Homey, for a total package price of just 469 euros. After connecting the Gateway to your KNX network (and your LAN network), you can easily import your KNX project file in Homey. When you do not have access to your project file, Homey can even learn and simulate inputs, like buttons, from your KNX network!

Check out the Homey + KNX/IP Interface.